Amino Acids and Bodybuilding

The use of amino acid supplements in the bodybuilding community is rampant, and for very good reason. Amino acids are often called the “building blocks of protein” that help deliver nutrients to the muscles for development and growth. Since this is a primary function of amino acids, it is often found that they are very helpful for individuals in the bodybuilding community.

Types of Amino Acids in the Body

There are two types of amino acids in the body:


  • Non-essential Amino Acids
  • Essential Amino Acids

The difference between these two is that non-essential amino acids are created by the human body, and essential amino acids are not.

Often times bodybuilders will only take supplements of essential amino acids, and not non-essential amino acids. There are exceptions to this such as the non-essential amino acid glutamine, which has become very popular in the bodybuilding community. This is because glutamine is one of the most important non-essential amino acids that an individual needs. In fact, it makes up over 60% of all amino acids and performs critical functions for the body. The main attraction of bodybuilders to this amino acid supplement is that it can feed the brain nutrients, which provide greater energy and mental clarity. Glutamine is famously called “brain food” in bodybuilding circles due to its great benefits for the mind.

What Are Popular Amino Acids That Bodybuilders Use?

The most popular amino acids for bodybuilders are branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). These make up around 30% of all the bodies required essential amino acids. These are very important for bodybuilders to help nitrogen levels balance well in the body in order to create strong and lean muscles. BCAAs also help with muscle fiber tissue repair, and ensure healthy muscle growth and development through muscle protein synthesis.

How Do Amino Acids Help Bodybuilders?

Bodybuilders can also utilize amino acids to help combat:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Mental confusion

These problems could be caused by a lack of protein that is being fed to the brain. Issues can happen a lot when an individual is working out and expending a significant amount of nutrients over a period of time that aren’t being replaced. This makes it important that bodybuilders take some form of amino acid supplement on the days they workout to help avoid problems.

Amino acids also help bodybuilders have better skeletal muscle structure. They are the biological compounds that are responsible for skeletal strength and development. Having proper skeletal structure not only helps bodybuilders with their muscle development, but also gives them stronger bones as well. This can be just as important as muscle strength. Skeletal structure is what gives your body its proportions, which can determine muscle strength potential.

How Amino Acids Keep Balance Within The Body

Bodybuilders need amino acids to help with proper liver function. Taking a significant amount of protein can sometimes put a strain on your liver.To avoid this from happening, the body needs to either be producing or consuming proper amounts of amino acids. If it doesn’t, then it can result in liver damage, which can in turn cause protein to actually be a toxin in the body. The reason being is that amino acids are what keeps a proper protein balance in your body, and help the liver to process protein. If that balance is not kept, protein goes from being beneficial for you to being harmful.

Amino acids and bodybuilding have a very intricate and important relationship. It is important as a bodybuilder to supplement one's diet with the appropriate amino acids. This is in order to maximize the health benefits desired along with avoiding negative consequences associated with low levels of amino acids in the body.

More Amino Acid Information