Amino acids: they’re more than just muscle-builders!
Your body must have protein in order to produce new muscle tissue. Protein is produced when there are sufficient amino acids present. It takes nine different amino acids to produce new muscle tissue, so you have to make sure to get a balance of amino acids in order to see your muscle grow.
But could amino acids be good for more than just your muscles? Here are some of the benefits of amino acids for skin, hair, and overall health:
- Promotes collagen production — Creatine is one of the most important amino acids for your skin! Not only does it help to keep your skin functioning properly, but it will play a large role in the production of collagen. Collagen is the protein that keeps your skin fresh and firm, and it protects your skin from damage by the sun, wind, and environmental pollutants. You always need more collagen, so getting more creatine (formed from the amino acids carnitine and arginine) in your diet is the key to healthier skin.
- Increases hydration and moisture — Creatine (formed from carnitine and arginine) does more than just help your body to produce collagen, but it ensures that your skin stays protected and properly hydrated. These amino acids surround the cells of your skin with a thin layer of water, which protects them from being damaged by heat, UV rays, and other pollutants. Your skin will be able to replace lost moisture more easily thanks to this layer of water.
- Promote healthy pH balance — Glutamine is another amino acid your skin needs, this time to keep your skin’s pH balance healthy. Acidity can cause damage to your skin, leading to decaying skin cells and slowed skin repair. By keeping your skin’s pH more toward the alkaline, glutamine ensures that your skin is protected and has an easier time making repairs to damaged cells.
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- Reduce aging –– Glutamine is an antioxidant, meaning that it can help to combat the effects of age in your skin. Your body doesn’t produce this amino acid, so it has to pull it from somewhere if you aren’t getting enough in your diet. Where does it pull it from? Usually your muscles, which means reduced muscle mass and less elastic skin. When your skin loses elasticity, it starts to sag, wrinkle, and fade. You’ll notice the signs of aging much more, which is why it’s so important that you get more glutamine in your diet!
- Promote fat burning –– Did you know that carnitine plays a role in your body’s fat burning process? Carnitine is needed in order for your body to activate, transport, and burn fat cells for fuel. If you take carnitine before your workout (usually in the form of a pre-workout supplement or snack), it will make your body more efficient at burning fat. The result can be better weight loss, but more specifically, better fat burning!
- Promote healthy hair and nails — Methionine is another amino acid that will play a big role in the health of your hair and nails. It is needed to produce the cellular chains that form the structure of your hair and fingernails. Not only will this amino acid help to build stronger hair and nail structures, but it can actually help to reduce hair loss. Just taking the amino acid can help to INCREASE hair growth, as well as promote the production of the keratin needed for healthy nails.
All in all, if you want to be healthier, you need to get more amino acids in your diet!