An amino acid diet can range from weight loss to bulk bodybuilding, depending upon which amino acids are ingested and in what dosages. Some amino acids directly affect bodily functions, such as stimulating production in the brain of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. Others allow for proper health maintenance. Some, when used excessively, can damage the kidney and/or liver. The essential amino acid, Trytophan, is currently banned by the FDA as a food supplement after a study revealed that it perhaps caused a rare blood disorder resulting in thirty-eight deaths.
Understanding Amino Acids
There are two types of amino acids – essential and non-essential – that are the building blocks of proteins. Enzymes, neurotransmitters, blood cells, hormones, connective tissue and cell membranes are all examples of proteins and require amino acids for their synthesis. The body can only produce non-essential amino acids, and therefore it is necessary to consume essential amino acids by way of foods or vitamin supplements.
Consuming the Right Amount of Protein
Care must be taken in consuming proteins, since eating excessive amounts can cause the body to lose calcium and overstress the kidneys. Proteins can be found in meats and soybean products.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is determined by dividing the body weight by 2.2 and then multiplying that result by 0.8. Eating a well-balanced diet is always important in maintaining proper body weight and regulating the consumption of calories.
Incorporating Amino Acids Into Your Diet
By eating a variety of foods containing amino acids, an individual can enhance their health. They can also increase their body muscle mass through the use of whey protein and creatine.
Whey protein is derived from milk without the cholesterol. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, whey protein stimulates the amino acids responsible for endurance and muscle enhancement and decreases recovery time from exercise.
Creatine supplies energy to muscle cells for short bursts of energy. A number of studies have shown creatine to increase energy, strength and muscle mass while reducing recovery time. Creatine occurs naturally in such foods as beef, tuna, herring and salmon.
It is important to eat a well-balanced diet with the proper amount of calories. Eating more calories than is necessary will cause those calories to be stored as fat no matter if the calories are acquired from proteins from animal or plant matter. Consuming vitamins and minerals in proper dosages will also help the body to perform essential biochemical functions. As stated, an amino acid diet can help shed pounds or gain muscle bulk, depending upon which amino acids consumed and in what dosages.