Amino Acid

The Key Amino Acid Uses to Boost Your Workout

About 77% of US adults take dietary supplements. About 28% take sports nutrition supplements, while 17% take weight management supplements. Another 40% take specialty supplements.

While there are many pre-workout ingredients and supplements you might consider, don’t forget amino acids. Amino acid supplements could give your workouts the boost they’re lacking.

What are the top amino acid uses for avid gym-goers? Keep reading to find out!

After reading this guide, you can start using amino acids to fuel your workouts. Start experiencing these amino acid benefits firsthand! Read on to learn more today.

What are Amino Acids?

Before we dive into the top amino acid uses, let’s answer a question that’s likely on your mind.

What are amino acids, exactly?

Amino acids are molecules. They’re the building blocks of protein. They also synthesize hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters.

Your body needs amino acids for growth, repair, and maintenance. Each amino acid serves a different function. Your body will determine which amino acids it needs to build proteins.

Amino acids can then form:

  • Skin
  • Hair
  • Bones
  • Organs
  • Tissues
  • Enzymes
  • Hormones
  • Connective tissue

While there are 20 amino acids, your body can create 11 naturally. The remaining 9 come from the foods we eat. Foods that contain all 9 essential amino acids include fish, chicken, and eggs.

How the Body Using Amino Acids

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s discuss the top amino acid uses. Here are a few amino acids you might consider adding to your diet. Remember, you can get these amino acids through foods or amino acid supplements.

You can find the supplements you need at

If you want to add all nine essential amino acids to your diet, eat complete proteins. These include:

  • Poultry
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pork
  • Egg
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Soy
  • Quinoa
  • Dairy

Otherwise, you can find amino acid supplements that contain the specific amino acids you need.


Your body uses isoleucine for cellular detoxification and wound healing. It promotes the healthy secretion of hormones. It can also support your immune system’s function.

Otherwise, isoleucine is essential for regulating blood sugar and energy levels. If you prefer intense workouts, it could boost your energy levels. You might have an easier time fighting fatigue as well.

It also plays a part in glucose transportation. If you’re concerned about protein and fat metabolism, consider using isoleucine.

Foods that contain isoleucine include lentils, teff, kamut, beans, nuts, and seeds.


Your body needs histidine to create proteins. It plays a part in normal immune function, gastric secretion, and kidney function.

Histidine is a component of your myelin sheath, too. This protective barrier surrounds your nerve cells.

You can add histidine to your diet through whole wheat pasta, beans, and teff.


Amino acid supplements that contain methionine can help with tissue repair and detoxification. It can also protect your cells from aging and pollutants.

Methionine plays a part in fat metabolism, too. If you’re trying to shed excess fat and build muscle, consider methionine.

It can also build DNA, work as an antioxidant (to fight harmful free radicals), and break down metals in the liver.

Methionine is found in foods like Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, whole grains, and beans.


Lysine plays a major part in building proteins, enzymes, and hormones. It helps the body absorb calcium, too. Using amino acids like lysine could help:

  • Energy production
  • Immune system function
  • Collagen formation
  • Protein synthesis

It can also help promote positive gut health.

If you’re prone to stress and anxiety, lysine could reduce your cortisol levels, too. Otherwise, cortisol can have a negative impact on your overall health. In fact, excess cortisol can cause:

  • Easy bruising
  • Weight gain (around the upper back, midsection, and face)
  • Acne
  • Thinning skin
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Severe fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Flushed face
  • Slowed healing
  • Headaches

These symptoms could impact your workout goals. For example, you might struggle to heal from intense workouts. Muscle weakness and delayed healing can impact strength training, too.

Adding lysine to your routine might reduce your cortisol levels, allowing you to avoid these issues.

Lysine is available in foods like peas and beans.


Leucine is an amino acid that supports metabolic functions and protein synthesis. It can also regulate your blood sugar levels and growth hormone production.

Your body requires leucine for the growth and repair of your muscle and bone tissue, too. Intense workouts can cause wear and tear. Amino acid uses like recovery could benefit your workouts.

Leucine could help prevent the breakdown of proteins after trauma or stress as well.

You can add leucine to your diet through squash and beans.


If you’re still concerned about fat metabolism, consider amino acid supplements that include threonine. This amino acid plays a part in both immune function and fat metabolism.

It’s also part of the proteins that make up your connective tissue and skin. For example, threonine provides structure to collagen and tooth enamel. Collagen can contribute to your muscle strength.

Threonine is found in lentils, beans, nuts, flaxseeds, green peas, and sweet potatoes.


As you explore these amino acid uses, consider adding phenylalanine to your routine. Phenylalanine assists in creating other amino acids.

It could have a therapeutic effect if you struggle with anxiety or depression as well. These molecules could contribute to feelings of pleasure and stress responses, too.

Otherwise, phenylalanine is used to create neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that deliver messages between nerve cells.

Phenylalanine is available in teff, nuts, sunflower seeds, and beans.


Your body needs tryptophan to produce vitamin B3. It’s essential for general growth and development, too.

If you’re trying to curb your appetite to accomplish weight loss goals, consider tryptophan. Amino acid uses for tryptophan include appetite regulation. It also regulates your mood and sleep.

You need sleep to help your body heal from intense workouts. Sleep is essential for weight loss, too.

Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which regulates your appetite, mood, and sleep.

You can add tryptophan to your diet through flaxseeds, oats, nuts, seeds, and beans.


If you’re concerned about muscle growth and regeneration, consider valine. Valine is also needed for energy production. Amino acid supplements containing valine could help you fight fatigue.

It’s also beneficial for improving strength and muscle mass.

You can add valine to your diet through beans, whole grains, mushrooms, and peanuts. Consider oats, peas in a pod, and kamut, too.

Too Much vs. Too Little

Your body might struggle to function if you don’t get the amino acids you need. For example, you could experience digestive problems and slowed immunity. Children can experience slowed growth, too.

Other symptoms that you’re experiencing an amino acid deficiency can include:

  • Weakness
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Digestive issues
  • Fertility issues
  • Decreased alertness
  • Compromised immune function
  • Depression

Some vegans and vegetarians struggle to get enough protein and amino acids.

When you consume enough protein, it can help build muscle. It also contributes to cellular needs to create nails, hair, and skin. When there’s excess protein in your diet, it’s broken down and converted into fat or sugar.

Then, it’s stored. It can’t get remade into protein.

Otherwise, it’s excreted through your urine.

Consider talking to a nutritionist. They can help you determine how much of each amino acid you need. Taking amino acid supplements could fill in any nutritional gaps you’ve developed.

Otherwise, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t exceed the maximum stated dose. You could experience side effects if you take more than necessary.


The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are isoleucine, leucine, and valine.

These three amino acids can benefit your athletic performance.

In one study, participants taking either a BCAA supplement or placebo were asked to cycle until exhausted. During cycling, serotonin levels were lower in people who took BCAA. Serotonin can play a role in exercise fatigue.

BCAA supplementation improved the participants’ energy metabolism. It lowered levels of substances that indicate muscle damage, too.

BCAA supplementation might improve lean mass and decrease your percentage of body fat, too. In this study, participants completed an 8-week resistance-training program. Participants either received:

  • BCAAs
  • Whey protein
  • Carbohydrates from a sports drink

The participants who took the BCAAs had a more significant decrease in body fat and increase in lean mass than the other groups.

BCAAs might help you maintain muscle mass if you have a chronic illness, too.

Some illnesses can affect protein synthesis. Protein synthesis can lead to a loss of body protein and skeletal muscle mass. Leucine might help.

Otherwise, BCAA supplementation could reduce the muscle damage that occurs after a high-intensity workout.

Consider these amino acid uses before adding amino acid supplements to your routine. You could work out harder and longer without fatigue. Meanwhile, you could minimize muscle damage after intense workouts, too.

With amino acid supplementation, you could experience improvements to your entire workout routine.

Body-Beneficial Amino Acid Uses: Your Guide to Fueling Workouts

Don’t let fatigue or muscle damage slow you down. Instead, consider these amazing amino acid uses. Using amino acid supplements could make a major difference to your next workout.

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