It is all too a popular scene an athlete (Body Builder) makes amino acid supplements a part of his daily life, he takes these supplements mainly to gain muscle mass but also to increase his stamina, and to gain a little extra energy, but is taking these supplements ideal?
Amino acids are important to the human health for they are what build protein. They are very beneficial to the immune system, “they are needed by every cell in the body, they transport oxygen from lungs to muscle tissue, and they are vital to the growth, maintenance, and repair, of lean muscle mass.”
To properly grow, the body needs 20 amino acids, the body itself can produce 12 of these acids but the 8 other acids can not be produced by the human, and have to be obtained through food sources, these 8 acids are called essential amino acids. These acids are the ones many athletes try to obtain through supplements.
Amino acid supplements in the form of powder and liquid are advertised greatly to the athletic public, and so are viewed as safe alternatives to eating the protein-rich food sources, however they may actually be dangerous. The consumption of these supplements can be dangerous for many reasons. One reason is that the research is in an early stage, much is unknown about the effects of long term consumption of these supplements. An excess of one amino acid can tie up a carrier and disturb amino acid absorption. According to the text, Nutrition Concepts and Controversies Web Tutor, “Digestive disturbances, excess water in the digestive tract, and an increased need for the vitamin thiamin poses a potential problem from amino acid supplements.” (193) Widespread use of the amino acid, trytophan has had a negative and deadly effect on some people that have used it. People who took these supplements developed the blood disorder, eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome and at least 15 of the supplement takers died. (193)
The use of supplements by athletes is unnecessary, unhealthy and sometimes deadly. Athletes can obtain their portions of protein through a well balanced diet that includes exercising; drinking plenty of water and eating protein-rich foods, taking amino acids will put a person’s health at risk. The healthy way to obtain muscle mass would be to eat right and exercise. Amino acid supplements should only be used by those who suffer from a protein deficiency and are not able to chew food.
Not only athletes seek amino acid supplements but many people believe it helps them loose weight, cure herpes and virus infections, induce restful sleep and relieve pain or depression but these supplements should not be used by healthy people to loose weight especially when they are on a weight loss diet, a “liquid protein” diet promoted some years ago for weight loss actually caused the death of many users and heart problems in many others. (193) The amino acid Lysine had been thought of to relieve or cure the infections that cause herpes sores on the mouth and genitals but it does not, and it is still unknown whether it reduces outbreaks or if it is safe to take. Research is still absent on whether amino acid supplements are truly safe. In the case of helping cure restful sleep, careful scientific experiments have helped the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) committee to conclude that high doses of tryptophan may induce sleepiness but may have side effects such as severe nausea and skin disorders. As for relieving pain and depression tryptophan is essential in regulating sleep appetite, mood and sensory perception. (193) People that want to loose weight should consult a dietician and nutritionist .People who suffer from insomnia or depression should definitely seek a specialist in that area, supplements should not be the answer.
List Of Protein Rich Foods.