Amino acids are important building blocks for making proteins or they are oxidized to provide energy for the body. Amino acids exist as branched-chain amino acids, such as glutamine and glycine that are produced naturally in the body. Essential amino acids, such as, leucine and valine, must be supplied from the diet since the body is unable to synthesize them. The body absorbs amino acids from natural foods or amino acids are added to beverages to make protein shakes.
Mix whey proteins into shakes. Whey protein contains concentrated levels of branched chain and essential amino acids including the amino acid cysteine that is required for making glutathione, an antioxidant important for preventing cellular damage in cells. Whey protein is a byproduct from milk in cheese-making. Whey proteins are readily available in health food stores as powdered concentrate.
Mix natural food or supplements with high content of essential amino acid into the protein shake. A study published in 2000 by the "Journal of Applied Physiology" found the absorption rate from the gut lining into the bloodstream and protein synthesis with essential amino acids were more effective when ingested into the body compared to whey protein concentrates. Egg whites, soya and tofu foods contain 6.8 g of leucine, an essential amino acid, per 100 grams. Add concentrated powdered egg whites or soya protein into the shake mix or use fresh organic soya products, for example, tofu, soya milk to the protein shake mixture.
Make protein shakes with branched-chain amino acid supplements that are readily available in powder, tablet or liquid formulation, and contain essential and non-essential amino acids. Serum amino acids, such as glutamine, prevent or counteract acidosis in the muscles and replenish levels in the bloodstream after rigorous exercising. The use of branched chained amino acids supplementation slows down or prevents protein breakdown during moderate exercise. Add fruit or vegetable juices containing natural amino acids to protein shakes.
- United Nations University, Protein and amino acids requirements in human nutrition; World Health Organization ( WHO)
- Whey Protein Institute: Exercise Recovery
- Journal of applied physiology; An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise; Rasmussen BB; February 2000
- International Journal of Sports Medicine; Branched-chain amino acids and arginine supplementation attenuates skeletal muscle proteolysis induced by moderate exercise; Matsumoto K et al; June 2007