Antioxidants are useful in countering the oxidation process which takes place in every living organism. Oxidation is the movement of electrons within the living cells of your body. It can easily damage DNA and various vital proteins, which makes it harmful to your health. A few risk factors for oxidation include the following.
- Polluted Environments
- Excessive drinking
- Processed foods
Luckily, there are natural compounds that can lower risks and counter the oxidation process. These are called antioxidants. They stop the free radicals chain reaction resulting from oxidation. There are many foods and drinks with antioxidants, but a supplement can provide a higher dose.
What Do Antioxidants Supplements Do For You?
In addition to stabilizing free radicals within your body, antioxidants also contain various essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, E, and C or Selenium. Together this means that they can fight off diseases and age-related disorders. Below are a few more ways antioxidants can target and restore your body.
Increase Muscle Growth
There is a belief that taking antioxidants in high doses can relieve some of the stress and damage caused by exercise, leading to higher strength gain levels. However, some research shows that low levels of everyday antioxidants can inhibit the production of muscle mass for certain individuals, including women and younger people. Supplements encourage muscle growth by introducing higher levels of antioxidants.
Decrease Muscle Soreness
The results of individual studies seem to indicate that antioxidants can effectively decrease muscle soreness, especially during the first few days of a new routine. Based on studies, this effect appears to peak after three days.
Reduce Exercise Fatigue
There is significant evidence that antioxidant supplements can successfully counter chronic fatigue conditions and fatigue caused by exercise.
Prevent Muscle Wasting
Multiple studies indicate that taking antioxidants can help stop the atrophy of muscles in individuals with mobility issues. They do this by reducing or even eliminating the oxidation process that can cause muscle mass to lower in individuals who cannot exercise.
Benefit People With Liver Disease
The oxidation process is incredibly debilitating for individuals with liver disease. Reducing the number of free radicals through the intake of antioxidants has been shown in various studies to slow liver damage.
Amino Acid Supplements Available
Amino acids are believed to enhance and prolong the effects of various antioxidants that you may ingest naturally through meals. Some also include antioxidants to ensure the user gets enough to provide the desired effect. Below are a few common amino acid supplements.
This amino acid is not found naturally in the body, so it must be acquired through diet. It can be found in specific foods, including fish and other meats, dairy, and eggs. Taking it can produce the following benefits
- Lowers blood sugar
- Treats cold sores and canker sores
- Increases muscle strength for men
- Improves some symptoms of schizophrenia
- Lowers levels of stress and anxiety
- Improves athletic performance in both men and women
- Can treat the symptoms of hypertension
Branched Chain Amino Acids
This type of amino acid has an aliphatic side-chain with a branch that sets it apart from other amino acids. There is significant evidence that it can improve muscle growth and general health. Branched-chain amino acids are essential nutrients and can be found in meat, dairy, and legumes.
This L-carnitine is created naturally in the body, but many people require a supplement to get the full effects. It is known to cause the following benefits.
- Treats Alzheimer's
- And age-related cognitive diseases
- Reduces memory loss
- Lowers levels of depression, especially in older individuals
- Assists with improving cognitive function for individuals with alcoholism, fatty liver, and other conditions
- Burns fat
- Reduces the growth rate of various diseases
What Are Branched-Chain Amino Acids?
Three out of nine essential amino acids feature branched-chains. They are valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Protein-rich foods often feature these in branched-chain acids, which are named after their chemical structure, which features a branch.
Benefits of Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Branched-chain amino acids have multiple benefits, and they work by improving various body systems and stimulating the synthesis of various proteins, including those responsible for muscle growth. Below are the most common effects of branched-chain amino acids.
- Proven to increase muscle growth in specific individuals
- Decreases muscle soreness
- Reduces fatigue and chronic fatigue caused by exercise
- Prevents muscle wasting or atrophy
- Treats some symptoms of liver disease
Branched-Chain Amino Acids and Your Diet
Foods that are very high in whole proteins are likely to have branched-chain amino acids. Below are some foods high in branched-chain amino acids.
- Round beef
- Chicken breast
- Turkey breast
- Brown rice
- Baked beans
- Lima beans
- Whole wheat
- Fish such as salmon and tuna
- Greek yogurt
- 1% cows milk
- Parmesan cheese
These foods also provide various other essential vitamins and minerals.
Ways To Enhance The Positive Effects of Antioxidants and Amino Acids
Fighting off oxidative stress and its various side effects are the primary benefits of antioxidants.
It is not strictly necessary to exercise regularly in order to take antioxidants and essential amino acids. They are usually taken by people working out to decrease fatigue, soreness, and oxidative stress-related to workouts. However, they can also provide positive health benefits for people who do not work out.
Your body is more capable of fighting off damage caused by oxidation if it is fit and healthy. It is recommended that everyone get at least one and a half hours of exercise throughout the week.
Get Enough Sleep
One sleep theory suggests that cerebral free radicals accumulate within the brain and are eradicated during the sleep process. Sleep is also believed to increase the efficiency of antioxidants in eradicating free radicals. Sleep is also essential for lowering stress levels and ensuring that your body is working correctly. Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in all types of free radicals and a decrease in basic functionality.
Medical professionals recommend that adults get a minimum of seven to eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night to ensure their body gets an opportunity to fully rest, heal, and recharge. Certain medical conditions may make it necessary to get slightly more or less sleep overnight. I'd you are concerned about not getting enough rest, reach out to your doctor.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is the cornerstone of good living. A nutritional, balanced diet enhances supplements. Fresh fruits and vegetables can provide you with a multitude of antioxidants and amino acids that can help keep your cells strong, protected, and healthy. Some foods and drinks highest in antioxidants include the ones listed below.
- Gogi berries
- Dark chocolate
- Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
- Acai juice
- Green and herbal teas
- Pomegranate juice
- Beet juice
It is important to continue getting antioxidants through your food, even if you are taking a supplement. They are intended to enhance and strengthen the effects of a healthy diet and exercise rather than replace them.
Avoid Processed Foods
This type of food gets its own section because we want to stress the importance of avoiding any processed foods. The number of negative health effects caused by processed meats, sugars, and other foods cannot be overstated. A small number of side effects you can expect to see include those listed below.
- Most processed foods have well over the daily limit of sugar, salt, and fat, which leads to obesity and health issues
- Heightened blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels
- Increased instances of depression
- Higher risk factors for developing cancer
- People who eat processed foods are also statistically more likely to die younger
F.A.Q- Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to take amino acids every day?
How long it is safe to take amino acids depends on several factors, including the user's dose, general health, and which amino acids are being taken. Before starting an amino acid or any other health supplement, you should speak with your doctor. They can advise you on the proper dose and how long it will be safe for you specifically to take them.
They are generally safe to consume under the recommended dose every day for a prolonged period of weeks or months. Speak with a medical professional or nutritionist to learn what timeline will best suit your goals and dietary requirements.
Is it okay to take amino acids without working out?
Most people who are taking amino acid supplements are doing so to enhance the effects of working out and decrease any strains it may have placed on the body. Essential amino acids like the branched-chain amino acids are necessary for continued health, so taking them even when you are not exercising is safe. There is an exception for people who have trouble processing amino acids due to a medical condition.
It is also important to note that taking amino acids when you have no intention of exercising will not produce the same results. The typical strain on the body from moving throughout your day will not cause the amino acids to remove muscle pains or overall fatigue. You will need to use other supplements or treatments for those maladies. You will still get health benefits, but they will not manifest in the same ways you would see if you were to take them while exercising.
Can amino acid supplements make you gain weight?
Muscle gain is one of the desired outcomes of taking amino acid supplements, which will inherently lead to a degree of weight gain. Research studies on the topic have had mixed results, mostly due to the fact that amino acids affect various age groups and body types in different ways.
Is it safe to take branched-chain amino acids if you are underweight?
Branched-chain amino acids are known to inhibit weight gain by up to 30% while also assisting with burning fat through exercise. For individuals who are already underweight, this may cause some problems. If you are underweight or at an optimal weight for your age and gender, then you should speak to your doctor to determine if branched-chain amino acid supplements are right for you.
What vitamins and minerals have the highest level of antioxidants?
Not every vitamin, essential nutrient, and mineral you take will have a useful amount of antioxidants, so it is important to know which ones contain the highest levels. By focusing on getting enough of these in your diet, you can improve the results of taking an antioxidant supplement.
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
You can find these in fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and other healthy food groups. Some are considered antioxidant "superfoods," and you can get significantly more health benefits from eating them. There are several superfoods, including those listed below.
- Purple, blue, and red grapes
- Berries that are blue and red
- Dark green vegetables like spinach and kale
- Orange vegetables like sweet potatoes
- Various teas, including green tea
- Whole grains
- Fish like salmon and tuna
What are the side effects of too many amino acids or antioxidants?
Every supplement must be taken in moderation under the guidance of a medical professional or nutritionist. If you take too many, it can lead to negative side effects, including the following.
- Stomach pain and bloating.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and headache
- In rare cases, high blood pressure
Most side effects will start to appear once you reach the healthy threshold for the amount of antioxidants your body can handle. This amount can fluctuate between individuals, so consult your doctor to find out what would be ideal for you. Taking too many antioxidants is also linked to an increased risk of developing cancer. Follow directions included with the product and the advice of your doctor for best results.
What can cause free radicals?
There are a number of activities and foods that can cause an increase in free radicals. Some common culprits include the following.
- Free radicals are a side effect of the natural process that turns food into energy.
- Toxins, including those found within alcohol, tobacco, and environmental pollution
- Tanning beds or natural Ultraviolet rays from sunlight
- Every type of processed food results in higher levels of free radicals in the body
- Kava Kava for anxiety
- Omega-3 fatty acids and stress
- Magnesium and stress
- Influence of S-adenosyl on chronic stress
Antioxidants and Antioxidant Supplements
When a slice of banana turns brown, or a cut of meat becomes rancid, you're witnessing a natural process called oxidation. It happens to all cells in nature, even the ones in your body.
Your body uses antioxidants that you consume in the form of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants products can be an excellent supplement for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The human body creates harmful free radicals due to pollution, sunlight, pesticides, preservatives, and many other harmful chemicals to which we are exposed to on a daily basis.
The Benefits of Antioxidants
Antioxidants help combat free radicals and protect our bodies.
Trans-Resveratrol provides powerful antioxidant support and Grape Seed Extract are specific forms of very powerful bioflavonoids that act as antioxidants. Whole Health provides a great selection of Antioxidants.
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