Understanding a Peptide – What are Amino Acids?


You must have heard of a peptide especially if you are into sports, specifically bodybuilding. Well, peptides are very popular today because they are used as performance enhancers in various sports. Unlike other anabolic enhancers, these compounds do exist naturally in the body. It can therefore be said that some of these short proteins are meant to add on to what you already have in the body while others are meant to stimulate the release of important ones.

A peptide is simply defined as the combination of the carboxyl group of an amino acid combines with the amine group of another amino acid hence forming a bond. All peptides are made up of amino acids. The chains of bonds formed are restricted to 50 amino acids. More than that, you will start getting different types of proteins. It is therefore important to note that amino acids form the basic structure of each peptide, polymer or protein.

What is an amino acid?

Many scientists refer to amino acids as the building blocks for life. Amino acids are the basic components of proteins. As it happens, protein is one of the most critical players in the development and the overall health of a person. 20% of the human body is made up of proteins. Amino acids form different types of proteins by merely attaching themselves to each other. Depending on the number of amino acids come together and in what style, a different peptide or protein will be formed.

When you take proteins, the body breaks them down into the smallest of components called amino acids. It is the amino acids that form practically every other cell function than you can imagine.

Types of amino acids

  • Isoleucine - The body of an athlete, especially that of a bodybuilder is subjected to many injuries especially when training. Even though these injuries might not be physically seen, many tissues get ripped by the physical exertion that one undergoes. Isoleucine is the amino acid found in a peptide that helps in the repair of muscle and body tissue. It is also accredited with enabling the clotting of the blood.
  • Leucine - A peptide that has this amino acid is definitely a good thing for a bodybuilder because such helps in the repair of muscles as well as regulating blood sugar. Leucine is also ideal in the production of growth hormones, which are really important in the body of a body builder. It also helps in the burning of excessive fat as well as the prevention of loss of muscles.
  • Lysine - This amino acid is unique both in the way it works and its effectiveness. This amino acid will help your body beat cold sores and even herpes outbreaks. It is also the ideal bone repair compound. The absorption of arginine by the body can be prevented by lysine.
  • Threonine - A peptide with this amino acid will help in the keeping of the appropriate protein balance within the body. It is a good compound to boost the functioning of the liver, central nervous system and the heart.