Amino acids are the building blocks (monomers) of proteins. 20 different amino acids are used to synthesize proteins. The shape and other properties of each protein is dictated by the precise sequence of amino acids in it.
All types of physiological processes relating to sport - energy, recovery, muscle / strength gains and fat loss, as well as mood and brain function - are intimately and critically linked to amino acids. It's no wonder amino acids have become major players in athletes' supplementation, especially among bodybuilders.
Each amino acid consists of an alpha carbon atom to which is attached
- a hydrogen atom
- an amino group (hence "amino" acid)
- a carboxyl group (-COOH). This gives up a proton and is thus an acid (hence amino "acid")
- one of 20 different "R" groups. It is the structure of the R group that determines which of the 20 it is and its special properties.
List of Amino Acids and their Abbreviation
Nonpolar Amino Acids (hydrophobic)
Polar Amino Acids (hydrophilic)
Electrically Charged Amino Acids (negative and hydrophilic)
Electrically Charged Amino Acids (positive and hydrophilic)