Should I be taking an amino acid supplement? I see so many of them on the shelves of the health food stores, from BCAA’s to individual aminos like arginine, glutamine and carnitine. I exercise five days a week and eat a healthy diet, so do I really need to buy amino acids?
Generally speaking, I would say that you don’t need to buy amino acids, if as you write, your diet is good. Of course that also means that you are an omnivore. Meat contains all nine of the essential aminos, as opposed to vegetation, which does not. It’s believed that ancient cultures such as the Aztecs combined legumes with grains instinctively, as a way of achieving a complete amino acid profile in their diets.
Of course you could always see a registered dietician who could assess whether or not you may be deficient in a particular amino acid. Certain conditions, such as angina, pulmonary disease and even cold sores seem to have shown a positive response to treatment with certain aminos.
Nevertheless, if your diet contains even a minimal amount of animal protein, you probably don’t need to worry about supplementing with extra amino acids.