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Amino Acids: Purpose, Toxicity, Supplements

Amino Acids are mineral that are of importance to my long distance runner athlete nutritional status and performance. Please help with the following regarding amino acids:

- Functions for general health
- Deficiency/toxicity symptoms
- Any risks associated with nutrient loading (high intakes of this mineral)
- Food sources
- Importance to your case study athlete's overall health and athletic abilities.

Solution Preview

Amino acids are important to athletes because they are the building blocks of protein and critical in fighting "muscle wasting, repairing muscle tissue, and advancing muscle development" (Karinch, 2002). For general health, amino acids are important in helping the body synthesize protein, grow tissue and muscle, and supply some energy. They play a role in "regulating gene expression, intracellular protein turnover, nutrient metabolism, and oxidative defense" (Wu, 2010). In the event a person is deficient in amino acids, they may experience muscle wasting, weight loss, fatigue and weakness, frequent infections, and fluid retention. Children will also experience slow growth and development.

If adequate amounts of amino acids are consumed, they are used to make proteins for the body. Too high of intake is discouraged: some amino acids will be used as fuel but excess will be converted into nitrogen ...

Solution Summary

This detailed solution discusses what amino acids do, their toxicity and deficiency symptoms, the risks associated with nutrient loading, food sources and their importance for runners. Includes references.