Whether you’re an extreme athlete or just enjoy a refreshing jog, swim, or bike ride on occasion, you’re probably familiar with the idea of replenishing your body with nutrients that may have been lost during your workout. While electrolytes have become a bit of a buzzword in this area, especially in the world of sports drinks and supplements, what we should be talking about are amino acids. Here’s why.
Sweat and Amino Acids
While it is true that your body can lose electrolytes–substances that carry a charge and that are essential for all forms of life–through sweat, many people overlook the fact that your skin is also losing a significant amount of amino acids through exercise and heavy sweating [1, 2]. Specifically, the amino acids serine, histidine, ornithine, glycine, alanine, aspartic acid, and lysine are naturally found in high concentrations in human sweat . Losing these and other amino acids without sufficiently replenishing them is of particular concern because when your body and skin are depleted of amino acids, a number of problems can arise. In many cases, you may begin to feel easily fatigued, especially after a workout, and the healing process of your body may be much slower without sufficient amino acid content . Additionally, because amino acids provide free radical protection, balance skin hydration, and are essential components of collagen production, your skin may become dry and dull, and the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and discoloration may progress much more quickly. Therefore, if you don’t replenish your skin and body with these nutrients after a workout or profuse sweating from being outside in the heat all day, you’ll likely see signs of amino acid deficiency develop on your skin.
How Much Amino Acid Content Is Your Skin Losing During Exercise?
A recent study published in PLoS ONE found that your skin loses significant amounts of the 26 different amino acids contained in human sweat. In particular, α-amino-butyric acid, glutamine, cysteine, and proline were found in much lower concentrations on the skin after intense exercise, while there was a notable decrease in asparagine, lysine, ornithine, serine, and threonine within the blood plasma of athletes after a workout . Thus, both the surface of your skin and your bloodstream are losing significant concentrations of amino acids through exercising. Within the skin, not only are these amino acids found in sweat itself, but this study has concluded that amino acids from the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF) may also be lost via sweat . Because NMF plays such an integral role in keeping your skin hydrated and healthy by sealing moisture inside and keeping toxins and other harmful substances out, depleting it of the amino acids it needs to function properly can have detrimental effects on your skin.
How to Replenish Your Skin with Amino Acids
While studies have shown that your body is losing amino acids during sweat and exercise, the good news is that you can effectively replenish this amino acid content without kicking exercise to the curb. (It has some great benefits for your skin, too!) The best way to do this is to combine using an excellent topical amino acid product with eating a variety of proteins to obtain the amino acids that your skin and body need. When it comes to finding the right amino acid skin care products, you want to look for a combination of all or almost all of the basic set of 20 amino acids that are involved in the process of protein biosynthesis. This way, you will see much more dramatic results for your skin–including an improvement in the appearance of lines, wrinkles, discoloration, dryness, and flaking–than you would if you were to use a product that contains only one or two different amino acids. You can also sign up for free to become an AminoGenesis Insider and gain exclusive access to deals and flash sales on revolutionary AminoGenesis products.
 PLoS ONE