Digestive Enzymes are one of the most useful tools in the bodybuilder’s daily arsenal that make a world of difference. Think about it, we have to eat a lot of meals a day, digest them all on time and be ready for our workouts everyday without having a meal weigh us down. Not everyone has good digestion, so how do the bodybuilders cope with it? They take digestive enzymes with every meal. Digestive enzymes help break down the food that we eat and make sure that all of the components of our meal are properly assimilated in our muscles. What’s the point of spending all of this time and money on food if your body can’t use it properly?
What are digestive enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are actually essential components for digestion and are produced in our saliva, stomach, and pancreas. Usually they are classified by the component that they help break down.
Major Digestive Enzymes:
Proteases and peptidases break down proteins into peptides and amino acids. Protease is an enzyme that is found in gastric and pancreatic juices. Together with hydrochloric acid, proteases break down protein into amino acids to be absorbed through the intestinal wall.
Amylase is secreted by the salivary glands and pancreatic glands. Its function is to break down carbohydrates such as starch and sugars into simple sugars. The bacteria and amylase found in the salivary glands in the mouth bind and break down the carbohydrates that we consume. This is why it is so important to chew your food properly, because digestion begins in the mouth!
Lipases break down fat (known as lipids) into three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule. This enzyme is produced primarily in the pancreas. Since fat molecules are large, lipase depends on bile to break down lipids into smaller forms.
When choosing the correct digestive enzyme to supplement with, make sure that you get the most complete list, going well beyond the 3 enzymes mentioned above. You want the enzymes to help you break down as much food as possible so that it can be assimilated. After all, we absorb the nutrients from our food, not the actual food pieces themselves!
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