Building Muscle and Topline

Posted by StrideAH Staff on Oct 13th 2017

Building Muscle and Topline

Building muscle and a strong topline in horses requires proper amino acids in the diet.

Amino acids are critical to a horse’s health because they are the building blocks of protein. Amino acids are responsible for building muscle, but the body also uses amino acids to make hormones, enzymes, and anti-bodies which are all important parts of everyday life for a horse.

There are 20 primary amino acids that make up protein. The horse is able to make some of these amino acids on their own. However, there are 10 amino acids that a horse cannot make on their own which are called “Essential Amino Acids”, and they must be obtained through the diet.

Amino acids are required in a very unique order and quantity. In order for proper growth and generation of muscle, all amino acids must be present in a very specific combination. Think of it like building a house where the house is a metaphor for strong muscle. Imagine every component of the house as a different amino acid. The foundation, the flooring, the walls, the siding and finally the roof are all essential parts of building a house in exactly the same way that each amino acids are an essential part of building strong muscle.

If a building contractor runs out of concrete while pouring the foundation, the building process stops until more concrete arrives. Amino acids are very similar - if one amino acid is in short supply in the diet, muscle development cannot continue until it is added to the diet.

Amino acids at risk of being shorted in the diet are called “limiting amino acids”, and in horses, the “First Limiting Amino Acid” is generally lysine.

Feeding an amino acid supplement such as Bluebonnet Competitive Edge® ensures all amino acids are available in the diet. These amino acids will help build muscle, improve the top line, and reduce recovery time after strenuous work.