Adding supplements to your daily diet seems to be quite popular amongst just about everyone right now. While people of all backgrounds may choose to take supplements as part of their daily health routine, those who commonly take them tend to be people who are actively engaged in sports and fitness. This is very easy to explain why – if you are engaged in physically-demanding performances, you would want supplements that will help you boost your physical performance.
The most common of these supplements are protein powders. Protein powders, such as Orgain Protein and Designer Whey, help you in recovering faster, hence adding more endurance to your performance, or gains if you are working out. There are a variety of other supplements taken by physically active people as well, and one common one is amino acid supplements.
But, what are amino acid supplements? What are amino acids to begin with, and how do they help you? This article will discuss that and some more, including what the best amino acid supplements are. Let’s dive right in!
What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. So, once you consume protein, either through your food or through supplementation, the protein content has to be broken down in its respective amino acid constituents.
Once the protein is broken down into their own amino acids, wonderful things happen – like the creation of neurotransmitters, regulation of your blood sugar levels, synthesis of new muscle tissues, and many more processes. This, in part, explains why amino acids are called the “building blocks of life” – but in totality, amino acids are actually one of the basic building blocks of the human body!
There are 20 different amino acids that the human body uses; they can be divided into two groups:
- Nonessential amino acids – amino acids that are produced by the body, so you don’t need to look for them elsewhere.
- Essential amino acids – amino acids that are not produced by your body, hence you need to take them through food or supplement sources.
There are 11 nonessential amino acids and 9 essential amino acids. If a food or supplement source contains “complete” protein, this means that the 9 essential amino acids are present in that protein. Good sources of this include animal-based and soy-based foods.
Now that you know what amino acids are and their role in our body, it should make sense why it’s a good supplement to take. Below, we are going to list down the benefits of amino acid supplements.
Amino Acid Supplement Benefits
1) Prevents Muscle Damage
Amino acid supplements will help you prevent muscle damage by increasing muscle repair and buildup through protein synthesis.
This is particularly helpful if you are an endurance athlete or currently working out in a fasted state, where you are prone to muscle breakdown as your body takes some of your muscle fiber for fuel.
To avoid this, take an amino acid supplement at least 30-60 minutes before you start your workout.
2) Helps Your Body Burn More Fat
BCAAs, a group of specific amino acids, are shown to help athletes burn more body fat – especially around the mid-section. So, if you’re an athlete or just working out on hopes to burning body fat, then amino acid supplements, especially BCAA supplements, could be a great help for you!
3) Decreases Your Muscle Soreness
Muscle soreness – or tearing apart of muscle tissues – is a concern mainly by bodybuilders, not because of the soreness itself (it eventually leads to growth) but because of the time, it will take them to recover from the process.
As a bodybuilder, you want to maximize your workouts as much as possible. This is one of the main reasons why they consume protein powders – it helps them recover faster, therefore giving them more endurance to workout longer for bigger gains!
But aside from protein powder, amino acid supplements can also help in faster recovery. Before you work out, take an amino acid supplement. This cranks up the protein synthesis in your muscles. Once you’ve torn your muscle tissues due to the workout, the repairing process will be done as soon as possible, leading you to faster recovery and longer endurance at the gym.
4) Reduces Mental Fatigue
Amino acid supplements not only help the body but the mind as well. When you are working out, your body increases the synthesis and metabolism of 5-HT, which can cause fatigue and performance impairment.
To counter this, take amino acid supplements. Amino acid supplements are shown to help you reduce mental fatigue so that, during and after you worked out, you are still in your optimal cognitive performance.
5) Improves And Increases Your Endurance
According to one study, BCAA supplements are shown to aid in decreasing fatigue by over 17%. This especially works well if you are depleted of glycogen, probably due to diet restrictions.
How To Take Amino Acid Supplements
Amino acid supplements mostly come in pill form, just like a typical medicine. There are a variety of supplements on the market, so we will share a few of our favorites below.
Of course, check the dosage that works for you whenever you take amino acid supplements to avoid negative side effects.
Do Amino Acid Supplements Really Work?
The short answer is: yes, amino acid supplements do work! But as always, check the label before you buy your amino acid supplement and don’t fall for promises promoted by the supplement seller. In fact, if the promises sound too good, and is not backed properly by science, then that could be a sign that you should avoid that supplement.
If you are buying amino acid supplements, you should check the label and see if you are getting the following:
If you are looking for BCAA, these are separately sold as BCAA supplements, but again, always check the label to make sure that you are really getting the ingredients that you are looking for.
A trustworthy recommendation is also one great way to know which supplements will likely be right for you and which aren’t.
Are Amino Acid Supplements Right For You?
An averagely healthy person can take amino acid supplements safely, so if you fall into this category, taking amino acid supplements should be safe for you.
If you are suffering from a medical condition like diabetes or kidney problems, taking amino acid supplements is not recommended – but to be sure, ask your doctor to know if taking such supplements would fit your situation and not cause any unexpected side effects.
Best Amino Acid Supplements
Cellucor Alpha Amino Ultimate
One of our top choices for amino acid supplements has to be Cellucor Alpha Amino Ultimate. This supplement includes 13 amino acids, with 5g BCAAs at the 2:1:1 ration. It also contains 3g MyoeDge and 750mg Creatine HCI to help support lean muscle and strength building. Cellucor Alpha Amino Ultimate provides benefits such as supporting muscle recovery, lean muscle building, increased strength, and cellular hydration.GET THE BEST PRICE ON CELLUCOR ALPHA AMINO ULTIMATE
Bulk Supplements BCAAs
From the producers of Bulk Supplements Creatine Monohydrate comes Bulk Supplements BCAAs. This powder option starts at $13 for 100g of Pure Powder, a BCAA blend. BCAA powder contains essential amino acids and has a ratio of 2:1:1 of leucine, isoleucine, and valine and is derived from corn. This is a great option for someone who prefers powdered supplements.GET THE BEST PRICE ON BULK SUPPLEMENTS BCAAS
Kion Aminos is an essential amino acid (also known as EAA’s) supplement that claims to be 99% utilized by the body for protein synthesis. The ingredients contain eight essential amino acids, perfect for omnivores, Paleo dieters, vegans, vegetarians, and ketosis support. The powder mixture comes in mixed berry or cool lime, or you can get it in tablet form.GET THE BEST PRICE ON KION AMINOS
Thorne Amino Complex
This Amino Complex supplement is high in essential amino acids (EAAs), including branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). It promotes muscle mass and enhances energy production.GET THE BEST PRICE ON THORNE AMINO COMPLEX
Solgar – Essential Amino Complex
This amino acid supplement is easy to take and is packed with a variety of amino acids. Amino acids are created by the human body, but this extra dose is perfect for aiding in muscle growth. This brand provides a moderately priced supplement, made with high-quality products.GET THE BEST PRICE ON SOLGAR ESSENTIAL AMINO COMPLEX
Final Thoughts: Amino Acid Supplements And Your Health
If you are thinking about adding amino acid supplements to your diet, now is a great time to try it out. Amino acid supplements are easy and safe supplements to test that carry a variety of benefits with it. If you start taking amino acid supplements and experience any negative symptoms, contact a medical professional for help.