It’s no secret that protein powder can be an effective supplement for those who want bigger muscles or a leaner body. For decades, everyone from competitive bodybuilders to casual gymgoers has relied on protein of some kind to boost their gains after a workout, and the difference is clear. However, a new product has emerged in recent years to challenge the supremacy of protein powder as the top sports and fitness supplement on the market: amino acid supplements. Like traditional protein, amino acids are designed to improve every aspect of athletic performance while helping you make the most of your exercise. So, which is better, amino acids or straight protein powder? Keep reading as we tackle this question together.
The Difference Between Amino Acids and Protein
Those of us who can still recall their freshman biology class might remember that proteins and amino acids are closely related; in fact, proteins are made up of groups of amino acids chained together. If this makes you wonder whether there is any difference at all between amino acids and proteins, don’t worry; you’re not alone in that. Without a doubt, proteins and amino acids generally have a lot in common, but as supplements, they have some important differences as well.
For one thing, proteins require more time and effort for your body to process than free-form amino acids do. That’s because your digestive system must first break the bonds holding the amino acids together within the protein before it can use those acids; in essence, your body must strip the protein for parts. An amino acid supplement, on the other hand, can skip that step when it arrives in your stomach; its components are already separated, so your body can put them to use right away.
If you’re in the middle of a workout and need some extra fuel, the fast-acting nature of amino acids will probably appeal to you; if you’re concerned about diet as well, amino acid supplements have another advantage you should know about. Because amino acids are such lean supplements, they come in a form that has less sugar, fat, and calories than many protein powders. This makes it much easier to monitor and control your intake of these things while still fueling your muscles with the compounds they need.
Benefits of Amino Acid Supplements
Whereas protein is primarily intended to help you build bigger muscles, amino acids serve a wide range of roles that support every aspect of an active lifestyle. The three compounds that give these supplements much of their power belong to a specific classification of amino acids called branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs for short:
- The big brother of the BCAAs, leucine is the simplest and most potent of the three. It facilitates the synthesis of new muscle tissue by interacting with key enzymes, leading to improved gains after each workout.
- As the middle brother, isoleucine has to make its own way – and it does. Unlike the strength-boosting leucine, isoleucine is more focused on building endurance. This amino acid will help your muscles stay energized during periods of rigorous activity and speed up the recovery process afterward.
- Valine is the youngest of the three BCAAs, though it’s no less effective than its brethren. This amino acid is a jack of all trades, supporting immune health, muscle integrity, cognitive functions, and the relief of stress, along with several other functions.
The benefits of these amino acids extend beyond their individual characteristics, however. The proper mix of BCAAs can help you reduce fatigue, regulate your blood sugar, jump-start your body’s fat-burning processes, and minimize post-workout soreness.
In some notable ways, the effects of a BCAA formula is greater than the sum of its parts. When working in combination, these three compounds can significantly enhance athletic performance, both in the short term (during and immediately after your workout) and in the long term, with noticeably greater gains accumulating over time as you use amino acids to boost lean muscle growth.
Of course, some amino acid-based products are better than others. As with protein, the source of the supplement matters, as do the ingredients included in the mixture. The amino acids in aminoVITAL products are the result of Ajinomoto’s patented vegetable fermentation process, which creates pharmaceutical-grade amino acids that are also entirely vegan. Each mixture is sweetened with stevia leaf extract, so you get a light, tasty beverage without the added sugar or calories found in other workout shakes. Most of our formulas can simply be added to a bottle of water, and one – our Action mix – can be poured directly on the tongue for fast, convenient energy when you need it.
Try an Amino Acid Supplement from Amino Vital Today
If you or someone you know has been looking for a fitness supplement free of all those unnecessary additives but still effective at enhancing performance, give an amino acid supplement from aminoVITAL a try. These pared-down products can provide a big boost in performance without sabotaging your overall weight- and health-related goals. To learn more about aminoVITAL products and how they can help you up your game, visit us online or call (888) 264-6673 today.