Protein shakes have enjoyed such unrivaled popularity for so long now that it can be hard to imagine an alternative to this fitness staple. A wide variety of people use protein supplements to boost their gains after the gym, from pro athletes to weekend warriors getting ready for their local rec league. However, one product has been making an ever-greater impact on the sports supplement scene: amino acids. These cutting-edge compounds have shown great promise as a leaner, faster option, but can you simply replace your protein shakes with amino acid supplements? The amino acid recovery drink experts at aminoVITAL will answer this question and more below.
Protein Shakes vs. Amino Acid Supplements
Depending on how they’re used, protein shakes can serve a variety of roles. The most common of these is to increase muscle growth after working out, but other possibilities exist as well. Some people use protein shakes as a form of medical nutrition supplement intended to help with wound healing and weight gain after a major procedure, while others turn to these drinks to help them shed unwanted pounds. These differences in objectives have led to a menagerie of products, all existing under the umbrella of “protein shake;” for now, we’ll concentrate on those drinks meant to improve physical fitness.
When a bodybuilder or weightlifter – or even a casual gymgoer – drinks a protein shake after exercising, it’s almost always meant to provide the body with the fuel it needs to build new muscle tissue, increasing the gains that follow resistance training. Amino acid supplements can serve the same purpose, though they also offer some benefits that protein shakes simply can’t match. The first of these advantages has to do with digestion.
Faster Bioavailability with Amino Acids
When a protein shake is consumed, the whole proteins – chains of amino acids strung together – must be broken apart by the digestive system. Though protein gets most of the credit, it’s the amino acids that make up that protein that really do the work. An amino acid supplement, on the other hand, provides your body with free-form amino acids that don’t need to be broken up via digestion.
This means that your body can put these compounds to work right away instead of having to strip a protein down to its base components first. In practical terms, this means that an individual in the middle of a workout can down an amino acid drink and feel the effects almost immediately, whereas a protein shake would take time. If you are looking for an amino acid drink for during a workout, check out what aminoVITAL has to offer.
Energy Boost During Exercise
While a protein shake is sitting in your stomach, still being digested, an amino acid supplement would have already gone to work to fuel your muscles and your mind as you exercise. Supplements high in BCAAs – branched-chain amino acids – can protect your muscles from breaking down during periods of intense activity while providing energy for those muscles. Isoleucine, in particular, is effective at improving the use of glucose (fuel for cells) in muscle tissue, maintaining energy levels through even the most intense workouts.
Though many protein shake mixes contain significant amounts of sugar and extra calories, amino acid supplements generally do not. Instead, a supplement like those from aminoVITAL focuses on providing only those ingredients that improve performance and reduce recovery times, ingredients like BCAAs, and sodium for electrolytes. With an amino acid supplement, it’s that much easier to control your diet and sculpt that lean, well-muscled body you’ve been working toward.
Amino Acids as a Nutritional Supplement
Considering the close relationship between proteins and amino acids, it can be easy to think of the two as interchangeable. In some ways, they are, though mostly in the sense that they can both be used as fitness supplements. In most other respects, however, protein shakes and amino acid supplements differ significantly in terms of nutritional value.
The gap between the two products has more to do with the overall mixture than the actual nutrition itself. Because the protein in a protein shake comes mixed in with lots of other things (remember the sugar and calories mentioned earlier?) they have nutritional value beyond just the one macronutrient.
People taking protein shakes to gain weight after chemotherapy, for instance, will likely benefit from the extra fat found in protein shakes; for that reason, these people should not consider the two interchangeable. If you are using protein shakes as a general dietary supplement or to treat a medical condition, consult your doctor before switching it out for something else.
On the other hand, those who use protein shakes before, during, or after working out can trade in their shakes for an amino acid supplement without issue. Try using a drink from aminoVITAL, such as our post-workout recovery drink mix Rapid Recovery, to see faster, more potent returns than you get with a protein shake.
Fuel Your Active Lifestyle with an Amino Acid Supplement from aminoVITAL
After decades of protein shake dominance, it’s time people got to try something new. Amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL offer substantial returns and fast recovery after each run, swim, or weight-lifting session, minus all the unnecessary calories. They’re convenient to use and take effect quickly, too. Learn more about how amino acid supplements can improve your performance by visiting aminoVITAL online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.