Anytime someone chooses to spend an hour or more at the gym, it’s with a particular goal in mind. For some, the objective is a leaner build or healthier heart; others prioritize bigger arms or stronger legs. While exercise is undoubtedly critical for achieving these goals, gym-goers also frequently rely on supplements to boost the results of their efforts; after all, if you’re going to spend hours each week pushing your body to its limits, you might as well make the most of the experience. As one of the newest and most sought-after types of supplements on the market today, amino acids have drawn the attention of fitness buffs of every stripe, but many want to know: Do amino acid supplements build muscle? To find out, keep reading as the experts at aminoVITAL® provide some answers.
Can Amino Acids Help Build Muscle?
While protein tends to get most of the attention when it comes to workout supplements, amino acids are the unsung heroes of the entire muscle-building process in the body, which goes by the name “muscle protein synthesis,” or MPS. Even when you take a protein supplement, what you’re really after (whether you know it or not) is the amino acids in that protein, especially the essential amino acids – those the body can’t make on its own.
Research has shown time and again that amino acids are a key element in the body’s muscle-making efforts. One study1 from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism called the availability of certain amino acids “an important regulator of muscle protein metabolism;” another2 noted that a particular group of compounds called the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) had beneficial effects on the muscles during the post-workout recovery period. It’s therefore easy to see how an amino acid post-workout supplement can be a valuable addition to any muscle-building routine.
What Amino Acids Are Best for Building Muscle?
Of course, just because some amino acid supplements are good for building muscle doesn’t mean that all amino acids can serve that purpose. Like any other compound in the body, amino acids each play unique and important roles in the body’s various systems; a single amino acid could carry signals in the brain, support the immune system, and regulate the flow of glucose in the blood, while others could have nothing to do with any of those processes. As a result, anyone looking for amino acid supplements to build muscle should search out specific supplements made with specific compounds.
Arguably the most important group of amino acids (when it comes to building muscle, at least) is the BCAAs. This class of compounds includes three amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – each of which works to support the body during exercise.
Any discussion of building muscle would be incomplete without mentioning leucine. This is perhaps the single greatest amino acid for those who want to build muscle; like the other BCAAs, it can serve as the building blocks of new muscle proteins, but it also boasts the ability to stimulate MPS, and its byproducts can even help protect muscle tissue during a workout3. If bigger biceps are your goal, make sure to look for amino acid supplements with a high proportion of leucine, as this amino acid will do most of the heavy lifting.
Though not as powerful in this regard as leucine, isoleucine also has the ability to help your body build muscle. Its real benefit, though, is during a workout; isoleucine promotes the flow of glucose to your muscles as you exercise, ensuring that they get as much fuel as possible when they need it most. This potent power makes it easier to push your body to its limit, which means more gains in the long run.
The last of the BCAAs, valine, helps you build muscle in a roundabout sort of way. It doesn’t directly stimulate MPS – though it does provide some of the raw materials for new muscle tissue – but it plays another role that can help you get bigger than ever: protection for your muscle cells. When we work out, our muscles are often damaged pretty significantly, but valine and the other BCAAs help to limit this damage and preserve your hard-won muscle mass as you exercise.
What’s in Amino Acids Supplements for Muscle Building?
As with any product that’s meant to be ingested, it’s a good idea to ask what’s in your amino acid supplements before adding them to your routine. Each brand has its own formula, of course, and the supplements offered by aminoVITAL® are among the most straightforward and powerful options available.
Our Action mid-workout mix, for instance, has only four components – amino acids, electrolytes, vitamins, and a tiny amount of carbs – to give the body only what it needs to keep working at peak efficiency. As a bonus, this formula contains only 15 calories and no sugar at all, so it’s the perfect thing to help build muscle and craft a leaner, stronger frame.
Try Amino Acid Supplements to Build Muscle, Boost Endurance, and Promote Recovery
There are plenty of reasons to add amino acid supplements to your routine, but their ability to help build muscle has to be one of the biggest. Simply add a dose of pre-, mid-, or post-workout amino acids from aminoVITAL® to a bottle of water for improved hydration, greater gains, less soreness, and a faster recovery. Learn more about how amino acid supplements work or order a pack of your own by visiting aminoVITAL® online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.