As amino acid supplements continue to grow in popularity, displacing conventional protein shakes and powders, new and prospective users often wonder about what results they can expect after taking amino acids. There is no doubt that amino acids are an effective tool for improving gains and performance during and after workouts; study after study has shown their effectiveness, which is why so many athletes, bodybuilders, and casual gym-goers rely on amino acids – and particularly BCAAs – when recovering from a strenuous day of exercise. Questions about the effects of amino acids still linger, however; one of the most common asks whether amino acids burn fat. To find out the answer, keep reading as the people at aminoVITAL® expand on this subject.
The Benefits of Amino Acid Supplements
Amino acids are largely known as the building blocks of proteins – which is true – but these chemical compounds are so much more than that. Amino acids are used to make all sorts of structures in the body, from the cells found in muscle tissue to the neurotransmitters that regulate mood and appetite in the brain. They can be used to provide energy, reduce fatigue, promote a healthy immune system, regulate blood sugar levels, and even limit soreness after exercise.
Of the 20 different amino acids our bodies use, there are nine that we must get from foods, drinks, or supplements because the human body can’t produce them on its own. These are called the “essential” amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, leucine, and valine. Within this group of nine, three particular amino acids have a distinct chemical structure that led to a unique classification: the “branched-chain amino acids,” also known as BCAAs; these are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
- Leucine has established a reputation as perhaps the most important amino acid in sports nutrition. It is used to trigger the synthesis of new skeletal muscle, improving gains between workouts and boosting those incremental increases in strength that athletes crave.
- Isoleucine is more helpful for increasing endurance than for expanding muscles, though it can have that effect as well. Isoleucine is used to promote the use of energy in the muscles, helping you push through those tough workouts with relative ease. It can also streamline the recovery process, reducing the time it takes for your muscles to recover after intense exercise.
- Valine is the least focused of the BCAAs, but that doesn’t make it any less important. This amino acid supports a variety of important functions – promoting healthy cognition, improving the flow of energy to the muscles, protecting muscle tissue from excessive damage during exercise, and suppressing stress and appetite.
Amino Acids and Fat Burn
Though there is some evidence to suggest that amino acids can help your body burn fat more efficiently, the scientific support for such an idea is limited. One study1 published in 2009 found that among three groups of 12 participants with experience in weight training, those who received a BCAA supplement saw the greatest increase in lean muscle mass and the greatest decrease in percent body fat compared to groups that were given whey or carbs. However, this study was paid for by a company that sells amino acid supplements, so take the findings with a grain of salt (though an examination of the study’s methods does seem to indicate that their findings could be reliable).
In short, there is a distinct possibility that amino acids may help you burn fat, though more research needs to be done on this topic. That said, amino acid supplements do offer many advantages that have been largely corroborated by the available scientific evidence, marking them as one of the most reliable fitness supplements available today.
Amino Acids vs. Conventional Protein
There’s no denying that amino acid supplements and conventional protein-based products offer many of the same benefits, just as there’s no denying that amino acid supplements serve as a much more effective delivery method for those benefits. For example, when you consume whole proteins, your body must take the time to break them down, severing the bonds between the amino acids they contain before shipping those compounds off through the bloodstream to the rest of the body. An amino acid supplement, on the other hand, provides free-form amino acids that are available for use almost immediately, since they don’t require the same lengthy digestion process as whole protein.
Amino acid supplements have another advantage as well: they are much leaner than most protein shakes and powders. That’s because amino acid supplements like those from aminoVITAL® contain very few calories or sugars, opting instead to provide only those essential ingredients that will boost performance and fuel the muscles. If you have ever wondered whether there might be a faster, more efficient fitness supplement than just the traditional protein-based shakes and powders, try an amino acid supplement today.
Fuel Your Muscles and Recover Faster with an Amino Acid Supplement
Amino acid supplements have been quickly growing as a go-to source of pre-workout fuel, mid-workout energy, and post-workout recovery. Not only do the BCAAs in aminoVITAL® supplements offer fuel for growing muscles, but they also support you between workouts as well. If you have any interest in trying the next big thing in fitness supplements, give amino acids a shot. To learn more, visit the aminoVITAL® website or call us today at (888) 264-6673.