Do Amino Acids Help Your Training?

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, but are they crucial for training?

Protein is vital for any athletic goal, whether you want to build huge amounts of muscle, tone up, or excel at a sport. All kinds of sporting activity need strong muscles. And muscles need protein.

Protein is made from individual amino acids, which are kind of the building blocks of protein. But can amino acid supplements help your training performance? Or is it enough to get protein from food?

What Are Amino Acids?

Our bodies rely on 20 amino acids to function, using them for every process that goes on in the body around the clock. 11 of the amino acids are non-essential and the other 9 are essential (our bodies can not make them, so it’s essential that we get them from food or supplements).

These essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. You’ll probably recognise a few key muscle-gain amino acids in that list, especially leucine which is considered key for muscle building. BCAAs contain leucine and isoleucine!

The non-essential amino acids are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.

Amino Acids From Foods vs Supplements

As we’ve said, you could get your essential amino acids from food without ever touching a supplement. But it’s really difficult to get precise doses of each amino acid, in the correct balance, every day. It’s much easier to get your amino acids from supplements, especially if you train hard and have a greater need for amino acids for muscle gain and repair. There are lots of great ways to get amino acids from supplements, including BCAAs (isoleucine, leucine, and valine), EAAs (essential amino acids), or the individual amino acids (like leucine capsules).

Amino Acids For Training Performance

Correct amino acid intake will support a variety of key physical processes including muscle gain, recovery, metabolism, and immunity. Unless you are confident that you’re getting exact amounts of all 20 amino acids from your diet, it makes sense to supplement with the essential amino acids and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). You will see the benefits in training performance, strength and power, plus recovery and general health.

How To Take Amino Acid Supplements

You can use BCAAs or EAAs before, during, or after training. It’s best to spread your daily intake of amino acid supplements throughout the day. Luckily, most BCAA and EAA supplements taste great and mix with water to create a refreshing drink. Enjoy sipping your amino acids throughout the day to support your athletic lifestyle and physique goals.