Amino acid supplements have been around for a long time. Typically, though, they’re thought of as something only necessary for bodybuilders and physique athletes.
But, the reality is that essential amino acid supplements can be beneficial for just about everyone!
Today we take a closer look at who, specifically, may stand to benefit from using amino acid supplements.
But, first, let’s start by answering a very simple question?
What Are Amino Acid Supplements?
Amino acids are the “building blocks” of protein.
Our bodies require 20 or so amino acids to construct all of the proteins, enzymes, neurotransmitters, and hormones that are required for optimal function, recovery, and performance.
Of these 20 amino acids, nine of them (called the essential amino acids) cannot be made by the body, which means they must be obtained through the diet, either food or supplementation.
Those nine amino acids are:
Amino acid supplements are dietary supplements that supply individual amino acids, usually in the form of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) -- leucine, isoleucine, and valine -- or all nine essential amino acids (EAAs), which are required to fully support protein synthesis.
Who Can Benefit from Amino Acid Supplements?
Low-Calorie Dieters / Transformation Challenge Participants
Whenever you diet, such as is the case with individuals entering our transformation challenge, you’re consuming less energy than your body requires to maintain its weight.
With this comes lower energy levels and (unsurprisingly) increased feelings of hunger. Your body is also a risk for losing muscle as whenever you’re not eating enough calories to sustain your bodyweight, your body will be tempted to break down muscle tissue since it is very “expensive” to maintain from an energy standpoint.
One of the best ways to guard against muscle loss when dieting during a transformation challenge is to consume enough dietary protein and amino acids.
Furthermore, consuming amino acids before or during training sessions can reduce fatigue during training, guard against protein breakdown, and support hydration. They’re also low in calories, which keeps you on track with your weight loss goals!
Long-duration (i.e. endurance) exercise places a considerable demand on your body’s energy stores, most notably glycogen. When glycogen stores start to dwindle, the body starts turning to other sources of energy in the body, such as branched-chain amino acids -- which it gets by breaking down muscle tissue!
Sipping on an amino acid supplement during training (such as 1UP His BCAA/EAA or Her BCAA/EAA) can help reduce the chance of muscle breakdown, decrease perceived exertion (how hard you feel the exercise is) and boost endurance, allowing you to perform better and burn more calories -- without risking muscle loss!
Individuals Looking for a Lower Calorie Snack
The desire to temptation to snack is one of the main hurdles individuals have to deal with when trying to maintain or lose weight.
Amino acid supplements offer a sweet, refreshing, and considerably lower-calorie alternative to common beverages individuals turn to (gourmet coffee, soda, fruit juices, etc.) when wanting something sweet to drink.
These calorie savings compound and can lead to big losses (in terms of pounds dropped) over the course of weeks, months, and years!
Individuals Training Fasted
Many individuals train early in the morning. And a significant portion early morning trainees don’t like to eat (or don’t have time to eat) prior to training.
Amino acid supplements offer options for those who don’t like the sensation of having a full stomach while they train. Free-form amino acids, like those contained in amino acid supplements, are rapidly digested and easy on the GI system, making them an ideal option for early morning workouts when you don’t have the time or desire to have a pre-workout meal.
Best of all, 1UP His BCAA/EAA and Her BCAA/EAA contain all the essential amino acids required by the body to stimulate protein synthesis, reduce muscle protein breakdown, and facilitate repair and recovery.