Amino acids are a vital part of life. These tiny building blocks allow us to create all types of vital compounds and structures in our body. Amino acids are the foundation of proteins such as muscle, and without them many vital processes can go awry. Amino acids come in two varieties; essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids. There are several subclasses within these two categories, but basically they are divided as amino acids our body can make for itself and those it must get from dietary sources. Protein powders are essential means of providing ample amino acid compounds. Learning which supplement brands to buy from can help you greatly improve your overall health and nutrition.
What Are Amino Acids
Amino acids are fundamental compounds such as leucine, valine, isoleucine, and even lysine. These compounds are used like tiny building blocks by your body on a cellular level. Your body uses these as a block mason might use concrete blocks to build walls. Depending on what your body is doing, it may use amino acids to build muscle, enzymes, or intermediary compounds used to facilitate many vital processes.
Essential amino acids are those that your body can make by itself. These compounds are found in diet and supplements, but also can be reconstituted from other compounds. For example, if you do some physical exercise your body begins a process to rebuild the damaged muscle tissues used. This is normal, and when done with ample amounts of available protein and amino acids you can build new muscle stronger than before. Essentially, this is what you do every time you go to the gym.
When your body doesn’t have access to ample amounts of amino acids it can start to break down existing structures to reconstitute them. This means that in order to get amino acids to build new muscle, your body will break down existing muscle to get amino acids. This is a process known as catabolism, and it’s just as nasty as it sounds. When you work out and don’t provide your body with ample protein to build new muscle from, you risk actually losing muscle mass. Protein powder supplements can help overcome this issue. Drinking a protein shake or eating a protein-rich meal 30-90 minutes before your workout can help maintain your protein balance.
Where to Get Amino Acids
Protein powder supplements such as whey protein are the best source in most cases. These supplements offer natural protein derived from cow’s milk, which has many bio-identical compounds in it. Whey protein powder has the fullest profile of amino acids, and branched-chain amino acids of any protein powder on the market. This powerful supplement can help provide your body with the building blocks it needs to survive even the heaviest of workouts. Supplements are known to contain dangerous ingredients though, so pay close attention to which brands you buy from.
There are many speciality protein powder supplements available as well, such as BCAA powder, Colostrum, and even plant-based poweders like hemp. These products offer more specialized ingredients for people with more specific needs and goals. For instance, hemp protein powder is a great option if you are a Vegan and looking to avoid animal products. This plant-based protein powder has almost the same amounts of amino acids as whey protein, but no animal ingredients! Overall, protein powders offer a tremendous advantage to those looking to help maintain proper nutrition and avoid muscle loss. In fact, protein powders have even been shown to help reduce muscle loss during periods of injury recovery, where active exercise isn’t possible!