As people learn more about supplements, at some point you realize that you utilize protein powder for amino acids, but you can also just take amino acids. Some people just use one or the other rather than both. Why is that? Is there a reason to use one or the other, or is it better to use both?
Let’s look at both supplements individually and then consider why you might want to use one over the other in all cases or just in specific situations.
Protein Powder Basics
Protein powder is by far the most popular and highly utilized supplement on the entire market. People of all shapes and sizes use it from the weekend warrior to the professional level bodybuilder. Why? In a nutshell manufactured protein powder is biologically geared to work with our bodies better than any other type of protein like fish, chicken, or other meat. It provides the highest value of protein that is easily absorbed into the body.
One of the main differences between using protein powder rather than just ingesting eggs, milk, meat, or other sources of naturally occurring protein is that that have a lot more amino acids included in them. Part of that has to do with that they are manufactured sources versus naturally occurring so you can easily combine more amino acids into the compound. This creates a higher value protein than you can get from eggs or meat.
Protein powder usually has essential and branched chain amino acids.
Amino Acids Basics
Of the amino acids there are BCAA’s or the branched chain amino acids and then there are other amino acids such as Glutamine or Lysine. Branched-chain amino acids account for about one-third of the muscle proteins in the body. They are highly utilized by bodybuilders and professional athletes to promote maximum performance and muscle gains. The other amino acids are also very useful in various capacities such as Glutamine which is the most abundant amino acid in the body.
Which is Better?
From an honest perspective neither option is better than the other. Protein powders are typically a starting point for most people as they get more into fitness. It becomes understood that protein levels are typically lower than they should be and adding protein shakes is a simple way to boost the total intake each day.
As people learn more about fitness and health the role of amino acids becomes clearer. This leads more people to adding in amino acids as part of their supplementation program, specifically ingesting them prior to workouts and just after workouts to heighten both the workout itself and the recovery-growth phase.
The benefits of the product overlap a small amount but the bottom line is that using amino acids gives you additional advantages that you can’t get from just protein powders alone, specifically in the ability of the body to quickly metabolize and use them before and after workouts. But your body needs protein for a variety f functions beyond just muscle building which is why it is good to keep a steady supply of it in your body to make sure you get the other amino acids you need in full supply.