About Amino acids
Proteins form the building blocks of the body. Amino acids are structural units of protein. Athletes and sports persons may take protein supplements or amino acid supplements or combine the administration of both as per the advice of the posts nutritionist depending on their body type, metabolism and goal they are trying to achieve. Amino acids are organic compounds which are released in the body as protein molecules are broken down.
The word amino acid is a short form of alpha amino carboxylic acid.The chemical composition of amino acids show amine (-NH2) and carboxyl (-COOH) functional groups. Along with them a side R chain is also found which is specific to the amino acids.
What are the top 20 amino acids that build the proteins?
The human body requires 20 different amino acids for various structural or functional . Out of these, 9 amino acids are essential amino acids. The essential amino acids are not produced in the body, hence they must be consumed with diet to meet the requirement (The nine amino acids are valine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, phenylalanine and histidine).
The other two types of amino acids are nonessential amino acids and conditional amino acids. The non essential amino acids can be produced in the human body. The conditional amino acids are important only in certain phases of the life.
Amino acid supplements vs. protein supplements for muscle growth
While proteins are formed of multiple amino acids and are required for several reasons in the body, individually amino acids may have similar or different functions. Hence neither of them can replace the other when it comes to taking them as supplements.
Protein supplements and amino acid supplements must be taken as per the advice of a trained and experienced professional.
Protein powders or protein mix may help in achieving specific or a wide range of objectives. Amino acid supplements help in achieving specific objectives when administered individually.
Amino acids supplements.
In our prior articles, we have written about BCAA and EAA supplements. You can refer to the article for specific amino acids and their importance with relation to sports and bodybuilding activities.
Single amino acid supplements
Single amino acids such as leucine, methionine or lysine can be used to treat specific conditions, however, they also induce muscle growth in individuals.
Blended amino acid supplements
These types of supplements contain more than one type of amino acids. They are labeled as BCAA (branched chain amino acids) EAA (essential amino acids) or intra workout amino acids and sold in the form of pills or powders.
Which one is better ?
There is no simple answer to whether protein is better or amino acid supplements are better. They can be complementary to each other in different situations. Neither of them is a substitute for each other nor are they substitute for a dietary plan. Depending on the athlete’s requirement, the management team should decide in what form protein supplements or amino acid supplements need to be consumed.
However, if only one option is available for any particular reason, one should always rely on protein supplements as proteins contain various amino acids and can supplement the body adequately in a holistic manner.