If you’re looking to build muscle, burn fat and gain strength, protein is the most important dietary nutrient in the entire arsenal.
I’ve repeated that to the point of tiredness in many articles. But if you’re new to it and haven’t seen much of the Total Musclebuilding articles on nutrition, I’ll leave you a summary to get into the subject.
Proteins are responsible for building and repairing damaged muscle tissue and are the only nutrient that can directly improve body composition on its own.
Which are made from individual building blocks called “amino acids”.
WHAT ARE AMINO ACIDS?
There are about 20 known amino acids found in the human body, 8 of which are considered “essential” because they cannot be manufactured and must be consumed through the diet.
So, because of the central role that amino acids play in the muscle-building process, many supplement companies offer formulas that contain a broad spectrum of various amino acids in liquid or pill form.
Not counting the BCAA SUPPLEMENTS which contain the three main amino acids used by the body and oriented to muscle development.
And obviously without forgetting the PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS that come in powder form to be prepared with different liquids that are generally known as Whey Protein or whey proteins.
WHICH SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD I BUY PROTEINS OR AMINO ACIDS?
First of all, let me tell you that the body is incredibly efficient in the process of digestion and absorption of all the proteins you consume throughout the day.
Which will eventually be metabolized into these individual building blocks that are amino acids?
AMINO ACID SUPPLEMENTS
In this sense, if you are thinking of buying an amino acid supplement keep in mind that these building blocks in free form can be used by the body at a much faster rate compared to proteins.
This means that if we compare the speed of metabolization and absorption of complete proteins against free amino acids, they gain more.
However, beyond being able to be used at a faster rate, they do not provide any advantage over protein consumption.
If you are putting together a diet to accompany standard muscle development training, this should include at least 1.6-2.0 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day, and with a protein supplement, this value is easily achieved.
At the same time, the slower absorption of amino acids allows better regulation of the flow of nutrients, making it more constant over time.
And compared to this there is nothing wrong with amino acid supplements from the point of view of effectiveness.
WHICH THEN TO CHOOSE, AMINO ACIDS OR PROTEINS?
To answer this question you basically have to take into account how much money you want to spend (or waste).
If you choose to buy an amino acid supplement you will be paying a proportionately higher cost for a product that is essentially digested protein in tablet or liquid form.
I would particularly go for a much more effective and economical route, which is to supplement training and diet with a good supplement of whey protein powder, one of good quality.
Whey protein will be less expensive per serving and will provide your body with a source of protein-rich in a varied set of amino acids.
Whey protein will also be much more beneficial from the point of view of controlling appetite and satiety.
If you win the issue of faster absorption, then you can put together a scheme that complements the protein supplement for Pre-training and as a Post-training supplement some quality BCAA.
Now the choice only depends on you and how much money you are willing to pay.