You may have questions about Amino Acids because you want to make better strength and muscle gains in the gym, increase performance or challenge yourself to meet bigger goals.
If so, Amino Acids and muscle growth do go hand in hand. So we are going to go over how they work to build muscle and when it is necessary to take them.
You may have heard before that Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein which is significant when striving for muscle growth. Protein which is the primary energy food behind muscle function is comprised of Amino Acids. These are the basic molecules that put all of this into action.
In this post, I’m going to discuss pre workout supplements which is the primary way that athletes and bodybuilders begin their workout by using Amino Acids to give them more strength, performance and endurance.
There is another way to get Amino Acids during the course of your exercise routine. These are called Intra Workouts or BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) which supply hydration and keep your muscles from fatiguing while you are working out.
Even more important are post workout protein powders. These provide the Amino Acids necessary for muscle recovery and growth after exercise. These are vital if you want your muscles to repair themselves, therefore growing back larger and stronger than before.
Each one of these sources for Amino Acids, or a combination of them will give your muscles all that they need to give you the best chance for muscle growth.
How Amino Acids Grow Muscle
Amino Acids promote muscle recovery, enhance workout performance and help build muscle. This is why Amino Acids come primarily in Nutritional Supplements for exercise. Before, during and after a workout is when the body needs these proteins the most.
When looking for Amino Acids in workout supplements, there are two different categories; Essential Amino Acids and Non-Essential Amino Acids.
Essential Amino Acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
These are the Amino Acids that must be obtained in your diet. BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) are included in this category, which we will discuss later in “Intra Workout Amino Acids”.
Non-Essential Amino Acids: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
Non-essential Amino Acids can be synthesized in the body. We produce these naturally as well as getting it through the food we eat.
Both of these are contained in muscle building supplements and work for not only muscle growth, but also preventing fatigue and improved concentration. They are also important for healthy hair, nails and skin.
As I had mentioned earlier, Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein. When your body breaks down proteins for energy and tissue repair they are left with Organic Amino Acids. The amount of Amino Acids that are synthesized from protein depend on your body’s needs at the time.
When needed (brought on by exercise), they are distributed through the bloodstream to whatever part of your body needs it the most. This includes every one of our body parts such as muscle tissue, the liver and stomach.
The remaining proteins will be converted to glucose and burned as energy, or will be converted to fat or glycogen for storage.
Exercise causes your muscle tissue to be more receptive to nutrients, resulting in a more efficient uptake. Through many chemical processes, the Amino Acids take form for optimal use in your muscle tissue. This is the window of opportunity for faster muscle growth and recovery.
If you have anything to add or have any questions regarding Amino Acids, please leave a comment in the box at the bottom of this post.
Pre Workout Amino Acids
An excellent way to get Amino Acids is through a Pre Workout Supplement. Taking this before exercise does so many great things for your workout including muscle growth. To mention a few, Beta Alanine increases the amount of high intensity work you can do while also preventing fatigue.
Nitric Oxide is a popular ingredient that synthesizes into L-citrulline and L-arginine in your body. These Amino Acids work as vasodilators to enhance blood flow. This brings more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles faster for additional strength and recovery time between exercises.
Creatine is a combination of Amino Acids that helps to provide energy, enhance strength and improve performance. You can learn more about Creatine in my post on Pre Workout and Creatine.
These are examples of just a few Amino Acids in a Pre Workout that can really increase your energy, strength and all around performance. It also works very well for burning calories and weight loss.
Intra Workout Amino Acids
Intra workout or BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) are nothing but the vital Amino Acids that your body requires during the course of your exercise routine.
This is a critical time for Amino Acid uptake, since this is when your muscles are most receptive to these proteins. Feeding these muscles is what leads to muscle growth.
BCAA’s will help your workout in a few different ways. One of the important ones is hydration. Your body loses and burns through more nutrients at this time than any other.
BCAA’s provides these nutrients for hydration to keep you alert and fight fatigue in order to finish strong. Water alone will not provide the nutrients necessary for hydration.
The Amino Acids in BCAA’s take on where your pre workout Amino’s left off. After your pre workout Amino’s are exhausted, it is best to recharge your body while you are working out. BCAA’s will keep bringing more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles for continuous recovery.
The most important thing that they will do is fight fatigue so you can stay focused and keep your performance at the same level.
Post Workout Amino Acids
At this point, you should be finished with your workout. Now is the most important time to get these Amino Acids from a Protein Powder Supplement. Even more so than Intra Workouts, post workout is when your body is ready for peak absorption of these proteins.
The reason that our muscles require protein afterward more than ever is to repair your muscles. During intense exercise, the muscle tissue is broken down. This breakdown is what enables the muscles to grow back bigger and stronger.
Post workouts are to be taken within an hour or two of your workout, and it will take several hours after you take it to get the Aminos into your muscles.
Without an after workout Protein Powder Supplement, your muscles will not have the ingredients that they need to rebuild and repair themselves to be stronger for your next workout. This time is critical to get maximum muscle growth.
Keep in mind that a good protein powder is never quite as healthy than eating a well balanced meal containing plenty of protein. Unfortunately, many of us don’t always have the time for this.
One of my favorite Post Workout Protein Powders is Orgain which is a great Organic product. If you happen to be interested in Vegan, I also have some recommendations for the best Plant Based Post Workout Protein Powder.
The Amino Growth Conclusion
Amino Acids are proven to grow muscles faster and stronger. Some Aminos are produced naturally in the body while others have to come from the food that we eat.
It is recommended to take additional Amino Acids if you have an active lifestyle, especially if you do high intensity exercise. This includes weight lifting and cross-fit, but Aminos also perform well with any kind of Cardio of even for Running.
Amino Acids are required for providing additional strength and endurance during exercise. It is responsible for vascularizing your bloodstream to get oxygen and nutrients to your muscle tissue. This gives more energy and keeps the body from fatiguing as easily.
Lastly, Amino Acids are critical for after workout muscle recovery. The body requires these proteins if it going to grow stronger and leaner than before. Amino Acids are healthy for your body, and when taken correctly will help you to reach your goals quicker and easier.
If you have any questions about Amino Acids and muscle growth or thought of something that I’ve forgotten, please leave a comment below and I will respond.