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March 17, 2020 8 min read

Fueling your body correctly before and after a strenuous workout is essential to staying healthy and seeing significant gains. However, it can be a bit confusing pinpointing the supplements you need to add to your workout regimen, thanks to a large number of amino acid supplements and protein supplements on the market today.

Let us help you find the right protein supplement for your lifestyle, all while teaching you a thing or two about what to look for in your supplements so you can decide what you need to add to your workout. 

What are Amino Acids?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to high school science class to discover just what amino acids are and why amino acid supplements are crucial to any workout regimen.

First, what are amino acids?

Commonly referred to as the building blocks of proteins in your body, amino acids are needed so your body can perform vital daily functions. Things like the building of proteins, synthesis of hormones, and even boosting your athletic performance and improving your mood.

Did you know that the human body needs 20 amino acids to grow and function properly?

Essential Versus Nonessential Amino Acids

While 20 amino acids must be present for the human body to thrive, only nine of them are considered essential.

Essential Amino Acids

While vital to the body, these nine essential amino acids have to be taken in through an outside source, whether that be food or by supplementing a protein supplement or amino acid supplements. Let’s take a closer look at all nine essential amino acids.

 1. Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine is the amino acid responsible for helping the body use the other amino acids, proteins, and enzymes to keep your body in tip-top shape! It may sound familiar to you if you drink a lot of diet sodas, as phenylalanine is often in the artificial sweetener, aspartame. 

2. Valine

Valine may not sound familiar to you, but it sure has its hand in a lot of vital parts of your body, like mental focus, muscle coordination, and a sense of emotional calm. Most importantly, for bodybuilders and weightlifters alike, valine also helps with muscle growth, tissue repair, and energy. 

3. Threonine

Threonine helps keep our teeth and skin healthy, while also aiding metabolism. To supplement your body with more threonine through food, you can add cottage cheese and wheat germ to your diet!

4. Tryptophan

You may be familiar with this amino acid thanks to your uptick in lethargy after devouring your Thanksgiving turkey because tryptophan is a sedative. However, supplementing with tryptophan has shown to improve both mental energy and emotional processing.

5. Methionine

Methionine has a few basic jobs in the body: keeping skin and hair healthy and flexible and having a hand in removing heavy metals like lead and mercury from the body. 

6. Leucine

Leucine is another crucial amino acid when it comes to regulating vital bodily functions like blood sugar levels. Plus, it helps grow and repair muscle and bone. Leucine is also essential for wound healing, and it helps produce growth hormones.

7. Isoleucine

Essential for wound healing, immunity, blood sugar regulation, and hormone production, isoleucine seemingly does it all! It is usually found in muscle tissues and helps to regulate your body's energy levels.

8. Lysine

Lysine's primary role in the body is building muscle, maintaining bone strength, aiding recovery from injury, and regulating hormone, antibody, and enzyme levels. Most meat, eggs, soy, black beans, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds contain a good boost of lysine!

9. Histidine

Last but not least, histidine helps create blood cells, repairs body tissue, and it's also crucial to maintaining the body's myelin sheath, the special covering over nerve cells. If you're looking to add more histidine to your daily diet, most meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, and whole grains contain a healthy dose!

Nonessential Amino Acids

Nonessential amino acids are still crucial to our bodies and do play an essential role in our overall health. However, unlike essential amino acids, these are manufactured by our bodies, meaning we don't have to get them from foods, but we can supplement them thanks to a protein supplement or high-quality amino acid supplements. Check out a list of all 11 nonessential amino acids below.

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine

But Wait, What Are BCAAs?

Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs, are amino acid supplements made up of three essential amino acids, isoleucine, leucine, and valine, known as one of the more popular amino acid supplements on the market today. BCAA supplements are fast and effective—something you can sip on during a particularly hard workout—and it’ll start working on muscle repair before you’ve even finished your first set! Plus, BCAA  supplements are great for blocking your post-workout cravings, too.

Why Do I Need Amino Acid Supplements?

For people leading an active lifestyle, especially those of us that spend a lot of time in the gym, getting the proper balance of all these amino acids is crucial to staying healthy. Not only do these amino acids work together to keep you thriving, but there are also a few crucial ways they can impact your workout routine, and ultimately your life.

  • Improve mood and sleep
  • Prevent muscle loss
  • Potentially promote weight loss
  • Boost exercise performance

So, now that you know what amino acids are and why you need them, how do you go about finding the right protein supplement or amino acid supplements for you? We’re glad you asked! We’ve compiled a list of our top ten amino acid supplements that we believe will revolutionize your workouts. Let’s check them out!

Top Ten Amino Acid Supplements You Need to Improve Your Workout Routine

The right amino acid supplements are essential for helping your body recover quicker after each gym visit, keeping you from having to take longer breaks in between sessions so you can see the massive gains you’re after faster! Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite products now.

1. Allmax Aminocore

One of the biggest things that set Aminocore apart from other BCAAs on the market is that it completely dissolves into a liquid when mixed — no chalky or gritty residue here! Plus, it also has a great taste, thanks to all its delicious flavour varieties. This means you won’t have any bitter aftertaste! Aminocore is the dieting secret you’ve been looking for, helping you retain muscle, melt fat, and maintain a higher metabolism. 

2. ANS Performance Quench BCAA

Thanks to the power duo coconut water and pink Himalayan salt, QUENCH not only fuels your most grueling workouts, but it also promotes hydration, too! Thirsty muscles will be a thing of the past, plus each scoop contains 10g of the amino acids your body needs to maintain your workout, delay fatigue, and stay hydrated. 

3. 5% Nutrition All Day You May

All Day You May is known as one of the most effective products on the market today because it is a power-packed BCAA powder and a recovery powder! Cover all your bases—muscle building and recovery—with this 10:1:1 ratio powder, full of BCAAs, essential and non-essential amino acids, plus a conditional amino acid, as well!

4. Allmax A: Cuts

With 4.2g of amino acids plus green coffee extract for an extra boost of energy, Allmax A: Cuts is an excellent option if you need an energy drink added to your workout routine. The benefits don't stop there, though, because it also features CLA, which works to reduce body fat, as well!

5. Beyond Yourself Amino IQ

Amino IQ is known for not just giving your muscles a boost, but your brain, too! With an ideal mixture of properly dosed nootropics (a cognitive enhancer) and essential amino acids, Amino IQ’s formula is as versatile as it is sweet! Speaking of sweet, the candy shoppe series provides you with mouth-watering flavour options like rocket pop, watermelon candy, tangerine jellybean, and banana ice pop. What's not to love?

6. TC Nutrition HydraMino EAA

Another excellent amino acid supplement combining the right amount of BCAAs, EAA's (essential amino acids), and electrolytes, HydraMino EAA promotes enhanced recovery time, endurance, supports lean muscle growth, and sustains proper hydration. An excellent option for anyone looking to enhance their amino acid supplementation, plus it tastes good, too! Whether you prefer fruit punch, blue slushie, watermelon candy, or fuzzy peach, you're sure to find the right flavour for every day of the week—training or not.

7. Beyond Yourself GrEAAns

GrEAAns is the only superfood greens and Vegan EAA formula on the market, and every ingredient supports your body's optimal health and performance. By increasing your energy, promoting recovery, and overall health, GrEAAns is packed with all the goodness you know and love from green foods, plant oils, phytonutrients, extracts, and herbs, without the bad taste! Did you know that GrEAAns is the nutrient equivalent of more than eight servings of fresh veggies? Talk about a powerhouse! 

8. PEScience Amino IV

The team behind PEScience’s Amino IV supplement believes that leucine is the key amino acid for activating muscle protein synthesis. Therefore, each serving of Amino IV packs five grams of leucine — making it one of the most cost-effective leucine sources on the market today! Amino IV not only includes BCAAs in each serving but also adds in the nine essential amino acids too because if you miss out on a few of those throughout your daily diet, you won't benefit from all the protein you're pumping into your body. This way, you get every amino acid you need in every single serving, every single time. 

9. Mammoth EAA9

Packed with the power to reduce the onset of muscle fatigue during your gym session, while kickstarting the recovery process before you even hit the showers, Mammoth EAA9 is the fast-acting, great-tasting amino acid supplement you need. But you don't have to be a bodybuilder or elite athlete to benefit from it. The beauty of MammothEAA9 is that it's perfect for both men and women at any fitness level.

10. MuscleMaxx BCAA Apocalypse

Looking for no-nonsense, highly potent BCAAs to ramp up your metabolism and help you kick butt in the gym? Look no further than MuscleMaxx BCAA Apocolypse. Apocalypse doubles up on the leucine, thanks to the 2:1:1 formula, to make a big difference in your gym sessions and stimulate big muscle growth. But don't forget about L-Glutamine! Not only does it stop muscle breakdown after your workout, but it also helps to increase recovery — keeping you in the gym when you need to be.

What Should You Look for in a Protein Supplement?

Now that you’ve figured out what amino acid supplements are right for you, you’ve got to make sure to find the right protein supplement that will help assist those amino acids in building and sustaining the muscles you work so hard in the gym to achieve. But what should you look for in a protein supplement? Let’s take a quick look.

  • Whey

When it comes to a quality protein supplement, whey takes the gold. It has the highest concentration of leucine, is quickly digested, and it is a complete source of protein. Although, if you have a milk allergy, you may need to explore an alternative option, as whey is a milk-based protein. Did you know that a whey protein supplement contains all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs?

The combination of BCAA supplements and a whey protein supplement work together to build big muscles—making sure you see visible gains after your workouts. 

  • Short ingredient list

You're buying a protein supplement, not fillers, so make sure to read the label! You want as few ingredients as possible so you can be confident that you're getting a high-quality boost of protein with each scoop.

  • Protein isolate versus concentrate

Just like when you’re at the store looking for a good fruit juice, you’ll want to pick a protein supplement not from concentrate. Preferably, choose a supplement from protein isolate. That way, you can be confident you're getting the purest protein source possible.

Step Up Your Workout Game Today with Amino Acids

Here at Supplement Superstore, we want to set you up for success in the gym by helping you crush your workout goals. The first step is finding the right protein supplement and amino acid supplements your body needs to perform at its peak — before, during, and after a workout. Let us help you find your new favourite supplement today—either from the list above or from our website!



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