If you are serious about building muscle, you will have already looked into protein shakes and realize how important they are. They can not only help you build muscle mass, but they can help you retain it for longer and help reduce recovery times after even the most intense of training sessions.
What you may not already know, however, is how important amino acids also are, for all the things mentioned above and more. Ensuring that you get enough amino acids can help you to reap the rewards of all your hard work even quicker than increasing your protein intake alone.
In fact, taking amino acids as well as protein shakes is the perfect combination that can really help you start building up plenty of muscle mass and losing weight without any of the usual problems such as muscle stiffness and soreness the morning after a big training session.
Why take amino acids?
For those who have never really considered how important amino acids are for your body and for your workout, there are several reasons given below that explain exactly what they can offer you:
Increased muscle mass quicker and reduced recovery time
If you want to build muscle mass quickly, you will need to start taking amino acid supplements. Amino acids are responsible for the repairing and regrowth of damaged muscle tissue.
Since you are tearing your muscle tissue every time you go out running or lifting weights – particularly if you have not stretched properly – you will need to introduce extra amino acids into your body so that you can repair your muscles as quickly as possible. This will keep you moving for longer so that you will gain a higher level of fitness in a shorter time span.
Taking amino acids has been linked with a quicker pace of losing weight when taken in conjunction with a good diet and exercise regime. Weight loss particularly around the abdominal area has been reported with increased intake of certain amino acids, whether it is in supplement form or whether it has been ingested through food.
Energy and mood boosts
Amino acids can prevent natural boosts for your energy and mood. Certain amino acids help increase the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain which can improve your mood and make you mentally fitter to be going out and training.
If you want a natural boost either before or during your training session, too, you can take certain amino acids that can naturally increase your energy levels. This can make the training sessions that much easier to face each day, particularly if you tackle exercise each and every day: after all, sometimes the biggest block to becoming fit and healthy is the mental and emotional one.
How can you take amino acids with your protein shakes?
Most good protein shakes have amino acids already added in, since they work so well together to repair damaged muscle and build muscle mass throughout the body.
However, if no amino acids have been added or if you feel as though you are not getting enough (and since there are so many different types of amino acid, it is unlikely that your particular brand protein shake has included them all) then you may need to look into other ways to introduce these sorts of amino acids into your body. A number of ways are outlined below:
Eat the right foods
There are plenty of foods out there that are naturally full of all sorts of different amino acids. Foods such as meats – particularly lean beef, pork and poultry as well as certain types of fish – are not only high in the necessary protein, but also in amino acids. If you can introduce more of these into your diet, you will start seeing the results very quickly.
If, however, you are vegetarian and do not want to have to eat meat to increase your protein intake, then you should look into increasing your daily intake of food stuffs such as eggs and dairy. Even in a small amount of cheese or yoghurt, for example, there is a great deal of protein and amino acids.
For vegans or people who are lactose intolerant, there are certain grains such as quinoa which are full of essential amino acids.
Take amino acid supplements
Amino acid supplements come in all different shapes and sizes. Since there are so many different types of amino acid that you could take, you will need to look into the ones that will best benefit you, as well as those that your protein shake does not already contain so that you are getting a good range and an excellent balance of amino acids.
Remember to ask yourself what you need and want from these amino acids – do you want an energy boost? Do you want to gain muscle mass fast? Do you want to speed up muscle repair after a training session? Whichever one of these you decide upon, you will need to select the right amino acid to do the job and then invest in the relevant supplements, particularly if your protein shake does not already contain it.
Look into protein bars and shakes
If you are serious about your training, then you will already be taking a protein shake and perhaps even eating protein bars. As mentioned previously, however, the best protein bars and shakes out there will already have amino acids in them.
If yours does not, then you are going to have to change brands and find one that does. However, even if your brand does have amino acids, you should always check to make sure that they are the right ones for you. Do some research and decide whether you want to change your brand or stick with the one you have now.
It is a good idea to take both a protein shake and other amino acid supplements if you want great results quickly.