Amino Acids and What They Do

Think back to when you first started or heard about gym and weights... scary, intimidating, tough are all words that spring to mind right? I bet you were also excited to see what you could do and secretly impressed with yourself when you started to see some changes in your body.

Then you start to see people using supplements. It's a whole new world to you and just when you were starting to get a grip on things! Protein, pre workout, fat burners, sleep aids, growth hormone activators and amino acids to name a few. I'm here to break it down and make it simple for you over the next few weeks. Today it's amino acids.

What are amino acids and what do they do? 

Amino acids to put it simply are broken down protein. All amino acids are protein and building blocks for new muscle along with hair, skin, nails etc. Build muscle... that's what we like to hear!! But what amino acids are BEST for you in building muscle and WHY are they more beneficial over whey protein powders?

BCAA'S or branch chained amino acids are considered to be the most pivotal in creating new muscle tissue and staying in an anabolic state. Leucine is one of them and is by far the most vital of aminos, commonly referred to as the "anabolic trigger". It is quick into the muscle and also helps glycogen uptake into the muscle itself. Why is that important? Enhance recovery you build muscle more quickly and effectively and get the results you want. Always look for leucine to isoleucine and valine in a 2:1:1 ratio as a minimum. If you are in a cut phase coming into comp bcaa's will be your saviour in preserving lean muscle mass.


Essential amino acids consist of 9 amino acids. These are aminos which our body cannot produce or struggle to produce enough of so we need to obtain from food or supplementation. Obviously your BCAA'S  are 3 of these. If you are eating enough lean meats and clean sources of protein along with veggies you will get your share here.


Now you might not know it but Glutamine isn't considered to be an essential amino acid.. why you may ask? That's because it makes up around 70% of our skeletal muscle. It is the most abundant amino acid in our body so we tend to refer to it as a conditionally essential amino acid. If you are training frequently and vigorously i recommend to supplement with glutamine. It is also great for immune system health.

Why are amino acids more efficient than whey protein powders?

Simply put they digest quicker and are a pure source of protein with no carbs or fats.

When looking at aminos break it down to what is needed the most and work out if you need it according to your training regime. Are you training more than 4 times per week with weights and HIIT? Perhaps you need to include some bcaa's and glutamine. Listen to your coach here.

Aminos are great to have post workout and remember to always have carbs with them! I usually have a banana but recent research is showing that kiwi fruit has more benefits. Have your carbs and bcaa's be consistent with your training and food and watch your body change. Bcaa's are just another supplement for you always remember that. They won't perform miracles but when placed with a great training regime and food plan they will certainly assist with you achieving your goals.


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