THE BEST AMINO ACID SUPPLEMENTS
Time to read 10 min
Time to read 10 min
Amino acids are possibly the most underrated supplements on the market and can mark the staple in a consistent and effective supplementation routine. If you’re performing regularly, putting yourself to the test and working up a proper swear, you should consider adding amino acids to your stack. We’re going to run you through the most important amino acid benefits and why you need to wake up and try them!
If you’re already well-versed on the amino acid benefits and want to skip straight to the best amino acid supplements, scroll down for our specific picks or check out our blog on the Top 10 Amino Acids in Australia.
If you’re sticking with us, don’t worry; we’ve found the best amino acid supplements to support all of your performance goals. From the best BCAA for women, the best BCAA for men, the best amino acids for muscle growth, and so much more, we’ve got you covered.
Anyway, let’s start from the top.
Before we help you find the best amino acid supplements, let’s run through what amino acids are.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are essential for the functioning of our bodies. They play a crucial role in muscle repair and growth, ensuring healthy hair and skin and even aiding in the production of hormones and enzymes. There are 20 different types of amino acids that our bodies require to function optimally. These amino acids can be found in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, eggs, and certain vegetables. As our bodies cannot produce all of these amino acids on their own, we must ensure we get enough of them through our diet. Ensuring you are getting the proper nutrients is essential for optimal health- and amino acids are no exception (Kabuda, J. 2022).
Nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen form the four fundamental compounds of amino acids and while your body requires 20 different amino acids to actually function properly, only nine of those are classified as essential. Those nine essential amino acids are classed as EAAs, while BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) refer to three particular essential amino acids that have a branched chain (Kabuda, J. 2022).
For a more specific insight into what amino acids are and why you need them, check out our article What are Amino Acids, and Should I be Taking Them?
Grab your reading glasses because we’re about to hit you with some science. All amino acids follow the same basic structure, which is confusing to explain, but we’ll do our best.
Basically, each molecule has a central carbon atom that is linked with four different groups: a basic amino group, a carboxylic acid group, a hydrogen atom group and an R-group (or side-chain group). The R-group is what makes each molecule unique. While the other three groups are common to all amino acids, the R-group determines the chemical nature of each amino acid (Ahern, A et al. 2021).
Branched-chain amino acids are an exception, as BCAAs have aliphatic side chains with a branch, while regular amino acids are organic compounds that contain the four amine groups that we mentioned above (Madhu. 2018).
While there are 20 different amino acids to consider, we want to focus on the essential amino acids. These amino acids cannot be produced by the human body and must be obtained from dietary sources or amino acid supplements. There are nine essential amino acids:
While these nine amino acids are essential, three of these are even more unique. Valine, leucine, and isoleucine are all unique because they have a branched chemical structure, which allows them to be metabolised directly in our muscles instead of the liver. This makes BCAAs important for energy production and muscle growth.
Since we know your top priority is to take advantage of the amino acid benefits to fuel your performance and physique goals, we’ll steer you towards the most important amino acids that can help you optimise your time in the gym.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and play a number of crucial roles in the functionality of your body. When you consume protein, it is broken down into amino acids in the gut, which are used to fuel your body, build muscle, repair tissue, synthesise hormones, boost your immune system and perform a range of other biological processes (Radhakrishnan, R. 2020).
So, what are amino acids good for? When it comes to the amino acid benefits in performance, the benefits are vast. While we’ve mentioned protein breakdown, amino acids have a myriad of benefits beyond simply just protein synthesis. They can play a crucial role in supporting and improving athletic performance, aiding in muscle recovery, cognitive function, endurance, and overall wellbeing (Kubala, J. 2022).
For more insight on the amino acid benefits, check out our blog All Things Amino Acids, where we break down the benefits of each individual essential amino acid.
If you have never heard of amino acids or branched-chain amino acids before reading this blog, we’ll help you find the best starter supplements to help you get the best out of what you’re looking for.
Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy is the ultimate choice for beginners looking to enhance their workout routine and overall performance. This versatile supplement can be used as a morning pick-me-up, pre-workout, or even sipped throughout the day to provide a continuous supply of free-form and branch-chain amino acids. With its unique blend of natural energy compounds from green tea and caffeine, along with nitric oxide boosters like L-arginine and citrulline, this formula supports muscle recovery and focus while delivering essential amino acids.
Delivers essential amino acids
Xtend BCAAs is one of the best amino acid supplements for men looking to take their performance at the gym up a notch. This powerful blend contains 7g of BCAAs, with a research-proven 2:1:1 ratio, providing support for muscle repair, recovery, and growth. In addition, it promotes muscle protein synthesis and supports blood flow, helping you get a sick pump while you smash weights. With zero carbs, calories, or sugar, this formula serves as the perfect pre, intra, and post-workout recovery tool. It helps to nourish and repair your muscles while keeping your body replenished with hydrating electrolytes. Xtend BCAAs is the top choice for men seeking the best amino acid supplement.
BCAAs in research-backed 2:1:1 ratio
Amino Switch is the perfect amino acid supplement for women. It contains vegan-friendly, dairy and lactose-free EAAs and BCAAs that are highly absorbed by the body. With the ideal ratios for net nitrogen utilisation (NNU), this supplement supports lean muscle growth, muscle recovery, brain functionality, and focus. It also helps enhance workout performance and aids in faster recovery. Amino Switch is perfect for any hard-working women who want to repair their muscles after intense workouts. Unlike most BCAA products, Amino Switch incorporates all 9 EAAs, ensuring optimal nutrient recovery.
Keto-friendly and vegan-friendly
Rule 1 Essential Amino 9 is the optimal solution for muscle growth. This transparent formula contains 7.5g of essential amino acids, including 5g of BCAAs, along with 500mg of added electrolytes. With zero banned substances, added sugar, and gluten, it promotes optimal functionality and supports muscle recovery and hydration. By providing the necessary nutrients for post-workout muscle recovery, Essential Amino 9 fuels you to bounce back stronger after intense training sessions. Its carefully designed composition of essential amino acids and electrolytes promotes muscle recovery, growth, and replenishment of nutrients lost through sweat.
Zero banned substances
Optimum Nutrition’s Essential Amino Energy + Electrolytes is a suitable option if you’re trying to achieve certain body goals. With its low calorie and carbohydrate content, it supports hydration and aids in muscle recovery. Packed with 5g of essential amino acids per serving, it promotes tissue growth, energy production, and nutrient absorption. The cutting-edge formula, enriched with green tea and caffeine, provides a boost of energy and enhances focus, allowing you to train harder and longer. It also helps to enhance thermogenesis and elevate your metabolism, which is important if you’re trying to target certain body goals. Additionally, it delivers the essential amino acids needed to build and maintain muscles.
Low-calories and low-carbohydrates
Evolve Damage Control is the standout amino acid supplement for recovery. Its game-changing formula combines BCAAs, EAAs, and PeptoPro to deliver all 20 amino acids required for muscle protein synthesis. With rapid absorption thanks to its advanced peptide formulation, PeptoPro has earned its reputation as the top natural recovery ingredient on the market. Evolve Damage Control sets a new standard for amino acid products, surpassing industry norms to reintroduce quality into the market. Its fortifying combination of BCAAs, EAAs, and PeptoPro work synergistically to promote rapid absorption and anti-catabolic properties, making it the go-to choice for athletes seeking the best amino acid supplement for recovery.
Helps to reduce muscle soreness
Faction Labs Core 9 EAA is the ultimate amino acid formula for runners. Specifically designed to support muscle recovery and repair, it contains all 9 essential amino acids in the precise ratios needed to prevent muscle tissue breakdown. But that's not all. This amazing formula also includes ingredients that promote adrenal function, control cortisol levels, support immune function, and hydrate muscle cells. Plus, it provides essential vitamins and minerals to support immune health and overall internal functionality. With zero sugar, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free, soy-free, lactose-free, and dairy-free, Core 9 EAA is the best amino acid choice for running.
RCN Nutrition's Amino Corps is the powerhouse amino acid blend designed to fuel athletes. This vegan-friendly, advanced recovery formula combines a full-spectrum plant-based amino acid blend with electrolytes and minerals. With the added benefits of clinically-researched, trademarked ingredients, it offers optimal workout performance and recovery. Amino Corps contains the perfect combination of BCAAs and EAAs, promoting muscle protein synthesis, muscle growth, strength, and fast absorption. It also includes KSM-66 Ashwagandhato support cortisol levels, endurance, and muscle recovery. Amino Corps is unmatched in its ability to support amino acid absorption, ATP production, and insulin sensitivity, making it the top choice for athletes seeking the best amino acid supplementation.
Supports performance and energy
While you can generally get enough amino acids through a balanced diet, if you’re regularly exerting yourself at the gym, on the field, or on the job site, you may require a larger dose. The exact dose of amino acids will depend on a number of factors, including your goals and which product you’re using. Research suggests that up to 255mg of BCAAs per kilogram each day could help to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. When choosing a product, it is important so follow the instructions on the back of the nutritional panel, as different dosage sizes may vary (Kubala, J. 2022).
Amino acids are generally considered safe for most people and should not cause any negative side effects. However, if you do find yourself feeling any negative effects, it is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine whether the product is right for you.
Of the great conveniences of amino acids is that they can be taken whenever you like. You can take them before, during or after training, combine them with a protein shake, consume them between meals or really any other way that you can imagine.
Keeping this in mind, the best time to take it may also depend on your goals. For instance, if you’re using amino acids to enhance your recovery, then taking them after training or combining it with your post-workout protein shake may yield the best results (Sunshine Biopharma. 2022).
If you haven’t incorporated amino acids into your health regime, it’s not too late to start now! You may think your post-workout protein shake is all you need to increase your recovery, but we know otherwise. The proof is in the pudding, or should we say amino acids. To get the best out of your performance and recovery, put your trust in amino acids. We certainly do.
Take advantage of the amino acid benefits by adding them to your training regime. If you need help finding the best amino acid supplements or are looking for more information, our friendly staff can help you out online or in-store at one of our 34 Australian stores.
Kubala, J. 2022, ‘Essential Amino Acids: Definition, Benefits, and Food Sources’, Healthline, accessed 4 October 2022, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/essential-amino-acids
Radhakrishnan, R. 2020, ‘What Do Amino Acids Do?’ MedicineNet, accessed 4 October 2022, https://www.medicinenet.com/what_do_amino_acids_do/article.htm
Ahern, K et al. 2021, ‘2.2: Structure & Function - Amino Acids’, LibreTexts, accessed 4 October 2022, https://bio.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Biochemistry/Book%3A_Biochemistry_Free_For_All_(Ahern_Rajagopal_and_Tan)/02%3A_Structure_and_Function/202%3A_Structure__Function_-_Amino_Acids
Madhu. 2018, ‘Difference Between BCAA and Amino Acids’, Difference Between, accessed 4 October 2022, https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-bcaa-and-amino-acids/#:~:text=BCAA%20is%20a%20form%20of,and%20a%20specific%20side%20chain
Sunshine Biopharma. 2022, ‘When And How To Take An Amino Acid Supplement’, Sunshine Biopharma, accessed 4 October 2022, https://sunshinebiopharma.com/when-and-how-to-take-an-amino-acid-supplement/#:~:text=The%20beauty%20of%20taking%20an,before%2C%20during%20or%20after%20training