We all need to have an adequate supply of amino acids in our body. You do too. This is essential for the sake of your health and well-being. You need amino acids, particularly essential amino acids to boost your metabolism and general state of health. The straightforward way to get this done is to add protein to all your meals. But this is not always possible. We live in a world of carbs, you know. So it has become important for many people to take amino acid supplements. Sportsmen, athletes, and bodybuilders know the importance of this. But many people are confused about when to take amino acid supplements. That is the question this article answers.
To get you started, you should understand that each time you eat protein; your body breaks it down and absorbs it as amino acids. These amino acids are out to immediate use. Any protein that your body needs at that instant is what your body makes with the amino acids. If any amino acids are left, your body employs them as a fuel source. The bottom line is that your body has no means of storing or reserving amino acids. So you see why timing is important when it comes to the intake of amino acids. If just one amino is lacking when your body needs a particular protein, it would not be able to make it. This can have serious consequences.
When to Take Amino Acid Supplements
If you want the full blast of benefits from your amino acid (AA) supplements, the best times to take them are:
- Around the time of your workout (shortly before, during, or shortly after)
- With means that are low-protein
The period shortly before your workout session is a prime time to take AA supplements. The time between 30 minutes to an hour before your workout is arguably the best time.
The reason is very simple. AAs would have had enough time to get inside your bloodstream so that your body can have them readily available during your workout. This goes a long way in guarding against muscle breakdown.
The benefits will not stop with your workout session. You will still enjoy the benefits when your workout has ended. That is if the dosage you are taking is adequate. The amino acids would still be available to enhance the regeneration and repair of muscle tissues.
Taking AA supplements during your workout is not bad too. This is what most people do and it isn’t wrong to do so. But it cannot be as effective as when you take your AA supplements before you start your workout session.
You don’t necessarily have to wait till you “hit a wall” during your workout to get a boost. If you got the boost before starting your workout, you may not “hit a wall” at all. Your workout session would be a smooth sail for you.
Some people believe that they would do better to wait till after their workout session before taking their AA supplements. Their goal for doing this is usually to maximize recovery. This is not a bad option.
If you wait till after your workout before taking AA supplements, you will surely maximize recovery. However, you may not have a too-good workout experience.
But to be honest, taking AA supplements or protein powder after your workout session is more effective than any other time when it comes to the overall synthesis of protein.
Should You Take Amino Acid Supplements Between Meals?
Like we mentioned earlier, there is one straightforward way to get adequate amino acids readily available in your body. That is is to add protein to all your meals. But again, this is not always feasible.
The way to salvage this is to take AA supplements or protein powder alongside your meals. That way, it’s as good as you ate a balanced diet with enough protein. The supplements make up for what is lacking in your plate.
Many companies are quick to tell you that you can take AA supplements as many times as you want and at whatever time you like. This sounds like a good marketing strategy. But in all honesty, should you take AA supplements in between meals? Will you get better results from your supplements if you do that?
One of the most publicized reasons that these companies give is that you can guard against muscle wasting by taking AA supplements between meals. But to be honest, there is no scientific evidence for it. It is, therefore, not true.
The only time you can safely take in amino acids, or any other food substance or nutrient for that matter is if you’re on steroids. Otherwise, you cannot afford to take that risk. It will mess up greatly with the hormonal balance in your body.
Each time you take in any food substance, either from real food or from supplements, your insulin level spikes up. This is how your body functions naturally.
Now, when insulin levels go up, growth hormone levels go down automatically. The reverse is the case when you fast. As you approach the end of your fast, insulin level becomes very low while growth hormone is very high.
What happens when you take AA supplements at any time between meals is that you cause unnecessary fluctuations in your hormonal levels. For that reason, it is wiser to take your AA supplements alongside your meals.
This is even much better if your meal lacks natural protein. That way, you can get all the amazing benefits of amino acids within the same time frame that your meal naturally spikes insulin levels. Between meals, your insulin levels would come down, allowing fat metabolism to occur.
What Should You Expect Generally From AA Supplements?
You should understand when to take amino acid supplements and follow them. This will make gradual changes in your body. Over time, these changes will add up to enhance both your physical and mental health. In the long run, you will be fit, healthier, and generally well.