Which amino acid supplement is best?
Living an active lifestyle is necessary for staying healthy. But ensuring you nourish your body properly is even more critical. If you’re an especially active person or an athlete, you need to get enough essential nutrients, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. However, most athletes try to focus primarily on consuming enough protein.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, so they’re necessary for efficient muscle regeneration and growth. If you want a high-quality supplement to boost protein absorption, Solgar Essential Amino Complex Free Form Essential Amino Acids is a great choice.
What to know before you buy an amino acid supplement
Do you need an amino acid supplement?
If you’re a young and healthy individual, there’s a good chance you may not even need an amino acid supplement. While the body can’t produce essential amino acids on its own, you should get plenty of them from your diet. A supplement can be beneficial if you have a limited diet or dietary restrictions. While supplements like protein powders and amino acid capsules aren’t necessary for athletes, some believe they can provide an energy boost and help speed muscle regeneration and growth.
Most amino acid supplements are safe for just about anybody, but if you have any dietary restrictions, it’s wise to read the label carefully first. Many supplements don’t contain gluten, soy or dairy and are kosher-approved, but those with strict diets should keep an eye out regardless.
Consult your physician
Consulting your physician about a dietary supplement is a good idea, especially if you have a chronic medical condition. Amino acids are safe, but some physicians may make specific recommendations depending on your medical status. Always check with your doctor before buying a supplement to be on the safe side.
What to look for in a quality amino acid supplement
Branched-chain amino acids
Athletes commonly use branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) supplements to aid in muscle regeneration and growth, however, studies have revealed they may not work as well as some companies claim. If you still want to give them a try to improve your game, make sure the supplement you buy has a combination of nonessential amino acids, namely leucine, isoleucine and valine. These are believed to promote healthy muscle recovery and are a necessary part of the human body’s nutritional intake.
Other amino acids
Although nonessential amino acids are what you primarily want from a supplement, you also need to have others in the mix. After a workout, ergogenic amino acids play a significant role in repairing your body, so keep an eye out for them. Specifically, look for supplements containing beta-alanine, citrulline, arginine and glutamine.
Most supplements have flavoring because the various nutrients and compounds have an unpleasant taste in their natural form. However, it’s best to avoid supplements with artificial sweeteners. Instead, try taking them with a drink of your choice between meals.
Additionally, you’ll be hard-pressed to find naturally sweetened supplements since it costs more money and would increase the overall cost.
How much you can expect to spend on an amino acid supplement
You can find an amino acid supplement for as low as $6. However, depending on the container’s size and count, some can cost up to $50.
Amino acid supplement FAQ
Can I eat more protein instead of taking an amino acid supplement?
A. Yes, it’s always advisable to get your nutrients from whole foods and your regular diet. However, an amino acid supplement can provide several nutritional benefits if you need help maximizing your protein intake.
When is the best time to take an amino acid supplement?
A. Most supplements recommend taking amino acids between meals, but you can also take them right after exercising.
What’s the best amino acid supplement to buy?
Top amino acid supplement
What you need to know: Solgar is a trusted brand that’s been around since 1947. Their amino acid supplement contains essential free-form amino acids for helping in the muscle recovery process.
What you’ll love: These amino acid vegetable capsules are non-GMO and do not contain any wheat, dairy or gluten, so it’s suitable for vegans. Your body absorbs them quickly for efficient integration. For optimal results, it’s best to take one capsule twice daily in between meals.
What you should consider: They don’t contain any tryptophan, and the capsules are large, with some finding them difficult to swallow.
Top amino acid supplement for the money
What you need to know: You’ll get the most bang for your buck with this supplement, as it contains 120 vegetable capsules.
What you’ll love: This supplement incorporates a protein blend of 20 amino acids and vitamin B6. In addition to aiding in the muscle regeneration process, many users report reduced anxiety and boosted energy levels. The directions recommend taking four capsules daily, but you can take less as desired or recommended by a physician.
What you should consider: It contains milk and soy, so it’s not suitable for vegans.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These free-form amino acid capsules are an excellent dietary supplement for athletes or anyone looking for a boost in energy.
What you’ll love: They’re gluten-free, non-GMO certified and contain a blend of the three primary groups of amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They promote a healthy immune system, boost exercise performance and provide protein synthesis support for the liver and muscles.
What you should consider: You have to take four capsules each day for optimal results. The capsules are large, so they might be difficult for some to swallow.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.