Amino acid powder is a form of amino acid supplements, usually consumed by people wishing to quickly build muscle. They are a favorite regime boost to body builders. Often called “protein powders,” they are usually blended into shakes and taken in addition to or in place of meals.
What Amino Acids Do for Muscles
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein are the building blocks of muscle. Amino acids are responsible for cell growth, strength and repair. They make it possible for muscles to contract and maintain proper water balances. You cannot grow larger muscles without amino acids. They facilitate the healing of torn muscle tissue, and provide the protein needed to nourish the muscular cells.
Amino acids cannot be stored in the body like fat or protein. Essential amino acids (the ones not made by the body) must be continually consumed. People whose lifestyles contain low to moderate physical activity usually consume a healthy amount of amino acids in their daily diets.
Bodybuilders, who expend more energy and desire larger muscles, often choose to consume more by means of supplements. A bodybuilder can choose between “complete” amino acid supplements that provide a high dose of all essentials or supplements offering singular amino acids. Individual amino acids, such as such as cysteine or glutamine, are believed to provide particular bodybuilding benefits. Two of the most common forms of amino acid powder are whey and creatine.
Whey powder is derived from milk and is popular among bodybuilders. It is believed that whey powder stimulates the amino acids responsible for endurance and muscle enhancement. Often bodybuilders rely on whey powder to give them more cut, defined muscles for competitions. Whey powder is also relied on to speed muscular healing and decreases recovery time from exercise. There are differing opinions as to the safety and efficacy of whey powder as a bodybuilding aid. Combined with high protein consumption, whey powder can cause stress on kidneys.
Creatine powder is another favorite among people trying to increase muscle mass. It occurs naturally in many foods, such as beef, tuna and salmon. It is known for increasing stamina, providing a short burst of energy, increasing strength and muscle mass as well as reducing muscular recovery time. Creatine itself is generally considered safe, but the powders it comes in and the components it is mixed with are not regulated by the FDA, and therefore not subject to safety tests. A consumer should be on the look-out for symptoms of rash, vomiting or difficulty breathing, and report them immediately to a physician.
Used in moderation for short periods of time, amino acid powders can help a bodybuilder. They can help build and heal muscle, as well as increase stamina and provide energy. However, over-consumption of amino acids can pose detrimental health risks. Always consult a physician before starting any new fitness regime or taking any supplements.