Amino Acids – Supplements vs Whole Foods

Amino acid supplements have become a commonly used supplement among fitness fanatics. Amazing benefits have been thrown around about these magic pills such as helping weight loss, increasing sports performance, muscle growth, and the list goes on. However, these supplements can be quite pricey! What if I told you that you could get all the amazing benefits that come with amino acids from food?

Food contains all the amino acids we need! For example, leucine, lysine, tryptophan, threonine, alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glutamine… and many more. Some of these are essential meaning we need to get these from food or supplements, and some are non-essential meaning we can make them in our bodies – how cool is that! It’s important to keep to a balanced, healthy diet to ensure you are getting all these amino acids in though. Animal proteins provide us with all our essential amino acids, and you can also get these from plant-based proteins but in lower amounts. 

So, when it comes to the debate against supplements and food there are a few things to consider… 

Price. Supplements usually are costly and may not be affordable to all. Food on the other hand can be a much cheaper option since you are going to be buying this anyway.

Safety and effects. Research surrounding amino acid supplements is still limited today. Although all supplements must go through a rigorous process to ensure they are safe for consumption. Though, if you consume above the recommended dosages there could potentially be adverse effects.

Other nutrients in food. Ensuring you gain these amino acids in food through a balanced diet, also provides you with many other important nutrients that come with healthy eating.

Convenience. Planning, preparing, and eating food can be time-consuming whereas supplements can be quickly prepared with water or swallowed in a pill form.

Dosage. Supplements make reaching high amounts of these amino acids much easier and quicker. Consuming enough food to reach these same amounts can be difficult and therefore getting the same benefits and outcomes may be harder to achieve in comparison to using a supplement.

Bottom line…

Foods and supplements can provide all the amino acids your body needs to function and to receive the benefits associated with amino acids. Which you decide to choose depends on many factors and personal preference. Do what works for you!

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