A bodybuilding stack is a group of supplements an athlete uses to increase their performance, recovery, and muscular growth.
One of the top 5 sports supplements purchased is amino acids, which make up a variety of supplements you should definitely consider adding into your stack. We say supplements because there are quite a few amino acids that athlete’s consume instead of just one product – although some supplements contain a few of them.
The Background of Amino Acids
Protein is the nutrient that you probably heard the most about because it assists with muscle repair and growth. However, protein is made of smaller shapes created from strands of amino acids.
Amino acids can even multiply further to make larger protein shapes.
There are 21 amino acids that our bodies use to create thousands of proteins, but some do much more than just that, which is why the following amino acids have become popular in the sports supplement industry:
- Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
Nine of the 21 amino acids are essential amino acids, which mean they are essential for life, but you are not able to produce them within your body. Essential amino acids must be consumed through a proper diet, and supplements can assist with making you reach the daily required amount.
This is one of the most commonly used amino supplements because of its ability to possibly increase nitric oxide (N.O.) levels for better muscle pumps and vascularity.
Arginine is the by-product of citrulline, and is the precursor to N.O. making it a valuable ingredient within products that focus on boosting nitric oxide levels. Usually you can find it added with citrulline.
Research shows that citrulline may actually be more beneficial for sports performance, but athletes seem to like both.
BCAA supplements are often used for muscle recovery and growth. Recently these supplements have started being used for intra workout, which means during the workout instead of before or after.
The purpose of this is to reduce muscular fatigue to push through the workout more effectively. Research studies show differences in agreeing if this actually helps athletes out in anything aside from muscle recovery.
However, hundreds of athletes and bodybuilders use BCAA supplements and swear they work, so it may be more believable to listen to the men and women who actually use them. They have the strength and muscles to prove what works or not.
BCAA’s are composed of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Leucine is the most important one for these benefits listed to occur. Which is why you see supplements state a 2:1:1 ratio for BCAA’s since leucine is the amino you want more of.
The point of using this amino acid is to increase muscle glycogen synthesis. This increase may allow you to have better strength gains and muscle increases over time while using glutamine regularly.
Some studies state there were no significant changes between users that consumed glutamine and those who used a placebo, but bodybuilders state this ingredient works, and they have pretty large muscles. It is kind of hard to argue facts with physical beings that you see.
Glutamine may also decrease muscle fatigue and allow you to train longer if consumed prior to training.
Taurine has good and bad points to it. When you see taurine thrown into whey protein it is usually a bad thing because this could be a sign of amino spiking unless they clearly distinguish protein from this amino acid. However, taurine on its own or in an amino acid cocktail may be beneficial.
Two things science has found is that taurine enables heart contractions and provides antioxidant levels.
Taurine is not an amino that plays a role with protein synthesis, which is why this has no reason to be within a protein supplement. But it has shown effects to lessen the effects of exercise fatigue and can provide energy to carry on through a workout. This ingredient is better when mixed with other amino acids to get more for your money.
Amino Acids can be Very Helpful for Bodybuilding Programs
A bodybuilding program focuses on muscle and strength gains, but does not necessarily mean you have to be training to become a bodybuilder in competition.
The amino acids listed are the most common supplements used by athletes for all sports, and are beneficial for both men and women.
Eating foods such as red meats and dairy products will give you natural doses of amino acids.
The thing about supplements is that you can control how much more you add into your diet without having to consume more calories to accomplish this. Protein supplements contain various amino acids naturally when it comes to whey since it is dairy based.
Take into account all the nutrients you consume already prior to adding more through supplements.