Protein V Amino Acids — Which One is Right For You?

Categories Lifestyle


These two dietary supplements are commonly used to build muscle and lend a hand in the gym — but they each deliver very different results.

“Both of these products have valid uses and there’s solid research on both of them,” says Clinton Hill, strength and conditioning coach and fitness expert for Body Science. “I’m here to demonstrate some of the whys around choosing what is right for you.”

Amino acids

Hill starts with a basic principle: “Amino acids are responsible for stimulating the rate of protein synthesis — meaning they help you absorb or utilise proteins at a cellular level. Additionally, amino acids are free form and therefore they have an immediate effect on the workout. An added bonus of using them is that they retain more muscle and help to reduce body fat.”

When to take it?

The right time to take amino acids is just before short, intense sessions of exercise to aid your performance in the gym. “The basic rule of using amino acids is to take them during your workout for energy and to help with reducing muscle breakdown (catabolism),” Hill explains.



Although they contain more calories than amino acid supplements, protein powder boosts your body in the recovery process — particularly helpful when you’re trying a new, more intense exercise regime, or recovering from injury.

“Protein repairs the muscle damage that you get from lifting weights, which causes micro trauma, which is how we build muscle, and allows our body to commence the recovery process,” our Body Science fitness guru tells us. “Proteins are known as the building blocks of the macro nutrient world, so using a protein supplement post-training enables us to recover and repair our muscle faster so we can grow and heal.”

When to take it?

The minute you’re done shifting tin, it’s time for some powder. “The basic rule of taking protein is to take it post-workout for muscle repair and recovery,” Hill says. “There are huge benefits around adding these fast-acting and easily absorbed versions of protein powder to the body to help commence the recovery process as soon as you finish training.”


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