Proteins or Amino Acids? Quick guide to the gym

Proteine o aminoacidi - copertina

Proteins or Amino Acids?

The enormous popularity that has affected the supplements of amino acids for the gym in fitness, bodybuilding and sports in general, it is a constant phenomenon.

So much so that the use of proteins and amino acids it has become common practice even at an amateur level, among those who want to increase their muscle mass, those who would like to lose weight and those who simply seek to promote recovery post-workout.

But the assumption of proteins and amino acids it must take place with awareness and with the appropriate knowledge, as the human organism naturally produces some of the proteins and amino acids necessary and the remainder is normally assimilated through the nutritional process.

So why the need to hire BCAA ? And they work best protein supplements or the amino acid supplements? When is it best to take them?

With this guide we will try to clarify the topic and answer these and other questions, in order to allow even the less experienced to approach the world of amino acid and protein supplements.


Before First of all it is necessary to better understand the two terms in question, starting with proteins.

Here, however, only the information useful for the discussion will be provided, in order to deepen the subject proteins in its entirety we refer to other interesting writings present in the section ARTICLES of our site:

In summary, the proteins they are one of the three essential macronutrients in human nutrition, along with carbohydrates and fats, and perform a large number of tasks within the body.

Among the most important are structural tasks, the proteins in fact they contribute to forming the structure of muscles, bones, hair and skin. They are in fact the proteins the main ones responsible for muscle mobility. But these incredibly versatile cells also help the immune system and carry numerous other substances, such as the blood that is carried by the protein which takes the name of hemoglobin.

Amino acids for the gym 

As for the proteins, even for amino acids only information useful for the purpose of this article will be provided. For more complete information on this topic, refer again to the section ARTICLES and, in particular:

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are divided into essential and non-essential. There are nine essential amino acids and they are characterized by the fact that the human body does not have the enzymes necessary to synthesize them and must therefore be integrated into the metabolism with the diet.

The nine essential amino acids are:

  • phenylalanine;

  • isoleucine;

  • histidine;

  • leucine;

  • lysine;

  • methionine;

  • threonine;

  • tryptophan;

  • valine.

Leucine, isoleucine and valine also form a group called branched chain amino acids or BCAA, or the amino acids for the gym most used.

Difference between proteins and amino acids

Once these two points have been clarified, it is time to focus our attention on difference between proteins and amino acids (BCAA) in order to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using both.

Let's start by saying that there is no single answer to the question: better proteins or amino acids? It depends on several factors such as nutrition, physical exertion, the period and frequency of intake.

As already mentioned at the beginning of the article, a sedentary person with a healthy and varied diet will most likely not need supplements protein or BCAA, while a bodybuilder who must maintain or increase muscle mass will instead make extensive use of BCAA supplements.

As a general rule, however, let us rattle off the main differences between these two types of supplements:

One first difference between proteins and amino acids consists in their ways of assimilation. The proteins, in fact, they must be digested and broken down into amino acids which constitute them before they can be assimilated by the body. They are therefore less suitable as a solution in the moments immediately before, during and immediately after exercise.

On the other hand, i BCAA they come absorbed directly from the muscles, bypassing hepatic metabolism e drastically reducing the time of assimilation. This aspect makes the BCAA the best solution for taking in short periods of intense physical effort. We will take care of deepening what are the BCCAs for and when to take them in the next chapter.

A second difference, this time to the advantage of proteins, consists in the presence in the latter of peptides (o proteins) bioactive, but absent in BCAA. THE bioactive peptides they are small protein compounds and, therefore, are made up of few amino acids.

Although smaller than the proteins, they possess the ability to regulate specific metabolic processes. Some of these peptides, for example, act on the metabolism of lipids (ie fats) and facilitate the mobility of cholesterol, others help to strengthen the immune system, while others still act at the level of the nervous system.

Finally, the last difference that we are going to enunciate concerns the difference in cost. For the same quantity, in fact, the protein supplements they are generally cheaper than BCAA amino acid supplements.

Conclusions - Proteins or amino acids

In light of what has been said so far, let us now try to draw the appropriate conclusions and answer the crucial question: proteins or amino acids?

The answer is, once again: it depends!

Generalizing we can say that the protein supplements they are more suitable for individuals who do little or no sport and need to supplement essential amino acids for reasons other than exercise. Such as vegans and vegetarians, who often follow a poor diet proteins or subjects suffering from diseases that affect the body's protein supply.

On the contrary, the BCAA amino acid supplements they are more suitable for fatigue sportsmen, bodybuilders and people who want to increase their muscle mass. However, before concluding, it seems appropriate to provide some guidelines on the use of BCAA.

On the other hand we have not yet answered the question posed a few lines before: what the BCAAs are for? When to take BCAAs?

During intense aerobic activity, our body draws on the protein reserves already present in the body. THE BCAA serve to maintain, supplement or increase the amount of proteins of the individual, depending on when they are hired:

  • amino acids (BCAAs) pre workout - are immediately assimilated by the muscles, preventing the body from drawing on the reserves of proteins already present, and reduce catabolism;

  • amino acids (BCAAs) during training - avoids protein drops due to prolonged efforts, replenishing the amino acids consumed;

  • amino acids (BCAAs) post workout - facilitate muscle recovery and reduce the feeling of tiredness and pain.

For very intense and long-lasting activities the BCAA amino acid supplements Bioline allow you to choose different formulations, each with a different amount of leucine (to learn more about leucine, see this article):

BCAA 2: 1: 1 - amino acid supplement with a ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine of 2: 1: 1

BCAA 4: 1: 1 - amino acid supplement with a ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine of 4: 1: 1

BCAA 8: 1: 1 - amino acid supplement with a ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine of 8: 1: 1

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