Whey protein or free-form amino acids? Which one will benefit me?
This article looks at the pros and cons of two of the most used supplements on the market, whey protein and amino acids. The reason for this article is because a lot of our users have asked us the question, why would I need amino acids when I am using a whey protein formula?
It’s a great question and to begin with I think it’s worth noting that, as with any product or service in health, fitness and performance, these supplements are tools for you to use at your disposal. We hear a lot of magic bullet conversations, where people believe that there is one thing that can fix all our problems. It doesn't work like that, there are many tools some will work for you and some will not, the key is to look at what you need an select appropriately.
With that being said, here is our run down on whey protein & free form amino acids. We hope you benefit from this information.
Its “complete” structure - whey protein has a high biological value and is a complete protein which makes it great as it supplies everything you may need when training hard.
Speedy absorption - whey is digested quickly in comparison to food (but slower than free form aminos) and so it reaches the working muscles fast when used around training.
Great for recovery post training - because of the information above, this makes whey protein a great product to use when training only.
Intolerance - a lot of people are hyper sensitive to whey protein and it can cause a lot of digestive issues due to lactose intolerance and protein allergy.
Not great for snacking on - because of its ability to spike insulin, whey can act like sugar in the body which is only good for during or post training, any other time and your spiking insulin unnecessarily.
Pro-inflammatory - the structure of whey means that it is pro-inflammatory in the body and so can massively increase levels of inflammation and also IGF (Insulin-like growth factor) which can be undesirable when overdone.
EAAs (Free-form Amino Acids)
Very rapid absorption - EAAs are already digested and ready to be absorbed, so get to work faster than another products available.
Targeted delivery - because of the rapid absorption, free-form amino acids give you super targeted delivery, hitting the working muscles exactly when you need them too.
More easily tolerated by the body - because of their pre-digested design free-form amino acids are much more readily accepted by the body and offer a great option to anyone who wants to manage inflammation, insulin and any digestive issues.
Can be more expensive - due the amount that you need to take EAA's can be more expensive.
They increase the amount of B vitamins the body will use.
With the above in mind, decide which tools are going to work for you and how your going to get the amino acids you need to recover well. Both have there own specific uses, it just depends on each individual athletes specific choices and desires.