Understanding Amino Acids: Boost the Efficiency of Your Protein Intake

by Dr. David Minkoff August 22, 2016 3 min read

Understanding Amino Acids: Boost the Efficiency of Your Protein Intake

Adding protein after a workout is a popular practice among athletes and body builders but, in fact, protein is an important part of everyone’s diet. Protein helps support a healthy immune system and is a vital component in repairing damage to the body, whether it’s a nagging injury or chronic feelings of fatigue.

However, there is a valid reason behind the stereotype of gym junkies shaking up a protein drink following a workout. When you exercise, especially when weight training, you are actually causing micro-tears in the muscle fibers. Protein is essential for the recovery of these muscles and muscle growth, if that’s your goal.

How Your Body Uses Protein

Proteins are an important part of building muscles, organs, bones, enzymes, immune cells and many hormones—and one of the most important parts of your diet if you are looking to develop lean muscle mass and shed fat.

However, protein’s role in muscle mass is often misunderstood. Many people think that the 30 grams of protein in their post-workout shake is directly used by their body to form new proteins and muscle mass. This is not the case.

What makes the difference is the amino acids found in the protein. Each protein source is made up of different amounts of amino acids. Further, each protein source has a different percentage of its amino acids that can actually be used to build body protein.

In fact, many people don’t realize that much of the proteins that we eat are turned into carbohydrates and either used for fuel or stored as fat. However, while fats, protein and carbohydrates can all be used by the body as an energy source, only protein can provide the essential amino acids required to build essential body protein.

Understanding Amino Acids

The protein in food is made up of amino acids that are strung together in the same structure—picture beads on a chain. When you consume and digest protein, the amino acids found in this particular protein are released and absorbed into the body. Some of these amino acids are then used by the body to build new proteins, like those used to repair torn muscles and build new muscle.

However, only amino acids that are available in the correct proportions can be used to build body protein. If you examine whey protein, only 16% of the amino acids are used to build proteins in the body. This means that the remaining 84% of the amino acids are not used to build protein, but rather become a source of extra calories! This makes finding a protein source with an optimally balanced formula of essential amino acids key to maximizing the efficiency of your protein intake.

Essential Amino Acids

Essential amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When consumed in ideal proportions, you maximize the protein’s utilization in your body.

After years of research, it is now possible to provide a protein source that is composed of the ideal balance of the eight essential amino acids, from which 99% of the amino acids can be used by the body to build new protein.

BodyHealth’s PerfectAmino® contains the eight amino acids the body needs to support optimized protein intake and utilization by the body.*

Together with a strategic exercise program and balanced diet, you’ll be able to watch your body transform with the support of balanced amino acids that maximize your protein intake.*