Food & Nutrition

4 great amino acid supplements you can take to aid recovery

Published by Finn Hayden

If you want to build muscle, then you need to increase your protein intake. For most people, the most effective way of doing this is to use protein supplements such as protein powder. The one issue with trying to get more protein into your diet is that typically, protein-rich foods and supplements can be very filling. If you've ever tried eating a steak and drinking a protein shake for a meal, you'll know that it can leave you feeling very bloated and full.

This is why amino acid supplements are so helpful. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and a complete protein contains 20 different amino acids. By consuming an amino acid supplement, you can actually get many of the benefits that you'd get from a protein supplement without the bloating. Although these supplements usually don't contain all 20 essential amino acids, they'll still help your muscles to recover and rebuild by fueling them with some of the essential amino acids. These supplements also tend to be much lighter in the stomach, which is why they're great to consume during a workout.

There are lots of supplements like this, so we thought it would be useful to round up the best supplements you can buy in the UK, based on our experiences and on third-party reviews. Let's get into it:

USN original BCAA+ Power Punch powder

We love the BCAA powder from USN because it's so convenient and really tasty - the recommended serving is 2 teaspoons, and a tub contains the branched-chain amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine. We love the Cherry flavour, which reminds us of cherry cola and mixes really well with water. This powder is ideal for mixing into water that you can drink during your workout, so that you're consuming amino acids while you're exercising. Learn more and buy it here - amazon.co.uk
USN BCAA powder

Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy + Electrolytes

If you want to get your amino acids in the form of a drink, then the Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy + Electrolytes cans are an excellent choice. Each can of this drink contains 3.1 of amino acids, including citrulline, glutamine, tyrosine, taurine, beta-alanine, arginine, and three BCAAs. It's a great mix of amino acids and will really help you with muscle recovery. You also get 100mg of caffeine in each can, as well as green tea extract. You can buy these drinks in either Orange or Berry flavour, both of which are delicious. Learn more and buy the product here - hollandandbarrett.com

Amino Energy

Foodspring Recovery Aminos

The Foodspring brand creates some excellent workout supplements, including a very impressive range of whey protein powders. This range includes some excellent amino supplements, including this Recovery Aminos powder. It's entirely plant-based, and the powder contains BCAAs which are designed to help your body with recovery post-workout. These powders contain absolutely no artificial colours, and the flavours include orange (pictured) and wild berries. Learn more and buy it here - foodspring.co.uk

Foodspring Recovery Aminos

PE Nutrition Performance BCAA

The PE Nutrition brand from Holland & Barrett has a really affordable and impressive range of workout supplements, including an excellent vegan protein powder. This amino acid supplement from the brand is also really impressive - made using 100% vegan ingredients, this powder is a great source of essential branched-chain amino acids as each serving contains 5g of BCAAs. This includes 2,535mg of Leucine, 1,267mg of Isoleucine, and 1,267mg of Valine. At £20 for a 300g tub, this was one of the cheapest amino acid supplements that we bought. We also really loved the Strawberry & Watermelon flavour of the powder, and we're looking forward to trying the Fruit Punch flavour in the future. Learn more and buy it here - hollandandbarrett.com

PE Nutrition BCAA

We hope this guide helps you to find a great amino acid supplement. Let us know if you've tried any of these or if you have any other suggestions for us.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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