The ABCs of Protein
The Building Blocks of a Powerhouse Regimen
Let’s get into it. We’ve teamed up with our experts to take a deep dive into protein to help you know exactly what to look for in choosing the right protein for your pursuit. To start it off, we’ll break down some of the words you’ve no doubt encountered, including amino acids, BCAA, and leucine– and how you can get what your body needs to keep crushing it.
Let’s start broad, with protein itself. It’s crucial to everyone—especially those looking to build muscle.
“Our bodies are built on protein - literally.” explains Dr. Nicolet Finger, doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. “Protein is composed of amino acids, and this forms the building blocks for virtually every part of our body. Since muscle is built by protein, we must consume protein to build muscle.” But building new muscle isn’t the only goal—we also need protein to prevent muscle damage; it’s crucial to recovery and prepping our body for the next workout.
Now let’s take a closer look at protein—what it’s made of, and what to look for in selecting the best protein source for your body.
Amino Acids These are molecules used by our bodies to build protein. Of the 20 amino acids, nine are essential—that means your body cannot make them, they must be consumed from an outside source. Dr. Finger reminds us that the “nonessential” amino acids still play a vital role in muscle building and recovery, but our body can help supply these.
BCAAs Branched Chain Amino Acids are hardworking amino acids; as their name implies, their molecular structure is non-linear, it branches out. The three BCAAs are also essential amino acids (reminder: those are the ones your body can’t make and they must be consumed): valine, isoleucine, and leucine. BCAAs are muscle-building amino acids, and have also been shown to contribute to decreased muscle soreness and fatigue.
Leucine As mentioned, leucine is both an essential amino acid and a BCAA. What makes it particularly notable? Leucine is directly involved in activating muscle protein synthesis.
If you want to add amino acids, BCAAS, or leucine into your supplement routine, these are best consumed before a workout to provide your body with these nutrients right as your muscles will be ready for them.
– Dr. Nicolet Finger, D.O. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Here at Dymatize, our entire line of protein products contain this trifecta: amino acids, including BCAAs like leucine. For hard gainers really looking to pack on size, Super Mass Gainer is a powerhouse combo of more than 10g of BCAAs with more than 5g of Leucine per scoop. For a leaner, more measured approach, check out our line of other protein powders. If you want to know more about exactly how much you’re getting, we lay it all out in easy-to-follow nutrition charts, so you can spend less time on research, and more time crushing your goals.