What Are Amino Acids? | How Do They Work?

Written by Jamie Bantleman

Amino Acids

Essential Amino Acids are the breakdown of protein; there are many key benefits to supplementing with amino acids. Although we absorb protein through our diet and other supplements such as whey protein and casein protein, amino acids are great to supplement with when looking to improve the overall intake of protein.


I often keep whey protein out of diet plans when people are looking to drop body fat; this is down to the milk protein often being hard to digest efficiently. When people are looking to lose body fat, the first phase of the diet should be to improve gut function and the digestive system. However, a supplemented way of protein intake is still vital to enhance recovery and muscular cell repair after working out in the gym.

Amino Acids

Amino Acids can be taken in different forms; there are individual supplements such as glutamine, beta-alanine and taurine, but the two types we will be focusing upon here are the following:


  1. Essential Amino Acids – found in Myprotein’s MyAmino Energy.
  2. Branched Chain Amino Acid – found in MyProtein’s BCAA 4:1:1.

MyAmino Complex


This amino complex has 22 different amino acids, B vitamins and minerals as well as nutrients that will improve hydration and cramp prevention by using coconut water, sodium and potassium. For those who are taking part in sport, this is a wonderful supplement for taking throughout the match or event, in particular, rugby players or footballers. You could also combine this with Myprotein’s HydroFuel for extra levels of carbohydrates and electrolytes.


MyAmino Energy can also be used as a pre, intra or post workout drink by anyone that goes to the gym and could be the preferred post-workout recovery shake rather than that of whey protein for reasons aforementioned. There are also some key health benefits to the product, with supplementation of chromium being a key vitamin to blood glucose regulation, D-Aspartic Acid being a great supplement for the improvement of testosterone production as well L-Carnitine being a great amino acid for both brain stimulation and fat loss.

Shaker and dumbbells



BCAA 4:1:1


“Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are three amino acids with similar structures that beneficially influence the muscles. They can be found in any food containing protein, such as eggs or meat. Leucine plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis, while isoleucine induces glucose uptake into cells. Further research is needed to determine valine’s role in a BCAA supplement. Supplementing BCAAs prevents a serum decline in BCAAs, which occurs during exercise. A serum decline would normally cause a tryptophan influx into the brain, followed by serotonin production, which causes fatigue”.


Alongside B Vitamins, a 4:1:1 ratio of Leucine (1g), Isoleucine (250mg) and Valine (250mg) offers you both intra and post workout supplementation to avoid muscular fatigue and the improvement in muscle mass.


“BCAA dosages are based on goals. The standard dosage for isoleucine is 48-72mg/kg (assuming a non-obese person). The standard leucine dosage is between 2-10g. A combination dose is 20g of combined BCAAs, with a balanced ratio of leucine and isoleucine. Isoleucine is used for increasing glucose uptake into cells, while leucine is used to improve muscle protein synthesis”.


Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile organisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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