Last article I talked about Chinese amino acids & BCAA powders and how they suck. I summarized that I do not trust the Chinese when it comes to making dietary supplements. I have over 15 years experience manufacturing dietary supplements and I have seen some really unscrupulous things Chinese manufacturers of dietary supplements have done. In addition I explained how supplement companies are started and how most of them do any sort of testing whatsoever to prove what is on the label is in the bottle.
Now I want to talk about free form amino acids & are they even worth it? It is debatable that free form amino acids are ergogenic. It is also debatable in that, are free form amino acids even absorbed and digested? Remember this, amino acids and BCAA powders have been around since the 1980’s. It is one of the oldest supplements out there. I remember chewing up big amino acid tablets sold by Twinlab when I was like 20 years old. But then something happened in the early 1990’s. WHEY PROTEIN! Whey protein came along and rocked the supplement industry. It was good tasting and effective. And the reason is was so effective and is still so effective to this day is because it contains almost 35% BCAA’s. ThusFor every scoop of 30 grams of whey protein, you get about 10 grams of BCAA’s. Click To Tweet So guess what? No need to buy or consume BCAA’s anymore. There is no point in paying more for BCAA powder when whey protein is cheaper and contains more BCAA’s, if you want more BCAA’s just scoop in more whey protein. Finally if you do feel like you need more BCAA’s or Glutamine here is what you want to do instead of buying free form amino acids.
When I started Proteinfactory in 1998 I did not sell free form amino acids. Instead, I carried something called glutamine peptides. It actually came from hydrolyzed casein and was modified to be 80% glutamine. How awesome was that? You were getting glutamine in peptide form. Peptides are small chains of protein linked together. In layman’s terms…PREDIGESTED. The absorption is better and the speed of absorption is better. So if a customer of mine felt the need for more glutamine he could buy the glutamine peptides.
Let’s put free form amino acids and peptides side by side in a comparison chart.
|Protein Peptides||Free Form Amino Acids|
|Contains di and tri peptides||Yes||No|
|Sourced From China||No||Sometimes (most of the time)|
|Increases Protein Synthesis||Yes||Maybe|
|Increase positive nitrogen retentions||Yes||Maybe|
|Made from Whey||Sometimes||No|
As you can see I have no reason ever to recommend free form amino acids over protein peptides. Now take a look at the text in red. This is probably the most important thing. The source of the peptide or free form powder. Most of the time peptides are coming from whey protein. This is awesome! It means the bioavailability is going to be through the roof! Not only are you getting a pre digested di and tri peptide powder, but you’re getting all the other amino acids from whey protein.
However, as I did promise, if you still want to buy free form amino acids you want to only buy them from one company. If you don’t most likely you getting some synthetic krap from China. Here is a linkAjipure Fusi-BCAA Canister, 340 Gram