What does the research/data show about taking amino acid supplements instead of protein powder (whey) to achieve daily protein targets as part of a weight training program?


There are no direct comparisons in the data about the efficacy of amino acid supplements versus whey protein powder for meeting daily protein targets specifically for weight training. However, the data does delve into aspects of protein quality and muscle protein synthesis, which might be informative for this topic.

Dr. Layne Norton, a guest on the , discusses the importance of consuming protein that contains all the essential amino acids (

), which is particularly relevant when considering the quality of a protein source, be it a powder or an amino acid supplement. The concept of protein quality in relation to muscle protein synthesis is also highlighted by Norton, who mentions one should pay attention to the leucine content, an essential amino acid important for muscle protein synthesis (

When incorporating protein into one's diet, Dr. Norton mentions that the idea of compensating for low protein intake at one meal with high protein at another did not align with his findings in muscle protein synthesis studies. He suggests that consuming adequate amounts of protein at each meal is essential for muscle growth, given protein's almost non-existent storage capacity (


also discusses the optimal timing for protein intake and its effect on muscle protein synthesis, noting that muscle cells have a circadian rhythm that makes them more primed to incorporate amino acids and synthesize muscle early in the day (

). For those interested in muscle hypertrophy or maintenance, he suggests that quality protein and amino acids should be consumed early in the day for better utilization toward muscle growth (

While this information doesn't directly answer the question of amino acid supplements versus whey protein, it underscores the importance of high-quality protein sources that are rich in essential amino acids, like leucine, and the timing of protein intake in relation to muscle protein synthesis.