If a world record holder and very fit athlete has never used any supplements and just relies on real food, how likely is it that you need tons of them to be fit and build muscle mass? Not very.I Was A BelieverIf you would have asked me a question about supplements in general and protein powders in particular several years ago, I would have been the first one to stand up from the crowd and say, "yes, if you want to build muscle than you are going to need supplementation!"When I started studying fitness, everywhere I turned I saw the need for supplementation mentioned, even my fitness study guide book suggested that they are very necessary to build muscle. From the same book I also learnt that whey isolate protein is of a much higher quality protein than what you find in a steak.And, to be honest, I used to believe it without a question. I thought if it's in a school book then it must be true, which now makes me feel like a fool for being so naive.Especially lately I've been questioning the whole supplementation thing even more, because if you apply common sense then how can a powder be of higher value than real food? What if the whole meal timing and protein consumption is just a creation of the marketing machine the fitness industry has become? All of a sudden it just made perfect sense to me.The Wonder Of Amino AcidsBefore I pick a little more at this subject let's take a look some of the supposed functions of the key amino acids that occur in significant amounts of high-quality whey protein, according to my fitness study guide:
- BCAAs (Branched - Chain - Amino Acids) - help to increase endurance, prevent fatigue, improve mental performance, increase energy level.
- Phenylalanine - Maintains nervous system health, relieves depression, elevates mood, boosts memory, suppresses appetite.
- Tryptophan - Relieves mild to moderate depression relieves insomnia, suppresses appetite, reduces overall sensation of pain.
- Arginine - Increases growth hormone levels, protects against heart disease, lowers blood pressure, improves poor circulation.
- Glutamine - Boosts immune system function, maintains muscle mass, prevents muscle breakdown, enhances glycogen storage, aids recovery from exercise, promotes healing.
- Proline - Rebuilds cartilage in bones, speeds injury repair, promotes tissue recovery following exercise.