Protein synthesis dominates the health and wellness chatter these days, and for good reason: it’s an essential process in the human maintenance cycle. Protein consumption is responsible for enzymatic reactions, hormonal responses, and structural integrity of our bodies.
When the body digests protein, it immediately puts that macronutrient to work by synthesizing new proteins that feed our body’s many functions. You take a bite and the process of digestion starts. The chewed up food travels from the mouth into the stomach, where enzymes break down the bonds that hold together the amino acids which make up the protein.
The body then decides how best to use the un-bonded amino acids. The act of rebuilding free amino acids into new proteins is called protein synthesis, and it’s probably the most important function our body serves in terms of structure and life support.
Some amino acids can be made within the body without supplementation, but others require food sources — the latter are called essential amino acids. Without them, the body begins to wither away and sacrifice functionality. People who look frail, gaunt, or older than their true age are likely dealing with a disruption to their protein synthesis process. Without protein synthesis, our bodies will not be able to make components like hormones, enzymes, and even new muscle.
Supplementing with amino acids can help aid protein synthesis
Very essential bodily functions like digestion, muscle contraction, and blood clotting all depend on proper enzyme production. And of course, proteins like collagen and elastin make up the majority of our skin, joint tissue, and cartilage. You just have to prioritize protein synthesis if you want to live a healthy life in a healthy body.
Focusing on foods that contain high amounts protein like meats, eggs, and dairy will help support the vital process. Vegan protein sources include beans, nuts, and seeds, and while they are better than nothing at all, they cannot replicate the muscle-building power of animal proteins. If you truly refuse to eat any sort of animal product, at least invest in a high-quality protein powder blend (whey will be your best friend, though it is derived from milk). Trying to fully fuel yourself on fruits, nuts, and veggies alone will make protein synthesis more difficult.
One of our favorite amino acid supplements is Thorne’s Amino Complex. Amino Complex is high in essential amino acids (EAAs), including branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). It promotes muscle mass and enhances energy production. According to their website, it is best taken after a workout to facilitate the recovery process. It’s an ideal formula for active individuals, individuals managing calories, or anyone who has difficulty consuming whole foods or protein powders, particularly after heavy exercise. You can shop all of our favorite Thorne supplements HERE.