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Amino acids are the "building blocks" of protein, and amino acid supplements are some of the most popular products on the market.
Despite their popularity, many consumers may not fully understand what purpose amino acids serve or the differences between one amino acid supplement and another one.
That's where this article comes in. We'll help discuss the most important amino acids as well as discuss the differences between the two most common types of amino acid supplements on the market (EAAs and BCAAs).
EAA Max is a delicious-tasting essential amino acid supplement that supplies all nine EAAs required for protein synthesis, including 5g 2:1:1 BCAA..
As we mentioned above, the two predominant forms of amino acid supplements on the market are ones containing essential amino acids (EAAs) and those containing branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Amino acids are grouped into two main categories -- Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) and nonessential amino acids.
EAAs are dubbed "essential" because the human body cannot produce them on its own, meaning they must be obtained through the diet (food or supplements).
Nonessential amino acids, on the other hand, are amino acids the body can generate from other amino acids, carbohydrates, and fats.
There are a total of nine essential amino acids. Those nine EAA’s are:
Simply put, EAA’s are required for protein synthesis, meaning that if you’re lacking in any one of the nine essential amino acids, your body won’t do much in the way of protein construction, muscle repair, or muscle building. While protein synthesis is absolutely critical for your fitness goals, that only begins to scratch the surface of the many roles and functions EAA’s perform in the body.
Essential amino acids also support energy production, cellular repair, and aid in nutrient digestion and absorption.
Additionally, EAAs help protect the mitochondria of each cell in your body. Remember, mitochondria are the “mini power plants” inside of each cell to produces ATP.
Without EAAs your body does not have the raw materials needed for basic human function, let alone building lean muscle.
This is why consuming sufficient amounts of EAA’s is absolutely critical for everyday life.
For bodybuilders, athletes, and even recreational lifters, the requirement for EAAs is significantly greater than sedentary individuals due to the increased wear and tear their bodies are subjected to on a daily basis from weight lifting.
While you could get all the EAAs you need from your diet alone, oftentimes, a person’s diet may lack diversity (or they may have a low appetite), setting them up for certain amino acid deficiencies.
This is when it's beneficial to have an essential amino acid supplement.
BCAAs stand for "branched-chain" amino acids. They are a subset of the essential amino acids that make up about one-third of muscle protein and are comprised of:
BCAAs are some of the most well-researched of all the amino acids, due to their ability to activate the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. The mTOR pathway is the intracellular signaling pathway that drives muscle protein synthesis in the body.
Additionally, the three BCAAs are also metabolized a bit differently in the body than the other essential amino acids.
Upon ingestion, BCAAs bypass metabolization in the liver and are transported to your muscles. Inside skeletal muscle, they are converted into branched-chain oxo acids (BCOA), where they serve as a source of fuel for the production of ATP (the “cellular currency” of energy production).
Now, the fact that BCAAs can serve as an energy substrate in skeletal muscle is noteworthy, as it means they may help to limit muscle protein breakdown as well as glycogen depletion during prolonged exercise.
Additionally, BCAAs may also help improve mental and physical performance by reducing fatigue as leucine competes with tryptophan for uptake into the brain.[14,15]
In case you weren’t aware, tryptophan is the amino acid used by the body to produce serotonin. Increases with serotonin are linked to increased central fatigue. Therefore, supplementing with BCAA (primarily leucine) may help limit production of serotonin, and help reduce perceived exertion and the onset of fatigue, allowing for greater performance.
Overall, the main attributes of BCAAs are:
Now, if the branched-chain oxo acids are not immediately required for energy, they are sent back to the liver for oxidation and energy production.
In order to build protein, your body requires all nine essential amino acids be present in sufficient amounts.
BCAAs (particularly leucine) can stimulate muscle protein synthesis via activation of the mTOR pathway in the body, and they may also help limit muscle breakdown during periods of low-calorie intake when muscle is at a heightened risk of breakdown.
But, to complete the protein building process, the other six amino acids also need to be present.
This is why we prefer to supplement with EAAs.
EAA supplements provide all nine essential amino acids that the body requires to synthesize muscle protein. Plus, EAA supplements include BCAAs as the three branched-chain amino acids are a subset of the EAAs.
So, when using an EAA supplement (like EAA Max), you're getting all three of the BCAAs plus the other six essential amino acids needed to support muscle growth and recovery!
Ok, so EAA’s are essential, but do you know what each one actually does in the body?
Yes, they’re involved heavily in building proteins and muscle, but each mighty little amino has something else to bring to the party too!
Let’s take a deeper look at each individual essential amino acid, beginning with the “king” of aminos in:
EAAs are essential for protein synthesis, muscle growth, and optimal day-to-day function. They’re also an ideal choice for peri-workout (intra workout) nutrition, which is why Primeval Labs has created EAA Max. Each scoop of EAA Max provides your muscles with all nine EAA’s required for muscle repair and growth, including a full 5g of 2:1:1 BCAA’s!
And don’t worry about the typical “off” flavor that amino acid products usually have. Primeval Labs has sourced the highest quality aminos so you’ll never get that “amino funk” when drinking EAA Max. Premium quality, superior formulation, and industry-leading taste make EAA Max the best EAA supplement on the market!