Are you looking to build muscle, improve recovery, and/or enhance other aspects of health and fitness?!
Then, listen up!
We’re going to discuss an essential component to your workout, recovery, performance, weight loss and muscle-building goals!
They’re called Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s), and we’re about to go deeper into the world of EAAs and EAA supplements than you ever thought imaginable.
Let’s start with the basics.
What Are Essential Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and, thus, the human body. Without them, you’d be nothing more than a pile of amorphous sludge on the ground.
Essential amino acids (EAAs or EAA’s) are the most critical building blocks for protein. Classified as “essential,” this means they canNOT be produced by the body and MUST be obtained from the diet and/or supplements (such as whey protein, EAA supplements, etc.).
There are a total of nine essential amino acids, including:
In addition to the EAA’s, there are non-essential or conditionally essential amino acids. These are amino acids that the body can produce on its own from other amino acids, carbohydrates, and fats. Under normal circumstances, the body can generate sufficient quantities to satisfy demand.
However, during times of duress (i.e. extreme physical activity, prolonged endurance exercise, severe illness/injury/trauma, etc), the demand for amino acids is significantly increased, which necessitates increasing the amount of amino acids consumed, either from food, protein powder, and/or amino acid supplements.
Between essential and non-essential amino acids, there are 20 or 22 (depending on which study you read. For what it’s worth, the most recently discovered 21st and 22nd amino acids are selenocysteine and pyrrolysine which are incorporated into protein chains during ribosomal protein synthesis. Regardless, these 20-22 amino acids are used in the production of 100,000 unique proteins in the human body!
What About BCAAs?
BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acid, and for nearly two decades, the best-selling amino acid supplements on the market were BCAA supplements. The primary reason for this is the fact that research notes that BCAAs (primarily leucine) are responsible for stimulating muscle protein synthesis (MPS).
There are three BCAAs, consisting of:
- Leucine (the “king” of amino acids)
As you may have noticed from the list of essential amino acids above, the BCAAs are a special “subgroup” of the essential amino acids.
Based on the fact that BCAAs can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, and therefore aid muscle recovery and growth, many individuals think that they are the only amino acids that are important for supplementing with.
However, BCAA supplements merely stimulate muscle protein synthesis, they’re missing a few key components to sustain muscle building and recovery…namely the other six EAAs.
This is why we prefer essential amino acid supplements as they provide all nine essential amino acids to limit protein breakdown (catabolism), stimulate protein synthesis (anabolism), and fuel muscle recovery & growth.
So, why do some individuals still use BCAA supplements?
There is some research indicating the BCAA supplements can reduce muscle breakdown and accelerate recovery, but these studies typically compare BCAA supplements to placebo (flavored water). Furthermore, protein intake is typically far below “optimal” (~0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight). In studies where individuals are consuming adequate amounts of protein, there are no remarkable benefits noted with BCAA supplements.
What Are the Functions and Benefits of EAA Supplements?
While most, if not all, of the EAA supplement discussion centers around muscle recovery and growth, the reality is that repairing damaged muscle fibers and fueling new muscle growth only begins to scratch the surface of what these critical construction components do.
In fact, amino acids are involved in hundreds of biological processes, including:
- Muscle protein synthesis
- Organ & tissue repair
- Hormone production
- Neurotransmitter synthesis
- Energy metabolism
- Blood sugar regulation
- Sexual function
- Immune support
- ATP (energy) production
- Nutrient absorption
- And more…
Why Should I Consider an EAA Supplement with Amino Acids?
Since amino acids are naturally present in certain foods, including animal proteins, some plant foods, and (of course) protein powder, you may be wondering if it’s worthwhile to supplement with EAAs.
Well, here are a few factors to consider when deciding if an EAA supplement is right for you.
- The body has a limited reservoir with which it can store amino acids. It’s not like water, carbohydrates or fat. If your body isn’t receiving enough protein and amino acids each day, the possibility for muscle breakdown increases as the body will need to obtain the necessary amino acids to support vital life functions.
- The more physically active you are (i.e. the more you train), the greater requirements the body has for amino acids.
- The average individual, particularly female, older adults and plant-based dieters, usually doesn’t consume enough protein each to support a positive nitrogen balance (muscle protein synthesis > muscle protein breakdown).
- Each protein source has a slightly different profile of amino acids. If you’re not consuming a variety of high-quality protein sources throughout the day, you may not be getting sufficient amounts of certain amino acids and getting too many of others.
- As we age, our bodies have a greater requirement for protein and amino acids. The reason for this is that older adults are less responsive to the anabolic stimulus of protein and amino acid intake compared to younger individuals.
- GI issues, such as depleted digestive enzymes, leaky gut, and a suboptimal balance of gut bacteria can impair protein digestion and amino acid absorption.
Who Can Use EAA Supplements?
Any one looking to support their protein intake can use EAA supplements. Sufficient amino acid intake is essential to supporting daily health and thriving in your workouts.
So, regardless if you’re a competitive athlete, weekend warrior, or casual fitness enthusiast, an EAA supplement can offer benefits.
How Can I Use Essential Amino Acids?
Researchers have tested a wide range of EAA supplements, with doses ranging from 3-18 grams in one serving (EAA Max supplies over 5 grams of EAAs in every serving). Studies have yet to indicate any additional benefits when consuming more than 15 grams of EAAs at one time.
- Resistance training: Consume one serving 30 minutes before training along with your favorite pre workout supplement. For added recovery and muscle building, consume one serving within one hour after training.
- Cardio Workouts / Endurance training: Consume one serving 30 minutes before a workout. If exercising longer than 60-90 minutes, sip on another serving to support energy demands and resist muscle breakdown.
- Intra workout: Also consider taking amino acids throughout your workout to take advantage of hyperemia and maintain nutrient levels.
- General fitness and well-being: Take one serving in-between meals.
Stacking with Other Products
EAA Max -- The Best-Tasting EAA Supplement
On their own, individual amino acids taste utterly abysmal, which is to say they’re extremely bitter and you’d sooner eat a plate of mulched-up grass clipping before tasting unflavored free-form essential amino acids.
That’s why we’ve worked with the premier flavor chemists in the industry to create a refreshing, light, and enjoyable EAA supplement free of the insane amounts of sugar and other additives included in so many other amino acid products.
Our transparent label, mind-blowing taste, excellent mixability, and diverse range of flavors separate us from the competition and make the decision easy when it comes to choosing an EAA supplement.
EAA MAX is the best-tasting EAA supplement to support your goals, regardless if it’s muscle-building, weight loss, body recomposition, or supporting daily health and fitness.
Click here to pick your favorite flavor and experience the many benefits of a premium-quality EAA supplement.