What are Essential Amino Acids and how do EAAs Work?

April 06, 2021 3 min read

What Are Essential Amino Acids and How do EAAs Work?

Posted at 11:00 • 4 Apr • Modern Sports Nutrition • Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)


Athlete’s bodies can cycle between Anabolic (muscle building) and Catabolic (muscle wasting) periods. Ensuring your body gets enough high quality protein and Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) could give you the extra nutrients you need to achieve your goals in and out of the gym.

Whole Foods and Whey Protein Supplements are great sources of the Essential Amino Acids that your body needs, but you can’t eat grilled chicken during your workout and you don’t want to chug a thick protein milk shake after your cardio session.

Essential Amino Acid Supplements are effective and EAAs can be refreshing, flavorful and convenient since they are similar to water in consistency and they are easy to drink anytime, like before, during or right after your workout when you'd prefer a light refreshing drink to a thick, rich shake.  


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The Building Blocks of Protein

There are 20 total Amino Acids and they are considered to be the building blocks of protein. Nine of the Amino Acids are considered Essential Amino Acids or EAAs. Three of those EAAs are considered Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs.

All Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are Essential Amino Acids (EAAs), but only three of the EAAs are BCAAs: L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine.

Why are Essential Amino Acids Essential?

Amino Acids are considered Essential when your body cannot make them on its own. Essential Aminos Acids must be consumed and, when you can’t get enough EAAs from your diet, a deficiency may exist and an EAA Supplement or a BCAA Supplement could be right for you.

What are the EAAs and the BCAAs?

There are three Essential Amino Acids that are also BCAAs: Leucine, Valine and Isoleucine. There are six other EAAs that are not also BCAAs: Histidine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Tryptophan and Threonine.

What do EAAs do?

Essential Amino Acids Fuel the Muscle Protein Synthesis that allows your body to perform, recover and grow.
 
When you exercise or strength train your body starts to breaks down protein, a process that can result in a negative protein balance and a catabolic or muscle wasting state.

However, research has shown that supplementing with EAAs pre-, during- and post-workout can increase your body's anabolic response to exercise and potentially reverse an exercise induced negative protein balance.

Creating a positive protein balance following exercise can put your body in an anabolic state allowing it to recover better and grow more.

How to Take EAAs

Both Strength and Endurance Athletes can benefit from taking a High-Quality EAA Supplement before, during or after training. Essential Amino Acids can also be taken throughout the day when a meal or a shake isn’t possible or preferred. Consider choosing an EAA supplement powder drink mix with added Electrolytes to help maintain hydration as well. EAA Supplements are the perfect any time choice for more Aminos and Greater Hydration!

 

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