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When to Take Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)

When Should you Take Your EAA Supplement?

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.

Essential Amino Acid (EAA) Review

Amino Acids are considered Essential Amino Acids 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 meaning that an Essential Amino Acid Supplement or a Branched Chain Amino Acid Supplement could be right for you.

When to Take Essential Amino Acids (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.

"I like to drink EAAs with my meals, something I'd never want to do with a thick protein shake"

In comparison to BCAA supplements, Essential Amino Acid Supplements generally provide you with a greater number of the Nine Essential Amino Acids albeit with comparatively smaller amounts of the BCAAs - Leucine, Valine and Isoleucine.

Of the EAAs, the BCAAs have the greatest impact on Muscle Protein Synthesis, but each EAA is required in adequate amounts to maximize your results.  Consider using an EAA Supplement if you're not getting enough Essential Amino Acids from your diet and choose a BCAA if you want to supplement your diet with greater amounts of the three BCAA Aminos only.

Also, I strongly recommend choosing an Essential Amino Acid Supplement with added Electrolytes to help you stay hydrated throughout your activity and beyond.  If you're working out hard enough to need an EAA Supplement then Hydration is almost certainly something to consider as well.

What do Essential Amino Acids Do?

Studies show that supplementing with Essential Amino Acids before your workout can increase your body's Anabolic (Muscle Building) Response to Exercise!
 
When you train or compete your body breaks down protein at a rate that can lead to a negative protein balance and a Catabolic (Muscle Wasting) State.  This has all the potential to waste the time that you just spent in the gym!

Taking EAAs pre, intra or post workout has been shown to increase in Muscle Protein Synthesis, creating a positive protein balance that allows your body to recover and grow.

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References:

• Biolo, G., B. D. Williams, R. Y. Fleming, and R. R. Wolfe. Insulin action on muscle protein kinetics and amino acid transport during recovery after resistance exercise. Diabetes 48: 949-957, 1999.
• Borsheim, E., K. D. Tipton, S. E. Wolf, and R. R. Wolfe. Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance exercise. Am.J.Physiol Endocrinol.Metab 283: E648-E657, 2002.
• Levenhagen, D. K., J. D. Gresham, M. G. Carlson, D. J. Maron, M. J. Borel, and P. J. Flakoll. Postexercise nutrient intake timing in humans is critical to recovery of leg glucose and protein homeostasis. Am.J.Physiol Endocrinol.Metab 280: E982-E993, 2001.
• Rasmussen, B. B., K. D. Tipton, S. L. Miller, S. E. Wolf, and R. R. Wolfe. An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J.Appl.Physiol 88: 386-392, 2000.
• Roy, B. D. and M. A. Tarnopolsky. Influence of differing macronutrient intakes on muscle glycogen resynthesis after resistance exercise. J.Appl.Physiol 84: 890-896, 1998.
• Tipton, K. D., A. A. Ferrando, S. M. Phillips, D. Doyle, Jr., and R. R. Wolfe. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am.J.Physiol 276: E628-E634, 1999.
• Tipton, K. D., B. B. Rasmussen, S. L. Miller, S. E. Wolf, S. K. Owens-Stovall, B. E. Petrini, and R. R. Wolfe. Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise. Am.J.Physiol Endocrinol.Metab 281: E197-E206, 2001.
• Tipton, K. D., E. Borsheim, S. E. Wolf, A. P. Sanford, and R. R. Wolfe. Acute response of net muscle protein balance reflects 24-h balance after exercise and amino acid ingestion.Am.J.Physiol Endocrinol.Metab 284: E76-E89, 2003.
• Shimomura, Y., Inaguma, A., Watanabe, S., Yamamoto, Y., Muramatsu, Y., Bajotto, G., ... & Mawatari, K. (2010). Branched-chain amino acid supplementation before squat exercise and delayed-onset muscle soreness. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 20(3), 236.