Everything You Need to Know About Essential Amino Acids
Whether you’re a lifelong athlete or gym rat or you’ve just signed up for your first fitness class, it’s essential to understand what your body needs to feel its best. However, finding the right products for your needs can be overwhelming. The sheer number of products at your local supplement store alone can be daunting. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to learn about essential amino acids, amino acids supplements, and the best EAAs that can make your fitness goals a little bit easier to reach.
What Are EAAs?
Adding supplements to your diet is one of the first steps you can take to help achieve your goals. If you’ve spent any amount of time reading up on the different supplements available on the market today, you’ve probably heard all about the best EAAs. But how much do you know about these products and how they can help your health and nutrition?
Amino acids are the foundations that our bodies use to make proteins. EAA stands for essential amino acids. These amino acids supplements get their name from their lack of availability in your body. Rather than being supplied naturally, you must gain these compounds through the best EAAs supplements or other products. Although EAAs are readily available in protein such as eggs or meat, the easiest way to ensure your body has enough essential amino acids is to add amino acids supplements to your diet.
Amino acids fall into three categories:
- Essential amino acids include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Your body cannot survive without amino acids supplements.
- Non-essential amino acids are acids that your body produces on its own. Although these are important, they are not the same as essential amino acids and cannot take their place.
- Conditional amino acids are non-essential unless your body is experiencing an infection or high levels of stress. The most common conditional amino acids are glutamine, tyrosine, and cysteine.
Which Amino Acids Are EAAs?
Although there are more than 20 amino acids, only nine are essential.
- Methionine: You can find this amino acid in fish, meat, and dairy. Methionine is unique because of its ability to transform into molecules that contain sulfur. Sulfur-containing molecules help protect body tissues, maintain the correct functions of cells, and help keep DNA structure.
- Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine has two forms — L-phenylalanine and D-phenylalanine. The form that manufacturers use for amino acids supplements is L-phenylalanine because of its ability to help your body produce proteins. L-phenylalanine also makes other molecules in the body, including tyrosine, epinephrine and norepinephrine, and dopamine. Epinephrine and norepinephrine create your body’s fight or flight response and help with focus and response time, while dopamine is a molecule that is involved with the feelings of happiness and pleasure.
- Threonine: Threonine helps promote growth by maintaining the balance of proteins in the body, as well as assists with body functions in your liver, central nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems. Also, your body needs threonine to create serine and glycine, two amino acids that are essential for the production of elastin, collagen, and muscle tissue in the body.
- Lysine: If promoting recovery is vital to you, lysine will be one of your favourite essential amino acids. Lysine helps repair damaged cells as well as encourage the growth of new cells within the body. Amino acids supplements that include lysine also help increase bone density and strength by helping your body absorb calcium efficiently, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
- Histidine: Two essential functions of histidine are its ability to impact your body’s oxygen supply and its ability to encourage the healing of body tissue. Amino acids supplements containing histidine can help support muscle healing from a hard gym session as well as prevent heart attacks, support your immune system, and protect against kidney disease.
- Isoleucine: If you want to go longer and harder in the gym with your workouts, adding isoleucine is a good start. Isoleucine is one of three branched-chain amino acids that are also essential amino acids and is best known for promoting higher endurance and helping the body heal from injuries. Also, the body breaks down isoleucine within the muscles to use as energy. This process helps stabilize energy levels by regulating the body’s blood sugar.
- Valine: Keep yourself laser-focused in the gym with the addition of valine. This branched-chain amino acid works with isoleucine and leucine to repair tissue, regulate blood sugar, increase growth, and energize your body. Valine encourages muscle growth by increasing the amount of glucose in the muscles, preventing them from breaking down during extreme physical activity.
- Leucine: Although the other two BCAAs contribute their assistance, leucine is the best BCAA for inhibiting muscle loss because it converts to glucose faster than its BCAA counterparts. An additional supply of glucose prevents the body from feeding on its muscles during energy shortfalls, which is why athletes and bodybuilders are big fans of amino acids supplements containing leucine.
- Tryptophan: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Another way to boost happiness through exercise is to add tryptophan. These essential amino acids evolve into serotonin within the body, improving your mood and mental health.
Best EAAs Benefits
The body utilizes essential amino acids to complete a variety of functions. Essential amino acids help to form proteins, which assist in developing muscles and increases your metabolism to burn fat. The body doesn’t store critical amino acids, so it’s crucial to add amino acids supplements to your diet every day. The benefits of adding amino acids supplements include:
- Reducing fatigue
- Promoting fat reduction
- Increasing brain function
- Decreasing inflammation
- Accelerating muscle growth
- Increasing endurance
- Promoting muscle and tissue repair
EAA vs. BCAA
If you have any experience with amino acids supplements, you’ve probably heard people compare essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids, also known as BCAAs. Branched-chain amino acids assist the body in multiple ways, particularly in growing your muscles. BCAAs are said to increase the amount of nitrogen in your muscles, which can help you build lean muscle tissue and sustain levels of muscle glycogen. Elevating the levels of nitrogen and muscle glycogen allows your body to produce more energy, which helps you increase your reps and push yourself harder than you thought possible.
Here is where there seems to be some confusion between BCAAs and EAAs: all BCAAs are EAAs, but not all EAAs are BCAAs. Don’t worry, though; it sounds more confusing than it is. Leucine, valine, and isoleucine have a branched chemical structure and are known as branched-chain amino acids. These three amino acids are also essential amino acids, which is where the overlap and confusion tend to occur.
Athletes and weightlifters are fans of BCAAs because of their quick availability in the body. BCAAs are metabolized in the muscles rather than in the liver, which helps them provide faster energy for your body to use during exercise. Studies have also linked BCAAs to a decrease in fatigue, improved glycogen storage, and increased muscle mass.
How EAAs Decrease Inflammation
Most of the anti-inflammatory properties of essential amino acids come from the three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Adding BCAAs to your diet through amino acids supplements can help decrease the inflammation in your joints and muscles to increase the length of your workouts as well as prevent harmful damage. However, adding amino acids supplements is beneficial for more than just workout buffs. BCAAs also help protect against liver conditions and arthritis.
Reducing Fat with the Best EAAs
Research shows that adding amino acids supplements not only reduces your weight and body fat as a whole but, in particular, in the abdominal area. The abdomen is where your vital organs are, and higher levels of fat also increase your risk of inflammation and make your organs work harder to function correctly, which can cause several chronic diseases.
Making Muscle Gains with the Best EAAs
As anyone who has ever done any heavy lifting knows, working out can damage your muscles as they grow stronger. This damage usually is minimal, and your body repairs your muscles within a few days. However, if you work out harder than is typical for a human body, or if your body does not have enough fuel to increase its energy, your body may break down and use its muscle fibers instead. By adding amino acids supplements, your body can help prevent damage to your muscles by utilizing the best EAAs for protein synthesis.
How Essential Amino Acids Help With Brain Function
Although tryptophan helps make you happy, it also transitions to serotonin, a neurotransmitter than can slow down your response time. If you have enough BCAAs in your system, it can block your body from creating additional tryptophan.
Fight Fatigue with the Best EAAs
Everything we do takes energy. Whether you’re going about your day at work or crushing a new workout in the gym, your body needs enough energy to function. When your body uses up its supply of glycogen, you feel sleepy and unable to perform. Research shows that when you add amino acids supplements to your diet, they help you store glycogen more efficiently and use it more slowly, which increases your endurance and energy throughout the day.
How the Best EAAs Boost Muscle Growth
Muscle growth is one of the main reasons that people utilize amino acids supplements. In addition to the other powerful benefits, essential amino acids and BCAAs help stimulate your body to synthesize proteins after your workouts as well. Your muscles need the energy to grow, and having enough energy to grow during and after your exercises can help maximize the changes you see in your body. Plus, studies also show that adding amino acids supplements can boost muscle growth in all areas of your body — not just the areas that you’re working out! If lean muscle is your goal, adding essential amino acids can help your body burn body fat without adding additional calories. Whereas regular intermittent fasting routines may cause your body to burn muscle to sustain itself, combining the best EAAs supplement your body’s energy needs without causing weight gain from empty calories.
Can EAAs Speed Up Healing?
Protein is a significant part of nearly every process in your body and helps muscle, tissue, hair, nails, and other cells grow. Protein also plays a role in the repair and recovery of your body. Whether you need a boost to help your body recover from intense daily workouts or you suffered an injury that requires surgery and rehabilitation, adding essential amino acids supplements can significantly reduce your recovery time.
The Best Essential Amino Acids
As with any supplements, it’s essential to know which amino acids supplements you’re getting from your diet and which ones you need to add. It is also key to find products made by companies that you trust. Before you purchase a product, read the ingredient list, and ensure that there are no issues with any of the other medications or supplements you’re currently using.
If you’re ready to take your nutrient supplements to the next level, we’ve got you covered. There are several amino acids supplements available on the Supplement Superstore website that are not only effective, but that taste great as well.
- Amino IQ by Beyond Yourself is a great-tasting, brain-boosting supplement that makes it the perfect choice for physical and mental performance. Each 40-ounce container comes in seven flavours: watermelon candy, tangerine jellybean, banana ice pops, tangy peach ringz, cotton candy gumball, red, white & boom, and green gummy frogs.
- A:Cuts by Allmax is easy to mix, loaded with amino acids supplements, and contains a jolt of natural-source caffeine for an added boost. Each serving is only five calories and is sugar-free. Each container offers 36 servings and comes in nine flavours: blue raspberry, goji berry martini, watermelon, grape escape, arctic orange, pink lemonade, pina colada, cotton candy, and sweet tea.
At Supplement Superstore, we want to help you find the best EAAs and amino acids supplements for your goals. Visit our website today and shop our collection of the best EAAs and other supplements for your daily life!