EAAs 101: Why All Nine Essential Amino Acids Are Important
Amino acids… they’re nothing new, right? In fact, you’ve probably been using them for years now. The only problem is, most people only put their focus on three which are the BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids). BCAAs are made up of leucine, isoleucine, and valine and while BCAAs definitely serve a purpose, if you want the best bang for your buck, you’re going to want to put your focus on all nine of the EAAs (essential amino acids). EAAs are made up of all three BCAAs with the addition of histidine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, and tryptophan.
EAAs are deemed "essential" because our body is not able to make them on its own. Therefore, we must get them through our daily nutrition or quality supplements. If you're looking to add some additional EAAs through your nutrition, you'll want to put your focus on complete protein sources such as meat, eggs, seafood, poultry, and dairy. If you are a vegan or vegetarian and choose not to consume those particular foods, you can find plant-based complete proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids by consuming things like chia seeds, soy, and quinoa.
What’s the Big Deal Surrounding Amino Acids?
Those who exercise should understand that through the act of resistance training, muscle fibers are torn and suffer micro-tears. While the pain you feel through the breakdown of muscle fibers is nowhere near what it would be to completely tear a muscle, as you would imagine, those tears still need to be repaired. It’s through repairing and rebuilding those muscle fibers that hypertrophy (muscle growth) takes place.
Amino acids are the main reason you can effectively repair and rebuild torn muscle fibers. When you consume a complete protein source, that food is digested and broken down into usable forms. In this case, amino acids. Those amino acids are then absorbed and shuttled out to the muscles to help them recover properly.
Without proper recovery by utilizing protein and amino acids, you run the risk of not allowing your muscles the ability to grow and recover before hitting the gym again.
Why Should You Choose EAAs over BCAAs?
Again, this isn’t a slap in the face of BCAAs, but including all nine essential amino acids is important for proper lean muscle growth. When looking at some research, the findings are quite fascinating.
In one study, it was found that EAAs have a much greater anabolic response when compared to supplementing with BCAAs alone. Another study looked at the differences between using BCAAs and using all nine EAAs and found that essential amino acids have an improved mTORC1 signaling capability which can lead to great gains in lean muscle tissue.
If you were looking at a chart that ranks various products from bad, to good, to the best, the amino acid chart would look at follows…
No Amino Acids (BAD) > BCAAs (GOOD) > EAAs (BEST)
Without a doubt, BCAAs play a vital role and can aid in helping you achieve your fitness and muscle-building goals, but the other six also have an intricate role in not only aiding in muscle recovery but also the formation of important hormones, improving the immune system, reducing inflammation, aiding with blood clot formation, enhancing energy levels, regulating blood sugar, along with many other important processes.
It only makes sense to switch from branched-chain amino acids over to essential amino acids so you can achieve the full gamut of benefits.
If You’re Going to Use Essential Amino Acids, Maximize Your Supplementation
One of the best times to use essential amino acids is during your workout as an intra-workout supplement. EAAs have the ability to help keep you energized, allow your muscles to recover faster between sets, as well as kickstart the process of repairing torn down muscle fibers post-workout.
The one area most people neglect during their training is staying hydrated and ensuring they’re replenishing all of the nutrients and electrolytes they’ve lost through sweat. GAT Sport has you covered with FLEXX EAAs + Hydration.
This all-in-one formula combines a high-quality full FLEXX EAA matrix made up of all nine essential amino acids and BCAAs in the clinically preferred 2:1:1 ratio. In addition, FLEXX EAAs + Hydration contains a hydro-adaptogen performance matrix made up of beneficial coconut water powder and patented Sensoril® (Ashwagandha) to help keep fluid in your cells, replenish electrolytes, and aid in preventing dehydration. Best of all, FLEXX EAAs + Hydration contains zero sugar and virtually no carbohydrates.
If you’re looking to add EAAs into your supplement regimen, look no further than the complete formula found in GAT Sport FLEXX EAAs + Hydration. Taste the gains and maintain your performance!