What Do EAAs Do?

Essential Amino Acids are part of the building blocks of protein, and are the pillars for compounds like neurotransmitters and hormones. These proteins are involved in delivering oxygen to your muscles, repairing tissue damage during intense physical activity and building up muscles to increase strength and stamina. 

If you’re an individual looking to speed up recovery so that you can work out harder in shorter periods of time, an Essential Amino Acid supplement like Naked EAAS can certainly help get you there. 

What do Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) Do?

Out of the twenty, there are nine that are considered essential amino acids. 

  • Histidine. It’s involved in maintaining the structural integrity of the myelin sheath around your nerve endings which sends electrical impulses effectively and quickly. Histamine is a neurotransmitter involved in the inflammatory response helping your body get rid of something that’s bothering you.

  • Isoleucine. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are heavily involved in supporting the immune system’s initial response to an attack. It is also involved in the growth of muscles during exercise.

  • Leucine. This is one of the three branched-chain amino acids that can help restore tissue. This explains why research shows that it helps with muscle repair.

  • Lysine. Collagen, a protein that is the structural component of our skin, is made up of Lysine. This amino acid also helps in stimulating the formation of creatine which is involved in the formation of lean muscle tissue.

  • Methionine. This amino acid plays a role in regulating metabolism and acts as an antioxidant neutralizing harmful cells. LIke Isoleucine, it’s involved in supporting your immune system in an attack by aiding in the absorption of zinc and selenium.

  • Phenylalanine. The body needs neurotransmitters to send signals throughout the body. Specifically it creates norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, and tyrosine which are involved in that “good feeling” after a great workout. This amino acid also has the unique ability to be the foundation in synthesizing other proteins by the body.

  • Threonine. Your skin, bones, digestive tract, tendons and blood vessels need Threonine to produce collagen and elastin. The two together provide structure, strength and flexibility to the area’s requiring movement.   

  • Tryptophan. Often associated with your Thanksgiving turkey, it’s the forerunner to creating melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin helps to regulate your sleep cycle and serotonin has been associated with regulating appetite, mood and pain.

  • Valine. The third one of the branched chain amino acids has a stimulant property encouraging muscle growth and tissue repair.

    Who Can Benefit From an EAAs supplement?

    In general, those who are endurance athletes do require increased protein needs in the amount of 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. Strength training athletes also have increased needs and require about 1.4 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. 

    Research has shown that those who took an amino acid supplement had improved recovery and decreased muscle soreness. It also helped to improve muscle growth in strength athletes.  

    Another population that may benefit from supplementation includes elderly seniors who suffer from sarcopenia, a condition with progressive muscle loss and weakness. There is limited research available on supplementation for this population but a systematic review suggested that protein and EAA supplementation may improve fat-free mass, muscle strength, and physical function.

    Why are They Called Essential?

    They are called essential because they can’t be produced by the body and must be added to the diet in order to reach optimal protein levels. 

    Some of the most common sources include beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, soy, and quinoa. These are considered complete proteins because they contain all the essential amino acids. 

    Are There Non-Essential Amino Acids?

    The non-essential amino acids are proteins that can be excluded from the diet. 

    This means the body is able to make other substrates. These are considered incomplete proteins and are derived mostly from plant sources.

    Don't We Get Enough EAAs From Food?

    Those that typically struggle to meet their protein needs are those who are vegetarian or vegan. This is why supplementation and food pairing is essential to ensure you’re getting all the protein you need. 

    If you are following a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle use these food combinations to ensure you are getting all the protein you need and supplement if necessary: 

    • Legume, beans + rice
    • Vegetables + nuts, seeds, or grains

    When to Take EAAs for Best Results?

    There is no specific recommendation as to when to take your EAAs. 

    However, it’s suggested that the BCAAs may be optimal to take 15 minutes before or during your workout due to it being absorbed faster.

    It takes about 30 minutes for the BCAA to enter the bloodstream but research has yet to define an optimal time. 

    Research does state however that improved strength and reduced muscle soreness are a result of taking them 1-hour before their workout and immediately after their workout. 

    How are EAAs Different from BCAAs?

    When it comes to EAAs vs BCAAs, branched-chain amino acids include leucine, valine, and isoleucine and differ from the rest of the essential amino acids in that they do not have to go through the whole metabolism process. 

    What this means for the athlete is that they provide immediate fuel to the muscles working therefore enhancing performance. In periods where there isn’t enough energy [glucose], they can transform themselves into providing energy to get you through your workout.