WHAT ARE EAAS?

WHAT ARE EAAS?

Nothing is more important than ensuring optimal recovery for quality results and function when it comes to exercise and specific body composition goals. No one wants their hard work to go to waste, right? And waking up with sore muscles day in and day out isn't ideal, especially if you have some serious body goals to achieve... This is where EAAs (Essential Amino Acids) come in!

What are Amino Acids?

As the building blocks of protein, Amino Acids combine to form proteins imperative for ensuring muscle tissue repair, growth, and healthy function. When the body has digested and broken down protein, amino acids are what is left.

Whether you are exercising intensely or not, our bodies are constantly breaking down and rebuilding muscle tissue. It's what they do! So, to support continuous muscle growth and strength, quality nutrition is vital. EAAs, in particular, are the most crucial amino acids for maintaining healthy muscle tissue.

What are Essential Amino Acids?

In total, 20 amino acids make up protein within our body; however, of those 20, there are nine that the body cannot make on its own. These nine aminos are called Essential Amino Acids, and it's essential we get them from food as they all contribute to muscle building, repair, endurance, recovery, immune function, and more. If you’re someone who struggles to meet your daily protein needs, supplementing with an EAA product might be just what your body needs to feel and function its best, in and out of the gym. Check out the 9 Essential Amino Acids below and what they do:

ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID

PURPOSE WITHIN THE BODY

Histidine

May contribute to nerve protection and immune function.

Isoleucine

May contribute to muscle metabolism and immune function.

Leucine

May contribute to protein synthesis, blood sugar control, and muscle repair.

Lysine

May contribute to calcium absorption, collagen and protein production, and immune function.

Methionine

May contribute to energy metabolism from food and growth.

Phenylalanine

May contribute to enzyme and neurotransmitter function.

Threonine

May contribute to structural tissue, immune function, and fat metabolism.

Tryptophan

May contribute to the regulation of sleep, mood, and appetite by the production of serotonin and melatonin.

Valine

May contribute to the stimulation of muscle growth and energy from carbohydrates.

Benefits of EAAs

As you can see, Essential Amino Acids play various vital roles in the healthy functioning and maintenance of the human body. While we can get EAAs via food, there have also been multiple health benefits linked to the additional supplementation of EAAs. In further detail below, check out two key EAA benefits: 

1. EAAs may improve body composition

The body is likely to burn more body fat than muscle when adequate EAAs are available for muscle protein synthesis. Without EAAs, your body will metabolise the hard-earned muscle you've spent hours in the gym trying to build, so ensuring you have enough EAA's available to combat the breakdown of muscle will be crucial for your body composition goals. Commonly, when trying to drop body fat and increase muscle mass, most people are advised to consume more protein to support their goals. Similarly, EAAs hold the same potential and keep the body in an anti-catabolic state to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass while supporting more efficient muscle recovery.

Pre and post-workout nutrition are vital when striving toward specific body composition goals. Supplementing with EAAs may minimise delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs) and the reduction of fatigue, allowing your body to recover faster and more efficiently. EAA's may lessen those dreaded post-workout sore muscle symptoms when taken within 30-90 minutes after you've completed your workout.

2. EAAs may lead to improved sleep and mood

Low serotonin levels may lead to low moods and depression, as continued nights of little to no sleep. Poor sleep can hinder your body composition goals as quality sleep is essential for optimal body recovery. If your body isn’t well-rested, you also put yourself at risk of sustaining an injury and weakening your immune system, which will only hinder your health and wellness goals. EAAs include the essential amino, Tryptophan, which is the precursor for neurotransmitters Serotonin and Melatonin. Adequate EAAs help regulate these neurotransmitters in the body, which can significantly alter mood and sleep.

Serotonin is a hormone that impacts the entire body as it's responsible for feelings of wellness and happiness and enables nervous system cells and brain cells to communicate efficiently. It's the 'feel-good' hormone that also aids with appetite, digestion, and sleep.

Melatonin is also a hormone found naturally in the body that's main job is to regulate the sleep and wake cycle within the body. Light increases melatonin levels, whereas darkness decreases melatonin levels, signaling the body that it's time for rest. When this hormone is out of whack, your quality and length of sleep are significantly affected, resulting in various mood, appetite, recovery, and energy disturbances.

What foods contain EAAs?

As mentioned earlier, the nine Essential Amino Acids aren’t naturally occurring within the body, so we need to source them through food or via supplementation to give our bodies the best shot at functioning optimally. Check out the list of EAA-rich foods below: 

  • Lean Meat - Hit your daily protein intake without overdoing it on fats, with lean meat. High in essential amino acids, you'll find lean meat like turkey and chicken breast will support your EAA intake and tick other key nutrient boxes.
  • Fish - Generally easy to prepare and high in heart-healthy fatty acid, Omega 3s. High protein fish like salmon is an easy and tasty way to meet your macronutrient needs while getting in those muscle-loving EAAs. 
  • Quinoa - High in fibre, magnesium, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, and so much more, super grain quinoa is one of the only high-protein plant foods containing all nine essential aminos.
  • Dairy - Low-fat cheeses and yoghurts are generally reasonably high in protein and a versatile way to consume more EAAs and other essential vitamins throughout the day.
  • Eggs - A no-brainer! Eggs contain total proteins on their own, with one egg containing all nine essential amino acids and other vital minerals and vitamins. Quick, easy, and tasty, eggs are a simple way to support those daily nutrient goals!

There's no denying the significant impacts Essential Amino Acids can not only have on your performance and recovery but your overall health as well. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to sneak into your diet no matter your preferred way of eating!

For more information on supplementing with EAAs to support your health and training goals, reach out to our friendly online team or pop into your local ASN store. Whether you prefer vegan options, capsules, or powders, we will have something suitable for you!

Our Top EAA Picks:

Evolve Damage Control

  • Contains world-class 99% pure Ajinomoto Aminos, backed by 100 years’ worth of scientific research
  • Instantly delivers amino acids to the muscles 
  • May increase muscle protein synthesis
  • May accelerate recovery 

Click here to find out more. 

RCN Nutrition Amino Corps

  • Full-spectrum Essential Amino Acids
  • Electrolytes & Minerals
  • Cortisol Control
  • Enhanced Absorption
  • Advanced recovery and workout performance formula

Click here to find out more. 

Switch Nutrition Amino Switch

  • May support muscle recovery and support workout performance 
  • Keto-friendly and vegan-friendly
  • Perfect ratios for Net Nitrogen Utilisation (NNU)
  • Gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free and dairy-free

Click here to find out more.

There's no denying the significant impacts Essential Amino Acids can not only have on your performance and recovery but your overall health as well. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to sneak into your diet no matter your preferred way of eating!

For more information on supplementing with EAAs to support your health and training goals, reach out to our friendly online team or pop into your local ASN store. Whether you prefer vegan options, capsules, or powders, we will have something suitable for you!

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