What are EAA?
EAA stands for essential amino acids and contains 9 amino acids the body needs. Meaning – it contains more than just the 3 in a BCAA: Leucine, Isoleucine and valine.
While there is come controversy over which product is better or if you should take either, most high level body builders take an EAA and find many benefits as shown below.
EAA’s allow for better absorption because they contain the full spectrum of amino acids similar to whey protein or a piece of meat.
The concept of taking EAA’s during your workouts makes sense. They provide a similar benefit as taking protein during your workout, however – your body doesn’t have to break it down like protein allowing you to still train without feeling heavy and full.
BCAA may be better for people who hit their protein goal efficiently, as their body will still have circulating essential amino acids from their food. EAA’s can benefit people who struggle to eat protein, are vegetarian and don’t get as high of amino acids in their diet, or who struggle to absorb protein.
What most people don’t realize is that they may be struggling to absorb protein and not realize it. Bloated, bleaching, burps, tired, and gassy, could all be signs of inability to absorb protein efficiently. This can be a result of an over worked liver, over use of antibiotics, or over use of products with chemicals or pesticides in it.
For fitness purposes:
- EAA’s prevent muscular breakdown during periods of intense physical and mental stress.
- EAA’s improve, enhance, and protect the mitochondria – our cells’ energy factories.
- EAA’s can curb hunger and improve metabolism.
Another benefit of taking EAA’s or BCAA’s is that it will help with other single amino acid absorptions. If you are wanting to improve gut health and soreness, taking 15g of glutamine at the same time you take a BCAA or EAA will increase its absorption rate as the other amino acids act as carriers.
Lots of people find a notable difference in recovery and muscular endurance while taking an EAA supplement. Try it yourself and see if you notice a difference!
This scholarly study showed a significant benefit in muscle recovery and reduction of lactic acid build up from taking an EAA supplement:
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At the end of the day, you don’t NEED BCAA’s or EAA’s to get gains in the gym. However, they CAN help with recovery, hunger, and muscular endurance.
**BCAA AREN’T JUST FOR FITNESS PEOPLE!**
One study conducted by Wolf evaluated the benefits of older adults taking an EAA supplement. Older adults are at risk of weak bones and tend to have trouble absorbing protein efficiently. Taking an EAA supplement can help to reduce muscle wasting which is crucial as we age.