What are Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)?
Understanding the significance of EAAs is pivotal for optimising your fitness journey. Essential Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein that the body cannot produce on its own. Thus, it becomes imperative to obtain them through a balanced diet or supplements. The proper functioning of our body necessitates 20 distinct amino acids, with nine of them being deemed essential. This classification arises from the fact that our body cannot independently synthesise these nine amino acids, requiring external intake through diet or supplements. Excellent sources of these essential amino acids include protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, soybeans, and quinoa.
Essential Amino Acids
Histidine: Possessing potent antioxidant and pH-buffering capabilities, histidine is crucial for lowering insulin resistance and reducing fat mass. Additionally, the body utilises histidine to synthesise histamine.
Isoleucine: As one of the essential branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), isoleucine is vital for cell growth, immunity, and the metabolism of proteins, fatty acids, and glucose.
Leucine: Widely favoured by athletes and bodybuilders for enhancing muscle growth, leucine is also beneficial in conditions such as ageing, energy deprivation, obesity, and diabetes mellitus.
Lysine: This amino acid supports fat burning by contributing to the synthesis of carnitine, which transports fat cells for energy. It also aids in collagen synthesis, calcium absorption, and anxiety relief.
Methionine: Playing a crucial role in the metabolism of nutrients, DNA, and the synthesis of the amino acid cysteine, methionine is essential for overall health.
Phenylalanine: Necessary for synthesising critical neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, phenylalanine is vital for maintaining a healthy brain function.
Threonine: Contributing to digestion, metabolism, and muscle building, threonine also prevents fat accumulation in the liver while promoting the health of skin, teeth, and muscles.
Tryptophan: Utilised by the body to synthesise serotonin, tryptophan is essential for quality sleep, emotional well-being, and reducing the risk of depression and anxiety.
Valine: Playing a significant role in stress management, muscle protein synthesis, and the regulation of nitrogen levels and the immune system, valine is essential for overall body health.
How to choose the right essential amino acids for you?
Selecting the appropriate essential amino acid supplement can be challenging. Here are some guidelines to assist you:
Identify Your Fitness Goals: If your aim is muscle building, prioritise essential amino acids crucial for muscle synthesis. Check the recommended serving size and EAA content per serving to ensure the supplement aligns with your specific needs.
Choose a Reputable Brand: Opt for a well-established brand that uses certified ingredients and adheres to manufacturing protocols set by regulatory bodies like FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India).
Consider Form and Preference: Essential amino acid supplements come in various forms, including capsules, powders, or liquids. Select the form that best suits your personal preferences and ease of consumption.
Check for Additives: Avoid products that contain added sugar, artificial preservatives, colours, and fillers. Prioritise supplements with minimal additives to ensure you are getting a clean and effective product.
Essential amino acids: Benefits & Uses
Essential amino acids play a crucial role in various bodily functions and are essential for proper growth and development. Here are some health benefits associated with the consumption of essential amino acids:
Muscle Protein Synthesis: Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential for stimulating new muscle growth, enhancing skeletal muscle strength, and repairing damaged muscles. Essential amino acids contribute significantly to the anabolic response during post-workout muscle recovery.
Regulation of Metabolism: Adequate intake of essential amino acids is vital for maintaining a healthy metabolism and energy balance. Studies indicate that essential amino acids are directed toward oxidation during periods of starvation to generate energy.
Support for Healthy Immune Function: Essential amino acids play a role in promoting smooth immune functioning by suppressing inflammation. Additionally, they are necessary for the proliferation of immune cells.
Boosting Brain Health: Essential amino acids serve as neurotransmitters, regulating various physiological processes in the central nervous system, including learning and memory.
Mood Enhancement: Essential amino acids act as precursors for synthesising neurotransmitters that combat depression and contribute to an elevated mood.
Which is the best essential amino acid supplement?
HealthFarm EAA Essential Aminos stands out as the top EAA supplement in India, providing a superior quality of essential amino acids in every 10-gram serving. Notably, this product is enriched with electrolytes to restore lost minerals from sweating, promoting effective rehydration. Free from added sugar, harmful additives, or banned substances, HealthFarm EAA Essential Aminos boasts delicious flavours, and is suitable for use by individuals across the board.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
Q: What distinguishes essential amino acids from non-essential amino acids?
A: Essential amino acids are termed "essential" because the body cannot produce them independently. They must be obtained through diet or supplements. Examples include leucine, lysine, and methionine. Non-essential amino acids, on the other hand, can be synthesised by the body or acquired from other sources, such as cysteine and glutamic acid.
Q: Which is preferable: EAA or BCAA?
A: Both Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) and Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) offer benefits. The choice should align with your physical needs and fitness goals. EAAs provide a comprehensive range of amino acids, including BCAAs, making them suitable for individuals engaging in intense workouts.
Q: Who can benefit from essential amino acid supplements?
A: Essential amino acid supplements are beneficial for a diverse range of individuals, including athletes, bodybuilders, endurance athletes, fitness enthusiasts, those with low protein intake, vegans, vegetarians, and older adults, aiming to meet their daily essential amino acid requirements.
Q: How do essential amino acid supplements differ from protein supplements?
A: Essential amino acid supplements focus on delivering the nine essential amino acids, whereas protein supplements provide a complete spectrum of both essential and non-essential amino acids. EAA supplements are often chosen to support specific goals like muscle building, fatigue delay, or faster recovery, while protein supplements contribute to overall protein intake.
Q: Are EAA better than BCAA?
A: Both EAA (Essential Amino Acids) and BCAA (Branched-chain Amino Acids) are popular protein supplements to make protein in the body. EAA powder helps in the process of protein synthesis that is relevant to making protein, removing fat from muscles, and building new muscles. BCAA (Branched-chain Amino Acids) are amino acids consisting of valine, leucine, and isoleucine that assist in protein breakdown and supply efficient energy to body cells.
Q: When should I drink EAAs?
A: Consume HEALTHFARM EAA (Essential Amino Acids) after a workout to get instant recovery, eliminate fatigue, and build muscle mass. Take it as a pre-work supplement to feel energetic throughout the day.