What are Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)?
Our body requires 20 different amino acids to function properly, out of which nine are categorized as essential amino acids. This is because our body is not capable of synthesizing these nine amino acids on its own and therefore has to be taken externally via diet or supplements. Protein-rich foods like eggs, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, soybean, and quinoa are good sources of these essential amino acids.
Essential amino acids list :
Essential amino acids: Benefits & Uses
Essential amino acids are required to play several vital roles in body processes and for proper growth and development. Let's understand the health benefits of taking essential amino acids.
- Muscle Protein Synthesis: Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are vital to stimulate new muscle growth, add skeletal muscle strength and repair damaged muscles. EAAs have been shown to be crucial in enhancing the anabolic response during post-workout muscle recovery.
- Regulate Metabolism: Adequate intake of essential amino acids is vital to maintain a healthy metabolism and energy balance. Studies suggest that EAA metabolism is directed toward oxidation during starvation to generate energy.
- Support Healthy Immune Function: Essential amino acids help smooth immune functioning by suppressing inflammation. Additionally, EAAs are also needed for the proliferation of immune cells.
- Boost Brain Health: EAAs have been shown to function as neurotransmitters and regulate the development of various physiologic processes of the central nervous system, including learning and memory.
- Uplift Mood: Essential amino acids are precursors for synthesizing neurotransmitters that help fight depression and elevate mood.
- Promote a Healthy Heart: EAAs may help minimize heart disease risk by regulating lipid metabolism and preventing oxidative damage.
How do essential amino acids work?
Essential amino acids serve as building blocks for protein in the body. Each essential amino acid has a unique structure and function and works together to support various bodily processes. When we eat protein-rich food, our digestive system breaks it down into amino acids, including the essential ones. These amino acids are then transported to the cells, where they are utilized to synthesize new proteins and play other vital roles.
Essential amino acids: Types
There are nine essential amino acids. Let's understand what makes every amino acid so important for the body.
- Histidine: Histidine possesses powerful antioxidant and pH-buffering abilities. It can also help lower insulin resistance and fat mass in the body. Our body utilizes histidine to synthesize histamine in the body.
- Isoleucine: Isoleucine is one of the BCAAs and is significantly needed for cell growth, immunity, protein, fatty acid and glucose metabolism.
- Leucine: Athletes and bodybuilders primarily take leucine supplementation to enhance new muscle growth, but this anabolic amino acid benefits during other conditions such as ageing, energy deprivation, obesity, and diabetes mellitus.
- Lysine: This amino acid is beneficial for fat burning as our body utilizes it to synthesize carnitine which transports fat cells to derive energy. It has also been shown to improve collagen synthesis and calcium absorption and alleviate anxiety.
- Methionine: Methionine plays a vital role in the metabolism of certain nutrients and DNA and cysteine amino acid synthesis.
- Phenylalanine: We need this amino acid to synthesize certain critical neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine that are crucial for healthy brain functioning.
- Threonine: Threonine aids in digestion, metabolism, and muscle building. It also prevents fat accumulation in the liver and keeps our skin, teeth, and muscles healthy.
- Tryptophan: Tryptophan is utilized by our body to synthesize serotonin. Serotonin is vital for quality sleep, maintaining emotional well-being, and minimizing depression and anxiety risk.
- Valine: Valine plays a significant role in stress management, muscle protein synthesis, and regulating nitrogen levels and the immune system in the body.
How to choose the right essential amino acids for you?
Selecting the right essential amino acid supplement can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help.
- If the fitness goal is to build muscle, one may need additional essential amino acids involved in muscle synthesis. Check the recommended serving size and EAA content per serving to ensure the supplement provides the right amount of essential amino acids based on needs.
- Choose a reputable brand using certified ingredients, and follow FSSAI manufacturing protocols.
- Some essential amino acid supplements come in various forms, such as capsules, powders, or liquids. One can choose that best fits the personal preferences.
- Avoid products containing added sugar, artificial preservatives, colours, and fillers.
How to use essential amino acids?
One can take essential amino acid supplements with water or juice any time of the day, preferably pre- or during the workout. If you are stacking essential amino acids with other supplements, it is advisable to check the dosages to avoid overloading your body with nutrients.
Where to buy essential amino acids?
One can find everything at Nutrabay.com. Nutrabay offers top brands directly procured from the brand or official importers at a cost you would prefer to take advantage of. At Nutrabay, one can avail best amino acid supplement prices in India.
Which is the best essential amino acid supplement?
Nutrabay Pro Essential Amino Acid with Electrolytes is the best EAA supplement in India. It offers high-quality 7 grams of EAAs per 10 grams of serving. Additionally, the product is infused with electrolytes to replenish the lost minerals during sweating and rehydrate the body. Nutrabay Pro EAA does not contain added sugar, harmful additive or banned substance. It is vegan-friendly, comes in lip-smacking flavours, and is safe to use by anyone.
Are essential amino acids safe to use?
Absolutely, they are safe when taken as per the recommended dosage. People with medical conditions, on regular medications, and pregnant and lactating women are advised to take EAA supplements after a doctor's consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Essential and non-essential amino acids - what is the difference?
Essential amino acids are called "essential" because the body cannot produce them on its own, and they must be acquired from the diet or supplements. For example, leucine, lysine, methionine, etc. In contrast, the body can make non-essential amino acids or receive them from other sources. For example, cysteine, glutamic acid, proline, etc.
2. EAA vs BCAA - which is better?
Both BCAAs and EAAs are equally beneficial, and the choice should depend on the physical need and fitness goal. If you are into high-intensity strenuous workouts, you can consider EAAs, as they provide a full spectrum of amino acids, including BCAAs.
3. Who can take essential amino acid supplements?
Anyone aiming to fulfil daily essential amino acids needs, including athletes, bodybuilders, endurance athletes, fitness enthusiasts, people with low protein intake, vegans and vegetarians, and older adults.
4. What is the difference between essential amino acids and protein supplements?
Essential amino acid supplements contain only nine essential amino acids, while protein supplements contain all essential and non-essential amino acids. EAA supplements are generally used to support specific goals, such as muscle building, delay fatigue or speed up recovery, while protein supplements are used to meet overall protein intake.