Get to know essential amino acids better!

31-05-2021

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The word essential derives from Latin, meaning substantive or indispensable. Those nutrients that are indispensable to the body are called essential, but it can’t produce them or only in an insufficient amount. That is why we need to have them provided from an external source, by nutrition or dietary supplements.

Apart from vitamins and minerals, we basically know two groups of essential nutrients; essential fatty acids and essential amino acids.

This time, in this article, we examine essential amino acids.

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are components of proteins. We know of more than 150 amino acids, but in the living body there are only 20 proteinogenic ("protein-building") amino acids. Even though all 20 of them are necessary for our health and optimal functioning, only 9 of them are considered essential.[1]

These are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.

The role the nine amino acids play in our body is quite varied and diverse. Let’s have a closer look:

  1. Phenylalanine: It is the precursor of tyrosine, dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. It has a special role in the structure and functionality of proteins and enzymes, as well as in the synthesis of other amino acids.
  2. Valine: One of the BCAA amino acids, it stimulates muscle growth, supports recovery and takes part in energy production.
  3. Threonine: A main component of structural protein such as collagen and elastin, it has a role in fat metabolism and immune function.
  4. Tryptophan: In most cases it is only used to help with sleeping problems, but it has a wider range of effect. It is necessary for the right nitrogen balance and, it has a key role in melatonin and serotonin production, which are commonly known for controlling our mood and the body’s reaction to stress.
  5. Methionine: It has a special role in our metabolism and detoxication. It is required for cell growth and the absorption of zinc and selenium.
  6. Leucine: Similar to valine, leucine is also a branched-chain amino acid, which is essential for protein synthesis and recovery. It helps in the regulation of blood sugar and wound healing.
  7. Isoleucine: The last of the three branched-chain amino acids. It assists with protein metabolism and can be found in great quantities in muscle tissue. It is also very much needed for the immune function, haemoglobin production and the regulation of the body’s energy.
  8. Lysine: It helps with protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production, and the absorption of calcium. It is also important for the production of energy and the immune function, as well as the production of collagen.
  9. Histidine: It is the precursor of histamine and carnosine. Histamine has a key role in immune response, the metabolism, sexual activity and the sleep-wake cycle.

As we can see, essential amino acids are crucial for several processes of vital importance. Lacking them does not only negatively affect sporting performance and recovery, but practically the entire body. Including the nervous, reproductive and immune systems, as well as digestion.

Where can we find essential amino acids first of all?

Food of animal origin is considered the main source of essential amino acids since, in most cases, plant-based foods do not contain any of them or do so in insufficient quantities and proportions.

Thanks to scientific progress, essential amino acids can be provided to our bodies from dietary supplements. It is especially good news for those trying to avoid consuming food of animal origin foods and/or would like support in achieving their sporting objectives.

According to studies, taking essential amino acids (EAA) in concentrated dosages can provide athletes with great advantages. Among these are increased recovery[2], greater performance[3] and the preservation of muscle mass[4].

Of our product portfolio, EAA + Glutamine is the one containing all 9 essential building elements. We have added glutamine, as an extra, to have a large-scale effect. Our formula does not contain any sugar but still has a fresh taste. It can be incorporated perfectly into a strict nutrition programme aimed at losing fat. Vegans can also consume it, since it does not contain anything of animal origin.

EAA + Glutamine

  • Provides essential amino acids (EAAs)
  • 4250 mg EAAs (including BCAAs)
  • With extra 2000mg L-glutamine
  • Zero sugar content
  • Vegan (with fermented amino acids)

EAA + Glutamine, similar to other amino acid products, absorbs extremely rapidly, since it doesn’t really need to be digested. It’s therefore exceptionally suitable for use around workouts. After consuming it, it takes only minutes for it to be where you need it most, in your muscle fibre.

Boost your workouts with any of the four exotic tastes.

Sources:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4897092/

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28870476/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28177706/

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26733764/