Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and may play an important role in our overall health and well-being. Essential amino acids (EAAs) are a specific group of amino acids the body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained through diet or supplementation.
The 9 essential amino acids
EAAs are made up of nine essential amino acids, including leucine, lysine, isoleucine, valine, threonine, phenylalanine, methionine, histidine, and cysteine. These amino acids are essential for a number of functions in the body, including building and repairing muscle tissue, supporting immune function, and producing hormones and neurotransmitters.*
Leucine, for example, may be an important EAA to support muscle growth and repair*, while lysine might play a function in collagen synthesis and support immune function.* Isoleucine and valine are BCAAs, which may also play a role in muscle growth and recovery.*
Threonine is involved in the production of collagen and elastin, while phenylalanine is used to help produce certain neurotransmitters that might regulate mood and behavior.*
Production of EEAs
It is important to note that the body cannot produce EAAs on its own, which is why it is crucial to obtain them through diet or supplementation. Athletes often consume certain types of amino acids as part of their diet.
Foods that are high in protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs, are good sources of EAAs. Vegetarian and vegan diets may be lower in some EAAs, so it is important for individuals following these diets to be mindful of their EAA intake and consider EAA supplementation.
EAAs can also be obtained through supplementation, such as in the form of EAA powders or capsules.
In conclusion, essential amino acids may play an important role in our overall health and well-being, as they are involved in a number of important functions in the body. Obtaining adequate amounts of EAAs through diet or supplementation might be appropriate for supporting health and wellness.*
As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need an EAA and/or amino acids supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.