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How Essential Amino Acids Work

Get the lowdown on this lesser-known, yet essential supp.

Man Drinking Workout Supplement
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The Question

 What are “essential amino acids,” and what can they do for me? 

The Answer

Essential amino acids (EAAs) are amino acids that cannot be produced in the body; they must be obtained from your diet. In fact, EAAs are the only dietary macronutrient that you must eat to survive. If you get enough EAAs from eating, either in the amino acid form or more commonly as a component of dietary protein, the rate of protein synthesis can match or even exceed the rate of protein breakdown. This is one of the reasons why I believe that, in the years to come, EAAs will become the most important nutritional supplement to affect human health and disease.

After decades of research and more than 20 human clinical trials, a finely calibrated, patented ratio of EAAs was devised by Robert R. Wolfe, Ph.D., of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The formula, which has recently been applied in the field of sports nutrition, has been shown to be three times superior to whey protein and 32 times more efficient at building lean muscle than BCAAs. (Learn more at reaalmuscle.com.) In the right combination, EAAs can provide unparalleled benefits in terms of muscle mass and strength. Most important, there are no adverse effects from EAAs. 

–Greg Grochoski, founding member of aminoauthority.com and chief science officer at Twinlab Corporation.

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