Effects of essential amino acid supplementation on exercise and performance

By International Society of Sports Nutrition

The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) has recently provided valuable insights into the role of essential amino acids (EAAs) in enhancing muscle maintenance and sports performance. This organization, renowned for its evidence-based approach to sports nutrition, embarked on a study to demystify the benefits and effectiveness of EAAs in athletic and health-focused contexts.

EAAs are a group of amino acids crucial for various bodily functions, including muscle protein synthesis, which cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. The ISSN's study aimed to explore how these amino acids impact muscle growth, recovery, and overall performance when included as part of an athlete's nutrition regimen.

The Findings

The findings reveal that EAAs, especially when consumed in free-form, play a significant role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, promoting muscle health, and enhancing athletic performance. Notably, the study highlights the importance of specific dosages for achieving optimal results and points out leucine's pivotal role in supporting muscle health, particularly among aging populations.

This research underscores the importance of EAAs in supporting muscle maintenance during caloric deficits, maintaining anabolic sensitivity, and aiding in the recovery process post-exercise. By providing a scientific foundation for EAA supplementation, the ISSN aims to guide athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and practitioners in making informed decisions about incorporating EAAs into their dietary plans.

For anyone looking to improve their athletic performance, recovery times, and muscle health, the ISSN's findings offer compelling evidence of the benefits of EAA supplementation. This research not only highlights the critical role EAAs play in sports nutrition but also reinforces the importance of precise dosages and formulations for maximizing their effectiveness.

In conclusion, the ISSN's study on EAAs presents a significant advancement in our understanding of sports nutrition, offering a scientifically backed rationale for the inclusion of essential amino acids in the dietary regimen of athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.

In Comparison to Whey Protien

In comparing EAAs to whey protein, a staple in sports nutrition, the ISSN findings suggest that EAAs offer quicker absorption and more immediate benefits for muscle repair and growth. This rapid action makes EAAs an invaluable resource for athletes seeking efficient recovery and performance enhancement.

The ISSN's study underscores the versatility of EAAs in supporting muscle maintenance during caloric deficits and maintaining anabolic sensitivity, providing a solid scientific foundation for their supplementation. This research not only emphasizes the critical role of EAAs in sports nutrition but also highlights their advantages over traditional whey protein in terms of absorption and effectiveness.

This comprehensive analysis offers a new perspective on dietary supplementation, encouraging athletes and fitness enthusiasts to incorporate EAAs into their regimen for improved performance and recovery. The ISSN's work presents a significant advancement in sports nutrition, advocating for the strategic use of EAAs for anyone looking to enhance their athletic capabilities and muscle health.

Final summary and conclusions

The following 15 points constitute the Position Statement of the Society. They have been approved by the Research Council of the Society:

1. Free-form EAA supplementation (not derived from exogenous intact protein) is a robust stimulator of muscle protein synthesis and turnover.

2. EAAs stimulate muscle protein synthesis more than an isonitrogenous protein isolate.

3. EAA ingestion produces a rapid rise in peripheral concentrations and inward transport of amino acids into skeletal muscle.

4. EAA stimulation of muscle protein synthesis can occur with multiple dosages and does not interfere with meal effects.

5. Individual or groups of EAAs may initiate the stimulatory process; however, significant and sustained stimulation occurs when all EAAs are consumed.

6. EAA stimulation of protein synthesis at rest occurs in dosages ranging from 1.5 g to 18 g.

7. A greater percentage of leucine (%/g) contained in ingested compositions of EAAs is required to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis populations (aging, clinical pathologies) that demonstrate anabolic resistance.

8. In anabolic resistant populations, longitudinal EAA supplementation improves functional outcomes.

9. The effects of EAAs and exercise are interactive, such that the combined effects are magnified. This interaction is due to a greater delivery of EAAs to exercising muscle by increased blood flow and higher blood EAA concentrations.

10. Anabolic responses are consistently reported with combinations of EAA ingestion with either resistance or aerobic exercise. This effect is preserved with aging.

11. Free form EAA supplementation is well within the safe upper limit of habitual daily consumption.

12. EAA supplementation is efficacious in the vast majority of clinical studies and conditions.

13. Numerous longitudinal studies involving EAA supplementation in aging populations consistently report favorable improvements in metabolic as well as functional outcomes.

14. More research is needed to examine the potential impact of EAA administration in athletic populations that are intentionally or unintentionally undergoing energy deprivation on changes in muscle protein metabolism and associated performance and body composition changes.

15. More research is needed to examine the role of EAA administration to athletic populations that go through unexpected and sudden periods of inactivity likely secondary to acute injuries and rehabilitation periods that routinely follow surgical interventions.

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Leucine - 2000mg

Known as the "main" essential amino acid, Leucine plays a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis and recovery. It is also known to help regulate blood sugar levels and promote wound healing.

Lysine - 850mg

Lysine is important for the production of collagen and is essential for the growth and repair of muscles, bones and skin.

Isoleucine - 550mg

Isoleucine helps in the repair and growth of muscle tissue, and is also involved in the regulation of blood sugar and energy levels. It is essential for endurance athletes and those recovering from injury or surgery.

Valine - 550mg

Valine helps to repair and grow muscle tissue, and is also involved in the regulation of energy levels and the immune system

Threonine - 450mg

Threonine is essential for the production of collagen, elastin and tooth enamel, and is involved in the metabolism of fat and the immune system.

Phenylalanine 350mg

Phenylalanine is essential for the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, and is also involved in the regulation of appetite and mood.

Methionine - 150mg

Methionine is an important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and is essential for the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Histidine - 100mg

Histidine is essential for the production of histamine, a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of the immune system, inflammation and the digestive system.

Tryptophan - 50mg

Tryptophan is essential for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite and sleep.

Natural Flavouring

Citric Acid, Stevia & Erythritol ( Mixed Berry Flavour: Red Beetroot Juice Powder) (Naartjie Flavour: Beta-carotene)