The essential amino acids are those specific amino acids that you need to consume in your diet because your body doesn’t naturally make them. If you slept through your college chemistry class, remember that amino acids are the building blocks of protein. So for any given protein that you consume, whether it’s beef, chicken, eggs or beans, the amount of each specific amino acid differs. Most plant sources of protein for example do NOT have enough of the essential amino acids (EAA’s): that’s why they are incomplete proteins, and that’s why most athletes are carnivores. We love our meat because they are full of the EAA’s. VPX’s Power Shock™ contains the entire compliment of EAA’s. In fact, you’ll learn that Power Shock™ is great for the muscles, the brain and overall health.
On the other hand, the non-essential amino acids are made by your body; therefore, you don’t necessarily need to consume them in your diet. Though if you consume meat or milk-based proteins, then you will always get a mix of essential and non-essential amino acids.
So what are the EAA’s?
Of the 20 amino acids that are used to form proteins, 8 or 9 (depending on which ‘textbook’ you read) that are essential or indispensable; meaning that you need to consume them in your diet because your body does not normally make them. (See Table 1)________________________________________________________________________
Table 1 - Essential Amino Acids
a. Arginine – essential in infants
Note: A mnemonic device to remember the EAA’s is: PVT TIM HaLL (or Private Tim Hall). Arginine is needed for growth in children but isn’t essential in adults; thus, some call it ‘conditionally’ essential.
Helps muscle, health, and the mind
Not only do the EAA’s promote gains in muscle mass, but a recent study determined the effect of essential amino acids on depressive symptoms, nutrition, muscle function, daily physical activity, and health-related quality of life of institutionalized elderly patients. They took 41 patients (79.8 yrs) with heart disease (73%), femoral (thigh) fracture (34%) and were randomly assigned to receive oral essential amino acids 4 grams twice a day for 8 weeks or isocaloric placebo. Compared with the placebo group, EAA patients improved in several factors such as the quality of life. a lowering of depressive symptoms, and overall better muscle function.1
In one of the most important studies to date from deep in the heart of Texas, scientists compared the anabolic response of consuming an 6 grams of the essential amino acid plus 35 grams of carbohydrate (in the form of table sugar) cocktail before versus after heavy resistance exercise. 2 For the sake of simplicity, I’ll call this EAA plus sugar ‘EAC.’ Six healthy subjects completed an exercise bout of 10 sets of 8 reps of the leg press (80% of 1-RM), and 8 sets of 8 reps of the leg extension (80% of 1-RM). The rest interval was about 2 minutes with the total exercise time roughly 45 minutes. So what did they find? They found that over a 3-hour period, taking the EAC before exercise resulted in a 160% greater anabolic response than taking the EAC post-exercise. But they also found that taking EAC after exercise produced a great anabolic response; however, it just quite wasn’t as high as taking the stuff before training.
There is so much information showing the superiority of the EAA in promoting muscle gain and recovery. For instance, here’s a list of amazing things that the EAA can do.
• EAA can help promote muscle recovery and gains in lean body mass. Leucine is by the far the most important EAA. 3,4
• As little as 3 grams of EAA is enough to increase protein synthesis. 5
• 20 g of high quality whey protein contains ~ 8-12 g of EAA’s (and ~ 2 g of leucine).
• EAA as twice as efficient as intact protein (casein or whey) in stimulating protein synthesis. 12 g of EAA are more than twice as effective as 20 g of casein or 20 g of whey. 6
So what’s the take-home message from this complicated story? VPX’s Power Shock™ is one helluva anabolic cocktail that when taken as part of a nutrient timing strategy, will kick start your muscles into major hypertrophy, promote better brain function, and enhance overall health.