Do Essential Amino Acid Supplements Build Muscle? (EAA Review)

What’s going on guys? Sean Nalewanyj,,
and in this video today we’re talking about essential amino acid supplements or EAAs for
short. Are they worth the money and do they have
any place in an effective supplement plan when you’re trying to gain muscle during a
bulk or maintain muscle during a cutting phase. Now before I get started, if you find this
video helpful today and you want to get even more daily tips from me, then make sure to
follow me over on Instagram as well at @Sean_Nalewanyj. And as a “thank you” for watching this video,
I’m also doing a giveaway down below in the comment section where you can win a free copy
of the Body Transformation Blueprint, which is my complete muscle building and fat loss
program that outlines everything you need to know to achieve your goal physique as efficiently
as possible with the exact training nutrition plans all laid out step by step. Just click the link down below to enter in
for that. When it comes to amino acid supplementation
in general, BCAAs have been the top choice for most lifters for many years now. There’s still a top selling supplement and
a lot of people use them pre-workout, intra-workout or even post-workout as a way to stimulate
protein synthesis and prevent muscle breakdown. Now I’ve made quite a few videos about BCAAs
in the past and talked a lot about them on my blog and my Instagram, basically explaining
that when it all comes down to it, they’re really just a complete waste of money and
that if you just eat enough protein from your regular diet, which is pretty easy to do at
about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. If you do that, you’ll already be getting
all the BCAAs that you need and supplementing with additional BCAAs on top of that isn’t
going to give you any extra anabolic or anti-catabolic effect. And fortunately the research just keeps piling
up on this. And I’d say at this point among most what
you’d call I guess, evidence-based fitness coaches, there’s really no debate about BCAAs
at all in the sense that we essentially know that they literally don’t do anything other
than give you a possible placebo effect. And besides the fact that your regular protein
intake will already be giving you enough BCAAs as is. The other reason why they just don’t work
is because even though BCAAs do technically stimulate protein synthesis, you still need
to take in the full spectrum of essential amino acids along with them in order to actually
carry out the muscle building process. So taking BCAAs is like calling construction
workers to a site, but then not providing them with any materials to actually build
anything. And so because of this, now we’re starting
to see more people pushing essential amino acid supplements, which still provide the
three branch chain amino acids, but also the additional spectrum of essential amino acids
as well in order to produce a more complete muscle building effect. And yes on a head to head basis, an essential
amino acid supplement would be superior to a pure BCAA supplement, but the same logic
here applies and the same logic holds true at the end of the day. If you’re just eating enough protein from
your regular diet, your essential amino acid needs are already going to be fully met and
just dumping more and more on top of it isn’t going to give you any sort of added muscle
building effect. Your body can only make use of a limited amount
of amino acids each day for the purpose of gaining muscle and you can’t just force additional
growth by going beyond that point. It’s really that simple. Now the other question is in regards to fasted
training, this is the other main situation where people commonly use essential amino
acid supplements as a way to prevent muscle breakdown during the session. And I do agree that getting in some protein
slash amino acids pre-workout is probably ideal if you want to fully maximize your gains. The difference would probably be fairly small,
either way, as long as you’re eating enough total protein for the day as a whole. But yeah, for 100% optimal muscle growth and
maintenance, completely fasted training probably isn’t going to be ideal. However, if you’re planning to use EAAs for
that purpose, you’ll actually be better off to just use regular protein powder instead. See, people have this misconception that a
BCAAs or EAAs are zero calorie and they’re basically just free amino acids that you can
add into your diet. When in reality, all amino acids contain calories
and on a gram for gram basis, they’re pretty much on par with regular dietary protein,
so whether you use BCAAs, EAAs or 20 grams of whey protein, you’re technically no longer
fasted anyway. Not to mention that there’s no special benefit
to training fasted in the first place other than it just being a matter of personal preference
if you just feel better training that way. And the reality is that regular protein is
actually going to be superior to an essential amino acid supplement because it’s going to
provide you with the full spectrum of all of the aminos and their natural ratios. The big problem that I see with most EAA supplements
is that a lot of them use proprietary blends, meaning they just lump together all of the
amino acids into one mixture and then they list the total amount for all of the aminos
combined, but not the specific dosage per amino acid. And literally the only real reason supplement
companies use proprietary blends in the first place is just as a way to cut costs because
that way what they can do is front load the cheapest amino acids into the blend and include
those ones in higher amounts and then just sprinkle in whatever amount they want of the
more expensive ones. The label might list off an amino acid matrix
that’s 10 grams in total and then have cheap amino acids like taurine at the very start
of the list. And for all you know, there could be eight
grams of taurine in that blend and then just a tiny amount of all of the other amino acids. For the most part, if any supplement company
uses a proprietary blend on their label, it’s because they’re trying to hide something and
there’s something in there that they don’t want you to see otherwise they’d have no real
reason to use one. And it’s just a huge red flag and it’s reason
enough to avoid that particular product, in my opinion. And then for the amino acid supplements, the
essential amino acid supplements that don’t use proprietary blends, most of them still
seem to prioritize the BCAAs first and foremost, and then they only include a much smaller
amount of the rest of the essential aminos, in which case those products should ultimately
be avoided as well. So at the end of the day, there’s just no
good reason to use an essential amino acid supplement over a standard protein powder
if you’re looking to get a more EAAs into your diet in a convenient way, or if you’re
training fasted, which I put in quotes because again, you’re technically not fasted if you
ingest amino acids of any kind prior to training. So the protein powder, whether it’s whey,
egg, a casein, a blend of some kind or even a good plant-based powder that’s going to
give you the full natural spectrum of amino acids in a convenient liquid form, just like
an EAA supplement. And on top of that it’s going to be more cost
effective on a gram for gram basis as well. You are going to get a tiny bit of extra carbs
and fats from the protein powder, but the amounts in there are going to be so small
that they really aren’t going to matter in the overall scheme. And if you are that paranoid about a couple
grams of carbs or a gram or two of fat here and there and you really want to fully minimize
it for some reason and then you can just purchase a whey isolet which contains almost no carbs
or fat and is basically just pure protein. That’s really all there is to it here guys. BCAAs and EAAs are ultimately both unnecessary
supplements. You can easily get all the amino acids you
need for optimal gains from your regular diet. And if you’re looking for a convenient way
to get in a higher amount of essential amino acids, whether it’s before your workout or
just in general because maybe your whole food protein intake is lacking, a little bit of
basic protein powder is going to be your best bet and a lot of people have been asking me
about it, but at the time of this video, Real Science Athletics doesn’t offer a protein
powder product, but it’s definitely something that we’ll be adding in down the line. For now we have available our pre-workout
formula, athletes multivitamin and fish oil. And I genuinely believe that these are the
best formulated products in their categories right now and you can check them out by visiting
us over at using the link up here or in the description box
below and you can also use coupon code a YOUTUBE10 to save 10% off your entire first order. Thanks for watching guys. Make sure to hit the like button, leave a
comment and subscribe below if you haven’t already in order to stay up to date on future
videos. And I’ll see you in the next one.

80 Replies to “Do Essential Amino Acid Supplements Build Muscle? (EAA Review)”

  1. I’m a new subscriber because your information is awesome definitely on point. I used bcaas for months a couple of years ago and they did absolutely nothing a total waste of money

  2. The only thing in bcaa or eaa I see as advantageous is they tend to make me personally feel Fuller. Maybe it's placebo but in trying to lose weight I can be hungry do a bcaa or eaa drink and feel satisfied for a few hours pushing back calorie intake. Yes the bcaa scoop has some calories but compared to a meal or most snacks it's pretty small.


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  4. EAA are somewhat easier to digest than whey so they can be of use as intraworkout for long-duration training sessions. Other than that, not much.

  5. Hi, Sean. Thanks for another informative video. I love your material. Just wondering what your thoughts are on grass-fed products (esp. whey protein). Are they worth the extra money?

  6. EAAs are the most meaningful supplement you can take!compared to whey, its a much cleaner amino acid source, its less stressful to your digestive system, its absorbet really quick, its less allergenic, its less likely to be spiked or stretched with some garbage like whey protein, just get a good quality product from a trustable brand and go with it, i prefere eaas any time oder those overyhped whey stuff.. just listen to john meadows he is much more educated in this stuff like this guy here is

  7. I really love and respect guys like you in the fitness industry because you help us understand the truth behind supplements and diet and keep us from wasting so much money because most of us get fooled in the beginning. Thanks for your knowledge brother!! 💪💪

  8. What about intra-workout? I get up at 4:30 am to workout and don’t like taking anything before- other than preworkout. John Meadows suggests drinking a blend of EAA’s and cluster dextrin. I know I’m not technically fasted when I start consuming this, but I use it more as a fuel for my 1.25 to 1.5 hour workout. Are they still pointless?
    Love your content!

  9. Thank you for this video Sean, I've been on the fence for a while now to just take a scoop of protein in the morning before I train.

  10. Saw the title and was thinking it was gonna be a 5sec clip. Do Essential Amino Acid Supplements Build Muscles? "No, don't be stupid".

  11. First time hearing of this supplement. Haven't watched the video but you get essential amino acids from whole food protein sources what's the point of supplementing lol

  12. Hey man what do you think about intra workout nutrition on days of weight training and 30 or more minutes of cardio….do you think think intra workout nutrition would be helpful….and another question i would really appreciate if you answer….is it ok to do a lot of steady state cardio when trying to build muscle if you get in enaught calories plus all the benefits from cardio.

  13. I don't get protein guidelines. What if someone weighs 350 pounds, has never lifted in their life and is trying to lose "weight". Are you gonna prescribe 280-300 grams of protein a day?. What if someone is 180 pounds, trained for ten years and trying to put on weight? Are they going to be prescribed 150 grams of protein? The general guidelines make no sense.

  14. Most people blindly follow a workout program using a Set number of sets and Reps without any disregard for recovery… That's an abusive style of training…. likewise with supplementation… Anything you ingest can help with recovery… consuming branched chain amino acids is the simplest way…. I do not believe in taking protein powders..
    It's a complete waste of money… furthermore increasing your Dairy intake causes inflammation.. the older you get the worse it gets it gets!

  15. Hey Sean I need your opinion about the supplements I take Whey protein, Creatine, Bata-Alanine and just got some B12 for Energy, I need some direction and help please

  16. Seems to me that the ideal protein supplement would have an amino acid profile that was identical to the profile of human muscle with maybe a little extra EAA as insurance.


  18. One thing for me, is that during training or on a morning, I don't really want to be drinking a creamy whey shake, my stomach wouldn't like it
    Also, Eaa products feel more hydrating compared to again a creamy whey shake etc
    Bcaa's are for sure an absolute waste, though

  19. I cup of white rice 4 – 6 oz of lean protein 1.5 – 2 hours before workout…the whole spectrum of aminos during and after …..GAINZZZZZZZ…..almost forgot..Sean are you coming out with creatine supplement?

  20. I'm a powerlifter and since taking eaa during and after my training i have noticed a big decrease in muscle soreness and Better recovery

  21. I like a cup of coffee 30 mins to an hour before working out. AS good as any pre workout and a lot less expensive. Half seem to say EAA's are worthless as a supplement, some say they are not. Assume I could same amount in a serving or so of greek yogurt as a supplement?

  22. This is great information! Most people don’t understand how amino acids pool in the stomach and combine Amino acids to “complete” proteins even from non-complete proteins at every meal.

  23. Love the shirt! I will wear it at the gym if you send me one. I would buy one, but then that would be me paying to advertise for you. I will for free! 🙂

  24. For people like me who have inflammatory bowl disease and dnt wanna be on humira and all it causes inflammation when we eat and i notice when taking amino acids it helps break down the little food i do eat i believe. I have also noticed a better overall mood. So maybe not regular people but for people with health problems i think super beneficial.

  25. I bought Seans work out program maybe 13 yrs ago. When I received it I realised it was similar to what I had previously used successfully. So I asked for a refund and he gracefully did so😀 Very rare to see that happen. Thank you for that and wish you all the best brother.

  26. Whey protein contains full profile of amino acids,so no need EAAs,moreover all supplements of EAAs in the market are fake just capsules filled with protein powder.
    Real EAAs made as a preventive action in order to avoid SARCOPENIA SYNDROME for aged people…

  27. What are your thoughts on adding EAA's to either a Vegan or pasta themed diet? I find meat to be pricey for me, so I mainly use pasta as a source for my calories and protein (I make it al dente' so that my body has to work harder to break it down – and avoid it turning into fat). Problem is that the protein in pasta isn't complete, so I throw in some EAA's in the hopes of rounding everything out, in addition to protein shakes.

  28. Okay, if Protein has 9 EAA and EAA Supplement makes a Protein without any added Calories, Carbohydrates, Fats, Sodium so it's a Raw Protein without extra I'm not sure why EAA can build Muscle.

    I'm taking EAA with each amounts per each from BulkSupplements and get 41 of Protein.

  29. Ask yourself what's the meaning of supplementation? You keep saying you dont need EAA if your eating enough protein in your diet, your absolutely correct. But how about if your someone that cant consume meat as protein, doesn't want to drink 5 protein shakes a day, (an I know there's more ways to get protein) but why cant they SUPPLEMENT with EAA. If it's real quality Amino Acids,an not fake stuff how does that not benefit you?? Even a lil… it might be over priced for the small benefit yes. But dont say it has none for some people…

  30. i train fasted and hit a plateau. i started using eaa´s and have seen a nice difference in strength and endurance. i follow a 20/4 eating plan and have gained weight and size. him saying you cannot make gains training fasted is bs considering when you train fasted your GH levels are high which helps with muscle gain. i am 6ft, 220 with abs and make this fella look small so it is better to listen to someone who probably looks more like the way you would like to look.

  31. Mostly true when you’re under 40. As you get older you have to deal with anabolic resistance. Your body becomes resistant to building muscle. The body’s mechanism to initiate muscle production slows down. Eating enough COMPLETE proteins to overcome this becomes unsustainable. This is why we lose muscle mass as we age. Taking a balanced EAA supplement does help the over 40 crowd. Google the research of Dr Robert R Wolfe.

  32. PROTEIN FACTORY : "Luecine Peptide" , has all the 9 essentials listed with content of each amino, none of his products have their raw materials sourced from China Ever! Best proteins on the planet bare none, Period!!

  33. I like your content but I am gonna have to said that you are off on this one. I stopped takin eaas for two weeks and I noticed the difference right away. I was feeling tired all the time and didn’t really enjoyed my workouts. Once I started taking them again BOOOM felt great again. They work great for me

  34. Summary: Zero report of trying himself while keeping all else constant, zero report of having experience with large number of clients or other subjects, but coming to conclusion anyway "because science." Except that such conclusions are often wrong in the real world laboratory of the gym and other athletic training.

  35. OK so no protein drinks at all then? Ok how does one measure how much protein to actually eat then? It does not say how much it is in grams.. so do you get a little tiny gram scale and strictly measure it out or what? What is the real truth, I have heard so many different things for a long time now.

  36. So will someone get any benefit at all from a protein powder drink too, or not? Or if you eat a good healthy diet is that sufficient for all muscle gains? So is the whole protein drink /amino acids industry just a waste of money, just a ripoff?

  37. Great info I tried eaa during workout might of been placebo I actually don’t think most supplements work. I would like to believe they would but I just don’t see a difference with most of them , I just gotta trust guys like you Sean thanks for info keep it up.

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