SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR UNBROKEN: THE POWER OF FREE-FORM, NINE ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS (9EAA)
The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) has published a new position paper “Effects of essential amino acid supplementation on exercise and performance”.
“The idea is to show EAA supplementation has a great deal of research behind it and demonstrate the efficacy of EAAs in the maintenance of muscle and body protein,” lead author on the paper Dr. Arny Ferrando.
To enhance the comprehensiveness of this research, a panel of prominent experts in human performance and exercise science conducted an exhaustive literature review. This review serves as a valuable scientific resource for athletes, dietitians, trainers, and various practitioners. It delves into the advantages of stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) through Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) in diverse populations, including both healthy individuals and those facing resistance due to factors like aging or clinical conditions. In this document, only compositions containing the 9 EAAs in free-form were considered.
Importance of Muscle Protein Turnover
The continuous renewal of degraded and damaged muscle protein is vital in maintaining muscle protein mass and function. The 9 “Free-Form” Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) obtained from the diet play a crucial role in this process. Inadequate consumption of even a single one of the nine free-form EAAs can lead to symptoms of deficiency, including impaired protein metabolism.
Interestingly, the anabolic response, which involves Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) and Muscle Protein Breakdown (MPB), is highly dependent on the availability of these amino acids. When a single EAA, like leucine, or small groups of EAAs, such as Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), are consumed, their ability to stimulate MPS is limited due to the scarcity of the other essential amino acids.
This limitation becomes evident when comparing the overall stimulation of MPS achieved with different amino acid sources. It is observed that free-form EAAs, which encompass all nine essential amino acids, surpass other sources like leucine or BCAAs. The hierarchy of MPS stimulation is as follows: placebo < leucine < BCAAs < 9EAAs.
Free-Form 9EAAs: Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) Powerhouses
Free-form Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) play a pivotal role in stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS), a critical process for muscle growth and repair. Unlike non-essential amino acids, EAAs cannot be produced by the body, making dietary intake essential for survival. MPS turnover, fueled by EAAs, is key to enhancing strength and physical function.
Free-Form 9EAA Density and Absorption
The remarkable stimulatory effect of free-form EAAs on MPS is attributed to their high EAA content per gram compared to dietary protein sources. Free-form EAAs are readily absorbed and require minimal digestion, leading to rapid transport to muscles. Even at rest, free-form EAAs kickstart MPS. Exercise Amplifies EAA Benefits
When paired with exercise, free-form EAAs supercharge MPS, significantly increasing muscle protein synthesis. The combination of exercise and EAAs improves net amino acid balance, promoting muscle growth. Oral free form EAAs are ideal for consumption before, during, and after exercise.
Timing Matters: Pre-Exercise Supplementation
Administering free-form EAAs just before exercise yields the greatest impact, resulting in approximately 3-fold higher amino acid delivery. This timing enhances amino acid availability and muscle protein synthesis, crucial for athletic performance.
Free-Form 9EAA Needs in Caloric Deficit Sports
Sports with caloric deficits, such as wrestling, MMA, or marathon running, require increased EAA intake. Caloric deficits heighten the body's EAA demands to maintain muscle mass. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to muscle breakdown and rapid muscle loss.
Free-Form 9EAA Benefits for Older Individuals
Free-form EAAs counteract anabolic resistance in older individuals, improving muscle mass and function. Studies demonstrate enhanced walking speed, grip and leg strength in older adults supplemented with EAAs. EAAs promote muscle and whole-body anabolism.
Wide Clinical Applications of Free-Form 9EAAs
Free-form 9EAAs offer benefits across a spectrum of clinical conditions, particularly associated with aging. From bed rest to heart failure, free-form 9EAAs play a vital role in improving physical function and overall health. These findings underscore the diverse potential of free-form 9EAAs in healthcare.
Incorporating Unbroken's formulation of all 9EAAs, with 80% in free-form, can help individuals harness the powerful benefits of free form 9EAAs for muscle growth, recovery, and overall well being.
Whether you're an athlete striving for peak performance or an individual seeking to maintain muscle health as you age, the science behind free-form 9EAAs is a compelling reason to consider free-form 9EAA supplementation in your dietary regimen.
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