What are Essential Amino Acids?

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You may have heard them branded about all over the nutritional world, but just what are Essential Amino Acids and how can they be beneficial to us?

The team at GH Nutrition have been hard at work to bring you this blog, hopefully simplifying what can be quite a confusing issue...enjoy!


What are Amino Acids?

They are essentially what is left behind after protein has been digested or broken down. Our bodies then use it to repair our tissues, break down food and of course, grow.

Alongside protein, these organic compounds are arguably the most important, especially for athletes.


The three Amino Acid groups

Despite a common misconception about all amino acids being essential, there are three types of groups which they can be put into.

These are;


Essential Amino Acids

EAA must come from the food we eat and the supplements we consume, as they can’t be made by the body.

There are 9 Essential Amino Acids to look out for; phenylalanine, valine, tryptophan, threonine, histidine, leucine, methionine, lysine and histidine.


Nonessential Amino Acids

Unlike EAA, our bodies can still produce NAA if it doesn’t come from our food intake.

Some of the NAA include; cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, alanine, arginine, asparagines, aspartic acid, glycine, tyrosine, serine and proline.


Conditional Amino Acids

These are a hybrid of the two above, where they are only essential in certain circumstances, like when we get ill or we become run down.

Some CAAs include; cysteine, glutamine, glycine, ornithine, tyrosine, arginine, proline and serine.


What foods contain the Essential Amino Acids?

If you want to target the 9 EAAs, then you will have to look for complete protein sources. These are exactly where you’d expect to get the most protein from and can include;

  • - Eggs
  • - Meat
  • - Poultry
  • - Dairy


For those of you who are vegan, don’t worry, as there are plenty of plant-based alternatives which contain all nine. These include soy, buckwheat and quinoa to name a few. We also supply a large range of vegan-friendly amino acid supplements including https://granthodnettnutrition.co.uk/collections/vegan/products/creatine-monohydrate and https://granthodnettnutrition.co.uk/collections/vegan/products/l-glutamine


What if I don’t have time to eat a diet rich in all of the above?

We all understand the stresses of life and trying to fit in a diet which contains all 9 EAAs can be difficult.

That is where supplements come into their own. They can provide exactly the nutrition we want, as well as certain other health benefits.

Benefits can include;

  • - Prevention of muscle loss
  • - Increased weight loss
  • - Anti-fatigue
  • - Improves sleep
  • - Aids muscle repair and growth


Here at Grant Hodnett Nutrition, we also stock a wide range of Amino Acid Supplements, with our products backed by professional athletes across a variety of sports. From tablets to powders, there is certainly something for everyone, so why not check them out here!

What are Essential Amino Acids?

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About GHN

GH Nutrition was founded in 2015 by an ex-professional sportsman Grant Hodnett and is based in Warrington, Cheshire, UK. Whether it's better nutrition, a healthier lifestyle, or that next big competition, GHN is the ultimate in providing the products you need to achieve your physical performance and results. 


"The products are great and there's nothing better than a GHN Whey protein shake after a tough session - especially during the gruelling weeks of pre-season!" 

Helen Ward, Watford LFC & Wales