EAA is a mysterious abbreviation for Esstential Amino Acids, which stands for essential essential amino acids.

In other words, EAA are amino acids necessary for the proper functioning of the body, which must be supplied to the body along with the daily diet.

They play many important roles and take care of the proper functioning of the human body. They can support the building of muscle mass, as well as post-workout regeneration and wound healing process.

What are amino acids and what is their division?

Amino acids are organic compounds created from the amine group, carboxyl group, hydrogen and side chain, which are the basic elements for the construction of peptides and proteins.

They can be divided according to the ability of the human body to produce them on its own. So we distinguish:

  • exogenous amino acids, i.e. those that must be supplied with the daily diet, because the body is not able to synthesize them on its own,
  • endogenous amino acids, i.e. those that can be naturally produced by the human body in an amount sufficient to meet the needs of the body,
  • relatively endogenous amino acids are amino acids that can be produced in body, however, only in presence of other precursor amino acids, which are usually exogenous amino acids.
  • aminokwasy względnie egzogenne - they are produced in body in quantities insufficient to cover the increased demand of the body.

EAA amino acids - what is it?

EAA is an abbreviation for English. The full name is Essential Amino Acids, or essential amino acids, in other words - exogenous.

As we have already mentioned, exogenous amino acids are those that must be supplied to the human body every day with food. They are needed for the proper functioning of the system, but the body is not able to synthesize them on its own. These include 8 compounds, namely:

  • tryptophan,
  • threonine,
  • phenylalanine,
  • methionine,
  • lysine,
  • valine,
  • leucine,
  • isoleucine.

Sources of EAA amino acids

Most exogenous amino acids are found in products of animal origin, which does not mean, however, that vegetable proteins are worthless. Simply, in products of plant origin content of EAA is definitely lower.

Therefore, good food sources of EAA amino acids can be considered:

  • meat, fish and seafood,
  • milk and dairy products,
  • eggs,
  • dry legume seeds,
  • pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and linseed,
  • wholegrain cereal products,
  • nuts and sunflower seeds.

Functions of EAA amino acids

Amino acids, as elements that are part of proteins, perform primarily building functions in human body.In addition, however, individual essential exogenous amino acids play other, equally important roles in body.

  • Tryptophan may participate in protein synthesis. It is a precursor of serotonin, also known as the hormone of happiness. Tryptophan can affect mood and well-being. In addition, it can regulate the production of melatonin and participate in proper functioning of the nervous system.
  • Threonine can support fat metabolism and participate in the body's immune function. In addition, threonine may participate in production of collagen and elastin and support the work of the nervous system.
  • Phenylalanine is an amino acid, which can strengthen cognitive processes, improve concentration and memory. Moreover, it can participate in the synthesis of norepinephrine and dopamine, stimulate the release of adrenaline and reduce post-workout pain.
  • Methionine can participate in many metabolic processes and inhibit development of inflammation in joint area. It can also help in the removal of toxins from body and participate in synthesis of glutathione.
  • Lysine may be involved in the secretion of growth hormone and the synthesis of collagen and elastin. Thus, it can positively affect the synthesis of muscle proteins and inhibition of catabolic processes. Lysine may also affect calcium absorption.
  • Valine can participate in the synthesis of muscle proteins and have anti-catabolic effects. At the same time, valine can prevent the loss of muscle tissue and support its growth. In addition, it can participate in many biochemical processes and stimulate muscle recovery after exercise.
  • Leucine can participate in protein synthesis and thus support the growth of muscle mass. It can also participate in the production of growth hormone and inhibit the action of cortisol. It can also prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue and affect the regulation of blood glucose levels.
  • Isoleucine can help regulate blood glucose levels, moreover, it can support the wound healing process and participate in blood clotting. It can also protect muscle tissue from breakdown and accelerate recovery after training.

EAA in the athlete's diet

Essential exogenous amino acids can accelerate muscle regenerative processes, as well as prevent their catabolism. They can also support anabolic processes in muscle cells and promote the growth of lean muscle mass.

EAA amino acids seem promising in the athlete's diet, because they can support achievement of the desired musculature and perfect figure, as well as accelerate the regeneration and reconstruction of microdamages resulting from exercise.

Deficiency of at least one of the exogenous amino acids can disturb the work of the entire system and adversely affect the building of muscle mass.

That is why a healthy and balanced diet and the use of appropriate dietary supplements rich in EAA amino acids during periods of increased demand, e.g. during intense workouts, are so important. Preparations, which are a source of essential exogenous amino acids should also be used during a plant-based diet.


EAA are essential essential amino acids, i.e. eight essential compounds, which body cannot produce on its own and must be supplied with food.

BCAAs are branched chain amino acids, such as isoleucine, leucine and valine, which are also part of the EAA.

BCAAs are recommended especially among physically active people who want to increase muscle mass. In turn, EAA is recommended more often among people who are struggling with deficiencies of exogenous amino acids. Preparations rich in EAA will work well among vegetarians and vegans, as well as among people using restrictive reduction diets.

Therefore, there is no clear answer whether it is better to reach for BCAA or EAA preparations. This is an individual matter and appropriate dietary supplement should be selected according to the consumer needs.

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