There’s no question that supplementation can play an integral role in any fitness and body composition goal. Does everyone need supplements? No. Can they help? Absolutely.
Unfortunately, the supplement industry doesn’t always help when it comes to helping each individual figure out what supplements can be useful for them, if any at all.
You may have heard of EAAs, or Essential Amino Acids, and are either curious about what exactly they are and if they’re a good choice for your fitness goals, or you’ve already determined that they are, you just need to align with the best option. Either way, we have you covered.
In this article, I’m going to explain what EAAs are and who they are a good fit for. Then, I’ll cover the best options on the market right now so that you can select the right one for you.
Quick Table of the Top-Ranked EAA Supplements
1st Phorm EAA
4.9/5 (Over 700 Reviews)
Transparent Labs INTRA
4.8/5 (Over 70 reviews)
Thorne Amino Complex
4.5/5 (Over 30 reviews)
Klean Athlete Essential Aminos +HMB
4.7/5 (10 reviews)
Brickhouse Nutrition Essential Amino Acids
4.9/5 (Over 190 reviews)
Gorilla Mode EAAs
4.5/5 (Over 80 reviews)
Jacked Factory EAA Surge
4.8/5 (Over 90 reviews)
What Are Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)?
Essential Amino Acids, or EAAs, are a combination of the nine different amino acids that our bodies do not produce on their own and need to be taken in from the foods we eat. The nine essential amino acids are:
EAAs are the building blocks of protein and are critical for the synthesis of muscle growth as well as the prevention of muscle catabolism. For this reason, most fitness and nutrition experts recommend that you consume complete sources of protein regularly. A complete source of protein includes all 9 essential amino acids. Complete sources of protein include most types of meat, fish, eggs, quinoa, and chia seeds.
However, you can also get your EAAs through supplementation. Most EAA supplements come in a powder form, but you can also find them in pills as well, usually at a higher price point.
How Do They Work?
EAAs work by preventing muscle catabolism (the wasting of lean muscle tissue) when you work out in a fasted state, whether performing strength training or cardio. Taking EAAs will help to keep you in a fasted state, continuing any fat oxidation benefits you might get from the lack of glucose available for energy during your workout.
EAAs can help you to maintain your lean muscle tissue while fasting or during a dieting phase by preventing your body from shedding muscle. The main idea surrounding EAAs supplementation is to help preserve as much muscle as possible without tacking on any extra calories to your diet.
- EAAs can be very beneficial for a number of reasons. They can help with:
- Mood and sleep
- Improving exercise and athletic performance
- Preventing muscle loss
- Weight loss
- Promoting protein synthesis
- Tissue repair
- Nutrient absorption
EAA Buying Guide: Here’s What to Look For
Not every EAA supplement out there is made equally, pay attention to the following criteria to ensure you’re investing in a high-quality supplement that will actually work.
When looking at the nutrition label of an EAA supplement, be sure to make sure that there’s an appropriate amount of each essential amino acid. The best EAAs are ones that mimic the exact amino acid profile of your muscle tissue.
Some formulas will include additional ingredients like electrolytes or other helpful additives to add even more benefits, especially for those who want to use their EAAs as an intra-workout supplement.
While having an efficaciously dosed formula with the right ingredients is essential for actual results, it’s equally important to enjoy the powder that you purchase. Most people take EAAs before, during, or after a workout, and the last thing you want to do is to be choking it down. Find a formula that has a great flavor without a ton of sugar or artificial flavoring.
Brand Reputation and Customer Support
Is the brand you’re considering buying from a reputable one? Do they have a lot of customer feedback and reviews? Speaking of customers, how do they treat them? Find a brand that cares as much about providing a positive, supportive experience as they do create a premium product.
The Best Essential Amino Acid Supplements (EAAs)
Here it is, our list of the best EAAs on the market right now:
1. 1st Phorm Essential Amino Acids
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1st Phorm’s Essential Amino Acids formula was designed to provide your body with the 9 amino acids it needs but doesn’t create on its own. This formula, as with all 1st Phorm supplements, is efficaciously dosed, meaning it has the correct amount of each amino acid to be the most effective.
The amino acid profile in 1st Phorm’s EAA powder will help you rebuild muscle faster than it’s being broken down. In this anabolic state, muscle protein synthesis is boosted along with your ability to recover and add even more lean muscle tissue to your frame.
Plus, 1st Phorm includes 6 different electrolytes in their EAA formula to help with hydration during training and throughout the day because your body is much more efficient at repairing and recovering when it’s properly hydrated. Lastly, there’s a pure green coffee bean inside to help keep you focused throughout the day.
1st Phorm recommends that you use the EAAs throughout the day, especially as a pre-workout, intra-workout, or post-workout supplement. There are five incredible flavors to choose from, each one tasting like a delicious treat. And, the cherry on top is that it mixes flawlessly with water.
- Efficaciously dosed to mimic the exact amino acid profile of muscle tissue
- Includes electrolytes for hydration
- Increases muscle protein synthesis
- Improves recovery
- Provides safe, smooth energy and focus
- Tastes amazing (5 flavors to choose from)
- 110% money-back guarantee
- An awesome brand with a great mission
- On the pricier end
- The added electrolytes might not be necessary if you’re already consuming a hydration multiplier
2. Transparent Labs Intra
Intra, by Transparent Labs, is an amino acid supplement that also includes electrolytes, coconut water powder, citrulline malate, taurine, and L-tyrosine to help volumize muscle cells, maintain hydration, and support blood flow.
Every serving of Intra is free of any artificial colors, sweeteners, and fillers, so you can feel good about the product you’re putting into your body. Overall, Transparent Labs’ formula is designed to help ignite muscle protein synthesis, protect against muscle catabolism, boost energy and enhance hydration.
There are two refreshing flavors to choose from, both of which are tasty and pleasant to consume with water. For best use, Transparent Labs directs users to mix one scoop of Intra with 16-20 oz of water post-workout.
- 6.7g of EAAs per scoop
- Promotes muscle protein synthesis
- Boosts energy naturally
- Enhances hydration
- Comes in two delicious flavors
- Trustworthy brand
- It’s not the best mixing powder
- No unflavored option is available
3. Thorne Amino Complex
Thore Health offers a clinically validated EAA and BCAA formula that supports your muscles and your love of lifting weights by promoting muscle mass and enhancing your energy production. All Thorne products are NSF Certified for Sport, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best ingredients and the right dosages when you trust Thorne.
Amino Complex is designed to help you support sports, fitness, and training-related activities. For those who wish to build and maintain muscle, this formula will provide you with the muscle preservation qualities that you’re looking for. Thorne recommends that you take their Amino Complex post-workout for best results and to aid in the recovery process.
There are two tasty flavors to choose from and you can mix this formula into hot or cold liquids. Thorne’s supplements are naturally sweetened, so you can expect very subtle, not overly-sweet flavor profiles.
- Clinically-validated formula
- Efficacious dosed
- Includes EAAs and BCAAs
- Promotes muscle mass
- Enhances energy production
- Comes in two flavor options
- NSF Certified for Sports
- Some users complain about the flavors not being very good
- There aren’t a ton of user reviews to pull from
4. Klean Athlete Essential Amino Acids
Klean Athlete’s EAAs are naturally flavored and contain a leucine-rich blend of essential amino acids. Plus, this blend also includes HMB, Vitamin D3, and glutamine to help even more with building and preserving lean muscle mass.
Klean Athlete’s formulas are designed with athletes and peak performance in mind. This EAA blend is gluten-free, GMO-free, and vegetarian. The ingredients are clean, simple, and proven.
Per Klean Athlete, users are directed to take one scoop 1-2 times per day in 8-10 oz of water.
- Clean ingredients
- Natural flavoring
- Inlcudes HMB, Vitamin D3, and glutamine
- Leucine-rich blend
- Only one flavor option (orange)
- No reviews available
5. BrickHouse Nutrition Essential Amino Acids
Brickhouse Nutrition offers a simple EAA formula that’s designed to help preserve muscle mass and encourage recovery post-workout. For those who aren’t getting in all their amino acids through diet alone, adding in this formula can help fill in those gaps and prevent any deficiencies.
This EAA + BCAA blend also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Cyclic Dextrin. It comes in only one flavor option, Lemon Lime. Brickhouse Nutrition recommends that users take one scoop in between meals, prior to working out, or immediately after your workout.
- Simple formula with quality ingredients
- Helps reduce muscle soreness and promotes recovery
- Works to maintain lean muscle tissue
- Subscribe and save options
- Nice amount of customer reviews
- Only one flavor option
- Some customers complain that it’s really sweet
6. Gorilla Mode EAAs
Gorilla Mode EAAs, created by the supplement brand, Gorilla Mind, is a high-quality blend of essential amino acids designed to promote muscle building, support muscle protein synthesis, and enhance muscle repair and recovery.
Gorilla Mode EAAs offer the optimal dosage required per day for each essential amino acid, containing a total of 12 grams of EAAs in each scoop for optimal muscle recovery and muscle building. There are three flavors to choose from, and Gorilla Mind recommends that you take one scoop mixed with 12-14 oz of water and use it in a post-workout situation for best results.
- Dosed appropriately
- Promotes muscle growth
- Enhances recovery
- No additional ingredients apart from the EAAs
- Three tasty flavors to choose from
- Nice amount of reviews to go off from
- Not a well-known brand
- No additional hydration-related ingredients
- Contains artificial flavoring
7. Jacked Factory EAA Surge
Jacked Factory’s EAA Surge is designed to help you maximize your recovery, fuel muscle growth, and increase performance. It’s vegan and contains all 9 EAAs plus coconut water powder to give you the long-lasting endurance and energy you need to crush every single workout.
There is currently only one flavor option available, Peach Mango, and each container comes with 20 servings. Jacked Factory manufactures its products in the USA in a cGMP Certified Facility to ensure quality and efficacy. This can be taken as an Intra workout supplement or post-workout for best results.
- Contains all 9 EAAs plus coconut water powder
- Helps to enhance muscle growth, recovery, and performance
- A great option for serious athletes to casual gym-goers
- Great flavor
- Decent selection of customer reviews to read
- Not a well-known brand
- Only one flavor
- Only 20 servings per container
BCAAs vs EAAs
One common question that comes up when considering an EAA powder is the difference between BCAAs and EAAs. The truth is that both EAAs and BCAAs can impact your ability to be strong and maintain muscle mass.
BCAAs contain 3 essential amino acids whereas EAAs contain all 9 essential amino acids. Therefore, those who are struggling with consuming enough amino acids through their whole foods should opt for an EAA supplement as they’ll get all 9 aminos. Whereas those who consume ample amounts of complete sources of protein each day might be able to benefit from BCAAs alone. See our top women's BCAA supplements to learn more.
Which Brand is Best for EAA?
The best EAA brand is the one that creates products with premium ingredients and a commitment to excellence in supplementation. The best EAA brand is one that focuses on quality, efficacy, and customer satisfaction. From the flavor options to the convenience of use, it’s important that you align with an EAA and a supplement brand that suits your needs and matches your lifestyle.
I like to invest in brands that offer a “one-stop-shop” for all my supplement needs so that I can get everything I need to be delivered from one company every month. I recommend finding a supplement company that offers all the supplements you need under one roof for ease, convenience, and money-saving.
Final Thoughts On The Best EAA Supplements
Honestly, EAAs are kind of underrated in the fitness industry, but they can play a very important role in your diet. This is especially true if you don’t consume enough whole sources of protein through whole foods.
For those who may be lacking in protein sources, an EAA supplement can help fill those gaps and make sure that you have the essential amino acids you need to build, repair and maintain your muscle mass.
Furthermore, anyone who trains hard in the gym will likely find some kind of benefit from adding in an EAA supplement. Most users report experiencing faster recovery, less muscle soreness, and more energy throughout their lifts, which is incredibly important for anyone who has a fitness-related goal.
Tips and Tricks For Success
Remember, supplements are not designed to replace the need for a healthy, balanced diet. You should be doing your best to ensure you’re getting the majority of your EAAs from whole food protein sources first and foremost.
Choose a brand that also has other supplements that you take regularly. For example, I like to buy from a brand like 1st Phorm that also offers premium protein powders, pre-workout supplements, vitamins, and more so that I can get everything in one place.
EAAs tend to be most effective when taken post-training sessions. Bring a shaker cup with some water to the gym with you so that you can get your EAAs in immediately after your session so you can lock in your gains.