If you want to build muscle...
You'd think protein is the way to go.
After all, protein powders is the most popular category.
Honestly, protein supplements are likely all you need.
They contain the right amount of amino acids to create the perfect environment for muscle growth.
But there's a huge disadvantage to protein powders.
They can't be consumed during workouts.
And protein powders aren't one size fits all.
Digestion issues, types of protein, fillers and flavoring...
It's a cocktail of many ingredients that can cause issues, especially digestion.
This is where essential amino acid supplements come in.
But with many essential amino acid supplements vying for your attention, which do you choose?
To help you choose the best, we created a list of the 6 best Essential Amino Acid supplements in the market.
Let's dig into the list...
Intra has 6.7 grams of Essential Amino Acids, 5 grams of which are made up of instantized BCAAs.
Instantization is an agglomeration process meant to improve the dispersibility and solubility of powders like EAAs.
Being instantized means Intra’s BCAAs are not only fast-acting, they also won’t cause the usual bloating associated with amino acid supplements.
On top of the high EAA dose, we also have complementary pre workout ingredients such as:
Citrulline malate (the best nitric oxide enhancer for pumps), taurine (for water-based pumps and mental energy), betaine for performance, elevATP for added cellular energy, and tyrosine for focus.
It also has coconut water powder as an electrolyte source and Astragin as a premium bioavailability enhancer.
We picked it as #1 because it embodies a good balance between high quality ingredients, a reputable company, ample dose per ingredient, and value for money.
It’s not near the highest in terms of EAA dose, but its overall synergy makes it have a great case for #1 in our list.
When you just want a formula that’s high in amino acids, you can’t go wrong with BCAA by Huge Supplements.
The grand total amino acids content rounds up to a whopping 14.675 grams per serving, one of the largest single-serving amino acids in the market.
Almost half of those come directly from its BCAA content, while ⅓ of the entire blend comes from Glutamine, one of the most critical amino acids for muscle building and glucose production.
Being a purely EAA supplement that doesn’t have stimulants, BCAA by Huge Supplements is ideal for those who want to have a good base for their pre workout or protein stacks.
One of our criteria for choosing the best EAA supplements is the flexibility they offer.
Not only does Enigma by Apollon Nutrition contains high EAA content (mostly BCAAs), it’s also lets you choose whether you want the full dose or just half.
After all, you don’t need the full servings every time.
Sometimes you just need it as part of your loading phase, similar to creatine, so the smaller dose is a welcome alternative.
But of course you can do this with any supplement.
Enigma also contains an electrolyte blend plus betaine for better recovery, which is always nice to have in any ergogenic blend.
The catch is, Enigma is also one of the more expensive EAA supplements in the market, with one bottle costing $54.95 or about $2 per scoop, depending on whether you choose half or full.
Then again, if you truly care about quality and nothing else, Enigma is perfect.
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Superhuman Intra contains a total of 10 grams EAA, with 6 of those 10 grams coming from instantized BCAA.
It also contains premium sources of electrolytes, trace minerals, taurine, and Astragin for added bioavailability.
Much like Enigma, Superhuman Intra provides dosing flexibility by choosing half or the full two-scoop dosing.
What sets it apart from Enigma is its use of instantized BCAA, which in theory should lead to better anabolic response and muscle protein synthesis because of it's faster absorption.
So while Superhuman Intra loses out on total EAA servings, it more than makes up for it with using premium, fast-acting amino acids.
The taste is amazing as well.
It’s available in three flavors:
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Much like the other supplements in this list, Intra Blast has decent amounts of amino acids, most of which come from the standard 2:1:1 BCAA ratio.
There are also special blends for electrolytes and hydration, and a blend for performance to make it a well-rounded formula.
The glutamine in the formula is special, with it being the branded Kyowa Quality.
Kyowa Quality glutamine is a high-purity, vegetarian ingredient that guarantees fast absorption and maximum potency.
This can lead to reduced fatigue and better muscle protein synthesis.
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When you just want EAAs without the fancy stuff that also happens to be low-cost, Bulk Supplements has got you covered.
While the formula itself appears generic and the doses aren’t revealed (which is actually why it’s ranked last), the cost of a bag is often enough to entice newbies to try it out.
For veteran users, the lack of fillers and fancy ingredients make the supplement the perfect add-on to their pre-workout or protein stacks.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
As we all know, protein is important for quite a number of processes that happen inside our body.
In the case of bodybuilding, the amino acids found in protein facilitate the processes required for muscle growth, recovery, and physical performance.
There are 20 different amino acids, and 9 of them are what we refer to as essential.
They’re called essential because unlike the other amino acids the body can produce naturally, essential acids need to be sourced from our diet or through supplementation.
The best sources of essential amino acids are animal proteins including meat, eggs, and poultry.
If you’re not fond of animal sources, especially if you have food allergies or prefer a plant-based lifestyle, many species of plants offer adequate amounts of all 9 essential amino acids.
The catch is, you tend to need to eat more plants to get the same amount you’d get from animal sources.
Then, some plants don’t have all 9 essential amino acids, so you have to mix and match them.
This is actually what vegan protein powders do when they claim to have all amino acids despite being a plant-based supplement.
While essential amino acids on their own are important for everyday function, taking them in high doses such as in supplements has been linked to several science-backed health benefits.
Boosts physical performance and enhances recovery
Supports wound healing
Protects against muscle loss
According to a study conducted in the US Military in 2011, the ratio doesn’t really matter provided you are getting adequate intake of ALL essential amino acids.
“These findings suggest that increasing the concentration of leucine in an essential amino acid supplement consumed during steady state exercise elicits a greater muscle protein synthesis response during recovery.” 
The key difference between essential amino acids (EAA) and branched chain amino acids (BCAA) outside of the amino acids content is the intent in taking them.
You take BCAA when your goal is performance-oriented. BCAAs are suited to boost strength, reduce fatigue, and enhance muscle recovery. You take EAAs if you’re after muscle growth, endurance, immunity, and hormonal balance. 
New findings also suggest taking EAAs over BCAAs is better if your amino acid intake is adequate for the physical activity you do on a daily basis.
Based on research and some coaching practices, it appears the best times to supplement with essential amino acids are between meals and following a workout.
Research involving older adults who took essential amino acids between meals have reduced risks of sarcopenia or the shrinking of muscles brought about by aging, which happens due to protein breakdown.
“Results provide promising preliminary results indicating that essential amino acids may provide protection against sarcopenia in healthy aging adults.” (5)
Both have pros and cons.
There really is no such thing as “this is better than that” when it comes to supplements. What matters is you supply what your body needs, when it needs it. If you need to take more Whey over EAA or combine them, do it.
The goal is to get stronger, not to choose a side.
In choosing the right essential amino acid supplement, it’s worth noting the following:
Watch the video version of the best EAA's below:
When it comes to choosing an EAA supplement, always take note of the total dose, the accompanying ingredients, and the quality of the company you are buying from.
Because let’s face it: It’s not hard to build an EAA formula that works. The real challenge lies in making sure the product is made with high quality ingredients while still making it cost-effective.
If you’re ever in a pinch when it comes to choosing an EAA supplement, just look back on the supplements we prepared for you in this blog.
We guarantee each one is worth a try.