A lot of well known brands use hype to push poor products to the masses.
Spider-Man 3. Shakeology. Nicki Minaj.
The list could go on.
And the bodybuilding industry is probably the worst offender for using this tactic, with lots of supplement manufacturers charging way over the odds for basic products, in the hope that their sales packaging will fool the public.
Which brings me to my Love Life Supplements Essential Aminos review.
Despite being a relatively new company, the guys at LLS believe their product stands up to anything else which is currently available, and are more than happy to go be put through my deliberately harsh supplement rating system in order to prove it.
Those of you who read my reviews know that my system doesn’t mess around.
With Pro Jym (one of the best-selling whey protein supplements in the world) only receiving a two star review, the bar is set high.
Love Life Supplements Essential Aminos Review
Not all BCAA products are created equal.
While some will do a great job of helping you to retain lean muscle tissue, many are under-dosed and rendered ineffective unless taken in unrealistic serving sizes.
So the first thing we must do is assess whether the key ingredients responsible for helping you retain lean muscle tissue are all in order.
Thankfully, they are.
Your “big three” when it comes to muscle building are leucine, valine and isoleucine. Studies show that supplementing with the “big three” amino acids has a strong anti-catabolic effect. (1)
It has also been suggested that we can offset the feeling of DOMS through BCAA supplementation, although I have always found this to differ with each individual trainee. If so, it could allow a trainee to perform more workouts and/or train harder, leading to greater progress. (2)
Optimal dosage of BCAA’s before training is around 3 grams. This product gives you 2.5g BCAA’s, so it ticks that box.
The optimal ratio of BCAA’s is 2:1:1 in favour of leucine.
That means you should have twice as much leucine than valine or isoleucine. Again, Essential Aminos does the job by providing this exact ratio.
Leucine is often referred to as the MVP of the three BCAA’s due to it’s direct involvement in the muscle building process.
In fact, one study published in the American Journal of Physiology noted that subjects who consumed a post-workout mixture of leucine, whey protein and carbohydrates had an optimal response to training as well as experiencing greater muscle protein synthesis (muscle building) over a six hour period than those consuming either whey protein and carbs, or carbohydrates alone. (3)
Of course, if your diet is already high in protein then the necessity for a dedicated BCAA supplement is cancelled out, despite what muscle building magazines tell you.
If you are reading my blog then chances are you’re a keen weightlifter and already packing plenty of protein into your diet, rendering the need for a dedicated BCAA supplement or a dedicated leucine-only supplement (for performance enhancement and muscle building purposes) surplus to requirements.
But there is a bigger factor at hand here…
BCAA vs EAA
Given the muscle building benefits of using a BCAA supplement, why would anyone want to use an EAA supplement instead?
Well, let me put this into context.
Can you remember the TV show, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air?
Carlton was always my favourite character.
Something about that Tom Jones inspired dance he did, man, it cracked me up every single time.
But despite the fact Carlton was my favourite, he wasn’t the whole show. If we removed Will Smith from the cast, the entire thing would implode and I doubt he’d have been anywhere near as funny without those opposite characteristics to bounce off.
Trust me, this will make sense in a moment or two.
Now let’s take this into the world of amino acids.
Yes, the so-called “big three” branched chain amino acids (leucine, valine and isoleucine) are the ones which are the most directly responsible for building muscle, but there are many other amino acids, and if your diet is lacking in any of them, no lean muscle can be built.
I repeat. If your diet is lacking in any of them, no lean muscle can be built!
So even if you’re going way overboard with leucine consumption in a bid to boost muscle growth, it’ll get you nowhere if your consumption of some of it’s less famous friends are nowhere to be seen.
Here is a list of all the essential amino acids:
Some companies list l-histidine as a 9th essenial amino acid although, as pointed out on the label, it is not atually essential. As for the other 8 EAA’s, they are deemed “essential” because the body is unable to produce them by itself, meaning they must arrive via dietary consumption otherwise we completely miss out on their benefits.
Lysine deficiency can lead to a vitamin B deficiancy, while phenylalanine is responsible for stimulating the release of hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are both crucial for optimal central nervous system performance.
And we all know how important your central nervous system is to hard training!
Threonine will improve your immune system, methionine is used to supply sulphur, and tryptophan is great for improving your sleep.
Sleep is such an important factor for muscle growth, it pays dividends to optimize your body for it.
If your diet is varied and balanced with a variety of different food choices each day, then you are probably getting enough EAA’s to cover your bases. The problem lies in the fact that we are creatures of habit, and once we get into a diet we tend to eat similar meals on a day-to-day basis for convenience’s sake.
It’s the same approach which sees us miss out on vitamins and minerals.
Love Life Supplements really excel at dealing with this issue.
First off, they know that there is no need to go crazy with BCAA consumption if you are already eating plenty of protein, so the 2.5g dosage here is enough to boost your performance (if taken pre-workout) without being unnecessarily large.
Secondly, Essential Aminos tops up your intake of the other key essential amino acids listed above, meaning you have covered your bases without having to make any noticeable changes to your diet.
Finally, the incredibly high utilization on offer here is ahead of almost anything else on the market. A 99% bio-availability marker is fantastic putting it ahead of just about every other supplement and many top food choices in terms of topping up those essential amino acids.
Love Life Supplements Essential Aminos Review – Final Thoughts
Convenience is a wonderful thing.
When you buy any supplement, you are not paying because it contains “a miracle ingredient”. You’re getting the convenience of being able to tick the nutritional boxes without needing to make any changes to your existing routine.
That’s why whey protein is such a popular choice.
Love Life Supplements have developed a product here which they should be proud of. It sits atop the EAA marketplace, it’s label transparency, the absence of fillers, and the quality of the product speaks for itself.
This is (by far) the best EAA product in it’s class, and I happily award it the 4 star rating today.
- Louard, R. J., et al. Effect of infused branched-chain amino acids on muscle and whole-body amino acid metabolism in man. Clin Sci (Lond). 1990 Nov;79(5):457-66.
- Kirby, T. J., et al. Effect of leucine supplementation on indices of muscle damage following drop jumps and resistance exercise. Amino Acids. 2012 May;42(5):1987-96. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-0928-9. Epub 2011 May 12.
- Koopman, R., et al. Combined ingestion of protein and free leucine with carbohydrate increases postexercise muscle protein synthesis in vivo in male subjects. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Apr;288(4):E645-53. Epub 2004 Nov 23.