You might think you know the drill around branch chain amino acids, but there’s a new supplement in town and it can take your muscle growth to a new level.

Amino acid supplements have become a staple product for anyone looking to gain muscle and support their training recovery. Unfortunately, not all essential amino acid (EAA) supplements are equal, and many people waste their hard-earned money on low quality products. When trying to separate the good from the bad, you need to examine a few factors. Firstly, it’s important to determine if you would benefit from them. Secondly, I will explain what makes a premium essential amino acid (EAA) formula and what you should look for. Here’s how to become better educated on EAAs so you can find a product beneficial to your long-term progress.

Muscle Protein Synthesis

When looking to support muscle gains, essential amino acids (EAAs) are a valuable addition to your supplement stack for the simple reason that they stimulate muscle protein synthesis. This is crucial for generating new muscle tissue as well as rebuilding the fibers damaged by training, making EAAs a must for any serious bodybuilder or athlete. They’re the perfect supplement to consume during cardio, as well as following a workout, to sustain muscle protein synthesis, which ultimately helps prevent catabolism.

While EAAs do not directly accelerate fat loss, they may help protect lean muscle mass for individuals in a calorie deficit who are still training intensely. Not only can this benefit optimal metabolic function, as having a higher volume of muscle mass can burn more calories, but it can also improve overall body composition.

Furthermore, when in a calorie deficit, recovery naturally declines because there are fewer calories to support it – this makes supplementing with EAAs even more valuable for your short and long-term progress.

Endurance Training

When I prepare for my Ironman events, I perform extremely long workouts. In these cases, I religiously use EAAs to support muscle health and promote muscle protein synthesis. Endurance athletes don’t always appreciate the value of augmenting muscle protein synthesis and the impact this has, which can enable them to improve their performance.

Additionally, it’s incredibly hard to consume many whole foods during certain periods of endurance training. For this, EAAs are the perfect solution to support muscle without leaving you feeling nauseous or weighed down. When training for my Ultramarathon and Ironman events while still bodybuilding, I believe essential amino acids enabled me to reach the level of performance I did.


Vegetarians may not get the same amount of EAAs in their diet as those who consume animal proteins. For this reason, I regard EAA supplementation as non-negotiable for people who are vegetarian or vegan.

How Do I Use Essential Amino Acids?

There are many ways to consume EAAs, and to an extent, the best protocol depends on your diet and training regimen. However, I recommend consuming EAAs before and during any intense endurance training, as well as during any prolonged periods without food. I like to consume EAAs throughout the day in my water to promote muscle protein synthesis and I also enjoy the flavor it adds to my water.

Which Essential Amino Acids Supplement?

When it comes to selecting a truly effective EAA product, quality is key. Patented AjiPure MP9 Matrix from Ajinomoto is a premium EAA formula, providing all nine EAAs in a ratio designed for optimal impact. The processing methods and source of amino acids used is also different from many other amino acid products on the market. The amino acids in the AjiPure MP9 Matrix are created using vegetable fermentation, as opposed to bird feathers, animal fur, and human hair, which are extracted through harsh chemical processes.

Selecting an EAA formula which contains AjiPure MP9 Matrix along with coconut water powder, is the best way to support muscle health and promote muscle protein synthesis. Each serving of AjiPure MP9 Matrix delivers the anabolic leucine equivalent of 20g of protein from whey, making it a powerful stimulator of muscle protein synthesis. Ensure that any supplement you use comes with a third-party batch testing guarantee, so you have complete peace of mind that the product contains exactly what it claims to.

When to use

Personally, I will never go a day without using EAAs to support my physique and performance goals. This supplement has helped my progress exponentially, particularly with the intense workouts I do on a daily basis. I encourage you to add them to the top of your supplement list and experience the benefits first hand.

EXPERT: Kris Gethin is a nutrition consultant, trainer and author of the book Man of Iron.