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Fasting, Autophagy, and EAAs—What You Need to Know

Posted by: Steven Butler on Friday, April 29, 2022

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Fasting, Autophagy, and EAAs—What You Need to Know

If you don’t know the benefits of fasting and how it can be helpful to your body, the mention of fasting can easily incite feelings of sacrifice and torture. Yet, it’s become a topic in many discussions on wellness. Likewise, Autophagy (our body’s way of “self-cleaning”) has hit headlines in both the medical and fitness fields as scientists learn more about how the human body processes energy. Whether you’re looking to build muscle, lose weight, balance your insulin levels, reduce inflammation, or simply improve your overall wellbeing, this article will help you understand why fasting and autophagy go hand-in-hand—hopefully in a way that gives you motivation and confidence in implementing these effective methods for better health. Plus, we’ll outline some of the benefits of including Essential Amino Acids (EEAs) to support your fasting efforts and give your body the fuel it needs to repair, recover, and regenerate.

Fasting 101

Without getting too technical, fasting cleanses our body of toxins and forces cells to function in ways that are not usually stimulated when we provide a steady stream of fuel from food. When we restrict our calorie intake, it forces the body to work more efficiently, leading to autophagy (more on that later). Autophagy then causes the body’s cells to clean out and recycle any unnecessary or damaged components and rebuild new ones as needed.

 There are various types of fasting, each offering a different level of influence on the body’s biochemical reactions. The one most popular with many is Intermittent FastingIt generally implements an 8-hour “eating window” where all of your calories are consumed, followed by a fast for 16 hours to allow your body to process and then reset before the next meal. The fasting period is usually done overnight, when people are sleeping. For example, you could eat all of your meals and snacks from 10 am to 6 pm, then fast from dinner until mid-morning the next day.

There are other methods that use calorie restrictions on certain days of the week, then some that utilize a hard fast of no calories for 24-48 hours. Be sure to do your due diligence when deciding which type of fasting to try, and be prepared to be flexible as you find which one is right for you. It’s also important to note that people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, and those on prescription medications should consult with their doctor before embarking on a fasting diet plan. 

Autophagy’s Role in Fasting

Autophagy is the body’s way of detoxing itself at a cellular level. The word “autophagy” is derived from the Greek language, meaning “self-eating”. In short, it is the body’s way of eliminating or recycling damaged cells. 

While the body naturally goes into autophagy, many have taken to inducing it through fasting methods. Restricting the body’s intake of calories puts it under “stress” and causes autophagy to kick in with a plan to clean out and recycle any unnecessary parts. 

Another way to encourage autophagy is through exercise. It makes sense to think about the body being stressed during a workout and the cells beginning the autophagy process in order to protect themselves and make the best use of the energy already stored. By combining fasting and exercise, a person can take full advantage of the body’s amazing ability to look after itself through autophagy.

How Amino Acids Help

One of the most challenging aspects of fasting is changing our body’s idea of when to eat or not eat. We’ve become accustomed to a fast-paced life where we grab a quick breakfast on the way out of the door in the morning, steal a few minutes for a speedy lunch if we can get away, snack when we can, then indulge in a big dinner when we’re finally able to put the work day behind us. For many, convenience has become the deciding factor for what to eat and when.

Like most diet changes, fasting requires some planning. However, it is generally quite easy if you’re only limiting when you eat, rather than what you eat. Of course, maintaining a well-balanced diet is vital for good health and best results, but counting calories or scrutinizing ingredient lists doesn’t have to consume your time in order to benefit from fasting. 

Amino Acid supplements can be a big help when it comes to curbing hunger or limiting possible side effects of fasting, such as brain fog and low energy (if practicing a hard fast for 24-48 hours). I.AM.AMINO offers Essential Amino Acids which are vital for building proteins, hormones, and neurotransmitters, but also help improve one’s mood and aid in getting the most benefit from a workout. 

So it’s no wonder EAAs have become a common interest in the fitness world. But you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits of using I.AM.AMINO. As mentioned, essential amino acids support various bodily functions that help improve and maintain good health, repair damaged cells, and heighten cognitive thinking. Who doesn’t want all of that?! Plus, EAAs have been shown to aid in better sleep as well!

The Essentials

There are eight “essential” amino acids (20 amino acids in total) that the body needs in order to function at its best. However, EAAs are not naturally created by our body. They must be obtained through diet and supplementation. Let’s take a look at the eight essential amino acids used in I.AM.AMINO to help understand their importance.

  1. Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine helps in forming the structure and functioning of proteins, enzymes and synthesis of other amino acids. It is a messenger for the brain’s chemicals such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
  2. Valine: Valine aids our body’s ability to grow muscle, regenerate tissue, and produce energy.  
  3. Threonine: Threonine is vital in the structural proteins of our body, such as collagen and elastin. They help the skin, connective tissues, and our immune system, while also aiding in the formation of blood clots. Threonine is also responsible for helping in the metabolism of fat.
  4. Tryptophan: Tryptophan is our “mood regulating” EAA”. It helps balance the nitrogen in our body, in turn assisting with the synthesis of serotonin which regulates mood, appetite, and sleep.
  5. Methionine: Methionine not only helps in tissue growth and metabolism, but also  detoxification of the body. It is what helps our body absorb essential minerals such as selenium and zinc, which are important for our immune system, among other things.
  6. Leucine: Leucine is essential for the synthesis of muscle, regulation of blood sugar levels, and healing of wounds.
  7. Isoleucine: Isoleucine is closely related to leucine. It is involved in muscle metabolism and is important for boosting immune function, synthesis of hemoglobin, and regulation of energy.
  8. Lysine: Lysine is another EAA that helps in the synthesis of protein and boosts immune functions. In addition, it aids in the synthesis of enzymes, hormones (collagen and elastin), calcium absorption, and energy production.

Availability

While all EAAs are available through foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish, there is reassuring evidence of the importance of ensuring your body is getting the essential amino acids it needs for optimum performance. That is why the team at I.AM.AMINO is so passionate about the research we’ve put into our formula. Not only have we aggregated the most effective combination of all EIGHT EAAs your body needs, but we’ve also worked hard to overcome the traditional downside of bad-tasting amino acid supplements. I.AM.AMINO is a deliciously flavored powder you can enjoy without feeling tortured for the sake of better health!

Summary

There are countless studies that show the benefits of fasting and our bodies’ use of autophagy for repair and longevity. We can also find copious amounts of information on the vital role essential amino acids play in aiding those functions. With I.AM.AMINO, you can have a satisfying, healthy drink during a fast period without compromising your efforts. I.AM.AMINO does not kick-start any digestive processes, nor does it affect your insulin levels, thus allowing your body to remain in its fasting state, cleaning up the junk your body doesn’t need. It also feeds your body the EAAs it requires for rebuilding and improving important functions.

Understanding the value of fasting, the importance of autophagy, and the critical need for essential amino acids should help you take charge of your health and diet habits. Even trying one fasting period a week will give your body a chance to regroup and repair. We’re here to help you live longer, happier, and healthier!

“I.AM.AMINO is by far the best tasting 1:1 MAP EAA I've ever tried. You're getting it all with this product; great quality, great taste, great price and great results!”

Alan H. Verified customer

“Best tasting EAA mix out there! Sweet, tart, and no dragon breath aftertaste! Great customer service, and you can’t beat the value!”

Stephanie K. Verified customer

“I have been using I.AM.AMINO since early July and am very pleased with it. It has helped me achieve my fasting goals and make strength gains. Love the taste!”

Henry H. Verified customer

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