Since the introduction of amino acid supplements to the market, the debate between BCAAs vs EAAs has continued.
Bodybuilders and endurance athletes alike have long kept a special place in their hearts for branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplements. But recently, essential amino acid (EAA) supplements have proliferated worldwide, posing a threat to BCAAs as the preferred sports supplement among fitness fanatics. On the one hand, BCAA proponents insist that the holy trinity of branched-chain amino acids is the secret to gains, while EAA proponents contend that ingesting all nine essential amino acids is preferable. So, what is the difference between BCAA and EAA?
Is one clearly better than the other? Which vitamin is best for you? Here is all the information you need to know about the two well-known sports supplements so you can make an informed choice.
What are BCAAs?
Branching-chain amino acids (BCAAs) comprise Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine—three essential amino acids. According to research, BCAAs help in the synthesis of new muscle proteins and prevent the breakdown or decomposition of existing muscle tissue. They are excellent for reducing post-workout muscular soreness and accelerating muscle recovery. The benefits of using BCAA supplements include:
- BCAA supplementation can aid to reduce the level of muscular fatigue. One can exercise more if they take BCAA supplements before their workout.
- Improving muscle and joint healing is one of the key advantages of BCAAs. They are also quite effective at easing muscle pain.
The main drawbacks with BCAAs are:
- The negative impact BCAAs have on blood sugar metabolism is one of their main downsides.
- For women who are pregnant or nursing, BCAAs are not at all recommended.
- It disrupts a person’s sleep cycle by lowering serotonin levels.
- Additionally, it may dysregulate a number of other protein metabolisms.
Only 3 of the 9 essential amino acids are present in BCAAs, therefore using these supplements might not provide all the benefits of each type of component.
What are EAAs?
Nine amino acids make up the essential amino acids (EAAs), which are involved in a number of bodily processes. Leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, methionine, threonine, histidine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine are all present. It is a substance that aids in boosting a person’s strength and stamina. The following are the main benefits of using EAA supplements:
- Increased muscle protein synthesis is one of the key benefits of EAA because it includes all the essential amino acids for this process.
- Because histidine, an amino acid that produces histamine, is present, it also helps in better immune support.
- As it contains amino acids like leucine and lysine that are beneficial in maintaining the balance of the endocrine system, it also aids in giving the body hormonal balance.
The following are the main downsides of using EAAs:
- Before using these EAA-based supplements, one must speak with a doctor because they might be hazardous to children’s digestive systems.
- They are also useful for managing weight because they contain methionine, which aids in the detoxification of blood and the metabolism of fat by the body. In addition, it could help you feel upbeat and positive.
What is the Difference Between EAAs and BCAAs?
Here are some of the main difference between BCAAs and EAAs:
- While EAAs make up all the necessary amino acids, BCAA have aliphatic side-chains with a single carbon atom in the middle connected to three or more carbon atoms.
- EAAs have a total of 9 amino acids, compared to BCAAs’ 3 amino acids.
- EAAs have a really remarkable protein synthetic reaction. However, BCAAs do not have a good protein synthesis response.
- Due to the absence of histidine in the BCAA supplement, it is not as effective in boosting immunity as the EAA supplement.
- EAAs are less effective than BCAAs at preventing muscular fatigue.
BCAAs vs EAAs
Our muscles are particularly responsive to amino acids for up to 48 hours after we exercise, according to the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 4th ed. This is why amino acid supplements have become a mainstay of so many fitness enthusiasts’ intra- and post-workout diets.
According to a recent study in Frontiers in Physiology, consuming 5.6 g of BCAAs following a strength-training session increased muscle protein synthesis by 22%. To increase muscle protein synthesis, however, a review article in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition asserts that you want a plentiful supply of all EAAs and not just BCAAs.
In reality, a number of studies back up the notion that all of the EAAs play important roles in maintaining and rebuilding muscle. They also suggest that taking supplements of EAAs may activate muscle protein in the same way as taking supplements of a total protein source containing the same amount of those EAAs (like whey protein or chicken breast).
Both BCAAs and EAAs have upsides and downsides but one can choose the best product by considering their needs and wants. The difference between the two products should be based on what a consumer anticipates from a supplement. Both supplements are practically the same in price, yet they serve different purposes.
The nine essential amino acids are all present in EAA supplements. On the other hand, BCAAs are made up of three well-known and fundamental amino acids. Choose EAAs if you eat a vegan-based diet. Alternatively, you might want to think about using BCAAs. For the best buying choice, one must consult their health expert.