BCAA Vs EAA: Which is better and why? - Leopard Nutrition

BCAA Vs EAA: Which is better and why?

Distinct differences differentiate BCAA and EAA, but a trickier part is the question, which is better—confused whether BCAAs or EAAs?

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They come in two types, essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids. For crucial amino acids, the human body cannot develop on its own thus must be supplied through suppliants.

Of all the nine types of essential amino acids, three are BCAAs. BCAAs are EAAs but not all EAAs are BCAAs.

The nine essential amino acids are leucine, lysine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, histidine, and isoleucine. Branched-chain amino acids on the other end are valine, leucine, and isoleucine.

BCAAs are popular among bodybuilders and athletes. They boost the muscle-building process and recovery process. Both EAAs and BCAAs are increasing in popularity in the market, thus raising the concerns of which is better and why.

Before looking into EAA vs BCAA, let us understand the basics of amino acids.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Protein in the human body is absorbed, metabolized, and broken down into 20 amino acids.

Of the 20 amino acids, nine are considered essential, 3 of the essentials being branched-chain amino acids. Your body cannot create the nine amino acids. This means you must take supplements of other dietary sources rich in these nutrients. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are pivotal in muscle protein synthesis.

The human body is in high need of proteins. They are used up by the body in large quantities meaning they are required on the other end still in large amounts. Your body should have more amino acids than is produced; this is a muscle-building or anabolic state. If your body breaks down more amino acids than it’s gaining, then you get to a muscle mass situation.

The human body has three layers of energy sources. The first one is glycone, which is the energy from the foods we consume daily, the second layer is from fatty acids, and the third is from the reserves, amino acids.

What is BCAA?

Branched-chain amino acids prevent muscles from breakdown. They are responsible for muscle synthesis. These proteins contain soreness and wear out of muscles after a workout and are accountable for a waste muscle recovery procedure.

Here are a few advantages of taking frequent BCAAs supplements:

  • They enhance muscle and joint recovery in cases of injury or extreme fatigue. BCAAs eliminate instances of muscle soreness.
  • Through BCAAs, it is easy to reduce muscle fatigue giving you more power to exercise more. Bodybuilders and athletes more prefer them.
  • BCAAs reduce muscle mass breakdown.


Disadvantages of BCAA

  • It might harm pregnant and lactating women
  • It affects blood sugar metabolism in the human body
  • Can dysregulate the breaking down of proteins.


About EAA?

EAA refers to the essential amino acid. They are 9 in total. Every amino acid has a particular function in the body. You can use some in combination to achieve a specific function within the body. Intake of tryptophan, for instance, has a variety of melatonin, serotonin, and niacin to promote healthy sleep and a positive mood.

Other than the above three, the rest are conditional amino acids. Glutamine, for instance, is an amino acid, which is used up quickly in times of the blood-brain barrier. Recent studies also have shown that it is responsible for the blood-brain barrier. It also supports irritable bowel diseases like chrons, IBS, and ulcerative colitis. Glutamine is the essential amino acid when it comes to reducing muscle soreness.

Why EAAs?

It helps in immunity support, which comes because of histidine, amino acid-producing histamine.

  • Provides the right balance of hormones in the body due to the presence of leucine and lysine. The two balances allow the proper function of the endocrine. 
  • Enhances endurance.
  • Improves energy levels.
  • Delays muscle fatigue.
  • Rebuilds lean-muscle mass.

Differences: EAAs Vs BCAAs

Molecular structure

BCAAs are aliphatic side chains and have a central carbon atom connected to at least more than three carbon atoms. BCAAs thus have a distinct molecular structure compared to other amino acids. Every time you develop muscle tears during a workout, it’s the work of BCAAs to repair those tears. EAAs, on the other hand, in terms of molecular structure, including all essential amino acids, including the branched-chain amino acids.

Inhibiting energy levels

Comparing EAA vs BCAA, BCAA is essential in eliminating fatigue and promoting endurance during strenuous training periods. The potential cause for fatigue during exercise is the change in the brain’s serotonin levels. High levels indicate that your muscles are fatigued, resulting in less energy, power, and endurance. One of the EAAs is Tryptophan, which crosses the blood-brain barrier and is then broken down to serotonin. In other words, while BCAAs fight muscle fatigue, EAAs are responsible for more fatigue.

Muscle protein synthesis

 EAAs are highly responsible for stimulating muscle protein synthesis and creating an anabolic state where the muscle protein breakdown is less than muscle synthesis. In simple terms, uptake of more EAAs boosts muscle development than BCAAs do.

Which is Better?

So, should you consider EAA or BCAA ?

Essential amino acids are present in natural foods in large quantities. So long as you are consuming a balanced diet, you will always have enough essential amino acids. This type of amino acid is not enough for gym goes and severe bodybuilders and athletes. They demand more.

Both BCAAs and EAAs are beneficial to the body, promote workout endurance, and inhibit muscle protein breakdown.

The two types of amino acids provide extra performance benefits and boost energy requirements in the body through improved exercise recovery.

Unless you have an extra stressing workout or lifestyle, lean poultry, lean red meat, and dairy products, eggs, and other plant proteins should give you enough balanced diet.

Consider more EAAs and BCAAs if:

  • You have regular strenuous exercise. The supplements boost muscle synthesis while inhibiting muscle fatigue.
  • You are a vegan or fast a lot. EAA will stand in place of your low protein intake. It’s an excellent way to prevent muscle loss.
  • Busy and stressful lifestyle. An active lifestyle may call for additional help in generating protein content. EAAs supplements and BCAAs will work fine.

So, which supplement are you considering EAA or BCAA? Tell me in the comment below. 


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