Always confused about which will suit your needs better? Is it EAAs or BCAAs? Both of the supplements are part of many professional bodybuilders, athletes, and the general population, but it is still not clear among this population which could be their savior and can impact their muscle-building routine positively. Let’s dig deeper and understand the physiological interaction of both of them.
BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are a combination of the three most vital amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Dr. Donald Layman has done intensive research on amino acids and found that Leucine is considered to be the most important Amino Acid when it comes to building muscle mass. The Muscle Building Process is mainly divided into two parts, the initiation process, and the elongation process. The initiation process is dominated by single amino acid i.e. Leucine.
Leucine triggers Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS), it has been found to optimally trigger MPS you need to consume an adequate amount of Leucine, which is 2g-2.5g per meal/serving. But the best elongation response can be achieved in the presence of remaining amino acids, which unfortunately you don’t get in a BCAA supplement, you only get two amino acids in the elongation process i.e. isoleucine and valine.
Hence, BCAA has some benefits, but we need more amino acids to get a full-blown benefit from a supplement.
We know that protein is made up of mainly 22 amino acids, out of which 13 are non-essential amino acids (Yes, Glutamine be one of them) and 9 are Essential Amino Acids. Non-essential Amino Acids can be synthesized by your body so it’s not really important to consume them exogenously, while essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by your body this is why you need to consume them exogenously to get muscle building response. So what makes EAA unique?
An EAA is a combination of BCAA + remaining 6 Amino Acids. As mentioned above, we need 8 amino acids for the elongation process to make it work and EAAs fit really well in this case. Here are a few more benefits:
1- Increased MPS is the prime role of EAAs because it contains all essential amino acids.
2- Histidine is an amino acid that helps in better immune support response which makes EAAs the first choice for people with lower immunity scores.
Difference Between BCAAs and EAAs?
- BCAAs lack the amino acids essential to building muscles. While EAAs contain all the necessary amino acids.
- EAAs have 9 amino acids, while BCAAs contain only 3 amino acids.
- EAA gives you a better MPS response compared to BCAAs, as BCAAs lack other important amino acids.
- BCAAs are considered a weaker supplement compared to EAAs.
BCAAs vs EAAs
The muscle-building process has two main processes, i.e. Initiation Phase (Where muscle building process starts) and Elongation Process (where all muscle-building happens). The initiation process can be done with Leucine, which is common in both EAAs and BCAAs. Unknowingly, Leucine is the most critical amino acid in our life, Yes, you heard it right. It has been proven, protein and fats are the most important macronutrients for humankind.
EAAs are the best fit for MPS because both processes can be well catered as EAAs has a bigger quantum of amino acid compared to BCAAs. It has been said that EAAs give you almost the same response as whey protein, or foods like chicken, eggs, etc.
Conclusion We advise EAAs over BCAAs when it comes to nutritional support, now you know why we support EAAs!! Both of these supplements have upsides and downsides. EAAs are expensive compared to BCAAs, if you are running low on budget and have a non-vegetarian regime, then BCAAs will be a perfect match for you. If you don’t have a budget problem or you are into a vegan regime then EAAs can be the best you can have.