What’s the Difference Between BCAAs and EAAs?

There has been a debate between BCAAs and EAAs ever since amino acid supplements were introduced to the market.

Essential amino acids are said to be important for athletes because they provide the body with all the protein it needs. But which is better- BCAA supplements or essential amino acid supplements?

Here is all the information you need to make an informed choice about these two well-known sports supplements.


BCAAs: what are they?

There are three essential amino acids in branching-chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, valine, and isoleucine. BCAAs are known to assist in the synthesis of new muscle proteins and prevent the breakdown or decomposition of existing muscle tissues. BCAA supplements are excellent for reducing muscle soreness following a workout as well as accelerating muscle recovery. They provide the following benefits:

A BCAA supplement can reduce muscular fatigue, allowing one to exercise more.

BCAAs are quite effective at easing muscle pain while improving muscle and joint healing.

BCAAs have the following drawbacks:

  • BCAAs negatively impact blood sugar metabolism.
  • BCAAs are not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.
  • Serotonin levels are lowered, disrupting sleep cycles.
  • Furthermore, it may affect the metabolism of a number of other proteins.

The BCAA supplement contains only 3 of the 9 essential amino acids, so it might not provide all the benefits of each type of component.

EAAs: what are they?

Essential amino acids (EAAs) are made up of nine amino acids that contribute to a number of bodily functions. It contains leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, methionine, threonine, histidine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, which all contribute to boosting strength and stamina. The following are the main benefits of taking EAA supplements:

EAA increases muscle protein synthesis by providing all the essential amino acids needed for this process.

Due to the presence of histidine, an amino acid that produces histamine, it also contributes to a better immune response.

Due to its amino acid content, such as leucine and lysine, it also aids in giving the body hormonal balance by maintaining the endocrine system.

EAAs have the following downsides:

In order to ensure that these supplements are safe for children’s digestive systems, one should consult a doctor before using them.

Besides assisting in the detoxification of blood and fat metabolism by the body, they are also helpful in managing weight due to their methionine content.

How do EAAs and BCAAs differ?

The following are some of the main differences between BCAAs and EAAs:

  • In contrast to EAAs, BCAAs have aliphatic side chains with a single carbon atom in the middle connected to three or more carbon atoms.
  • Compared to BCAAs, EAAs contain nine amino acids.
  • Compared to BCAAs, EAAs have a really impressive protein synthesis reaction.
  • BCAA supplements lack histidine, so they do not boost immunity as effectively as EAA supplements.
  • Muscle fatigue is less effectively prevented by EAAs than BCAAs.

The difference between BCAAs and EAAs

According to Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 4th ed., our muscles are particularly responsive to amino acids for up to 48 hours after exercise. As a result, amino acid supplements have become an integral part of fitness enthusiasts’ diets, both during and after a workout.

A recent study in Frontiers in Physiology found that consuming 5.6 g of BCAAs following a strength-training session increased muscle protein synthesis by 22%. A review article in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests that you need a plentiful supply of all EAAs and not just BCAAs to increase muscle protein synthesis.

All of the EAAs play an essential role in maintaining and rebuilding muscle, according to a number of studies. It has also been suggested that taking supplements containing EAAs may activate muscle protein in the same way as consuming a total protein source containing the same amount of EAAs (such as chicken breasts or whey protein).

In conclusion

There are both upsides and downsides to BCAAs and EAAs, so one can choose the best product based on their needs and wants. Consumers should determine what they expect from supplements when choosing between the two products. Despite being practically the same in price, both supplements serve different purposes.

All nine essential amino acids are contained in EAA supplements. As a result, EAAs are made up of three well-known and fundamental amino acids whereas BCAAs are made up of three. For the best buying choice, one should consult their health expert. If you are vegan, you should consider EAAs. Alternatively, you might want to think about BCAAs.