Eaa vs Bcaa


The war between Essential Amino Acids (EAA) and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) continues. For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, continue reading! I’m going to look into the differences between the two and which could be suited for better results. We will also outline a few tips to consider when opting for an amino acid supplement. Let us take a look into the EAA vs BCAA category battle.

What are Amino Acids?

We will start by discussing what Amino acids do in our body. Amino Acids are known to many as the building blocks of a protein, this is because one single protein is made up of 20 amino acids. These dietary amino acids are found in many of our wholefood protein sources that we consume.

Of these 20 amino acids, 11 are comprised of non-essential (amino acids produced naturally in adequate amounts by the body) and the remaining nine amino acids are essential (amino acids that are not synthesised by our body).

Why are they a necessity in everyday function?

Well, when we consume protein rich meals or whey protein powders, our body begins to break down these foods into amino acids, for direct utilisation. They are needed for vital processes like cell building/regeneration and synthesising of hormones. They also help with neurotransmitters and to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS), which stimulates growth of our muscle fibres.

The most important amino acid which acts as the (On and Off switch) for the MPS cycle is L-Leucine. This branch chain amino acid enables blood sugar regulation, wound healing, produces growth hormones and can be used for generating adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Amino acids are the simplest and fastest absorbed form of protein and are used by our bodies for various processes. These include muscle growth, repair and recovery from exercise, regulating immune function and support for physical performance and even brain function.

Amino Acids in our foods

Amino acids are found in most plant and animal based foods. The following whole foods are considered to be complete sources of protein and contain all 9 essential amino acids.

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Quinoa
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products

When we consume these sources of a complete protein the body can only absorb a certain amount of protein. If you exceed the recommended amount of protein throughout the day your body simply excretes what’s left.

Evenly spreading the meals throughout the day will also ensure protein is utilised effeciently. Only consuming enough for your body’s requirements is another important factor.

Which one should I choose? Eaa vs Bcaa

When you first consider taking either BCAAs or EAAs, you have to first ask yourself, “which one should I go with”? To make it easier for you, I have outline the benefits of both, so you can make an informed decision regarding which one is best for you.


Branched Chain Amino Acids are made up of the 3 amino acids.

  • L-leucine
  • Valine
  • Isoleucine

BCAA’s are essential amino acids that our body needs not only for boosting energy, but also reducing the effects of fatigue through and after exercise. BCAA’s do indeed have a number of benefits. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle growth or you’re an endurance athlete, BCAA’s are highly beneficial and versatile to consume at virtually anytime of the day and by a broad range of individuals.


Essential Amino Acids comprise of 9 amino acids, once all consumed enables the body to make or repair muscle tissue.

  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

By utilising all of these amino acids in the one supplement you directly increase muscular endurance, reduction in fatigue and the building of lean muscle mass. EAAs are generally the opted choice when it comes to thinking about which one to go with. It only makes sense to complete the building blocks for protein synthesis by consuming the full spectrum of EAAs. Right?

When should I take Amino acids?

When we look at Amino Acid supplementation, it really comes down to your needs and lifestyle. Amino acids can be consumed either pre , intra or post workout. Generally, amino acids are consumed intra workout (while you train) in order to reduce fatigue and lactic acid build up.

You can also sip on amino acids throughout the day which may aid hydration and recovery. Research suggests that the optimal time to consume amino acids is directly before a workout, this way it triggers the MPS cycle to prevent muscle tissue damage and stimulate recovery. It is also suggested that EAA supplementation helps in the reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Supplementing with Amino Acids

Now lets have a look at amino acid supplementation post workout and how the body utilises it. When we consume whey protein powder post workout, our body begins to digest and absorb the powder. From here it is broken down into amino acids for direct uptake into the bloodstream. It will then circulate around the body and be distributed for different regeneration purposes.

Who can consume Amino Acids?

Amino acids are used by a wide array of people. The elite strength and endurance athletes to individuals looking to combat body fat in the gym. Essential amino acids can be used for their MPS effects and reducing muscle tissue wastage. This is especially helpful when trying to drop body fat and retain the muscle tissue.

They are a great addition to the long and heavy loaded sessions that your putting your body through week to week. Whether your training in the gym, going for the daily cardio or spending your time in the office, both BCAAs and EAAs will aid not only aid your recovery for overall well being, but support hydration levels as well.

Due to amino acids assisting in the creation and growth of tissue and protein synthesis within our body, anyone can supplement with them, providing you have been cleared by a medical professional.

Do Amino Acid supplements work?

The answer to this question is, it depends. While those who supplement amino acids regularly find that there overall recovery and endurance is improved, others haven’t noticed a great difference. It really depends on the individuals current training and nutrition regime. If you feel like you’re obtaining benefits from amino acids then that’s a bonus!

Evidence from research suggests, that consuming essential amino acids over branched chain amino acids will be more beneficial for enhancing the MPS cycle, this is because essential amino acids contain the nine amino’s required for building proteins, whereas BCAAs only contain three of the nine.

When we start to think about why EAAs are superior, it makes sense when referring to not only muscle growth but enhancing overall repair and cell regeneration throughout the body.

Amino Acid shopping tips

When your seeking out BCAA or EAA formulas make sure you read the label or ask one of the friendly team members at PowerSupps. Be sure to ask the following questions.

What are the ingredients?

Although BCAA and EAA supplements contain amino acids, some brands and products differ by either adding extra ingredients or varying dosages. Always be sure to check the ingredient list of the products so your not taking ingredients you don’t wish to consume. This can range from added caffeine, citrulline, tyrosine as well as nootropics (cognitive enhancers) depending on the product.

What is the ratio of BCAAs?

Looking at ratios and serving sizes can be confusing with certain products. They can range from 30-60serves depending on brand and dosages of amino acids per serving. BCAA products deliver a few different ratios depending on the manufacture. They simply refer to the quantity of each amino acid per serving. I have listed the most common ones below.

2:1:1 ratio = 50% Leucine, 25% Isoleucine, 25% Valine

4:1:1 ratio = 66% Leucine, 17% Isoleucine and 17% valine

What are the dosages and serving size?

Depending on what constitutes a serving size for the desired product, always have a look at how many grams of amino acids your getting per serving. Dosages will vary depending on which product you choose to go with, so make sure your selecting either a 2:1:1 or 4:1:1 ratio. The BCAA ratio is important as each individual amino acid plays a vital role in the body when supplementing with it pre, intra or post workout.

Wrapping up

From this article, I’m hoping you’ve gained a greater understanding of the differences between both BCAAs and EAAs. Amino acids provide the building blocks for our body to produce proteins for muscle tissue repair, brain function, hormone regulation, organ health, bone density and the list goes on.

The full scale of Essential Amino Acids are found in wholefood sources such as meat, fish, poultry, quinoa and milk. If you are vegan or choose not to eat these types of foods, it is becomes a little more difficult to get the dosages of amino acids your body needs to operate and develop at a progressive rate. This is where supplementation can play a pivotal role in your long term health.

When looking to supplement with Amino acids always make sure to find the best option for you having a look over our website and the product information we have.

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