The debate of EAAs vs BCAAs is a hot topic in the fitness world. If you are new into fitness and bodybuilding, then it might get a little confusing for you to choose the right supplement. EAAs are essential amino acid supplements, while BCAAs are branched-chain amino acid supplements. Both these have special features and benefits for the body. You cannot replace one by the other. We recommend that you get in touch with your doctor and trainer to know more about each of these supplements and to know which of these would be best suitable for you.
Our muscles are particularly responsive to amino acids for up to 48 hours after we exercise, that’s why the importance of EAAs and BCAAs is on the rise, especially in the fitness world.
What Are EAAs And BCAAs?
It is true that in terms of fitness, BCAA supplements get a lot more attention as compared to EAA supplements. But for some people EAA supplements work the best. Let’s start by understanding what each of these are.
Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are a total of 20 amino acids and out of these nine are considered essential for humans. They are called essential amino acids because the human body cannot produce them and one must get these either through food sources or in the form of dietary and fitness supplements. EAAs build vital proteins in the body that are used to create tissues, organs and muscles. They also play a vital role in optimizing liver function and neurotransmitters in the brain. The nine essential amino acids are –
These nine essential amino acids are involved in various functions of the body. Some of the main benefits are –
- Boost metabolism and keep energy levels up throughout the day
- Enhances muscle protein synthesis
- Helps in maintaining the balance of the endocrine system and maintains the hormonal balance in the body
- Boosts immunity and helps you fight against infections
Taking an EAA Supplement before, during or after your workout can produce an increase in Protein Synthesis that may create a positive protein balance and result in a muscle building (anabolic) state that allows you to recover and build muscle more easily. Always choose an EAA supplement with added electrolytes for hydration support. You can have them pre, during, or post workout. Before you include any new EAA supplement in your routine, make sure to consult your doctor. If you have a chronic health condition, they can be harmful for you.
What Are BCAAs?
BCAAs comprise of leucine, iso-leucine, and valine, the three essential amino acids. BCAAs help in the synthesis of new muscle proteins and prevent muscle breakdown. They also work great to reduce post-workout muscle soreness and help in reducing fatigue and tiredness. So, if you want to push through your workouts and take them to the next level, talk to your trainer about including the best BCAA supplements in your routine. GNC BCAA supplements are really popular for pre workouts. You can get BCAAs through natural food sources as well. Some foods that are rich in BCAAs include –
- Nuts and seeds
- Beans and lentils
- Poultry, meat, and fish
- Dairy products like milk and cheese
- Reduces fatigue and tiredness after intense workouts
- Promotes muscle building
- Helps boost immunity
- Keeps your energy levels up throughout the workout
- Reduces muscle damage and soreness
Some of the main drawbacks of BCAA supplements include –
- They can have a negative effect on your blood glucose level.
- For pregnant ladies and nursing mothers, BCAA supplements are not recommended.
- BCAA supplements may disrupt your sleep cycle by lowering serotonin levels.
Difference Between EAAs And BCAAs
You can get your daily dose of EAAs from protein sources like fish, eggs, dairy products etc. But when you do intense training or train to be a bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast, then the EAA levels in your body start depleting and it is recommended that you include a premium quality EAA supplement.
Here are some of the main differences between EAAs and BCAAs –
- 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.
- EAAs are less effective than BCAAs at preventing muscular fatigue.
- Due to the absence of histidine in the BCAA supplement, it is not as effective in boosting immunity as compared to EAA supplements.
You can check out the GNC India website to browse through all the EAA and BCAA supplements. They are of premium quality and are known for amazing results. The main GNC EAA and BCAA supplements are –
- GNC Pro Performance Essential Amino Complete
- GNC Pro Performance AMP Gold Series Ultra Rush
- GNC AMP Gold Series BCAA Advanced
- GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate
- GNC Pro Performance L-Glutamine
A lot of people ask EAAs vs. BCAAs – which one is better for me? There cannot be a correct answer to this question. It all depends on your current fitness level and ultimate fitness goals. Ask your trainer to know which out an EAA or a BCAA supplement would be suitable for you.
EAA And BCAA Side Effects
Be it EAA or BCAA supplements, you need to make sure to read the dosage instructions carefully. Do not consume more than the mentioned amount, as it may cause side effects. Some of the main side effects include – nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, wheezing and coughing, headache, allergic reactions - redness, rashes, and itching etc.
You can take EAA and BCAA supplements every day if your doctor and trainer have prescribed them to you. But if you notice any side effects, stop taking the supplement and seek medical help at the earliest. If you are pregnant, a lactating mother, or are someone who takes any medication or treatment for a chronic illness, then it is best to stay away from EAA and BCAA supplements unless especially recommended by your doctor. Discontinue use 2 weeks prior to any surgery.