For many years, it seemed that BCAAs were one of the key supplements which we were told we needed to make progress in the gym. On a level with other ‘essentials’ such as whey, pre-workout and creatine. Up until recently we were all sipping on them in the gym and throughout the day, believing they would help us retain muscle and recover faster.

Why have they suddenly started falling out of fashion?

The difference between BCAAs and EAAs

It seems that lately, most new amino products are EAAs, or Essential Amino Acid blends. While BCAAs, Brached Chain Amino Acids, contain varying ratios of leucine, isoleucine and valine (often 2:1:1, 4:1:1, 8:1:1), EAAs contain 9 amino acids, including the 3 BCAAs, all of which the body cannot produce itself.

The Essential Amino Acids:

  • Methionine
  • Lysine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Leucine (Branched Chain)
  • Isoleucine (Branched Chain)
  • Valine (Branched Chain)

The research on BCAAs which led to many of the claims surrounding them were carried out in rats in 2006. New human research is pointing to a balanced profile of amino acids being most beneficial for protein synthesis (i.e., the building of new muscle). This is largely because each amino acid does not work independently. All are required in order to achieve their purpose, the relevant one in this context being protein synthesis. Any supplement which disrupts the balance of their levels, including BCAAs, may actually disrupt this process.

BCAAs might actually be hindering your gains!

How EAAs can Contribute to Improved Body Composition


  • Prevent a catabolic state
  • Assist in building muscle mass
  • Increase BMR for weight control

Like BCAAs, EAAs can be taken at any time throughout the day. However, research points towards pre and intra workout being ideal. They are great to add to a jug or large shaker to drink on the way to the gym and throughout training/cardio to ensure that you are well hydrated while supplying your muscles with amino acids.

When can BCAAs be beneficial?

  • When adequate protein is not consumed from food alone
  • Some taste great which can curb cravings during a diet

The takeaway here, however, is that you can consume the full spectrum of amino acids just as easily and for no additional cost… while there is no need to throw away your current stash of BCAA supplements, you are selling yourself short when there are so many great EAA products emerging.

Picking a Side

All in all, we would recommend that EAAs are the superior choice here for the serious athlete looking to maximise their muscle building potential. EAAs will give you ‘more bang for your buck’ so to say. Of course, you should ensure that all other variables are perfected first. These include adequate protein intake from quality sources (meat, fish, eggs) and a solid resistance training programme, consistently followed, which allows you to progress lifts over time.

Source :- cnpprofessional

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