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BCAA or EAA?  The Tale of Amino Acids

BCAA or EAA? The Tale of Amino Acids

Supplements are something, when added to a solid nutrition and workout program, can help you achieve your health and fitness goals faster.  With the right supplements (like a BCAA or EAA), you can improve your workouts, improve your recovery, and improve your results.  Sounds like something you’d want, right?  There are many different supplements on the market today, and sometimes it can get confusing when looking online or on the shelves of your favorite supplement stop.

But when it comes to fitness, the two supplements that are quite popular are BCAAs and EAAs.

What Is a BCAA and EAA? 

Branched-chain amino acid (or BCAA) can be found in protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. They can also be found in powder form, sold as a popular dietary supplement that I’m sure you’re well aware of and may even be using currently or have in the past. 

Essential amino acid (or EAA) is deemed essential because your body cannot produce them on its own, so it must come from external sources such as high protein foods or EAA supplements.

BCAAs are basically three EAA ingredients combined as a standalone product. Among the nine EAAs (histidine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, methionine, threonine, valine, and tryptophan), three of them (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are what make up what we call BCAAs. The nine EAAs are considered the building blocks of protein, and they help build quality lean muscles and tissues in your body.

What Are the Benefits of BCAA and EAA Supplements? 

BCAAs and EAAs complement each other – hence they both have almost the same benefits in your body and when used around your training. Below are four benefits you should be aware of.

1. Improve Muscle Growth

Among all of the other benefits, this one is by far the most popular one when it comes to supplementing with BCAAs and EAAs. The powerful amino acid leucine helps trigger a specific pathway in your body that aids in muscle protein synthesis, which can also be termed as “muscle growth.” BCAAs play a key role in building lean muscle tissue, but you would require all the EAAs to truly maximize your results. Whey protein is an excellent example of a product that contains a good amount of all nine EAAs needed to help improve muscle growth and recovery.

2. Better Exercise Performance

Amino acids help to reduce serotonin levels in your body, which decreases fatigue and improves exercise performance. It is only natural to feel fatigued and exhausted after an intense workout, so supplementing with amino acids helps minimize workout-induced fatigue and soreness. With less fatigue, you will be able to improve your exercise performance and workout intensity.

3. Less Muscle Breakdown 

This is a significant factor in why many people turn to BCAAs and EAAs in their supplement regimen. BCAAsand EAAs can help improve the repairing of damaged muscle fibers and can also lessen muscle soreness (such as DOMS). This can help with better muscle growth, as well.

Supplementing with amino acids can also be a great option for those who are dieting and who want to prevent muscle-wasting where the muscle tissue, itself, is broken down to be used as an energy source. Clearly, that would be counterproductive to what you are trying to do – maintain your lean mass while you strip away body fat.

4. Better Workout Intensity

If you are someone who trains with intensity, then BCAA and EAA supplements can be extremely advantageous. When you provide your body with amino acids either pre- or intra-workout, you have the ability to recover faster and kick your intensity up a few notches rather than tapping out and hitting the wall prematurely.

Some Additional Benefits to Make You Aware of With BCAA and EAA Supplements Are:

  • Better mood and sleep
  • An increase in metabolic rate
  • The ability to avoid or minimize muscle-wasting in those who have cancer or who are getting up there in age

When Should You Take BCAAs and EAAs?

The great thing about BCAAs and EAAs is that you can take these amino acid supplements at any time of the day. That said, an ideal time to take both BCAA and EAA supplements would be before your workout, as well as during your workout.

If you take BCAA and EAA supplements during workout or pre-workout, you may notice that not only are your workouts better, but your results are improved as well. After all, you’re only as good as how quickly you can recover.

The best part about utilizing amino acids is that you can recover much faster (not only between sets but also post-workout), which puts you in a prime position to improve your muscle growth and muscle growth potential.

Why Is it Important to Utilize Both BCAAs and EAAs?

When you combine BCAAs and EAAs together, you can enable muscle protein anabolism that may lead to greater hypertrophy (muscle growth). Research has shown that while BCAAs can help improve recovery and muscle growth when included with the rest of the essential amino acids, your results can become even further enhanced.

Studies have shown that BCAAs help to boost nitrogen stored in your lean muscle tissue. Research has also shown that supplementing with amino acids can greatly reduce lean muscle tissue breakdown following an intense workout – followed by a faster recovery time and improved muscle repair and overall growth.

In a nutshell, EAAs are essential for muscle tissue development as well as cell repair.

You can look at it this way… BCAAs are the switch that turns on the lights, whereas EAAs are the actual electricity that flows and lights everything up. BCAAs without EAAs provides some benefit, but not as much in terms of results and muscle growth as when they are combined.

Maximize Your Training, Recovery, and Muscle Growth 

To wrap this all up, it can be said that BCAAs are EAAs, but not all EAAs can be BCAAs. Both are crucial for you to get the most from your training and time in the gym.

Which one you use is up to you, but our recommendation (and according to the research) points at utilizing both to achieve the best results. They are both essential as your body cannot produce them on its own, so it must be obtained from food or supplements. At the end of it all, it’s all about eating healthy and staying fit. Stay focused, and you can achieve great results.

If you want to further enhance your amino acid intake, consider utilizing a high-quality amino acid supplement like Apollon Nutrition Enigma. The formula found in Apollon Nutrition Enigma uses all nine essential amino acids, along with electrolytes, making it the ultimate EAA and BCAA recovery product.

Available in two delicious flavors, Apollon Nutrition Enigma will quickly become a supplement you look forward to using around your training. Apollon Nutrition Enigma can take your workouts and results to new heights with the ability to help maximize muscle growth, increase recovery, and support proper hydration levels. And with a 100% transparent label, you can feel good knowing exactly what you’re putting in your body. Once you try Enigma, you’ll never want to train without it.


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