BCAA are among the most popular sports supplements. If you want to build muscles or maintain them in a calorie deficit, you will get the branched-chain amino acids (= b ranched c hain a mino a cids) not over. However, many people now prefer to use EAA . After all, leucine, valine and isoleucine are also among the essential amino acids and are therefore also contained in EAA supplements. So are EAA the better choice or should I take both? BCAA or EAA? Our blog post brings clarity.
What are EAA and BCAA and what are their benefits?
The proteins that we take in with food are broken down in the body into their individual components – the amino acids . We use this in turn to build up our own protein (i.e. muscles). 20 amino acids are involved in protein structure (they are therefore also referred to as proteinogenic amino acids ). Some of them are essential (EAA = e ssential a mino a cids), others are produced by the body itself. Essential amino acids (tryptophan, phenylalanine, leucine , Lysine, valine, isoleucine, threonine, methionine) must be taken in through food. The following applies: the more essential amino acids there are in a food, the higher the quality of the protein. In this context you have probably heard of the term biological value , which determines the quality of our food proteins.
If our body lacks a certain amino acid or if it is not available in sufficient quantities, it cannot completely produce a protein. As with a construction site: if only one stone is missing, the workers cannot continue building and everything comes to a standstill. If you are not adequately supplied with EAAs, you will not build any muscles.
But amino acids are not only needed to build muscles. They also serve our muscles as suppliers of energy . This is where a special group of EAAs comes into play: the BCAAs (= b ranched c hain a mino a cids or branched-chain amino acids). The BCAAs include the amino acids valine, isoleucine and leucine. In contrast to the other amino acids, which are mainly metabolized in the liver, our body breaks down the BCAAs directly in the muscle . So they are not only involved in building up the muscles, but also serve as a source of energy for the muscle cells. During exercise, in particular, we metabolize many branched-chain amino acids for energy. In addition, the supply of BCAA (recommended for athletes anabolika online bestellen) stimulates the release of insulin and activates the protein mTOR. Both anabolic factors that promote muscle growth . BCAA promote muscle building and regeneration after training.
BCAA or EAA: Which makes more sense?
If BCAAs were considered the ultimate in a long time, EAAs are now slowly overtaking them. The argument that is often behind this sounds logical: Why don’t I prefer to consume the full range of amino acids rather than limit myself to a few? True to the motto: A lot helps a lot. This point of view is represented by many strength athletes and has its justification. As you have already read above, it is important that you get all the essential amino acids . Especially with a one-sided diet or a low protein intake, you should therefore rely on EAA supplements.
But the fact is that no other amino acids push protein biosynthesis as much as BCAAs (especially the amino acid leucine). So why not rely on what is most effective? This argument also sounds understandable. Unfortunately, neither of these approaches can be clearly proven by studies. Whether BCAA or EAA supplements make more sense will probably remain part of numerous discussions for a while. At the moment the tendency in fitness circles is more towards EAAs. We think that the BCAA supplements are also justified. In the following section you will read why.
What are the advantages of BCAA supplements?
Leucine, lysine and valine are also contained in EAA supplements, however the proportion is lower there. In addition, they are usually not in the optimal ratio in EAA preparations of 2: 1: 1 (leucine: isoleucine: valine). Another argument for taking BCAA supplements: If you increase the intake of BCAAs, less tryptophan is transported across the blood-brain barrier into the brain. The amino acids compete for the same transport system. As a result, the serotonin concentration drops because tryptophan is the precursor of this neurotransmitter. Serotonin plays an important role in the transmission of signals from the brain to the muscles. High levels of serotonin in the blood lead to significantly faster fatigue. It is therefore advisable to take the BCAAs before exercise for intensive training units, as they reduce symptoms of fatigue and boost your workout .
Proponents of BCAA also like to argue that the intake of branched-chain amino acids prevents muscle breakdown in the calorie deficit. They serve the body, so to speak, as an emergency reserve when there is too little glucose in the blood and the carbohydrate (glycogen) reserves are running out. The more BCAA the body gets, the less it has to rely on its own supplies (muscles).
Some also opt for BCAAs because of the better taste. EAA have a more intense taste of their own, which does not go down well with everyone. If you can’t get used to the taste of EAAs, you should try our Instant EAAs in different flavors. In order to increase the positive effect of the EAAs, we have optimized our EAAs with piperine.
Whether EAAs or BCAAs are better cannot (yet) be answered in such a general way. EAAs are the right choice for those who just want to generally improve the protein supply of their body and push their muscles a little. Here you get the entire package of essential amino acids . If only youIf you want to specifically improve your training performance and prevent symptoms of fatigue during an intensive workout, you can use BCAAs. The same applies if you train in a calorie deficit. Of course, EAA and BCAA supplements can also be combined. You can use EAAs e.g. Take BCAAs before and / or after your workout on non-training days, for example.