BCAA OR EEAA Which one to choose?

August 15, 2020 by No Comments

Amino acids are the nitrogenous molecules that join together to form larger structures: it is what proteins are made of, they are “the bricks”.

They play a very important role within the human body because they are vital elements for the protein synthesis process to be carried out. They are also used to create and maintain structures such as, for example, hormones, tendons, enzymes, muscles etc.

What amino acids exist? How are they classified?

There are 20 amino acids in total, and can be divided into 2 categories: essential and non-essential amino acids.

Our amino acid offers

Essential : there are 9 amino acids which the body cannot synthesize on its own. In the case of being able in very small doses so they have to be introduced through food or supplementation. They are as follows:

  • Histidine: Its functions include tissue repair and bone and muscle growth . Also, it has a strong presence in hemoglobin. It is essential for the production of white and red blood cells.
  • Isoleucine: helps maintain and regenerate muscle tissue.
  • Leucine: Participates in the development and regeneration of muscle protein and provides energy to muscles. It is also associated with a physiological activation mechanism, known as ” via mTOR “,
  • Lysine: It is responsible for preserving muscle tissue and is one of those responsible for the synthesis of carnitine, the amine that plays an important role in fat metabolism.
  • Methionine: It is the predecessor of cysteine ​​that participates in the formation of protein directly. Together with lysine, it is responsible for the synthesis of carnitine. Promotes the maintenance of skin, nails and hair tissues, in addition to being a powerful antioxidant
  • Phenylalanine: It also participates in the production of proteins and many other hormones such as adrenaline, dopamine and norepinephrine.
  • Theonine: Participates in the biosynthesis of vitamin B12 and isoleucine. It is responsible for maintaining adequate levels of protein within the body.
  • Tryptophan: It is a precursor of serotonin molecules, the well-being hormone, which is why it has a antidepressant function.
  • Valine: It is decisive in the process of providing energy to muscle cells, it is also responsible for sending chemical messages to the nervous system. It also contributes to the proper functioning of the liver and gallbladder.

Non-essential : the remaining 11. The body can produce them by itself.

What functions do they perform?

The functions of The amino acids in the body are generally the following:

  • Repair, build and maintain muscle tissues, tendons, ligaments, etc. They reduce the levels of muscle damage produced during training.
  • They participate in the synthesis of collagen.
  • Act as mediators in the metabolism of sugars and fats.
  • Helps to regulate leptin and ghrelin: they are mediators of appetite.
  • Regulate glucose in the blood and the production of hormones in the body.

Within the world of supplementation we can find 2 ways of introducing these branched amino acids:

BCAAs and EEAAs: differentiation

EAAs are made up of the 9 essential amino acids that exist, and BCAAs, called amino acids of branched chain, is the combination of three of these essential amino acids.

BCAAs , made up of a set of three amino acids that are leucine, isoleucine and valine and that have a role fundamental: they contribute to maintaining and building muscle mass.

BCAAs use insulin to enter the muscle cell. They cause a small, short-lived insulin release. This is a bit different than insulin ‘s response to carbohydrates. They are absorbed more easily and quickly than most other amino acids. Keep in mind that the whole protein is absorbed even faster than the individual amino acids. In fact, it is a different transport system for amino acids and whole protein.

Leucine works by alerting mTOR that it can generate protein synthesis in muscles. Isoleucine improves glucose metabolism by increasing its capacity to be stored in the muscles. There is evidence showing that 3-4 g of leucine per meal is enough to stimulate muscle protein synthesis to the maximum.

Isoleucine and valine, unlike leucine, can be converted to glucose.


Both EEAAs and BCAAs have practically the same benefits; delay muscle fatigue, help in recovery and development of muscle mass. Although these amino acids have certain differences, their effects are very similar

BCAAs contain three amino acids that are very important for athletes in greater quantities and EAAs contain all essential amino acids, but in lesser amounts.

In conclusion, the decision to choose one supplement or another It depends on you and the benefits and more specific functions, such as the party you want to get from each one. We once again emphasize that EEAAs contain BCAAS and are more complete, so if you have to choose between one, we would recommend this one.

And a whole protein supplement?

So the real difference is that whey protein contains all the amino acids that our body and muscles use, while BCAAs are just a small group of specific amino acids. that help with muscle growth.

A protein supplement for example, a whey, iso etc. It contains all the essential amino acids, the difference compared to the EEAA supplement is that it contains the bioactive peptides and they are not lost. Also, they have to be digested and absorbed. It is a slower process than EEAA alone, which could be a better option to take as a pre-workout, and complete protein as a post-workout.

A good option to ensure we reach the daily requirements is to combine both. There would be no major problem or inconvenience. If we had to choose one of the 3, it would be the complete protein. It is also a good option to combine EEAA together with protein, those people who decide to consume it from plant sources. which usually lack one ovaries of the essential amino acids. For example, lysine is missing in rice protein.

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