EAA or BCAA: which one to choose?

Many of you have probably wondered what the differences are between BCAAs and EAAs. Despite some commonalities, they are nonetheless different. So what are the differences between EAAs and BCAAs and who are they for? This is what we will see in this article!

BCAAs, what are they?


The BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are amino acids branched, including the leucine,isoleucine and valine. They are said to be essential because the body does not know how to synthesize them on its own, hence the fact of supplementing.

BCAAs have many benefits: they help to build muscle, are a energy source during your workouts, allow a better recovery and they reduce catabolism (muscle self-destruction).

Why combine these 3 amino acids?

Because many studies have shown that:

  • Leucine is the amino acid that initiates protein synthesis. If there were no leucine, the other amino acids would not be absorbed properly.
  • Isoleucine and valine provide energy to muscles when muscle glycogen stores are depleted.
  • Studies on BCAAs report "a 22% increase in protein synthesis" by consuming 5,6g of BCAAs after a workout.

What are EAAs?


The EAA represents 9 essential amino acids present in muscle proteins. Proteins consist of 20 amino acids, including 9 that the body cannot synthesize on its own, hence the supplementation.

The 9 EAAs are: isoleucine, leucine, valine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, histidine and tryptophan.

As you can notice, there are also BCAAs, because an EAA complex must contain the 9 of the aminogram !

What to choose ?

It would be easier to choose the EAAs, since they have the 9 essential amino acids. However, BCAAs are generally higher in leucine than EAAs, and it is leucine that determines the amount of protein that can be absorbed by the body.

As a result, athletes who consume their protein quota daily and who are looking to improve their muscle mass and their recovery will turn more to BCAAs.

While EAAs will be more interesting for people who have trouble getting enough protein on an regular basis :

  • People in a hurry;
  • Who travel often;
  • People who have difficulty gaining weight;
  • Vegetarians;
  • People following a slimming diet and who wish to maintain their muscle mass;
  • People who can't stand protein powder.

Ultimately, if your daily protein quotas are reached and you take whey or whey isolate, turn to BCAAs. You can find it on Iron Heroes. If, on the other hand, you are not a fan of meat or you are a vegetarian and do not consume whey, it will be more advantageous for you to take EAAs.

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