Okay, they both have AA’s in them - we know that! AA stands for amino acids and you are correct. Both are aminos but one is a “branch chain” and the other is an “essential” amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and are the nutrients that come from the breaking down of protein in your diet.
This is where it gets confusing where it should not. The “essential” aminos are a family of amino acids where the “branch chain” are just three. Here is the KICKER… “branch chain” falls under the “essential family”
Branch chain amino acids are made up of leucine, valine, and iso-leucine. Leucine is THE most important one because it is anabolic aka...it means building muscle. As long as you understand that leucine needs to be the highest, we can proceed.
Back in the day (like 2 years ago), BCAAs were all the rage. All you needed was your 5g at a 2:1:1 ration and you would be good! This was proven in several college clinical studies and made sense. Then someone came up with the idea that if you did this with ALL the essential amino acids, it would be even better...and guess what...they were right.
More is always better in the supplement game (okay, most of the time it is).
The reason why is that the family of “essential amino acids” all play a role in cellular and muscle regeneration so why not have them all to maximize their benefit. This is why EAAs are superior to BCAAs.
Here is a little chart that breaks down the difference:
The only time to really take BCAAs is if you want to save money and strictly get the most out of building muscle. If that is your only goal and you have plenty of protein in your diet, that it saves to be a BCAA drinker. The difference is usually around $5-10 more for EAA supplements.
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Click HERE for all our EAA supplements
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