It is a frequent debate between BCAAs vs protein powder. We already know how essential protein is for maintaining muscle mass. However, you might not know that branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) play a significant role in their capacity to increase strength.
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You must keep this acronym in mind when creating an eating regimen or supplement program that will assist in achieving your fitness objectives. There are various advantages of BCAAs that can aid in your progress.
The distinction between the two is not well understood by many people. How are they different? Do they have to take both? Which is preferable?
What is Protein?
The term “macronutrients” refers to proteins. They are necessary for increasing muscular growth. Animal products and plant-based foods like legumes and nuts are both sources of protein in human diets. Simply eating meat and beans will provide adequate protein for the majority of us. However, those who exercise frequently or who are athletes might need supplemental protein.
Protein, carbs, and fat are the three macronutrients. We can get calories for energy from these. Simply to survive, we need a lot of macronutrients. These are the essential vitamins and minerals needed for life.
Proteins are chemically made of amino acids. These are carbon-, hydrogen-, nitrogen-, and oxygen-based organic acids. Proteins are composed of amino acids. When proteins are digested by the body, they can then be used to build muscle mass. Additionally, amino acids help create immune system-supporting proteins.
What are BCAAs?
Three of the nine essential amino acids—amino acids the body can’t make on its own—are branched-chain amino acids:
Protein is made up of amino acids, and amino acids are the building blocks of muscle. The three most essential amino acids for muscle growth and repair are called BCAAs. The dynamic trio of muscle growth and development is comprised of these three blocked chained amino acids. These three amino acids operate in conjunction to increase muscle growth, speed post-workout recovery, and minimize post-workout soreness.
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BCAAs Vs Protein Powder
Proteins are not BCAAs. They are some of the parts that make up protein.
The macronutrient protein has many health advantages for the body, especially when it comes to physical activity and fitness.
Due to the energy needed to digest it, protein also gives a brief transitory boost to metabolism and may aid in promoting satiety. The ability to feel fuller for a longer period of time because to satiety is crucial since it might result in a decrease in daily caloric consumption.
The energy needed to break down protein gives the body a short boost in metabolism, which may also aid to increase satiety. Satiety is important because it can help you feel fuller for longer, which can lead to a reduction in daily caloric intake.
BCAAs may be the best dietary supplement to take for someone whose main objective is to increase lean muscle mass. The body may start utilizing the three amino acids found in BCAA supplements right away to start building muscle. Unlike protein, which needs to be digested and broken down into component amino acids.
All amino acids can be used for different processes in the body after being broken down by metabolism. Other amino acids, like the BCAAs found in a complete protein, are also used to build muscle. Some amino acids are used to support the immune system. For people who are training for advanced competition, a BCAA supplement that is easy to get may be a better choice.
When to Take Aminos?
Athletes who are skilled and experienced as well as those who are simply trying to maintain their fitness use BCAAs. Compared to proteins, BCAAs have a number of advantages.
BCAAs are well known for their ability to increase muscle mass, reduce tiredness, and lower both the intensity and length of post-workout soreness. Because these particular amino acids are easily accessible for protein synthesis, BCAAs can start rebuilding and strengthening muscle right away. BCAAs should be consumed when you:
- To Increase Muscle Mass
Leucine, one of the BCAAs, promotes muscle growth by activating on a particular metabolic process. This is how the body builds muscle using the building blocks that amino acids offer.
According to scientific evidence, consuming just 5.5 grams of BCAAs can boost muscle protein by more than 20% following a resistance training session. It seems that taking BCAAs right after your training or workout is the optimal time to do so.
Benefits of BCAAs
- Develop muscles
- Decrease soreness
- Decrease tiredness
- Prevent muscle loss
- It could help with liver problems
9 Best BCAAs Powders
Thorne Amino Complex
The three BCAAs are among the necessary amino acids that are abundant in this product.
It is sweetened with stevia, and the juice of fruits and vegetables gives it color. The flavours of Thorne Amino Complex are berry and lemon.
Thorne is a supplement maker that has earned the respect and trust of the medical community, and for good reason.
Dairy, soy, and gluten are not included in Thorne Amino Complex. But people who follow a vegan diet shouldn’t take the supplement because the maker doesn’t say if the ingredients come from animals or not.
Designs for Health BCAA Powder
The three BCAAs are combined in this product with L-glutamine, an amino acid that is concentrated in muscle tissue and which, when taken as a supplement, may lessen the breakdown of muscle tissue.
It is naturally orange-flavoured and sweetened with stevia. Additionally, it is free of soy, gluten, and artificial sweeteners.
The company is also cGMP certified to make sure that quality, accuracy, and purity are maintained throughout the whole process of making medicines.
Klean Athlete BCAA + Peak ATP
Klean Athlete’s powder mixes BCAAs with Peak ATP, a type of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
A substance called ATP gives your cells energy. According to some research, taking ATP as a supplement may enhance workout performance. As a result, this product should be consumed 30 minutes before exercising.
In particular, the BCAA powder is NSF Certified for Sport, making it a fantastic option for athletes. Additionally, it is suitable for vegans, GMO-free, gluten-free, and free of artificial flavours and colours.
Vital Proteins Vital Performance Recovery Powder
All nine of the essential amino acids, 20 grammes of collagen, and electrolytes are also included in Vital Performance Recovery Powder in addition to BCAAs, which can help with hydration.
Taurine is also contained, which may aid with endurance, but studies on this are conflicting and inconclusive.
The amount of essential amino acids (EAAs) in this powder is 8 grams in total, but the amount of each BCAA is not specified on the label.
The company claims that all Vital Proteins products undergo independent testing for the presence of microorganisms and heavy metals.
NOW Sports Branched-Chain Amino Acid Powder
This flavourless product is free of gluten, soy, tree nuts, wheat, seafood, and shellfish and only includes BCAAs. It is also suitable for vegans.
With Informed-Sport certification, NOW Sports Branched-Chain Amino Acid powder undergoes independent testing for prohibited chemicals prior to sale.
Pure Encapsulations BCAA Powder
A supplement with only BCAAs, Pure Encapsulations BCAA powder is unflavored and unsweetened. Additionally, the powder is vegetarian, gluten-free, and GMO-free.
The business has obtained CGMP certification and goes above and above the requirements set by the independent United States Pharmacopeia, which establishes standards for the production of dietary supplements.
The only ingredients in Naked BCAAs powder are the three BCAAs and sunflower lecithin.
A third-party lab in the United States tests Naked products.
The BCAA powder from Naked is gluten-free and vegan-certified. Additionally, it is GMO- and soy-free.
Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules
Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules are comprised of water and cellulose, a component found in plant cells, and solely contain the three BCAAs.
The fact that these capsules are vegan-friendly sets them apart from Life Extension.
Additionally, you just need to take two capsules every day rather than four.
As was already noted, Pure Encapsulations has CGMP certification, and the quality of its products is independently verified.
Life Extension BCAA Capsules
Life Extension BCAA comes in capsules form. People who like the convenience of pill-form supplements or who dislike the flavor of supplement powders can choose BCAA capsules.
The dietary supplement uses capsules made of vegetable cellulose that only contain the three BCAAs. Additionally, it is non-GMO confirmed and gluten-free.
Although the exterior coating is suitable for vegetarians, the manufacturer doesn’t specify whether the nutrients inside come from animal products.
How to choose the best BCAA supplement?
When choosing a product, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re interested in taking a BCAA supplement:
Quality: When looking for a BCAA supplement, only buy products from reputable companies that follow safety and quality regulations, such as third-party testing and CGMPs as forth by the FDA.
Dosage: How much BCAAs you take depends on a variety of factors, including your body weight and the purpose for which you are taking them. The majority of supplements have a serving size of between 3 and 10 grams and can be taken several times day. If you’re taking BCAAs for a medical condition and have questions regarding dosage or timing, it’s advisable to speak with your doctor or a qualified dietitian.
Form: Consider the form of BCAA supplement that is most effective for you. For instance, powders are an excellent option if you have trouble to swallow tablets.
Ingredients: Some BCAA supplements include artificial sweeteners, soy, gluten, and added sugars. If you wish to stay away from any of these, make sure to check the ingredient lists.
In general, BCAA supplements are regarded as harmless. But before beginning a new supplement, it’s best to speak with a medical expert, especially if you have a health concern.
Some people should refrain from taking BCAA supplements, especially those with medical illnesses like maple syrup urine disease that prevent the breakdown of BCAAs.
Additionally, women who are expecting or breastfeeding should avoid taking BCAA supplements.
The choice between BCAAs and proteins usually comes down to which supplement is going to help you increase your muscle mass and allowing you to continue working out and exercising. A small amount of BCAAs and proteins can provide the benefits you require, whether you’re interested in high-intensity exercise or overall fitness.
The choice truly depends on your main objectives. Proteins and BCAAs both aid in muscle growth. Both will aid in reducing stress and soreness. The primary difference is between the complete boost of amino acids you get from a whole protein and the immediate availability of BCAAs for muscle protein synthesis.
A BCAA supplement may be preferred by athletes and fitness enthusiasts since they are more likely to obtain nutrients from dietary sources. The basic objective is to gain muscle.
In either scenario, proteins and BCAAs can support you in achieving actual benefits from your training and workouts.
Aditi Paul Chakraborty is a food and wellness writer. She is a double postgraduate in English Literature and Mass Communication and Journalism from MIT and a regular at various international film festivals.
She is a movie buff, a painter, a traveler, and a shopaholic. She is happily married to a loving husband and has a caring mother-in-law.