BCAAs and EAAs: A Guide.
What are BCAAs and EAAs?
- BCAAs stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids, and includes the 3 amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.
- EAAs stands for Essential Amino Acids. There are 9 essential amino acids, and three of them are BCAAs.
- These amino acids are considered essential because your body does not naturally produce them, which means you must get them through diet and supplementation. Much like protein, there are ways to get these from food (meat, fish, eggs) but it is often more convenient and consistent to use a supplement in your daily routine.
- Amino acids are important because they building block of muscles, which is going to help accelerate muscle recovery after breaking them down in a tough workout.
- Amino acids have also shown to protect your muscle glycogen during workouts, which is your body’s primary source of energy when working out. Translation: You will be able to sustain your energy longer throughout workouts, allowing you to do more reps and push more weight.
So what’s the big deal about EAAs? I've heard of BCAAs, but EAAs are new to me.
- Newer research has suggested that BCAAs without the rest of the EAAs don’t provide near as much benefit, if at all.
- There has always been a common misconception that BCAAs alone will build muscle. In reality, there are several components that contribute to building muscle, and the recent research has shown that EAAs are superior to BCAAs alone.
- EAAs have been shown to preserve muscle, especially when the body is in a fasted state.
- Lysine, an EAA, has recently been shown to stimulate your appetite, possibly reducing cravings of bad foods.
- Tryptophan, an EAA, helps produce serotonin in the brain and improve cognitive performance.
In short, amino acids, especially when supplementing all 9 essential amino acids, can help build muscle, preserve energy throughout workouts, curve cravings and improve brain health. If you consistently train hard and put your body through stress, it’s worth supplementing EAAs into your diet.
Our BCAA + EAA supplement can be found here: Peak BCAA + EAA