A lot of gym bunnies are using BCAA'S and EAA’s - it’s all over the gram. But what actually are they?! I chat to nutrition supplement expert Greg Haglund (Founder/Director of Switch Nutrition) to get the low-down.
What are BCAA’s?
BCAA’s stands for Branched Chain Amino Acid. These are 3 of the 9 Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s). Their branched nature allows for rapid absorption so this has lead marketing companies to promote then as the
The difference between BCAA’s and EAA’s
As mentioned above BCAA’s are 3 of the 9 EAA’s. When something is essential it means you must get from your food or a supplement. Your body can’t make them. This is why meta-analysis (the
Take home message: Try and find a
- Reduced muscle breakdown
- Improved mental focus
- Stimulated muscle protein synthesis (recovery)
However, to fully benefit from the increased mTOR (protein synthesis) you need all EAA’s present.
BCAA’s side effects and dosage
BCAA’s and EAA’s are the simplest form of protein so the dosage depends on lean body weight and physical activity. As a general rule of thumb, 5 – 10g of BCAA's around training should be enough. Less is needed if you take EAA’s because they are more effective!
Take home message: Supplement with EAA’s over BCAA’s where possible to