For those of who have been a part of fitness industry, by now would have heard of amino acids, to which there are 20 in total when consumed from a complete protein source such as a chicken breast or eggs etc. But when we think of amino acid supplementation we will either think of the more well known 'branched chained amino acids' (BCAA's) or little know but seeming to becoming more popular over the last few years, 'essential amino acids' (EAA's) ...

Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life.

When proteins are digested or broken down, amino acids are left. The human body uses amino acids to make proteins to help the body:

  • Break down food
  • Grow and Repair body tissue such a muscle
  • and help the body perform various other functions.

Amino acids can also be used as a source of energy by the body.

So.....

What's the difference and which ones should we be taking, is one more beneficial than the other?

The main difference between the two, is essential amino acids (EAA's) contain 9 amino acids, being : histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

And Branched Chained Amino Acids (BCAA's) only contain 3 of the 9 essential amino acids.

So looking at the above, why had BCAA's become more popular? The long and short if it is because of marketing. Due to BCAAs being most important for energy production and muscle metabolism they were heavily promoted in the fitness industry and just caught on.

While branched chained amino acids have their place, and my preferred time to use them was during my fasted cardio sessions on prep to help preserve my muscle tissue whilst in a deficit, or boosting the amino acid content of the the complete proteins from the food I was eating, if we were to look it in the case of wanting to build new muscle tissue, then solely using a BCAA Product is much like sitting in a car without the keys. Yes you may be sat in the drivers seat but you won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

This is where using an essential amino acid product would be a much better choice (wether in a kcal deficit or surplus)

The benefits are plenty, including:

Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s) are called "essential" because the body cannot make them; they must be obtained from food and/or supplement sources. Many of us don't eat enough EAA-rich foods, and many more don't absorb or utilize them well. As we age, the body's ability to extract the maximum nutrients from any protein source decline; and the excess calories in this protein can be stored as fat.

While bodybuilders popularized the use of "branched" EAA’s for muscular growth and maintenance, anyone can benefit from their use! EAA’s stimulate the production of cellular energy and promote cellular repair. They initiate the creation of the critical enzymes necessary for healthy (and complete) digestion. They are especially important for those who cope with any form of physical or mental stress including intensive training, injury, or surgery.

  • EAA's are needed, not just bcaa's are needed to stimulate mps (muscle protein synthesis)
  • EAA’s prevent muscular breakdown during periods of intense physical and
  • mental stress.
  • EAA’s improve enhance and protect the mitochondria, our cells' energy
  • factories.
  • EAA’s can curb hunger and improve metabolism.

When looking to purchase an essential amino acid product to use along side a well balanced diet, I would recommend Maxxmuscle100 EAAmmo. Each 15g serving gives a powerful combination of EAA's and BCAA's that includes a 3g serving of leucine. Its designed to amplify training efforts and sustain workout intensity to help get you through those gruelling sessions, prolong endurance, improve recovery and Stave off catabolism. Also included is the adaptogen ashwagandah that helps fight of cortisol and reduce inflammation.

And whats more, unlike most BCAA and EAA products found on the market that are synthesized from feathers, fur, even hair, MaxxMuscle100 EAA is made using the highest quality vegetable derived and fermented which not only makes them a superior choice but also makes them perfect for vegans, and vegetarians too!