BCAA vs EAA: Difference and Comparison

Amino acids are basically broken-down proteins. Essential amino acids are those amino acids that a body cannot create by itself, a person, to fulfil this requirement, needs to take supplements.

Key Takeaways

  1. BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) are a group of three essential amino acids, while EAAs (Essential Amino Acids) are a group of nine amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own.
  2. BCAAs are used by athletes to help with muscle recovery and growth, while EAAs have a wider range of functions in the body.
  3. While BCAAs and EAAs can be obtained through a balanced diet, some people supplement with them for specific health and fitness goals.


The difference between BCAA and EAA is that BCAAs are also known as Branched Chain Amino Acids and constitute 3 out of 9 essential amino acids, whereas EAAS basically constitutes nine amino acids that are considered to be essential. A body cannot create them by itself, so one has to take supplements to fulfil its requirement.


BCAAs are also known as branched-chain amino acids. They are huge building blocks of protein that have a branched molecular structure.

EAAs comprise 9 out of 20 amino acids, also known as essential amino acids. All of these are responsible for performing different functions in the human body.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBCAAEAA
Molecular structureThey have aliphatic side chains along with a central carbon atom bound to three or even more carbon atoms.The molecular structure of EAAs constitutes essential amino acids in addition to the branched-chain amino acids.
Number of amino acidsBCAAs comprise 3 essential amino acids. Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine are 3 such amino acids.EAAs include 9 amino acids which are all categorized as essential amino acids.
Protein synthetic responseBCAAs are not considered very good for exercise and have a very low protein synthetic response.EAAs are very good for exercise and have a very high protein synthetic response.
Energy levelBCAAs are very helpful in fighting muscle fatigue and promoting endurance and strength during highly intense training periods.EAAs are not as helpful as BCAAs in fighting muscle fatigue and for the promotion of endurance and strength during highly intense training periods.
Immunity supportBCAAs do not provide as good immunity support as EAAs due to the non-availability of histamine, an essential amino acid for immunity support.EAAs have a component of histidine that produces histamine, which is an essential component for improving immunity support.

What is BCAA?

BCAAs are also known as branched-chain amino acids. It basically comprises three vital amino acids known as Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine.

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The benefits of using BCAAs as a supplement are:-

  • The use of BCAAs is helpful in reducing the amount of muscle fatigue. Using BCAAs supplements during the pre-workout session helps one to gym extra.
  • One of the major benefits of BCAA is to enhance the recovery of muscles and joints. They are also highly useful in reducing muscle soreness.

The major drawbacks of BCAA are:-

  • One of the major drawbacks of BCAA is that it negatively affects blood sugar metabolism.
  • BCAA is not at all suitable for pregnant and lactating women.
  • It lowers your serotonin level and thus hampers an individual’s sleep cycle.
  • It may also dysregulate various other protein metabolisms.

Studies indicate that BCAAs help in reducing mental and physical fatigue by almost 15%. BCAA contains only 3 out of 9 essential amino acids, so one may not avail the benefit of every type of component by using BCAA.


What is EAA?

EAAs constitute 9 amino acids that are responsible for various functions in the human body. It consists of valine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, histidine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine.

The major benefits of using EAA as a supplement are:-

  • One of the major benefits of EAA is to increase muscle protein synthesis as it contains all the necessary amino acids required for increasing muscle protein synthesis.
  • It also helps in providing better immunity support due to the presence of an amino acid called histidine that produces histamine.
  • It also helps in providing hormonal balance to the body as it contains amino acids, like leucine and lysine, that are helpful in keeping the endocrine system balanced.
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The major drawbacks of using EAAs are:-

  • They may be harmful to the digestive system of children, so one must consult a doctor before using these EAA based supplements.

They are also helpful in weight management as it contains methionine that helps a body metabolize fat and detoxify an individual’s blood. It may also be useful in making your mood cheerful and good.

Main Differences Between BCAA and EAA

  1. BCAA does not provide a good immunity boost when compared to EAA due to the non-presence of histidine in the BCAA supplement.
  2. BCAA are very effective in fighting muscle fatigue, whereas EAAs are not very effective in countering muscle fatigue.
  1. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/134/6/1583S/4688850
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261561409000727

Last Updated : 14 August, 2023

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