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Choosing a healthy mix of supplements is an art and a science in itself. Despite the numerous blogs and resources available out there, it can be tough to figure out which supplements or supplement combinations will work the best for your unique requirements and fitness goals. The ‘BCAA vs Creatine’ battle is a rather old one. Seemingly similar, they are often marketed to the same target audience. Essentially, they are both derived from amino acids and are used to boost performance and expedite muscle recovery. But there are plenty of other factors that make them different from one another.
Continue reading to find out more about BCAA vs creatine; how they serve different purposes and which one should you opt for.
BCAA vs Creatine: What are they?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are essential for pretty much all bodily functions. Out of the 20 amino acids, 9 are essential which means that human bodies cannot produce those naturally; and therefore, they must be consumed through diet. Amino acid supplements are a wonderful way to get those essential amino acids with speed and ease. Out of the several types of amino acid supplements available, BCAA vs creatine are often subjected to debate. Although both are amino acid supplements, the difference lies in their structure and the benefits they provide. While BCAAs support muscle protein synthesis, creatine provides rapid bursts of energy for strength building exercises and activities.
What are BCAAs?
BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids. BCAAs are mainly broken down in the muscles and do not need to undergo digestion. Therefore, they are fast in their action as compared to other amino acid supplements. BCAAs contain these three branched-chain amino acids:
All three of these offer unique benefits to the body.
What is Creatine?
Unlike BCAAs, creatine can also be produced by the body naturally. It helps create ATP, which carries energy obtained by breaking down food and delivers it to the cells. This way, creatine provides energy to boost exercise performance. It is a tripeptide amino acid molecule which is made up of:
Benefits of BCAA vs Creatine
BCAAs get directly absorbed into the bloodstream without undergoing the regular process of digestion. BCAAs are broken down by the muscles to obtain energy during intense workouts and in doing so, prevent muscle breakdown during exercise. This is the reason why BCAA supplements are mostly consumed during intensive workout and training sessions as a quick energy source and offer the following benefits:
- Aids in protein synthesis for building lean muscles.
- Fuels muscles with energy during exercise
- Prevents fatigue and muscle breakdown
- Is low in calories and also aids fat loss
- Promotes quick muscle recovery
- Can be used in combination with other supplements
Creatine, on the other hand, is stored in the skeletal muscle and helps in producing ATP for providing energy to the body cells. It does not directly enhance muscle synthesis but provides extra bursts of energy to undergo more intensive exercises and perform more reps which will, in turn, build more muscle. Here are the benefits unique to creatine supplements:
- Increase endurance
- Help in quick muscle recovery
- Help retain water in muscles to make them look bigger
- Aid in muscle growth
- Help avoid extreme fatigue after workouts
BCAA vs Creatine: Which One to Choose?
The BCAA vs creatine debate is a rather complex one with no obvious winner or loser. Different people prefer one or the other based on their own unique needs. For those having a hard time choosing one, the good news is, they can both be consumed at different times within the same day. The key is to understand the properties and benefits of both and then choose accordingly. Creatine is a great option for those that are strength training and building muscle mass. For enhancing lean muscle, BCAA supplements are a better option.
Regardless of the supplement you choose, the supplement quality is of utmost importance. The supplement must be chosen only after speculating each ingredient listed on the supplement packaging. Choosing the right manufacturer is also paramount for avoiding side effects associated with additives, preservatives, and other non-essential ingredients. The quality of raw materials will decide the efficacy of the final product. BL Bio Lab keeps in mind all these pointers before beginning the manufacturing process at its FDA-registered facility. The operations and in-house testing facilities ensure that clients can be confident about the products they choose.