EAA vs BCAA: The Comprehensive Guide to Amino Acids and Your Health

Amino acids are created naturally in your body. Yet, they also tend to be reliable supplements for those who take them to reach their fitness and health goals. There are two essential amino acids that we’ll be taking a look at in this guide: EAAs and BCAAs.

Don’t know what they are? EAAs stand for essential amino acids. BCAAs are short for branch-chained amino acids.

We will dive into the differences between them in this guide. In addition, you’ll also learn about what makes them excellent for your fitness goals and overall needs. Let’s cut to the chase and dive right in.

A woman choosing dumbbells in the gym


What Makes Amino Acids Important in Fitness?

Amino acids are blocks of protein that are beneficial for the human body. In short, they are used for the growth, repair, and maintenance of your muscle tissues. There are over 20 different amino acids that exist.

Nine of those are considered essential amino acids (EAAs). It is these in particular that cannot be produced naturally by your body on their own accord. The best way to get them is by way of your diet. The remaining eleven of these are considered non-essential amino acids.

Amino acids will be crucial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Of course, this is due to their role in the muscle protein synthesis process. Both EAAs and BCAAs will in different ways contribute to the overall process.

If lean muscle mass is what you aim for, amino acids will be important. Without them, even muscle growth itself won't be possible. 

A woman sitting on a bench with a shaker bottle and RAW EAA


EAAs Defined and Their Benefits

EAAs can only be acquired by diet. So what exactly are they? They include but are not limited to the following:

  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine,
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

These amino acids can be found in different types of food such as beef, poultry, eggs, and dairy among many others. As such, they will also provide you with the following benefits:

Muscle protein synthesis

EAAs such as leucine will play a role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Already, you know this as building and repairing muscle tissues. If you are intending to build muscle mass, this will be an excellent benefit to have. This will play a huge role in muscle growth that will make you look your best. 

Improved athletic performance

Who doesn’t want this for a benefit? When you use Essential Amino Acids as a supplement, you will notice this and more. This includes but is not limited to a reduction in muscle soreness and quicker recovery time. As such, you can get your EAAs either in a pre or post-workout routine.

Raw Nutrition’s EAA supplement


Raw Nutrition’s EAA supplement is designed for you to get the most out of your recovery. This is something that you could take after your workouts - especially when you want to recover from an intense session so you can do it all over again the next day. Since your body cannot produce them naturally, you don’t have to worry about taking too much with this supplement along with your regular diet.

Increased athletic performance will be beneficial for both weight loss and muscle gain. Whatever the goal is, amino acids will certainly play a role.

Enhanced endurances

Finally, Essential Amino Acids can be great for those who want to increase their endurance. Needless to say, it’s a great attribute to have if you’re an athlete or someone who wants to get intense workouts session after session. Chris Bumstead knows this all too well and his five-time Mr. Olympia wins are a testament to that.

If you want to keep going for a long time during your workouts, EAAs are the way to go. As such, you can take the EAA supplements before your session. Either way, it all depends on what you want to get out of it in terms of benefits.

Additional health benefits

One thing to be aware of is that EAAs can also be crucial to your overall health. They can be helpful in synthesizing neurotransmitters, enzymes, and other molecules as well. This means you can have a better immune function, a healthy metabolism, and other benefits that go along with it.

You'd be surprised what amino acids can do for the human body. Especially when it comes to additional health benefits outside of your fitness goals.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAS): Getting to Know Them

Branched-chain amino acids (or BCAAs) consist of a subset of EAAs: specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They will have similar functions to EAAs such as protein synthesis along with energy production. At the same time, they can be excellent for the preservation and recovery of your muscles.

Aside from that benefit, you can also experience reduced fatigue throughout exercise. Especially if your routine is more or less consistent with high-intensity or endurance training. In addition, you can also experience accelerated recovery as well in the same manner as EAAs.

Additionally, you can also enjoy various health benefits of BCAAs. Specifically, you will be able to regulate your blood sugar. You can also experience the same benefits as provided by EAAs (which we mentioned above).

Three men in the gym, wearing black t-shirts and black shorts

Can We Get BCAAs in Our Diet?

The short answer is yes. You can also get BCAAs in other Raw Nutrition supplements as well. For example, our line of whey protein supplements does contain them. Don't forget you get a good amount from other complete protein courses as well.

There’s nothing quite satisfying like a post-workout protein shake that will deliver the BCAAs that you need. Your muscles will thank you for giving them the tender love and care they need after an intense day at the “iron office”. Just remember to plan your meals accordingly since you have fitness goals to keep in line with (obviously).

In addition, branched-chain amino acid supplementation can also be suitable regularly. A mix of supplements and your diet will be enough to meet your daily demands. 

What If I’m on a Restricted Diet?

This section is for those of you who are dealing with dietary restrictions. We’re talking about those who adhere to the vegan or vegetarian approach. You can still get your amino acids without having to include meats or any animal products in your diet.

Quinoa and soy are two complete proteins that contain EAAs. In fact, they’re the only two plant-based proteins on the planet that will be an excellent source for them. You won’t find them in any other. By the way, our Vegan Protein Powder is packed with amino acids.

So the good news is that you are able to get the amino acids you need to ensure your muscles are repaired, nourished, and stronger than ever. Rejoice to know that you won’t miss out on amino acids just because you are adamant about following a certain diet restriction where meat and animal products are out of the question.

In addition, you can also take amino acid supplements (even in capsules). Why miss out on the benefit of muscle building due to dietary restrictions? We're here to say that it's possible.

Are There Any Negative Effects to Amino Acids?

For the most part, EAA and BCAA supplements are safe to use. EAAs in particular might not be good for those who are taking antidiabetic medications. The reason for this is that EAAs themselves can cause your blood sugar levels to spike.

Therefore, it may be a good idea to consider steering clear from EAA supplements. Those who are recovering from a recent surgery should do the same as it can hinder healing and recovery. As always, if you have any concerns about any supplements or specific ingredients, err on the side of caution and talk to your physician.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

To quote an electronic store from bygone days, “you got questions, we got answers”. Specifically, we have answers to what people are asking about amino acids. So let’s dive right into the list right now:

Does EAA boost testosterone?

Believe it or not, EAAs have the ability to decrease the stress hormone cortisol. At the same time, it can also play a role in increasing the levels of testosterone in men. Testosterone can also help with muscle breakdown and muscle recovery.

Is it OK to take BCAAs and EAAs together?

You bet. In fact, both types of amino acids were designed to be taken together with a balanced diet. Because you get the maximum benefits of these amino acids. After all, they are also found in the foods you eat too.

Do EAAs make you gain weight?

No. Amino acids won’t cause weight gain despite the fact they only contain a few calories. So if anything, you might not be destroying your weight loss goals any time soon.

Can I mix creatine with EAAs?

While there is no written rule that allows you or disallows you, you’re welcome to do it. However, we see no point in doing so. Our recommendation is to refrain from mixing the two together. But at the end of the day, the final decision rests in your hands.

Can BCAAs aid in losing belly fat?

Believe it or not, if you take BCAAs with every meal, you may stand the chance to lose belly fat. Yes, it can be stubborn to lose. But if you’re looking to lose weight and burn fat, this might be worth the experiment to try. Of course, we encourage you to consult with a physician first and foremost if you ever have any concerns.

How many grams of BCAAs should I have daily?

The recommended daily dose that you should take is at least 20 grams. In addition, consider taking them in divided doses as opposed to all at once. This includes supplementation and the foods you eat throughout the day.

Final Thoughts

Amino acids - both EAA and BCAA - are your best friends when it comes to smashing your fitness goals. You may have already included them in your diet. However, it’s always a good idea to add them to your supplement stack.

At Raw Nutrition, we do our part to make sure you have the supplements you need to keep yourself in good shape. Whether it’s pre-workouts to keep you going or whey protein for a post-recovery shake, we’ve got you covered. Your next step is to check out what we have in our online store.

So what are you waiting for? Check out what we have today for your fitness and nutrition needs.


The information being presented in this blog is intended to be used as educational or resource information only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your healthcare provider. This content should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider. You should call 911 for all medical emergencies. Raw Nutrition is not liable for any advice or information provided on this blog, which advice or information is provided on an “as-is” basis, and assumes no liability for diagnosis, treatment, decisions, or actions made in reliance upon any advice or information contained on this blog. No warranties, express or implied, are made on the information that is provided.

July 10, 2024 — Briana Gonzalez