What Are EAAs and BCAAs?
Now that you know the basics of amino acids and muscle building let’s get into the different types. In this section, I’ll define BCAAs and EAAs.
What Are EAAs?
An essential amino acid (EAA) is an amino acid your body can’t make fast enough to provide the amount you need. Therefore, you must get essential amino acids in your diet.
There are nine EAAs called leucine, isoleucine, valine, phenylalanine, methionine, histidine, lysine, threonine, and tryptophan.
Protein sources like meat, dairy, and eggs contain all nine EAAs and are considered complete proteins. In contrast, plant protein sources are usually lacking in one or more EAA and are considered incomplete protein sources.
What Are BCAAs?
A branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) is a specific type of essential amino acid with a branched molecular structure. These amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
BCAAs are the primary amino acids found in skeletal muscle, so they are considered the most important for muscle building. However, BCAAs on their own are not a complete protein.
In other words, EAAs contain all the BCAAs, but BCAAs do not contain all the EAAs.