The EAA / BCAA paradox

Here is an article that explains well and quickly the difference between EAAs and BCAAs.

BCAAs are your friends when you are in severe calorie restriction but still eat a lot of protein (VERY rare in my practice now). Anti-catabolic but NOT anabolic (prevents muscle loss, but not gain).

Possible use: small dose before cardio on an empty stomach for more than 30min (5g)

EAA: Useful for anyone who wants to gain muscle mass (so anyone who is AKA resistance training all of you). 5-10g per workout.

IMPORTANT: this tip - especially an unbalanced intake disrupts the production of "feel good" hormones such as serotonin:

"The research on BCAAs which led to many of the claims surrounding them were carried out in rats in 2006. New human research is pointing to a balanced profile of amino acids being most beneficial for protein synthesis (ie, the building of new muscle). This is mainly because each amino acid does not work independently. All are required in order to achieve their purpose, the relevant one in this context being protein synthesis. Any supplement which disrupts the balance of their levels, including BCAAs, may actually disrupt this process."

So reserve the BCAAs for the next severe cutting phase, while EAAs are IN for the rest of the year.

Sebastien Cossette, ND

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