If you’re reading this article, you are probably wondering which is better: BCAA or Whey Protein?
Well, the question is understandable, especially if you are new to the fitness world. Both BCAA and Whey protein provides numerous benefits to athletes, bodybuilders, and mass gainers.
But if you read blogs of supplement manufacturers, then all their products are gold in their eyes. And reading scientific reports is a bit complex and confusing.
Therefore, we are here! This article will answer three of your questions—What is BCAA, What is Whey Protein, and Which is Better? So, let’s get started.
What is Whey Protein?
Do you know what whey is? Whey is the liquid part of milk that is left behind after the milk is curdled and strained. Have you ever seen liquid floating on top of the yogurt container after opening it? Yeah, that’s whey!
So, whey protein is the mixture of proteins extracted from the whey. In simpler words, whey protein supplements are the powdered form of whey.
Our body does not produce nine essential amino acids. Whey protein contains all the nine essential amino acids that help in the proper functioning of our body.
In 2017, a study showed that whey protein gets absorbed quicker than other proteins. It helps in muscle repairing and building fibers that get torn out during a workout.
It is popular among athletes, bodybuilders, trainers, and fitness models as it helps increase muscle growth and strength. Also, if taken regularly after a workout, it can improve performance and energy levels in the person.
Now, let’s move on to BCAA.
What is BCAA?
BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acid) is a mixture of three essential amino acids—Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.
BCAAs are the building block of proteins and are directly gets used as energy fuels to preserve the glycogen stores. The unique chemical structure of BCAAs causes a breakdown of them in muscles instead of in the liver.
It helps in increasing muscle protein synthesis, lean muscle mass, and energy levels in our bodies. It is why BCAAs have become popular among athletes and bodybuilders in no time.
All the three essential amino acids in BCAAs perform different functions:
- Leucine burns fat and promotes protein synthesis in muscles.
- Isoleucine boosts immunity and protein metabolism. It also maintains the blood sugar level, thus prevents diabetes.
- Valine repairs and builds muscles quickly and increases the energy levels in our body to do an intense workout.
Usually, BCAAs gets consumed as a pre-workout supplement to provide body energy and strength for an intense and productive workout.
We have discussed BCAA and Whey Protein; now it’s time to know which one is better. So, let’s go for it.
BCAA Vs. Whey Protein: Which One is Better?
Both BCAA and Whey Protein have proven to increase muscle strength and provide energy to the body, especially Whey protein.
As Whey Protein contains all the 9 essential amino acids, then it means it also contains BCAAs. I know, I know! You are probably wondering whether you should take BCAAs if you have already consumed Whey Protein.
Well, this section will resolve both of your questions. So, let’s have a look.
Impact on Muscle Growth
As we already know, BCAAs, especially Leucine, helps in increasing muscle protein synthesis, thus improves muscle growth and strength. But so do Whey Protein!
Whey Protein contains Leucine and all other essential amino acids; so, a combination of all the essential amino acids speeds up the process of muscle growth.
Results: Overall, in terms of impacting muscle growth, whey protein is superior and better than BCAAs.
Many factors such as type of workout, location, and temperature play a significant role in choosing supplements.
BCAAs increases your stamina and endurance when you’re doing a workout at a high temperature, such as jogging in the park or doing a marathon.
On the other hand, whey protein is more effective in giving instant energy to you while doing weight lifting in a gym.
Results: Overall, Whey protein is again a winner as it contains all the essential amino acids; so, you can exercise in both high and low temperatures.
BCAAs are the only amino acids that break down in muscles; all other amino acids get broken down in the liver. It means that BCAAs get easily absorbed in the muscles and used as energy fuels immediately.
However, Whey Protein contains other essential amino acids which get broken down in the liver and then metabolized; it’s a long process.
Results: In terms of Quick Absorption, BCAAs have clearly won this level!
If you are lactose intolerant, then you should choose supplements carefully! As already told, Whey protein is made up of proteins present in whey that contains lactose. However, during an ultrafiltration process, most of the lactose gets removed.
But still, if you are too sensitive to lactose, then BCAA is a better option. BCAA is 100% free of lactose.
Results: So, if you are lactose intolerant, go for BCAA but make sure to consume other essential amino acids through diet.
Impact on Weight Loss
If you are trying to lose weight, then it is crucial to choose low-calorie supplements. BCAAs contain low calories than Whey protein.
Only 5 grams of whey contains 100 grams of calories. 5 grams of BCAAs, on the other hand, has 20 grams of calories.
Results: Here also, BCAAs are the winner!
Instead of containing all the essential amino acids, Whey Protein costs less than BCAAs. So, if you find BCAAs expensive, then you should go for Whey protein.
Results: Obviously, Whey Protein! It is a good deal with more benefits than BCAAs.
BCAA and whey protein both help boost energy, endurance, and strength of muscles and the body. So, one should not debate on BCAA and whey protein.
The best way to improve your performance during a workout is to consume BCAA and Whey protein together. There is no harm in that! Take BCAA and Whey protein as pre-workout and post-workout supplements, respectively.
However, if you want to consume one, go for Whey protein as it is both effective and efficient and contains all the essential amino acids.
So, that’s all for today, guys! We hope that you find our article helpful. Also, what do you consume—BCAA, Whey Protein, or both? Do tell us in the comment section.
After completing this graduation in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Manipal University in 2013, Ankit began rummaging the current Indian market of technology and science. At apolloedoc, Ankit’s job profile consists of cumulating, researching, testing, and verifying products related to tech.
He has a knack for details and catches even the tiniest advantages and flaws that can make or break the product. Since last year, he has been writing for apolloedoc and has been our knight in shining armour when reviewing home appliances.
Ankit’s favourite pastimes consist of jamming onto his guitar with a couple of friends and constantly updating and learning new things! He is also a big-time pet lover and has a cute little pug named Oreo back in Chandigarh. He has bagged many achievements in his college by participating in multiple extracurricular activities.
Writing is something that comes to Ankit naturally. He has his own blog where he posts about coding languages and even provides coaching to students from 12th grade to 2nd year of college. At apolloedoc, Ankit beautifully showcases his knack for the written word by lucidly explaining information in an unbiased way.