What is BCAA / EAA ? Complete overview of Amino Acids – Definition, Usage, Dosage, Benefits.


In this post you are going to get a complete overview about Amino Acids, BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) and EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids). Know its health benefits, normal dosage, purposes and criteria. A complete guide to “BCAA’s Overview, Benefits, Dosage”.


Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein in our body. They are organic compounds which groups together to build clusters to form protein synthesis in our body.

If we go to a pure scientific definition they are organic compounds that contain Amine (-NH2) and Carboxyl (-COOH) functional groups, along with a side chain (R group) specific to each amino acid. The key or basic elements are carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen.

Molecular Structure of Amino Acid

There are two major types of amino acids –

1.EAA(Essential Amino Acids)

Essential amino acids are the type of amino acids which are body does not produces. We have to take these amino acids through external mediums. External medium includes diet/food and supplements.

2.NEAA(Non-Essential Amino Acids)

Non-essential amino acids are the type of amino acids which are body produces on its own. No external medium is required to provide our body with these types of amino acids.

3.CNEAA(Conditional Non-Essential Amino Acids)

These amino acids are not categorized in major group. In fact these are not essential types and not required by our body at all. Only during certain illness or body disorders they are recommended by the nutritionist.

Categories of Amino Acids

2. WHAT IS BCAA’s ? (Branched Chain Amino Acids)

Branched Chain Amino Acids are the essential amino acids which our own body does not produces. We have to take it with our diet or supplements.

Branched Chain Amino Acids have a molecular structure of branch shaped which contains three elements – L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine.

The optimum dosage recommendation is in the ratio of 2:1:1. It means 2 grams of Leucine, 1 gram of Isoleucine and 1 gram of Valine is what is needed by our body.


Amino acids are the very essential group of organic compounds. It is mainly responsible for protein synthesis. So, yes it is highly recommended to opt for a daily dosage of BCAA’s.

If you are having a healthy diet plan you can easily achieve your daily goal. Food like eggs, chicken, beef, turkey, fish, lentils, beans contains a significant amount of amino acids. The difference is that few food sources have optimum amount of amino acids whereas few has very less.

Body builders or athletes who do high intensity training or workouts need a higher significant amount of BCAA’s as compared to those who don’t get involved in such trainings.


Branched chain amino acids are mainly made for the body builders, athletes and for the person who utilize their muscles more as compared to a normal person.

The major role of BCAA is to rebuild new muscle tissues and promote protein synthesis.

When you begin your workout sessions your muscle tissues starts to break down. This stage is referred to as catabolic stage. In this phase body uses more protein and synthesis rate becomes higher.

So if you are not having amino acids at that time then your muscles start to break down to improve the protein synthesis phase and provide you energy and that is the most tensed part. Because, instead of building muscles your muscles starts to break down to feed energy to the body.

You should always keep in mind that your body should remain in anabolic stage. In anabolic stage your muscles grow and in catabolic stage muscle breakdown takes place.

BCAA’s help the body to keep it in anabolic stage. When your muscles starts the breakdown process, the amino acids immediately feeds your muscles and helps to maintain the anabolic phase of your body.

This helps you to maintain a constant energy level and prevent entering in catabolism phase.


As I have said earlier if you are leading a normal life without any strenuous exercise or workout routine 5 grams to 8 grams of BCAA’s will be sufficient for you. If you decide not to take external supplements no issues will occur if you have a good diet plan.

Supplements only promote 15 % in muscle building. Rest depends on your diet, workout and sleep pattern.

If you are going to gym and maintaining a rigorous workout session then you need 10 grams – 20 grams BCAA’s everyday to maintain your protein synthesis and prevent muscle breakdown.


First best time is when you wake up in the morning. When you wake up in the morning your body is in catabolic phase. So to convert it into anabolic you need amino acids ( either in diet form or in supplement form ). Otherwise your muscle breakdown phase will start occurring from morning which is not advisable.

So if you are having a healthy diet like egg whites or protein shake in morning then you don’t need to have BCAA’s at that time. And if not, then 5 grams of BCAA is the recommended dosage to have in morning.

Next time you can have it as your pre/intra workout supplement. Pre workout supplements is referred to as the supplement which you have before hitting gym (precisely 30-45 minutes before). Intra workout supplements means the supplements which you have during your workout sessions.

Before workout its not possible to have a meal which includes meat, eggs, fish, lentils or beans. That will keep your stomach loaded and decrease your workout efficiency. So you can have BCAA before going to gym.

Also if you do not want to take it as a pre workout you can definitely opt to choose BCAA as intra workout. You can take BCAA during your workout. Same dosage of 5 grams work best with 600-700 ml of water. This will keep your muscle breakdown in control and give you energy throughout your training session.

Many people prefer to opt BCAA after workout as well. Because it helps to recover them from muscle breakdown.


1.If you are taking BCAA as pre workout you can opt it for post workout as well.

2.If you are taking BCAA as intra workout then you don’t need BCAA after your workout. If you want to have, reduce the quantity to half (2 grams – 3 grams ). That is all, what will be effective for you at that time.

3. If you are having your protein shake after workout then you don’t need BCAA after workout because protein powder also contains a significant amount of BCAA’s.

Dosage of 15 grams – 20 grams is sufficient for an individual who are athletes and body builders.


I always recommend to opt for powder form.

Capsules have generally very less serving of BCAA in a single pill. So you have to generally take a higher number of pills ( 6-7 pills ) to just get 5 grams of BCAA. ( Depends on the brand and serving size ).

But almost all brands have the same serving size. Also, powder form is more effective and has a fast reaction. When you are travelling somewhere or don’t have any other options then you can opt to have pills because they are handy.


1.Increases muscle mass

As BCAA’s acts as a catalyst to synthesis protein so during workout session it stops muscle tissues to break down. Hence, promotes the nourishment of these tissues and generates them properly.

2.Reduces muscle soreness

It is obvious that when your muscle will lack amino acids it will start to break. And once breakdown of tissues occurs there is a significant amount of wear and tear in muscles which will cause soreness.

3.Reduces fatigue and tiredness

If you are consuming BCAA’s your muscles don’t need to go through the break down phase to provide you the optimum energy during you workout sessions. Hence, your metabolism rate is maintained in a better way.

4.Controls blood sugar level

It is believed that when BCAA’s starts to play its role in body it supplies energy to the muscles and as a result during this process highly anabolic hormone (insulin) starts to generate in our body. These insulin plays a vital role to provide glycogen (glucose) in muscle cells. This process is known as glycogen overloading.


There are more than 700 companies worldwide which manufactures BCAA’s.

It does not matters which company you opt for. Almost all of them work the same. The major thing which you should watch is the ratio of leucine:isoleucine:valine should be 2:1:1. You can opt for the trusted brands like Xtend by Scivation, Optimum Nutrition or myProtein. But all the company manufactures the same BCAA’s product with same ingredients.

Don’t go for packaging, color, fancy promo stickers or label look. Invest your that time in reading all the ingredients present in the package.


EAA ( Essential Amino Acids ) is the new concept. It has been launched recently in fitness industry.

Our body has 20 amino acids and 9 of them are essentials. These essential nutrients helps from MPB (Muscle Protein Breakdown) phase to MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis) phase.

EAA has the concept which includes all these essential 9 amino acids.

This is the more advanced and latest concept of BCAA but there are no valid research that EAA has shown tremendous performance improvement as compared to BCAA.

Do let us know: Which workout routine do you follow, your BCAA’s intake timings and brand you are going to opt for?

A Complete Beginner’s guide to gym : http://myfitfreak.com/complete-beginners-guide-to-gym-a-basic-blueprint-for-the-beginners/

Want to know everything about Creatine ? : http://myfitfreak.com/what-is-creatine-usage-side-effects-dosage-health-benefits-warnings/

For more benefits of BCAA’s you can have a look here : http://bodysculptor.in/the-benefits-of-bcaa/

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