BCAA oder EAA? Was nehme ich wann?

BCAA or EAA? What do I take when?

For a long time, BCAAs were considered the ultimate, but EAAs are now slowly overtaking them. The argument that is often behind it sounds logical: Why don't I rather take in the entire range of amino acids than limit myself to just a few? True to the motto: A lot helps a lot.

This point of view is held by many strength athletes and has its justification. Because it is important that you all essential amino acids supplies. You should therefore rely on EAA supplements, especially in the case of an unbalanced diet or a low protein intake.

But it is also a fact that no other amino acids Push protein biosynthesis so much like the BCAAs (especially the amino acid leucine). So why not rely on what is most effective? This argument also sounds plausible.

Unfortunately, both approaches cannot be clearly proven by studies. Whether BCAA or EAA supplements make more sense will probably remain part of numerous discussions for a while. At the moment, the trend in fitness circles is more towards EAAs. We think that BCAA supplements also have their place.

BCAAs cannot be synthesized in the body itself, they are only ingested with food. Valine, leucine and isoleucine are the only amino acids that are not metabolized in the liver but directly in the muscles. This explains their importance in sports, because they increase the energy production of the muscles. BCAAs also fulfill the following functions:

  • counteract increased protein breakdown; are therefore used as an adjunctive therapy in tumor diseases
  • are used in liver diseases
  • promote the maintenance and development of muscle tissue
  • regulate the energy supply of the body
  • are building blocks of glucose production
  • stimulate insulin release and regulate blood sugar levels
  • maintain the body's nitrogen balance
  • contribute to healthy growth in children and adolescents


The proteins that we take in with food are broken down in the body into their individual building blocks - the amino acids – disassembled. We use this in turn to build up our own protein (i.e. muscles). 20 amino acids are involved in protein construction (they are therefore also referred to as proteinogenic amino acids ). Some of them are essential (EAA = essential amino a cids), others are formed by the body itself. Essential amino acids (tryptophan, phenylalanine, leucine, lysine, valine, isoleucine, threonine, methionine) must be supplied through food. The following applies: the more essential amino acids a food contains, the higher the quality of the protein. In this context, you have certainly heard of the concept of biological value belongs that determines the quality of our dietary proteins.

If our body is missing a certain amino acid or if it is not available in sufficient quantities, it cannot completely produce a protein. Like at a construction site: If only one required stone is missing, the workers cannot continue building and everything rests. So if you don't get enough EAAs, you won't build muscle.

The muscle cells use amino acids to supply them with energy during training. If athletes train a lot and do not get enough amino acids through food or supplements, a BCAA deficiency can occur.

vitamin deficiency

A lack of vitamins B5 and B6 can also promote a BCAA deficiency, especially a valine deficiency. These two vitamins are also needed to supply the muscles with energy. If they are not sufficiently available, the amino acids try to replace the deficiency. The result is an increased need for BCAAs.

BCAAs are said to help stimulate muscle growth. They are very effective when it comes to providing proteins that are important for your muscle building.

Correct dosage of BCAA

In order to make the best possible use of the effect of the BCAAs, you should take the BCAAs with water about 30 minutes before training. This is when BCAAs in powder or capsule form make the most sense, as this is the fastest way to absorb them into muscle cells. 1 g of BCAAs should be taken for every 10 kg of body weight. For an athlete weighing 80 kg, this corresponds to 8 g.

They curb muscle soreness, reduce fatigue during a workout and can promote more efficient fat loss. BCAA supplements are safe for healthy adults to use as long as they do not exceed the recommended daily amount based on your body weight.

However, it should be noted that, as with any other dietary supplement, BCAAs do not necessarily have to be supplemented. Of course, BCCAs can also be found in natural foods and should only be supplemented if you cannot cover your daily needs through diet.

The biggest difference between EAA and BCAA is that EAA contains all essential amino acids while BCAA contains only 3 essential amino acids . One benefit of BCAAs, however, is that they often contain high doses of the amino acid leucine, which appears to be most important for muscle protein synthesis.

Whether EAAs or BCAAs are better cannot (yet) be answered in general terms. If you just want to improve your body's protein supply in general and push your muscle building a little, EAAs are the right choice. Here you get the entire package of essential amino acids. If you only want to specifically improve your training performance and prevent signs of fatigue during an intensive workout, you can use BCAAs . The same applies if you train in a calorie deficit. Of course, EAA and BCAA supplements can also be combined. You can use EAAs e.g. B. take on non-training days, BCAAs before and / or after the workout.

Blomstrand et al. Branched-Chain Amino Acids Activate Key Enzymes in Protein Synthesis after Physical Exercise. J Nutr 2006; 136:269-73. Shimomura et al. Exercise Promotes BCAA Catabolism: Effects of BCAA Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle during Exercise. J Nutr 2004; 134:1583-87. Moberg et al. Activation of mTORC1 by leucine is potentiated by branched-chain amino acids and even more so by essential amino acids following resistance exercise. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2016. 310: C874-84. R. Jackman et al. Branched-Chain Amino Acid Ingestion Stimulates Muscle Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis following Resistance Exercise in Humans. Front physiol 2017.
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