Amino acids can be divided into two types- essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids (EAA) are the ones that are required by the body and are not produced by the body, while non-essential amino acids are not necessary but are synthesized in our body regularly. This implies our body needs to be provided with essential amino acids as a part of the diet. There are nine essential amino acids primarily required by the body namely phenylalanine, valine, threonine, leucine, tryptophan, methionine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine. Essential amino acids carry amino acids in their constitute form, therefore they are readily available to be absorbed by the body. Due to this reason, EAA supplements are often recommended for faster and effective muscle repair and recovery. Moreover, EAAs are considered extremely essential for appetite regulation as they suppress unnecessary hunger reducing cravings. The most common sources of these are animal proteins like meat and eggs. Besides natural foods, EAAs are also popular as supplements to improve endurance and strength.

Branched chained amino acids often abbreviated as BCAAs are also essential amino acids however they have a slightly different chemical structure than EAA due to which they are classified separately. BCAAs, as the name suggests, have a branch attached or growing out of the essential amino acid chain. It is due to this branch they have different properties and a different metabolic role. BCAA is primarily of three types- leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These three are responsible for stimulating protein synthesis in the body. Most commonly leucine is the dominant amino acid among the three essential acids that work in the process of protein synthesis. Due to this capability BCAA are also often sold as supplements to boost protein synthesis and muscle strengthening.

One can think of BCAAs as a subunit of EAA since the three essential amino acids in BCAA are a part of the nine essential amino acids themselves. Therefore many people tend to prefer EAA instead of BCAA to get access to all the required essential amino acids instead of the three. However, some people still chose BCCA for specific results and taste, since they are available in a variety of forms and flavors as supplements. It is important to make sure that the protein requirement of the body is fulfilled if you are raking BCAA instead of EAA. To sum up, both BCAA and EAA are equally preferable according to the body requirement of the individual, people who need to meet their overall protein requirement tend to prefer BCAA while people with a protein deficiency chose EAAs. Both are equally effective in building muscle and synthesizing protein.

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