Our current lifestyles and constantly online work transactions require us to sit in front of computer screens for extended periods of time. The regular requirements of the human body such as healthy foods and an active lifestyle can sometimes be overlooked due to the various modern conditions experienced by individuals. As such, there is a need to augment the nutritional intake of modern man through the use of vitamins and supplements.
Human beings experience a number of different health issues and various unique lifestyle challenges and a specific and unique supplement must be identified to optimize the health benefits of the said supplements. Two of the most popular supplements are BCAA and creatine but if we put one against the other, meaning BCAA vs. Creatine, what supplement is best for you and your body? This article will look into the different advantages and unique uses of BCAA and Creatine.
What are BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids)?
BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids are supplements that contain the three (3) essential amino acids which are Leucine, Isoleucine and valine. Essential amino acids are those amino acids that cannot be naturally produced by the human body and thus, need to be acquired through the consumption of food items such as meats, dairies or supplements.
What is Creatine?
Creatine or Creatine Monohydrate are supplements that are composed of two amino acids which are arginine and methionine. These two (2) amino acids are nonessential amino acids which means they are naturally produced by the human body. However, despite being naturally produced and readily available in the human body, creatine supplements remain popular due its supposed health benefits.
The Benefits of BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
BCAAs are recognized as a good source of nutrients that help in reducing muscle damage, soreness after a physical activity and increase recovery times. The three (3) amino acids in Branched Chain Amino Acids have their own unique benefits which may be of interest to individuals with specific needs. Below are some of these advantages:
This amino acid has a number of key health benefits. It has been known to enhance energy production, improve protein synthesis and essentially, muscle building, increase an individual’s overall protein intake, may help in improving physical strength, enhance someone’s longevity, help prevent hardening of arteries (Atherosclerosis) and even help against obesity.
Isoleucine is an amino acid that is commonly perceived as an amino acid that helps increase energy and endurance. Evidence also suggest that isoleucine can help muscle healing and repair, assist the body in recovering after strenuous physical activities, regulate blood sugar levels.
Valine is an amino acid originally found within a plant called “Valerian”. It is usually taken as a supplement together with isoleucine and leucine but as a single amino acid, it actually has a number of significant health benefits. Valine can help protect the muscles from breakdown during fasting, may assist an individual’s energy during workouts and can aid the body in losing weight.
The Benefits of Creatine
Similar to BCAAs, creatine can also provide a number of significant health benefits. Creatine has been associated with increased muscle power and mass and reduced fatigue after workouts. The individual amino acids making up creatine which are arginine and methionine also have their own contributions to an individual’s health. Listed below are the following benefits of the aforementioned amino acids:
Arginine is one of the most beneficial amino acid known to man. It can help decrease the risk of heart problems, enhance blood flow and circulation, decrease the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, act as an antioxidant for patients suffering from diabetes, lessen the presence of fat mass and triglycerides in patients with diabetes, boost the immune response of the body, decrease feelings of anxiety, improve overall stamina, hastens the healing of injuries and wounds, enhance memory retention during old age, may aid in enhancing fertility and can help fight the signs of aging.
Primarily helps in detoxification, methionine can also give an individual a slew of different benefits for health.It can increase the production of glutathione, help in maintaining gut health, aid in the boosting of the immune system, assist the body in maintaining healthy joints, produce number of important bodily compounds that aid the heart and cells, boost an individual’s fertility, help reduce the inflammatory response of the body, alleviate the symptoms brought about by stressful situations, aid the body in fighting off lupus, delay the onset of greying hair and help in preventing thrombosis of the veins.
BCAA and Creatine, Which is Better?
Experts agree that currently, the war between supplements still does not have any clear winners or answers as to which supplement is better of more powerful in providing the maximum and optimal health benefit for individuals. However, there are some considerations that one must take to ensure that they choose the right supplement for their current health status.
1. BCAA as a supplement
BCAA can actually be used be individuals who wish to augment their protein intake as it can offer cost effective, low caloric and convenient supplement for those aiming to improve their body’s muscle production and growth achieved through enhanced protein synthesis
2. Creatine as a supplement
Creatine on the other hand, can provide faster energy production resulting in increased strength which is ideal for those athletes that require heavy and efficient lifting such as powerlifting.
The bottom line is there is no clear cut answer as to which is the better supplement. Both BCAAs and Creatine can offer numerous health benefits and it really is just a matter of determining what kind of result and individual wants from his or her amino acid supplement. Those wanting to up their body’s muscle building capability will more likely go for BCAAs while those who wish to improve their body’s energy production and efficiency will go to creatine. At the end of the day, people need to know their body’s specific need and with proper knowledge and preparation, taking either BCAA and Creatine can help the user achieve the specific and appropriate health advantage required.