EAA’s: What are they?


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What is the difference between BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids) and EAA's (Essential Amino Acids)? Which one is better to take? This week Scitec Nutrition Athlete Emi Roberti answers this question.

This is really a trick question because the three BCAA’s (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) are also three of the eight EAA's. So all BCAA's are EAA's, but not all EAA's are BCAA's.


  1. Methionine
  2. Lysine
  3. Phenylalanine
  4. Threonine
  5. Tryptophan
  6. Leucine (Branched Chain)
  7. Isoleucine (Branched Chain)
  8. Valine (Branched Chain)

Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are called "branched-chain" because unlike all the other amino acids, their physical structure is branched.

For example, here's a simple diagram of Leucine:

So if branch chain products are missing five of the eight essential amino acids the human body requires for strength and recovery, why would anyone take them?

Why an EAA blend should be part of everyone’s nutritional support program

Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s) are called "essential" because the body cannot make them; they must be obtained from food and/or supplement sources. Many of us don't eat enough EAA-rich foods, and many more don't absorb or utilize them well. As we age, the body's ability to extract the maximum nutrients from any protein source decline; and the excess calories in this protein can be stored as fat.

While bodybuilders popularized the use of "branched" EAA’s for muscular growth and maintenance, anyone can benefit from their use! EAA’s stimulate the production of cellular energy and promote cellular repair. They initiate the creation of the critical enzymes necessary for healthy (and complete) digestion. They are especially important for those who cope with any form of physical or mental stress including intensive training, injury, or surgery.

Because the effects of EAA's have been well-studied, they offer several, scientifically-proven benefits. We know that:

EAA’s prevent muscular breakdown during periods of intense physical and mental stress.
EAA’s improve enhance and protect the mitochondria, our cells' energy factories.
EAA’s can curb hunger and improve metabolism.

Regardless of our age or level of athletic ability, we all need all the EAA’s to look, feel, and perform our very best.

Check out our range of EAA's

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