BCAA Vs. Protein: What's Best for Recovery?
One of the most debated topics surrounding recovery and strength is which is best for recovery, protein or amino acids. Some people believe that by supplementing protein only they are obtaining all the essential amino acids for growth, while others only want to use isolated amino acids and see no need for additional protein.
The argument can go both ways - let's break this down.
Why Supplement Protein?
Many of us know that protein is good for recovery and muscle strength, but protein also plays a key role in weight management and cell growth.
Protein is the only macronutrient that is not stored, meaning any excess protein consumption will be expelled as waste. This makes it a great nutrient for your diet and overall health.
If you’re a bodybuilder or strength athlete you will know that protein can help you to gain lean muscle mass for a low caloric value - which is important when trying to maintain a low body weight.
With all this said, what's best for your actual recovery?
Amino Acids Build Protein
Each protein source you consume, whether it be from meats, grains, beans, fish or supplemented whey/casein sources - all will contain amino acids as they are the building blocks of proteins.
For a moment, try to think of amino acids as builders for a house. The more builders you have, especially builders who are strong and qualified, the faster and stronger your house is built.
This is the main idea behind supplementing a BCAA formula. Although protein will provide a great spectrum of all amino acids, very specific ones such as Leucine, Glutamine, Valine and Isoleucine are the most important for sustaining growth and faster recovery.
For this reason, when it comes to recovery - amino acids may be more beneficial than protein alone.
Should I Only Take Amino Acids?
No. Although amino acids are very important in the recovery of muscle, a BCAA formula will only provide you with 3-4 amino acids - nothing close to what a complete protein source, such as fish or red meats can provide.
You should not isolate amino acids and forget about the complete nutrition that dietary or supplemented protein can provide. There are dozens of amino acids that work to balance hormones and sustain normal growth throughout the body. Protein has a much larger role than to just sustain muscle growth. Without protein you wouldn't have skin, hair, nails - even your brain uses proteins to communicate messages to and from other systems in the body - it’s essential in your diet.
Including a complete source of dietary protein combined with amino acids after a workout can help to boost strength and enable faster recovery.
For a complete source of amino acids including Glutamine and Leucine be sure to check out our best selling recovery formula - FALLOUT. Not only does it contain a wide spectrum of amino acids for recovery, but it also contains joint therapy formulas, hydration tools and anti-inflammatories.
Find more information about FALLOUT here.