Taking fitness supplements is a popular way for gym-goers to enhance their muscles, but it can be hard to choose which one is best for you with so many products on the market. For example, two joint supplements that athletes take to gain are Vegan BCAA and creatine, each of which plays similar but different roles in enhancing our time at the gym. But how do we know: should I take BCAAs or creatine?
BCAAs and creatine are fitness supplements that can support muscle growth and recovery. BCAAs may be more effective in promoting lean muscle mass, while creatine may be more effective for bulking up.
So if you’re new to the world of fitness supplements and want to determine which one is right for you, keep reading. We have everything you need to know about BCAAs and creatine to decide which will get you closer to your fitness goals the fastest.
What is BCAA?
BCAAs are a popular gym supplement that many athletes take to assist in building, supporting, and recovering their muscles. BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids, as these supplements contain 3 of the essential amino:
Amino acids play a primary role in building protein, a nutrient that’s essential for growing muscle. However, our bodies cannot produce leucine, isoleucine, and valine on their own: that’s why many take BCAA supplements to increase their intake of BCAA amino.
Luckily, BCAA supplements seem to be very effective in ensuring we have the amino acids necessary for muscle growth, as they provide the following benefits to gym-goers:
- Increased muscle from protein synthesis
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Extra energy in muscles during workout
- Improved muscle recovery time
- Increased fat loss
- Improved exercise performance
One study found that experienced resistance-trained individuals noticed a decrease in muscle soreness after only eight days of taking BCAA, which speaks to the ability of BCAAs to increase muscle recovery and get us back in the gym fast.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a substance found naturally in muscles, unlike BCAAs, which we can only absorb from outside sources. However, many still take creatine supplements to increase their intake of the following three amino acids:
These amino acids play an essential role in supporting muscle cells and also help the body to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This molecule plays a primary role in providing us with more energy during intense workouts. Creatine offers the following benefits to athletes:
- Provides energy
- Reduces fatigue
- Increases endurance
- Increases appearance of muscle size
Studies show that creatine is one of the most popular natural supplements and that creatine supplementation will increase performance and promote more excellent training adaptations in gym-goers.
BCAA vs. creatine: which is better?
It’s impossible to say which fitness supplement is better, as they each have different advantages and disadvantages that appeal to other athletes.
BCAAs, for example, are absorbed more quickly into our systems than creatine. Many gym-goers prefer BCAAs to get a quick and immediate boost directly before and after a workout. BCAAs also promote lean muscle mass, ideal for those who want to burn fat while building muscle.
Creatine, however, may be preferable to those who are interested in bulking up as much as possible. That’s because creatine supports strength training and building muscle mass, but it helps our muscles retain water, making them appear more prominent.
If you’re deciding between BCAA and creatine, it’s essential to consider your own fitness goals to determine which is right for you.
Can you take BCAA and creatine together?
The good news is that we don’t have to choose between BCAA and creatine. These fitness supplements can be used together as a team to promote the growth, strength, and recovery of our muscles.
The best time to take BCAA and creatine is directly before a workout, and don’t worry - these supplements can be safely stacked to offer impressive results and help us build muscle faster.
Anyone considering taking a gym supplement should do their research to ensure it’s right for them and their fitness goals. When it comes to BCAA and creatine, both can be taken together to provide optimal muscle-building results.
Luckily, FuelOrganics offers a high-quality vegan BCAA supplement for anyone interested in the beneficial effects these amino acids can have on muscle growth and recovery.
For more information on BCAAS, check out some of our other articles: BCAA Supplements: Side effects and safety.
- VanDusseldorp, T. A., Escobar, K. A., Johnson, K. E., Stratton, M. T., Moriarty, T., Cole, N., McCormick, J. J., Kerksick, C. M., Vaughan, R. A., Dokladny, K., Kravitz, L., & Mermier, C. M. (2018). Effect of Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation on Recovery Following Acute Eccentric Exercise. Nutrients, 10(10), 1389. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101389
- Cooper, R., Naclerio, F., Allgrove, J., & Jimenez, A. (2012). Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 33. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-9-33