Fitness supplements are great for gym-goers who want to maximize their time at the gym and build muscle. But how do we know which supplement is right for us and our fitness goals? BCAA and glutamine are two types of gym supplements that can be helpful in promoting muscle growth and recovery, but determining which one is best for you can be tricky.
So you may be wondering: exactly what is the difference between BCAA and glutamine?
BCAAs and glutamine are fitness supplements that can be used to support muscle growth and recovery. BCAAs are most effective in building lean muscle mass, while glutamine specializes in reducing muscle fatigue.
So if you’re interested in determining which dietary supplement is best for you, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll guide you through all the differences between BCAA and glutamine that you need to be aware of to help you reach your fitness goals.
What is BCAA?
BCAAs are a popular fitness supplement that many gym-goers take to support the building and recovery of their muscles. BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids, as these supplements contain 3 of the essential aminos:
Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the building blocks of protein, which are essential for muscle growth. But because our bodies are unable to produce these BCAA aminos on their own, we may need to turn to supplementing with BCAAs to effectively increase muscle mass.
The good news is that BCAA supplements seem to be very effective in maximizing our time at the gym, as they are known for
- Increasing lean muscle mass
- Promoting fat loss
- Reducing muscle recovery time
- Increasing athletic performance
One study even found evidence suggesting that supplementation of amino acids improves lean body mass, strength, and physical function.
What is glutamine?
Glutamine is the most abundant naturally occurring amino acid in the body, and like BCCAs, it plays a role in supporting muscle protein synthesis. This amino acid is most noted for its effects in
- Reducing muscle recovery time
- Reducing muscle soreness
- Reducing muscle damage
- Reducing fatigue
- Increasing endurance
In fact, one study even describes glutamine supplements as an anti-fatigue amino acid in sports nutrition.
BCAA vs glutamine: which is better?
When it comes to BCAA and glutamine, it’s hard to pick a clear winner. That’s because these amino acids each have different primary roles, which means the best one depends on your own personal fitness goals.
For example, BCAAs are considered more effective in building lean muscles and increasing muscle mass.
In fact, a study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that consuming BCAA supplements resulted in an increase of fat loss, muscle strength, and lean mass.
That’s why gym-goers who are primarily interested in gaining bigger, more powerful muscles should take BCAAs.
Glutamine, on the other hand, plays a primary role in reducing fatigue and muscle soreness before and after a workout. While BCAA also offers these benefits, the protein created from glutamine specializes in recovery from longer workouts and increasing endurance by lowering fatigue.
So if you’re deciding between BCAA and glutamine, the choice depends on your own personal preferences.
Are you more interested in bulking up fast, or do you need a little extra help in the recovery process?
Can you take BCAA and glutamine together?
Luckily, we don’t have to choose between BCAA and glutamine. Not only are BCAA and glutamine safe to take together, but doing so can offer the best results.
That’s because combining the muscle-building effects of BCAA with the muscle-recovery properties of glutamine can help athletes to obtain bigger and healthier muscles.
BCAA and glutamine are great fitness supplements that athletes can take separately or together to gain muscle.
That’s why anyone interested in increasing muscle gain and improving muscle recovery time should definitely consider adding one or both of these supplements to their gym routine.
For anyone interested in supporting muscle growth and recovery with BCAAs, FuelOrganics offers a high-quality vegan BCAA supplement designed specifically for gym-goers.
- Børsheim, E., Bui, Q. U., Tissier, S., Kobayashi, H., Ferrando, A. A., & Wolfe, R. R. (2008). Effect of amino acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength and physical function in elderly. Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), 27(2), 189–195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2008.01.001
- Stoppani, J., Scheett, T., Pena, J., Rudolph, C., & Charlebois, D. (2009). 2009 international society of sports nutrition conference and expo new orleans, la, USA. 14-15 june 2009. Abstracts. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), P1–P19. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-6-s1-p1