BCAA vs. Whey Protein – Which One Wins? Debate Ends HERE!

Jeff Baldelli
Written by
Last update:

Know The Facts: The Difference Between BCAA & Whey Protein

We can’t talk about BCAA vs. whey protein without talking about the incredible benefits of these two supplements. They’re both going to help you reach your best body and fitness goals, but they play very different roles in the process. Whey is a complete protein, which means it’s got all of the necessary amino acids for muscle growth.

BCAAs aren’t complete proteins, but they have the most essential amino acids, meaning they can make up for the lack of other amino acids that the human body can’t make itself.

So while they work together to keep you lean, toned and strong, here’s a look at why you need each:

BCAA

BCAAs are best known for working to reduce the breakdown of muscle tissue. Instead of using valuable amino acids for energy, you can preserve them for real muscle-building activity. This will make it easier to stay in the gym.

BCAA also work to keep your brain healthy. They reduce the impact of the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate. Too much of this neurotransmitter can be dangerous, leading to neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and epilepsy.

Let’s Take A Look At What BCAA Is

BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids. These are said to be the three most important amino acids for people who are looking to get ripped. Not only are they great for muscle building, but they are also beneficial for helping you lose weight.

Each of these amino acids is beneficial for your body in a different way.

Leucine is the main amino acid that is responsible for telling your muscles to grow.

Isoleucine is a stress hormone. The body can’t store it, which means that it is an essential amino acid that needs to be supplied to your body daily. It is also very important for muscle function and repair, as well as for regular blood sugar control.

Valine is another essential amino acid. It is also a stress hormone but is also used by the liver to convert fat into energy.

The branched-chain amino acids help your body form protein. Without enough protein in your diet, your body won’t be able to rebuild the muscles that you’ve already worked out, which means that your muscle gains will be compromised.

They are also said to help your muscles recover faster. Taking these three amino acids with your workout allows your body to recover faster, which means that you can work out harder (and more often) and still feel great.

That is the theory behind them, at least.

What Is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is a dietary supplement and macronutrient found in some foods. It is one of the two dairy proteins in human nutrition (the other being casein). Whey is the liquid remaining after milk, recently or partially skimmed, has been made into cheese. Whey is typically by-product of the manufacture of cheese or casein, and it is found in the liquid phase of cultured products.

Protein powders that are obtained from the whey of milk have been used by bodybuilders for decades. These were originally quite expensive to produce, and as a result, they were sold in capsules to be taken orally. Nowadays, whey formulations are available in powder or ready-to-drink beverages and are also commonly found in pre-workout and post-workout nutrition supplements.

Whey protein (transparent container) is extracted from fresh cheese.

Is It Possible To Take BCAA & Whey Protein Together?

Yes, you should take both BCAA and whey protein supplements together. One study has shown that by taking both supplements together, it can be easier to boost your muscle mass and strength.

The BCAA supplement contains branched chain amino acids. They can prepare your body for working out or any type of physical activity. These amino acids can help you to build your lean body mass by reducing muscle breakdown and supporting muscle protein synthesis.

The whey protein can help to build, repair and maintain muscle after exercise. It helps to stimulate protein synthesis in the body. The protein does not just provide the body with energy, it can also help to reduce the muscle toxins which can be built up after exercise.

There is not enough research to fully understand the link between drinking these two supplements together. It is believed that both amino acids can be used by the body to make and repair muscles more readily. To build up new muscle, it is vital to consume plenty of water.

Having said that, you should stay away from taking too much BCAA. The recommended daily value of bcaa is 10-20g per day. Taking excessive amounts of these vitamins can be harmful to the liver.

If you are taking excessive amounts of bcaa supplements, you may experience excessive sweating, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, and even diarrhea.

BCAA vs Whey Protein: Which One Should You Choose?

Whey Protein or BCAA, which one is the best supplement for building lean muscle?

Well, the answer depends on a number of factors and is therefore a slightly more complex question to answer here. I will break the bodybuilding supplements into two categories: Whey protein and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) supplements, and then look in detail as to which category of supplement may be better for you, depending upon your training goals.

Each category will include its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which are as follows:

  • Whey Protein
  • Very effective for Post-Workout Recovery
  • Fast-Acting
  • Perfect for intra or pre-workout shakes or meal replacement shakes
  • Lower Cost

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)

  • Builds & Maintain Lean Muscle Mass
  • Helps Prevent Muscle Breakdown
  • Longer-acting for 24 hours
  • More Expensive than Whey

By comparing the two categories, you should start seeing the differences come out already. Whey protein is ideal for immediate recovery and a perfect post-workout supplement, whilst BCAA is better suited for a more complete amino acid profile, but with a slower onset of action.

Final Thoughts

Protein powder is one of the best-selling supplements in the world, but many people are confused about which kind of protein powder to buy. Is whey protein or BCAA better for you?

Supplements are a billion dollar industry, with protein powder and aerobic exercise being the two most popular. With so much money being made on these products, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.

In this article, we try to set the record straight by providing compelling evidence to support whey’s claims to protein powder superiority.

To begin, we’ll take a quick look at exactly what BCAA and whey are and their benefits. Then, we’ll discuss the costs associated with each option, giving you a better idea of what your money will buy with each option.

We’ll also let you know how to incorporate these into your diet. After all, if you have to buy protein powder, then it’s best to use it more than just rarely.

So let’s get to it!

First, let’s define whey and BCAA.

What are BCAA and Whey Protein?