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BCAAs vs Creatine Supplements: Mixing Both to Build Muscle & Endurance

By Erick Avila

As a beginner, figuring out where to get started with supplements can get tricky. There are so many options, and some of them seem to have similar benefits - such as BCAAs and creatine. BCAAs and creatine have been staples in many athletes' supplement routines for decades. If you’re wondering if BCAAs or creatine could be a helpful fit in your routine, we’ve got you covered.

BCAA vs Creatine: Which One is Right for Me?

Deciding whether BCAAs or creatine are right for you will depend on your personal goals. Creatine is ideal if you're looking to increase muscle size, strength, and power. BCAAs are ideal if you’re looking to support muscle repair and recovery after exercise.

We’re going to cover the benefits of BCAAs and creatine so you can decide if either of them are right for your goals.

Can You Take BCAAs and Creatine Together?

Yes, you can mix BCAAs and creatine together as part of a powerful stack to support your goals. BCAAs can help prevent muscle protein breakdown and support muscle recovery after workouts. While creatine can help increase your muscle size and strength performance.

Here are some examples of how and why someone might combine BCAA's and creatine in their supplement routine:

  • To support muscle building: Stacking BCAA's and creatine can help support muscle building by stimulating muscle protein synthesis and increasing muscle mass, respectively. By combining these two supplements, individuals can enhance their ability to build and maintain muscle.
  • To reduce muscle fatigue and soreness: BCAA's can help reduce muscle fatigue and soreness during and after intense exercise, while creatine can also support recovery after resistance training. By combining these two supplements, individuals can reduce the impact of intense exercise on their muscles and enhance their recovery.
  • To improve exercise performance: BCAA's and creatine can both improve exercise performance by increasing strength, power, and endurance. BCAAs can act as a muscle fuel source to support your endurance efforts. While creatine can support high-intensity exercise performance. By combining these two supplements, individuals can enhance their ability to perform at a high level.
  • To support overall wellness: By combining BCAAs and creatine, individuals can enhance their ability to exercise and recover which helps support their overall health and wellness, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

How BCAAs Work

The BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids consist of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They’re called essential amino acids because our bodies can’t make them on their own. So, we need to consume essential amino acids from food or supplements. BCAAs play important roles in the body.

BCAA supplementation can:

  • Help prevent muscle breakdown
  • Reduce delayed onset muscle soreness following exercise.
  • Help enhance muscle protein synthesis.
  • Help fuel your muscles during training
  • Help reduce fatigue during exercise.

How Creatine Works

Creatine is an organic compound made from amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine. Creatine along with phosphate acts like a cellular energy reservoir as phosphocreatine. Think of phosphocreatine like a treasure chest in our skeletal muscle. This treasure chest stores phosphates that can convert into energy tokens. 

When utilized in your supplement routine, creatine is a muscle-building ingredient that supports the rapid production of cellular energy to enhance muscular strength, endurance, and growth by replenishing the body's ATP levels

Phosphocreatine can donate a phosphate group to help form Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the cellular energy currency of cells (the energy tokens from our treasure chest). ATP powers our movement and it’s the primary energy source we use during the first few seconds of movement.

Creatine supplementation can:

  • Support increased muscle mass.
  • Support increased strength.
  • Support increased power.
  • Support increased anaerobic performance.

When BCAA Supplementation is Favorable

BCAA supplementation is ideal for people looking to:

  • Promote muscle repair after exercise
  • Reduce muscle damage and soreness after exercise
  • Support endurance during exercise with an alternative muscle fuel source

This makes BCAA supplementation ideal for endurance exercise. It's also ideal for beginner's starting out a new training program and for people entering an intense phase of a training program to reduce muscle soreness.

When Creatine Supplementation is Favorable

Creatine supplementation is ideal for people looking to:

  • Increase muscle mass
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Increase muscle power
  • Increase ATP levels in the body

This makes creatine supplementation ideal for people looking to build muscle. For people looking to increase absolute strength levels and for people looking to increase their explosive power.

The Original BCAAs

XTEND Original: Formulated to support muscle recovery and hydration, XTEND Original provides 7G of BCAAs and hydrating electrolytes, all while delivering mouthwatering flavors with zero sugar - it's no wonder that XTEND Original has been the go-to recovery choice for over a decade.

The Sport BCAAs

XTEND Sport: Featuring 7G BCAAs, a robust blend to support hydration, and proudly wearing the NSF Certified for Sport certification, XTEND Sport is the perfect solution for athletes both on and off the field.

The Elite BCAAs

XTEND Elite: Featuring 7G BCAAs alongside powerhouse ingredients for performance, endurance, and power output, XTEND Elite is formulated to take your training and results to elite levels.

The Ripped BCAAs

XTEND Ripped: XTEND Ripped features the clinically studied ingredient Capsimax®, which helps support fat burning. In addition, XTEND Ripped is formulated without stimulants, giving you options for your workout routine.

The Superior Mixability Creatine

COR-Performance Creatine: Featuring the premium micronized version of Creatine Monohydrate, COR Performance Creatine delivers superior mixability and absorption, allowing you to reap the benefits of increased performance, lean muscle, and strength.

Date April 27, 2022
Category Supplementation
Erick Avila

Erick Avila got his start in the fitness industry working as a physical preparation coach with professional boxers. He’s written for top brands like Muscle & Fitness, Juggernaut Training Systems, T-Nation, Stack Media, and Everlast Boxing. And worked in the dietary supplement industry across a variety of roles including researcher, content writer, and product formulator. Erick has a Master of Science in Drug Discovery and Development from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition with an emphasis on Exercise Science from California State University Los Angeles. In his free time Erick enjoys lifting weights, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.