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.
We’re going to cover the benefits of BCAAs and creatine so you can decide if either of them are right for your goals.
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.
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.
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.
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 DOMS.
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.
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.
Yes, you can take 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.
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.
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 Sport BCAAs
The Elite BCAAs
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.