When it comes to supplements it can be tough to figure out which ones you should take to meet your fitness goals. Both BCAAs and Creatine are derived from amino acids and help fuel athletic performance. But, there are some fundamental differences between BCAAs and Creatine that you should know, in order to make the right choice.
What Are BCAAs And What Do They Do?
Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs are considered the building blocks of protein and are composed of the essential amino acids L-Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. BCAAs help increase the rate of protein synthesis and decrease the rate of protein breakdown. What does that mean for you? It means that BCAAs help you build more lean muscle mass while helping protect against muscle mass breakdown. During high-intensity training your body utilizes BCAAs as fuel during your workouts. When your body expends all of it’s branched-chain amino acids, it goes into an amino acid deficit, which then starts to break down muscle mass. It’s important to supplement with BCAAs so you keep a positive amino acid or protein balance to help build and rebuild lean muscle mass.
Some of the benefits of taking BCAAs include
- Promoting Protein Synthesis
- Optimizing Post-Workout Recovery
- Reducing Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness
(READ The Benefits of taking a BCAA supplement for more information)
What is Creatine And What Does It Do?
Creatine is a non-essential dietary protein-like compound, which can be obtained through your diet when eating lean proteins. Once ingested and inside the muscle cell, an energy phosphate molecule attaches itself to the creatine, turning it into phosphocreatine (PCr) or Creatine phosphate. Through this phosphorylation, Creatine then donates the PCr molecule to create ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), which is then utilized by the muscle cells for rapid energy use and muscle contraction. Therefore, with more creatine in your muscle cells, you can generate more ATP. During high-intensity training, added ATP, leads to increased strength, power, and muscle growth.
As a supplement, Creatine Monohydrate (CrM) was first introduced in 1993 and has become one of the most widely studied and effective sports supplements shown to enhance exercise performance, promote muscle strength, and increase lean muscle mass.1 Studies have consistently shown that Creatine supplementation increases muscle phosphocreatine levels approximately 15-40%, enhances anaerobic training capacity and increases training volume.3
However, despite the impressive clinical evidence in support of Creatine Monohydrates use for enhancing exercise performance, CrM does come with few drawbacks.
- Creatine Monohydrate can cause gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, stomach aches or cramping from converting creatine into creatinine (a toxic by-product of creatine conversion)
- Creatine Monohydrate requires a loading phase of 4-5 doses (typically 5 grams per dose) per day for up to 5 days and once a day thereafter.
- Creatine Monohydrate requires cycles, specifically 1 week of loading, 5 weeks of 4-5 weeks of maintenance, and 1-2 weeks off.
If you’re thinking about taking a creatine supplement, we recommend taking Kre-Alkalyn.
What is Kre-Alkalyn?
Kre-Alkalyn is a patented pH-corrected form of creatine, which was created to address the negative side effects associated with Creatine Monohydrate, namely the toxic conversion to creatinine. This was accomplished through adding an alkaline powder such as (soda ash, magnesium glycerol phosphate, bicarbonate) to ordinary creatine (i.e. Creatine Monohydrate, creatine citrate, creatine pyruvate, creatine phosphate) in order to adjust the pH balance between 7-14. Kre-Alklayn therefore solves the problem with all existing creatine supplements; the inability to deliver concentrated amounts of creatine without toxic conversion to creatinine. Therefore as compared to creatine monohydrate;
- Kre-Alkalyn is not degraded to creatinine which subsequently leads to greater bioavailability, meaning your body can use it more effectively
- Kre-Alkalyn solves for side effects such as bloating and cramping.
- 5 grams of Kre-Alkalyn is equivalent to about 10–15 grams of ordinary Creatine Monohydrate
- Kre-Alkalyn does do not require a loading phase or de-loading phase
- Kre-Alkalyn is clinically proven to enhance endurance, unlike Creatine Monohydrate
Some of the benefits of taking Kre-Alkalyn include
- Proven gains in strength, speed, and performance
- Enhances VO2 Max for increased endurance
- Produces higher muscle force and power
(READ about the best form of creatine for more information)
What’s The Difference Between BCAAs and Creatine?
Now that you know how BCAAs and Creatine work, the biggest difference between them is how each affects your athletic performance. BCAAs help build and rebuild lean muscle mass, while creatine helps increase your power output during high-intensity training to increase your strength and training volume. If your goals are to get stronger, clock faster times, or optimize recovery, using both BCAAs and Creatine together, will give you the best possible outcome to optimize your performance.
Should I Take BCAAs Or Creatine?
The answer to your question is both! Both BCAAs and Creatine will help fuel your exercise performance, increase lean muscle mass, and power your workout or WOD, so that you can meet your goals and optimize your results.
When Should I Take BCAAs and Creatine?
BCAAs and Creatine should be taken before or during your workout to optimize your performance. The great thing about our BCAA and Kre-Alkalyn is that you can take them both at the same time and mix them together since our Kre-Alkalyn is unflavored. It’s the perfect lemon-lime mix to power your workout and quench your thirst.