Sunday, January 15, 2012

Protein Powder VS BCAA Powder

As usual, I've clearly been a bit behind in the blogging world lately, but one thing I have noticed taking prominence among many dietary posts is the inclusion of BCAA powder to prevent post-workout muscle soreness.

Being a person always interested in learning about the latest health supplements and their positive effects on the body, my curiosity was peaked. While researching the benefits, I was told (and have since confirmed) that BCAA is already a component of most protein powders! Luckily my obsessive need for information and reviews (thank you, internet!) outweighs my impulsivity, as my first instinct upon reading that BCAA is used to prevent muscle soreness was to throw down that $40 or so dollars and see where it took me. With all my muscle issues I can use all the help I can get, but now I'm just plain confused why this product is rapidly gaining popularity (though it's looking likely I will remain $40 richer--hooray). I know a lot of the bloggers using the supplement already include protein powder in their diets, so why the necessity for additional BCAA? Anyone know? Is there something to this inclusion or is everyone just being duped?

I was at Sprouts today and compared my favorite whey protein powder (MRM for those curious) to the BCAA's (3 different kinds, including the MRM BCAA powder). The only difference I could see was that the protein powders include even MORE amino acids than BCAA, while the BCAA-only's included slightly more concentrated doses of about 3 amino acids. I don't know if those 3 have been researched to provide better recovery in those heightened doses or what?

If anyone reading this uses both protein powder supplementation AND BCAA powder, do you use them simultaneously? Or do you only use the BCAA on its own if you're not planning to use the protein powder? I know I definitely don't use whey after every (or even most) workouts, so that makes more sense. But if they're commonly being used in combination with one another, I am so lost!