If you’re looking for a supplement that will help you accomplish your fitness goals, you may come across two different options: BCAA’s along with protein powder. Which is going to best help you achieve maximum success? And, can they be substituted for each other? Let’s look at these two supplements more closely so that you can see the differences between the two. BCAA’s First let’s talk BCAA’s. BCAA’s, which stand for branched chain amino acids are specific amino acids that play a key role in muscular development and recovery. They are able to bypass the liver and move straight into the muscle cells where they are then put to use. BCAA’s are well known to help provide energy to working muscle tissues, help to prevent the degree of breakdown they are experiencing, and they may also help with protein synthesis as well. The main BCAA’s to know about include L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine. Protein Powder Protein powder on the other hand contains the full spectrum of amino acids and will contain more calories per scoop. It represents a ‘food serving’, so to speak, typically containing around 25 grams of protein and around 100 calories per serving. With BCAA’s, you will still take in calories, but you’re only looking at around 4-9 grams of amino acids per serving in most cases, so that equates to around 16 to 36 calories total. Most people will not account for this in their daily intake, while with protein powder, you should be. How To Use Each So this might lead you to ask, why not just do away with BCAA’s and take protein powder since protein powder contains what BCAA’s offer? The answer is because most protein powders will not contain the level of the particular amino acids that you get from your BCAA product. Therefore while protein powder definitely helps you build lean muscle mass and recover from your workout session, BCAA’s go a step above to help ensure that you maintain an anabolic state. At the end of the day, using them both together is what will yield superior results. Ideally you want to use whey protein powder during the day as well as immediately after your workout session and BCAA’s should be sipped on throughout the workout session to help maintain an anabolic environment. If you consume these products in this manner, you should be able to see the absolute best results from them.