Does it sound like comparing apples and oranges when you differentiate between BCAA and Electrolytes? Well, people may think so. But both these dietary supplements have some similarities (in use) and differences (in nature). And that’s what makes the discussion quite fascinating.
Now the question is, what is the difference between BCAA and electrolytes?
BCAAs are branched amino acids, aka protein units, that stop muscle loss during high-stress workouts. Electrolytes, on the contrary, are ionized elements like sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, and calcium that carry electrical signals inside the organs to keep them functional.
These are very elementary differences, almost the tip of an iceberg. Let me share a few more differences that will help you decide the right option according to your workout routine.
Moreover, if you are considering using them together, don’t forget to check the FAQ section.
Difference Between BCAA And Electrolytes
Yes, you already know that BCAA is a type of protein, and electrolytes are charged elements. So, anything else about BCAA vs electrolytes? Of course, there are many more differences between BCAA and electrolytes.
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More than 50% of the amino acids inside your muscle are BCAA. So it is apparent that you need them a lot for muscle growth and performance.
Out of 20 amino acids, 9, your body cannot generate itself. You need to replenish them either by diet or dietary supplement. And BCAA includes three branched-chain acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) out of that 9.
Amino acids are typically long-chained, but the three members of BCAA have branching that gives them the unique name Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA).
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Let’s recall Chemistry 101. What happens when you electrolyze saltwater? Well, the elements in salt break down into charged ions. And these ions are generally called electrolytes.
These ionized, aka charged particles (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium) transfer electrical signals from the brain to the different organs in your body. As these ions need fluids to move smoothly, getting electrolytes with fluids is essential.
Commercial electrolyte waters are basically full of charged ions. Thus, they help you stay hydrated and active after an intense workout. If you are a morning person, try overnight oats topped with creatine before hitting the gym.
When Should You Take BCAA?
If You Do High-Stress Exercise
During high-stress workouts, your muscle goes through protein catabolism. What does it mean? SImple-you loses a lot of muscle.
As BCAA makes up 50% of your muscle, the easiest way to replenish your muscles is to take BCAA. It also prevents sports anemia during aerobic training.
In Case of Muscle Soreness
Taking a BCAA supplement is better if you feel muscle soreness after each workout session. Moreover, you will also feel less fatigued after sports events.
Liver Cirrhosis (Hepatic Encephalopathy)
In some cirrhosis-related hepatic encephalopathy cases, BCAA helps ease the symptoms. The amino acids help to prevent cirrhosis from worsening into liver cancer.
What Are The Benefits of BCAAs
- Prevent muscle loss
- Enhance sports performance
- Lessen exercise fatigue
- Prevents sports anemia
- Improve appetite
- Help losing fat
What are the BCAA side effects
- Insulin resistance
- Coordination issues
When Should You Take Electrolytes?
Are you feeling too tired after a long run or even after a hectic day at work? One reason is that you are dehydrated, and electrolytes are telling it.
During High-Intensity Exercise
If you are on high-intensity exercise for more than two hours, you can lose excessive fluids and electrolytes through sweating. And if you lose too much water without replenishing them, the organs will start malfunctioning.
So, you will need electrolytes at that time to maintain the water balance.
Diarrhea and Vomiting
In severe diarrhea and vomiting, your body also loses electrolytes and fluids. If this condition persists, it can be fatal for you. You will need additional electrolytes with fluids, then. Check the homepage to learn more about the supplements.
What Are The Benefits of Electrolytes
- Maintain water balance in your body
- Maintain the acid-base balance (pH) of your body
- Keep your organs functional
- Improved muscle function
- Move nutrients into the cells
- Bring wastes away from the cells
What are the side effects of Electrolytes overdose
- Irregular heartbeat
- Frequent urination
- Extreme muscle weakness
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
Can You Take BCAA With Electrolytes
Yes, you can take BCAA with electrolytes. Both supplements help muscle function and recovery and maintain fluid volume in your body.
So, if you take them together, there is no apparent harm. However, keep in mind that excess amounts of anything can be dangerous. So you need to keep an eye on the consumption.
You can try PhysiVāntage FLOW or Sierra Fit, BCAA & Electrolytes. These are some of the best BCAA with electrolytes combined with plant-based protein and electrolyte formulas. And they are great for muscle recovery and hydration.
So, you don’t have to differentiate between BCAA and Gatorade. You can have them both while checking the difference between BCAA and electrolytes. By the way, if you hear someone asking are amino acids electrolytes, you can say no, they aren’t.
Are BCAAs Good For Hydration?
BCAA will not directly affect your body fluid level like the electrolytes. However, as you mix BCAAs with drinks, beverages, or water so each sip will keep you hydrated.
However, too much BCAA can become counterproductive in the case of hydration, as it can cause severe diarrhea.
How Long Are BCAA Stable In Water?
BCAA can be stable in water for as long as the amino acid has low water solubility. This is the reason why all the BCAA supplements are available in powder form. So that they can get mixed in water. The powdery form is great to carry anywhere and mix in almost any beverage.
However, you could have gotten a higher absorption of BCAA in your body if that amino acid was water-soluble. Pharmaceuticals and food industry professionals are trying to introduce nanosuspension technology to turn BCAA particles water-soluble.
Can I Add Creatine to BCAA?
Yes, you can add creatine to BCAA. The former will strengthen and push you harder during exercise, while the latter will give you muscle energy.
Keeping the ratio will be like a breeze if you know how much creatine is for each day and the daily limit of BCAA. And you will get more benefits from both.
What To Drink After Workout For Electrolytes?
A few glasses of water are enough for electrolyte balance after regular workouts. However, adding some electrolyte powder to your drinks will be better if you are on high-stress exercise. You can get sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade to get additional electrolytes.
Do BCAA Make You Gain Weight?
BCAA helps you get more muscle and less fat. That will be a good weight without harmful fat. Typically, BCAA helps to lose weight by shredding fats from your muscle.
So the difference between BCAA and electrolytes is pretty apparent.
But they work together to give you a toned body with proper hydration. So, it is better to combine them into your dietary supplement list. But make sure you know how much is the optimum for your body type and exercise.
I started my professional career as a sports medicine consultant in Rola, Missouri. My primary role was to suggest suitable supplements for my patients according to their pre-existing conditions and lifestyle goals. I believe a healthy lifestyle is the most important if you want to make your life really meaningfull.