Is Creatine Or BCAAs Better For Your Gym Shake?
Pick Your Power Powder – Creatine Or BCAAs?
Add power to your training plan by finding the most effective teammate for your standard whey shake. Creatine reduces your optimal rest periods by 120 seconds, which means you can lift heavy on a HIIT schedule, while BCAA (Branched-chained amino acids) are shown to add 12% to your life expectancy.
But which scoops up the crown?
Combined with weight training, creatine slows the loss of bone mass as you age and could ease the effects of osteoarthritis – University of Saskatchewan.
A hefty dose of BCAAs pre- and post-workout means you'll hold onto more muscle mass when on a kilojoule restricted plan - The International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Nutritech Creatine Mono - This pure, unflavoured micronised creatine powder is low on kilojoules and price but big on effect. R152 (for 500g) Wellness Warehouse
Biotech USA BCAA Flash Zero - An optimised ratio of amino acids in this sugar-, gluten- and carb-free mix supports every stage of your workout. R399 (for 360g) Chromesa.co.za
Ignore the scare stories – researchers at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, found that creatine and protein supplementation isn’t actually harmful to your kidneys.
Numerous studies have found that BCAAs help prevent muscle break- down and post-gym soreness, but there’s little evidence they garner major increases in muscle mass.
“Unlike BCAAs, taking a creatine supp before explosive training helps provides the rapid energy needed during muscle contraction." - Dalton Wong, TwentyTwo Training
“BCAAs have much the same benefits as a whey shake with only a third of the calories. They also contain leucine, supporting muscle repair.” Alex Mateus, mateusfitness.com
Related: Four Ways to Build the Ultimate Protein Bowl That You Can Throw In Your Bag And Take Wherever You Go
THE MH VERDICT
CREATINE WINS! Unless you’re sticking to a kilojoule deficit, BCAAs bring little benefit beyond that found on a balanced plate of food. Creatine’s proven performance-enhancing boost to strength, muscle mass and recovery makes it the smartest step-up in supplementation.
BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK?
According to a recent Twitter poll, 71% of you pick Creatine. Haven't voted yet? Add your opinion to the mix below.
#ChooseDay Pick your power powder. There can only be one...
— Men's Health ZA (@MensHealthZA) April 17, 2018