The main difference between BCAA and CLA is that the BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acid) helps to build and maintain lean muscles whereas the CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) helps to boost metabolism while promoting fat loss, muscle growth and strength gains.
BCAA and CLA are two types of basic supplements used to build and strengthen the muscles. Furthermore, BCAAs are branched-chain amino acids that can be leucine, valine or isoleucine while CLAs are conjugated linoleic acids made up of omega-6 fatty acids.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is BCAA
– Definition, Made up of, Role
2. What is CLA
– Definition, Made up of, Role
3. What are the Similarities Between BCAA and CLA
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between BCAA and CLA
– Comparison of Key differences
BCAA, CLA, Essential Amino Acids, Muscle Gain, Polyunsaturated Omega-6 Fatty Acids
What is BCAA
BCAA (branched-chain amino acid) is an amino acid that contains an aliphatic side chain apart from the linear links of carbons. The three main types of BCAAs are Leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are essential amino acids as well. Therefore, our body cannot produce them from inside. We have to take them into the body through the diet. Besides, 35% of the BCAA in the body is concentrated in the muscles. Thus, BCAAs play a vital role in in stimulating muscle growth. Some of the metabolic functions of BCAAs are listed below.
- Substrate for energy production
- Substrate for protein synthesis
- Precursor for the formation of other amino acids such as alanine and glutamine
- Serve as metabolic signals (primarily leucine), stimulating protein synthesis and leptin expression
Generally, BCAAs occur in most protein-containing food such as red meat including beef, bison, lamb, and goat, dairy products including cheese, milk and yoghurt. Chicken, fish, and eggs are the other sources of BCAAs. Some plant sources of BCAAs are beans, lentils, nuts, and soy protein.
What is CLA
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids made up of omega-6 fatty acids. It naturally occurs in the meat and dairy products of ruminant animals. It is also famous as a dietary supplement, which helps to lose fat, retain lean muscle mass, and maintain weight loss. CLA also has a role in controlling type 2 diabetes. It prevents several types of cancers and heart disease as well. The recommended daily requirement of CLA is 1.8-7 g.
Similarities Between BCAA and CLA
- BCAA and CLA are two types of supplements used to build and strengthen the body muscles.
- They naturally occur in meat and dairy products.
Difference Between BCAA and CLA
BCAA refers to an amino acid having aliphatic side-chains with a branch while CLA refers to a family of (at least 28) isomers of linoleic acid found mostly in meat and dairy products derived from ruminants.
BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acid while CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid.
Type of Molecule
The BCAAs are essential amino acids while CLAs are polyunsaturated fatty acids.
BCAAs can be leucine, valine or isoleucine while CLAs are made up of polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid.
The role of BCAA is to build and maintain lean muscles whereas that of CLA is to boost metabolism while promoting fat loss, muscle growth and strength gains.
5 g of BCAAs can be taken 2-4 times daily while the daily requirement of CLA is 1.8-7 g.
BCAAs may lead to loss of coordination and extreme tiredness after a workout while CLA is safe when taking up between 5-10% of daily caloric intake.
The BCAA refers to the branched-chain amino acids such as leucine, valine or isoleucine, which is mainly involved in increasing the muscle mass. On the other hand, CLA is polyunsaturated linoleic acid, which mainly is involved in fat loss. Therefore, the main difference between BCAA and CLA is the type of molecules and their function.
1. Renee, Janet. “Foods High in BCAAs.” Healthy Eating | SF Gate, 11 June 2018, Available Here
2. Gunnars, Kris. “CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): A Detailed Review.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 4 June 2017, Available Here
1. “L-leucine-skeletal” By Panoramix303 – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “L-isoleucine-skeletal” By Ed (Edgar181) – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “L-valine-skeletal” By User:Benjah-bmm27 – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
4. “CLA isomeren” Di Bas M (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia