What is the Difference Between BCAA and Creatine

The main difference between BCAA and creatine is that BCAA increases muscle mass while creatine increases the power and strength of muscle. 

BCAA and creatine are two supplements that are better for muscle building and performance. 

Key Areas Covered

1. What is BCAA
– Definition, Facts, Features
2. What is Creatine
– Definition, Facts, Features
3. Similarities Between BCAA and Creatine
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between BCAA and Creatine
– Comparison of Key Differences
5. FAQ – BCAA and Creatine
– Answers to frequently asked questions

Key Terms  

BCAA, Creatine

Difference Between BCAA and Creatine - Comparison summary

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. Proteogenic and non-proteogenic BCAA are the two types of BCAAs. The three main types of proteogenic BCAAs are Leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are also essential amino acids. 2-aminoisobutyric acid and alloisoleucine are the two types of non-proteogenic BCAAs.

BCAA and Creatine

Figure 1: BCAA Pathway

Therefore, our body cannot produce them from the 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 stimulating muscle growth. Some of the metabolic functions of BCAAs include a substrate for energy production, a substrate for protein synthesis, and a precursor for the formation of other amino acids such as alanine and glutamine, and serve as metabolic signals (primarily leucine), stimulating protein synthesis and leptin expression.

Furthermore, BCAAs occur in most protein-containing foods, such as beef, bison, lamb, and goat, and dairy products, including cheese, milk, and yogurt. Chicken, fish, and eggs are the other sources of BCAAs. Some plant sources of BCAAs are beans, lentils, nuts, and soy protein.

What is Creatine

Creatine is a non-protein compound produced in the human body by the liver, kidney, and pancreas. It is also a naturally-occurring amino acid in animals and fish as well. Creatine is transported into the skeletal muscles through the blood and is stored as creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine. The action of an enzyme, the creatine kinase, produces phosphocreatine.

BCAA vs Creatine

Figure 2: Creatine 

Moreover, phosphocreatine is converted into ATP during highly intense, short-duration exercises like sprinting and weight lifting. Creatine is converted into creatinine by non-enzymatic degradation. The biological half-life of creatine is three hours. Creatine supplements may increase lean muscle mass and enhance athletic performance. Creatine supplements may also decrease the levels of triglycerides, lowering the risk of heart disease. The low creatine amounts in muscles may lead to muscular dystrophy. 

Similarities Between BCAA and Creatine

  • BCAA and creatine are two compounds important for muscle building and strength.
  • They are essential for exercise.
  • They come in supplements.  

Difference Between BCAA and Creatine


BCAA refers to a general term for the essential amino acids, including valine, leucine, and isoleucine, that are metabolized by the body and used as sources of muscle energy. In contrast, creatine is a compound formed in protein metabolism and present in much of living tissue, involving the energy supply for muscular contraction.


BCAA includes essential amino acids, while creatine is a non-protein compound. 


BCAA provides three essential amino acids for muscle building while creatine breaks down into phosphocreatine, providing rapid energy for muscle contraction. 

FAQ: BCAA and Creatine

Which is better, creatine or BCAA?

Creatine helps to perform better during exercise. However, BCAA is better for building muscles and recovering from workouts. 

Does BCAA increase muscle size?

BCAA increases muscle growth, reduces soreness and fatigue, prevents muscle wasting, and supports liver health. Meat, eggs, and dairy products contain BCAA.

Can I take BCAA and creatine every day?

Taking creatine and BCAA at the same time is safe. Neither supplement interferes with the other.  


In brief, BCAA and creatine are two compounds important in exercise. Therefore, they come in supplements. BCAA contains three essential amino acids for muscle building. In comparison, creatine is a non-protein compound. It breaks down into phosphocreatine, providing rapid energy for muscle contraction. Therefore, the main difference between BCAA and creatine is their importance.            

  1. Petre, A. (2021, July 29). BCAA benefits: A review of branched-chain amino acids. Healthline.
  2. WebMD. (n.d.-b). Creatine: Overview, uses, side effects, precautions, interactions, dosing and reviews. WebMD.
Image Courtesy:
  1. Bcaapathway2” By Royle85 – Own Work (CC-BY 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia
  2. Creatine (Ext)” By J3D3 – Own Work (CC-BY SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things. She has a keen interest in writing articles regarding science.

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