I really like some of your perspective on supplements, especially the nod to essential amino acids. I’ve used them for a long time, with nothing less than excellent results.
Why are BCAA’s so popular, and why don’t more people use the EAA’s?
You’ve made a very shrewd observation.
Despite the fact that more and more “authorities” are acknowledging the superiority of EAA’s, most pre-workout and other formulas have failed to follow through and use them.
The reasons are primarily twofold:
- EAA’s are considerably more expensive than BCAA’s
- BCAA’s are much easier to flavor
Money and taste are two key issues for the consumer (and supplement companies too).
Supplement companies because they don’t want to pay extra for EAA’s vs. BCAA’s and they’re worried consumers won’t keep buying the product, if its taste suffers.
If you haven’t noticed, most pre-workouts today are essentially the same, with little difference in ingredients.
The supplement companies then have been using this differentiator (as unbelievable as it sounds): FLAVOR.
I’ve seen everything from sour apple to cotton candy to firecracker ice pops.
Sadly, I’ve seen kids use this as their buying criteria alone.
That’s right, flavor as a buying criteria.
Forget the research (or not) backing up the ingredients, they’re buying it because it tastes good.
Mark my words: This is going to lead to more than a few cases of caffeine poisoning and maybe even death.
That’s the sad truth about what’s going on insofar as EAA’s failing to supplement BCAAs.
If you doubt that, spend just 30 minutes on pubmed reading studies about the merits (and drawbacks) of BCAA supplementation and research the same about EAA’s. I think you’ll be shocked at what you find.
Hope that helps…