Essential amino acids are the amino acids that the body cannot produce and must be consumed. Nine EAA (essential amino acids exist). They are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
BCAA (branched chain amino acids) refers to how the amino acids are structured. These include leucine, isoleucine and valine. These are the main amino acids found in most BCAA products. Many products will include other amino acids but will have a certain ratio of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine. Ex (2:1:1 or 4:1:1) These three amino acids play a big role in stimulating muscle repair and generation.
Leucine is the most important amino acid of the BCAAs but should not just be consumed by itself. Isoleucine and Valine work with Leucine to stimulate protein synthesis. Just taking Leucine by itself is not nearly as effective as taking all three combined. All amino acid products are absorbed by the body quickly because they are in their simple form. They can be utilized much faster than consuming whey protein or some type of meat.