What is BCAA? I think all newbies have this question. So, BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids and contains three essential amino acids that help protein synthesis in your body. That means your body needs them to function, but cannot produce it on its own. Certainly, because of them, you can recover faster, also it means more strength and better muscle growth for you. BCAA contains three amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Each amino acid has different functionality and provides different benefits to your body. Also, you can get these amino acids from high protein food, like eggs, meat, beans, nuts, etc. So, below you will see all the details about 5 Best BCAA Supplements in 2019. Also, to understand it better we will provide you information about what does BCAA stands for, how it benefits you, what products are better for you, etc.
This brand is quite new, but already very well known on the market with their quality. Transparent labs are very forward about the ingredients in their products. So, a current BCAA supplement is amazing for helping to repair muscle tissue and for fighting catabolism during your cardio workouts. Also, it contains coconut water and glutamine, which gives you some terrific energy and coconut water is a great carrier.
Pros & Cons
One serving contains:
- BCAA 2:1:1 – 8000 mg
- Glutamine 5000 mg
- Coconut Water Powder 1,000 mg
Producer: Transparent Labs, was founded not so long time ago, and it is one of the most honest and straightforward companies in the industry. Also, it is one of the best industry pioneers that has become a global leader in the sports nutrition industry which is not using any GMO, artificial sweeteners, coloring and preservatives. It is growing very fast, and we can say that this company is the best player if we are talking about healthy nutrition.
Bottom Line: BCAA Glutamine from Transparent Labs is a perfect product for you, it includes the best quality ingredients, no artificial sweeteners. Also, it has active ingredients, all backed by clinical research, and has included clinically effective dosages associated with published scientific research.
If you want a BCAA that not only works, boosts your energy and has a great taste, BCAA Energy from Evlution is definitely for you. Also, it has a huge amount of different tastes, and secondly, it contains no carbs and sugar! Besides, you possibly will not need any pre-workout with it. Surely it has one of the best customer reviews. Also, you can take it up to 4 times a day, before, during or after a workout.
Pros & Cons
One serving contains:
- Vitamin C, B6, B12
- 2:1:1 BCAA Matrix
- L-Leucine 2,500mg
- L-Valine 1,250mg
- L-Isoleucine 1,250mg
- Carnosyn® Beta-Alanine 500mg
- L-Alanine 500mg
- Taurine 500mg
- Natural Energizers
- Natural Caffeine (from Coffee Bean), Green Tea Extract (standardized for EGCG) (leaf)
Producer: EVL Nutrition is quite a new company on the market founded in 2013. But it already won not one award of Bodybuilding.com, also as a “Breakout Brand of the Year”. After such a short period of time, they made their name really known and they are becoming one of the main players on the sports supplements market. Also, they are able to compete with the biggest competitors almost in every product they are creating in the sports industry.
Bottom line: So, now we know, BCAA energy really works, it has a good choice of amazing tastes and gives you extra energy. What can we say more? It is really a good one, and these why it is on top of our list. Besides, the price is great as well.
As always Optimum Nutrition created a really good product Pro BCAA is a powerful BCAA supplement that includes 8g of BCAAs per serving plus it has extra glutamine and more ingredients. Optimum Nutrition always creates a complete solution, and it clearly dominates the market. When you see ON on the product you can be sure it is one of the best on the market.
Pros & Cons
One serving contains:
- Vitamin C 230 mg
- Sodium 110 mg
- 2:1:1 BCAA Blend
- L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine 8g
- L-Glutamine 5g
- PhytoBlend 160m
Producer: Optimum Nutrition is a mastodon of the supplements industry, which proved that they are number one in the fitness industry. Above all, it is developing the most powerful and effective products that satisfy costumers in the whole world. So, ON is best known for the Gold Standard 100% Whey protein, the best-selling and known protein powder on the market.
Bottom line: ON PRO BCAA is one of the best BCAA supplements on the market. Also, it provides a large dose of amino acids, plus it has electrolytes and glutamine included. Even if the taste is not so rich as in other competitors, users in reviews are saying that fruit punch and raspberry lemonade flavors are really worthy of attention.
This complex was designed primarily for post-workout. Also, it contains 8 powerful ingredients designed to help you recover faster. Post JYM Active Matrix has 3:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine with extra leucine, so it could support your muscle growth better. If you already bought it, you can be calm, you have made a good choice. Besides, it contains creatine, which will help you to obtain extra strength!
Pros & Cons
One serving contains:
- L-Glutamine 3 g
- Creatine HCl 2 g
- Beta-Alanine 2 g
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate 2 g
- Betaine 1.5 g
- Taurine 1 g
- L-Leucine 3.6 g
- L-Isoleucine 1.2 g
- L-Valine 1.2 g
- Black Pepper 5.3 m
Producer: Post JYM Active Matrix is manufactured by JYM Supplement Science. As you know the company is new on the market and it grows pretty fast. For this short period, the company proved its potential. JYM is a company that is owned by a licensed Ph.D., Jim Stoppani. Also, the benefit is that they use clinically proven ingredients and creates one of the most balanced and effective products on the market. Besides in 2018, the company won ‘Brand of the Year’ at Bodybuilding Awards.
Bottom line: Post JYM Active Matrix includes 8 powerful ingredients. Also, every ingredient was studied to create the best combination for you. Besides, Post JYM Active Matrix is really a great way to repair your muscles, make lean muscle gains and boost your recovery.
BSN Amino X is a cool BCAA supplement that contains 10 grams of amino acids per serving. It has not a huge amount of flavors, but they are really tasty, besides it will do the main work, it will recover your muscle effectively. Although it is stimulant-free, so for people sensitive for stimulants it is definitely plus, but for guys who like extra energy when they work out, it would be nice to add pre-workout to it (check your article about pre-workouts).
Pros & Cons
- Amino Acid Blend
- L-Lysine HCL
Producer: Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition, Inc. (BSN) was founded in 2001, also it is one of the industry pioneers that has become a global leader in the sports nutrition industry. BSN company mostly is known for its pre-workout N.O Xplode (check our post about best pre-workouts), but they make the highest quality products and are a very respected company in the whole world.
Bottom line: Good thing about Amino X is that they offer a mix of BCAA and other essential amino acids, like taurine, citrulline, and alanine. Also, Amino X is mixing really easy and it has really good tastes. But the only minus we have found it that individual amounts of amino acids are not disclosed. Above all, it is a great affordable product, we can recommend.
What Does BCAA Stand For?
So, as you possibly already know, if you are working out and your body has extra pressure, then you need additional nutrients. Also, for athletes, the correct diet and a decent amount of nutrients are even more important than working out. Besides, your diet plan must be different if you are an athlete. Your concentration is on protein and quality carbohydrates.
So, amino acids basically are organic compounds that combine to form proteins, which are essential for you and processes in your body. Also, they help you to build and repair muscle tissues.
So, what is BCAA then?
Usually, the average person won’t have any issues with the number of amino acids in their nutrition, but if you are an athlete, your needs are growing drastically.
So, BCAA is the amino acids that your body can’t produce on your own and can get it only from outside. And for athletes, it is essential to get a proper amount of BCAA. It will help you to recover faster and will support your muscle growth too. BCAA supplements contain three essential amino acids like leucine, isoleucine, and valine. (1)
Form of BCAA Supplements
BCAA usually is in two forms, in pills and powder. So, you do not like to drink BCAA with different tastes, you can choose pills, but powder has some big benefit, it absorbs much faster than pills.
What Benefits Can You Expect from BCAA?
There are some major benefits you can get from BCAA:
- Muscle breakdown prevention – BCAA can help you to avoid this issue, besides this effect is valuable when you are trying to burn fat. It is really difficult to save your muscles when you are trying to get shredded.
- Supports muscle growth – as we told you above, amino acids are a form of protein. So, it promotes protein synthesis, which helps you to rebuild damaged proteins in your body. (2)
- Increases muscle endurance – using BCAA with the time you will pay attention that your endurance is increasing. That happens because BCAA helps you to delay mental and physical fatigue. Also, it prevents your after-work pain.
- Faster recovery – you will recover faster and that will stimulate you to work out more often. Very often, BCAA is also cold as a post-workout supplement. (3)
- Helps to get rid of fat – it was proven that BCAA also promotes your body to use fat storage and use it as energy. It is not a fat burner, but it is a nice small benefit.
When Should I Take BCAA?
The benefits we talked about above, helps you in a few different ways.
Firstly BCAA supplements help to recover faster during or after the workout. That is one of the reasons why it is recommended to drink it before, during or after the workout.
Also, BCAA supplements help to feel more energy during the workout, and it can help you to increase your stamina a little. So, it makes your workout better and more enjoyable.
The third point is that BCAA can help you to increase muscle mass. It is not the best supplement for muscle mass though, but it might help a little.
BCAA supplements can help you to save muscle during the fat-burning period. So, when you are cutting, don’t forget to take your BCAA supplements to the gym!
Who Can Benefit from Taking BCAA?
Men and Women of all ages – if you are an active man or woman, you can benefit from BCAA. It can have quite a big amount of benefits for you mentioned above. Altogether, it will support you in achieving your goals.
Athletes, Weightlifters, Cross-fitters, Bodybuilders, etc. – So, if you are physically active, working with heavy weights and your body is under pressure, BCAA is definitely your supplements. Besides, BCAA will help you lose more weight, gain muscle, recover quicker and make your muscle pain gone faster.
People who want to lose weight more effectively – as we told before, BCAA is helping your body to use under-skin fat as an energy source. So, if you want to lose weight a little faster BCAA will help you, but it is not a fat burner, it just helps a little (of course if you have a proper diet).
Vegans and Vegetarians – usually most essential amino acids are got from meat, so it can be a good substitution for vegans and vegetarians, but first read if it doesn’t contain BCAA from the animal source of protein.
What Should I Choose, Pills or Powder?
Usually, BCAA supplements are in the form of powder, but sometimes you can see it in pills. So what should you choose?
Firstly, powder makes it easier with taking bigger dosages. Secondly, absorption is faster than pills. Also, it is cheaper than pills and can have a nice taste. So it is a nice drink for your workout.
Pills, on the other hand, can be beneficial for people who do not like sweet drinks and prefer to drink it faster and forget about it. You don’t have to mix them with anything.
If we are talking about effectiveness, both are the same effect the main difference is in price and speed of absorption.
What Are the Best BCAAs Ratios:
Essential amino acids need to be present in a specific ratio. The reason behind this particular ratio is simple, Leucine is the most valuable and the most practical essential amino acid. So, that’s why it is present in a higher amount in BCAAs.
Valine usually is not present in higher amounts, just because it can lead to the production of a potentially toxic metabolic product.
The recommended and the most popular ratio of BCAAs is 2:1:1, you will be able to see other ratios as well, and they are not bad as well, but 2:1:1 is proven and the best formula is known on the fitness supplements market.
Possible Side Effects
So, BCAA is one of the safest supplements you can ever find. But, there are some people who might avoid it:
- Some BCAA supplements include beta-alanine, which is a good pre-workout supplement and it makes your workout easier. But, some people can feel a strange effect from it.
- People struggling from branched-chain ketoaciduria. So, for people with this issue using higher levels of BCAAs showed that they can struggle with brain damage and retardation. You shouldn’t use BCAA supplements if you have this issue.
- People with low blood sugar. Intake of one of the branched-chain amino acids, leucine, can lower blood sugar in your organism. But this almost never happens.
- There can be some milder side effects, but they are so small that possibly you will even never notice it.
How Do I Pick, Best BCAA Supplements?
When you are searching for the best BCAA supplements, you need to review all the options. There is a huge choice of products on the fitness supplements market, and it can be tricky to choose the best for yourself. So, here are a few points you need to pay attention when choosing the best BCAA supplements:
- Ingredients – Check the back of the pack and review ingredients wisely. Check the dosages of three main ingredients like isoleucine, valine, and leucine.
- Check value for money – So, BCAA is not the cheapest supplement. But you still can save some money by choosing them. just check the price per portion, and you can find out which one is the best then. The price should not be higher than 1.20 per portion.
- Brand reputation – As we told many times before, check the reputation of the manufacturer. Who makes it? is this brand trustful? How long are they on the market, etc.
- Reviews – Check the reviews on such websites like Amazon, or other seller’s websites. Or you can just check the same website with recommendations as our website is.
- Tase– this can be used only for the powder BCAA supplements. Just check the flavor you really like.
We hope, now you know what does BCAA stands for and when should you take it. It helps you to achieve your goals, enhance your durability, strength, recovery, also it helps you to burn fat. Additionally, if you use powder, you can enjoy nice tastes. We think that you also are able to choose the best product for yourself.
And what is your favorite BCAA product?
Please note – we do not recommend you take ANY supplements featured on this site without consulting a doctor first.
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