- Best BCAA Supplements – 2018 Top 10 List
- Top 10 Best BCAA Supplements Review
The three branched chain amino acids are:
Each one individually has its own attributes, but together they make for an unstoppable trifecta that can help you on our way to your fitness goal.
We’ll start with the biggest BCAA that’s probably the most known out of the three: leucine. Leucine is the main BCAA that supplemented by itself still causes great effects. It activates the protein called mTOR, which in turn induces muscle protein synthesis (MPS). MPS is simply the process by which the body creates new muscle tissue.
It’s essentially that muscle building process we refer to when bulking. Leucine is also the most researched and proven to be effective out of the three BCAAs. Due to its impact on muscle tissue, it can be useful for both bulking and cutting by building or preserving lean muscle mass.
On the other hand, isoleucine is also heavily involved in the muscle-building process, but in a different way. Isoleucine helps to make your muscles look bigger and provide them with energy. It may have mild effects on MPS, but its main use is to promote glucose uptake into the muscle belly. With more glucose available, your muscles can perform at a higher level due to having a readily available source of energy at their disposal. The increased glucose also helps to improve their size and appearance.
Lastly, we have valine. This is known as the least important of the three BCAAs simply because it has no known unique effects. Both leucine and isoleucine deliver similar yet more effective benefits than valine, but this could be down to lack of evidence.
You’ll find BCAAs in a number of products such as pre-workouts. Though, you can also supplement them by themselves. This list contains the top 10 BCAA products available on the market right now.
Best BCAA Supplements – 2018 Top 10 List
|1.||Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine|
|2.||NutraBio Intra Blast|
|4.||Kaged Muscle In-Kaged|
|5.||Muscle Elements AmiNo Flow|
|6.||MAN Sports ISO Amino|
|8.||COR Performance Beta BCAA|
|9.||BPI Sports Best BCAA|
|10.||EVL Nutrition BCAA Energy|
Top 10 Best BCAA Supplements Review
1. Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine
Glutamine is extremely effective for improving intestinal and immune system health by providing them a preferred source of fuel. Coupled with the high amount of leucine and isoleucine, you’ll not only be jacked but healthy, too.
Per serving, you get:
- 8 grams of BCAAs (2:1:1 ratio)
- 4,000mg L-Leucine
- 2,000mg L-Isoleucine
- 2,000mg of L-Valine
- 5,000mg of Glutamine
- 1,000mg of Coconut Water
That makes for a whopping total of 13 grams of amino acids to support growth, recovery, repair, and maintenance.
The other ingredients are ascorbic acid (1,500mg), citric acid (1,500mg), green apple flavor (800mg), and stevia (500mg). Stevia is thought to be the healthiest of the sweeteners as it’s completely natural being derived from a plant.
Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAAs help to:
- Increase MPS (muscle protein synthesis)
- Improve glucose metabolism
- Increase glucose uptake into the muscles
- Improve your immune function
- Reduce fatigue
- Reduce muscle damage
- Increase muscle growth post-workout
- Reduce muscle catabolism when on a cut
- Accelerate fat loss when fasting
Coconut water helps to aid hydration and provide electrolytes which improves your endurance capabilities. As well as this, there’s no artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring, gluten, GMO ingredients, or artificial preservatives.
This means that you’re getting a boost to your performance, improved recovery, increased strength, and more muscle building, all without any ill side effects. The product comes in green apple and blue raz (blue raspberry) flavor.
2. NutraBio Intra Blast
Their newest creation is the epically-loaded Intra blast designed for everyone and anyone looking to boost their performance.
One of the best things that this company does is they even tell you how much coloring and sweetener you’re getting.
This is because they are 100% open with their formulas. All ingredients, flavorings, and fillers are completely disclosed.
They’re also ridiculously stringent about their cGMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) compliance with several third party certifications. Even further, they’re on their way to getting NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certified, a company which holds strict standards for public health protection.
If you’re someone who likes to know EXACTLY what they’re getting, then this is a great company to become involved with.
Back onto their Intra Blast, each 24.1 gram scoop gives you 7.2 grams of BCAAs (2:1:1 ratio – 3600mg of L-Leucine, 1800mg of L-Isoleucine, and 1800mg of Valine) alongside a massive 2805 gram dose of other EAAs.
Here’s the amino acid breakdown of each scoop:
Muscle Growth EAA/BCAA mix (10,000mg)
- 3600mg of L-leucine
- 1800mg of L-isoleucine
- 1800mg of L-valine
- 850mg of L-lysin
- 850mg of L-threonine
- 450mg of L-histidine
- 300mg of DL-methionine
- 300mg of DL-phenylalanine
- 55mg of L-tryptophan
Muscle Recovery Accelerator
- 5000mg of L-Glutamine
It also has 2000mg of Taurine in its electrolyte and hydration optimizing formula as well as a full spectrum of electrolytes, more than nearly any sports drink.
The taste is good, but admittedly not quite as good as some of the other products discussed on this page. Though, the ingredients definitely make it a viable candidate on the best BCAA powders list.
3. Myprotein BCAA
Myprotein’s BCAAs are ranked Grade A by the independent tester Labdoor for both quality and value, making it officially certified as one of the best BCAA supplements available on the market today.
Per serving, you get 2 grams of L-Leucine, 1 gram of L-Isoleucine, and 1 gram of L-Valine. This means that it’s in the proven 2:1:1 ratio for supporting growth, performance, and fat loss.
For some, this might not be enough as so you can double the serving to get twice the amount of BCAAs. Their recommendation is to take one serving 2-4 times per day for the best results.
They make sure to minimise fillers as well as other ingredients in order to keep the costs down. Their BCAAs contain L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine, Natural Flavoring, Sweeteners (Sucralose, Acesulfame-K), and Color (E133).
The entire ingredients list is completely disclosed, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Their unflavoured variety is just 50% Leucine, 25% Isoleucine, and 25% Valine with no sweeteners, flavorings, or added ingredients whatsoever.
Myprotein is also notable for their extensive flavor range. Their BCAAs come in: unflavoured, berry blast, bitter lemon, blue raspberry, lemon and lime, orange, peach mango, raspberry lemonade, sour apple, tropical, and watermelon.
This product is not exactly ‘exciting’ in that it doesn’t contain any bonus ingredients such as glutamine or electrolytes, but it simply delivers exactly what you want: BCAAs. Nothing more and nothing less. If you’re looking for pure BCAAs at a great price with a wide range of flavors, Myprotein is the right choice for you.
4. Kaged Muscle In-Kaged
They have gone the extra mile with their product as each serving contains 14 grams of premium ingredients.
Per serving, you get:
- 5 grams of micro pure, fermented BCAAs in a proven 2:1:1 ratio
- 3 grams of pure fermented L-Citrulline – an amino acid which turns into L-Arginine in the kidneys and used to boost performance and aid cardiovascular health
- 1.6 grams of patented Carnosyn Beta-Alanine
- 500mg of Tender Coconut Water powder – for electrolytes and minerals
- 1 gram of Taurine – an amino acid shown to be beneficial for heart health and blood flow
- 500mg of L-Tyrosine – a precursor of catecholamine neurotransmitters
- 124mg of PurCaf Organic Caffeine – improves alertness, accelerates fat loss, and increases energy
They only flavor their BCAA powder with natural flavors without any artificial colors, soy lecithin, artificial flavors, or acesulfame potassium whatsoever. This gives you the same great taste and benefits you’re used to, without any of the possible issues from artificial ingredients. Without any hidden ingredients, you can be sure that you’re getting only the best ingredients.
Unfortunately, as the product has caffeine it does mean you’ll have to monitor your intake. Whilst caffeine is beneficial for energy, our metabolism, and overall performance, you can have too much of a good thing. Overdosing on caffeine can cause anxiety, sleep problems, and crashes.
If you choose In-Kaged, then make sure not to go over the RDA of 400mg of caffeine per day. This also makes In-Kaged better as a pre-workout than a general BCAA supplement. The product comes in just two flavors: cherry lemonade and watermelon.
5. Muscle Elements AmiNo Flow
AmiNo Flow comes with 5 grams of BCAAs, 2 grams of Citrulline, and 250mg of Agmatine – all of which help promote MPS (muscle protein synthesis) whilst aiding recovery.
This is what you get in every scoop:
- 100mg of Calcium
- 40mg of Magnesium
- 150mg of Phosphorus
- 80mg of Sodium
- 6g of BCAA Blend 3:1:2 & Recovery Elements
- Instantized L-Leucine – 2499mg
- Instantized L-Valine – 1666mg
- L-Taurine – 1000mg
- Instantized L-Isoleucine – 833mg
- 2575mg of Nitric Oxide Pump Elements
- L-Citrulline – 2000mg
- AgmaMAX (Agamtine Sulfate) – 250mg
- L-Histidine – 125mg
- L-Ornithine HCl – 125mg
- Grape Seed Extract 95% – 75mg
- Electrolyte & Hydration Elements
- Disodium Phosphate – 250mg
- Dicalcium Phosphate – 250mg
- DiMagnesium Phosphate – 250mg
As the product contains no stimulants, it means that it can be used throughout your day. However, due to the blood-pumping effects of the supplement, it might be better introduced prior to your workout. Getting a good pump isn’t just useful for looking good, it also helps deliver nutrients and oxygen to the muscles which aid in performance and recovery.
Couple this with the electrolytes and amino acids for a sure-fire strength and endurance enhancing blend. Our recommendation is to take this product 10-20 minutes prior to your workout or midway through if your workout extends beyond 75 minutes.
The product comes in American Bomb Pop, Coconut Lime, Fruit Punch, and Watermelon flavor.
6. MAN Sports ISO Amino
The powder may seem fairly standard from just looking at the ingredients, but MAN have ensured there’s no grittiness, clumpiness, or nastiness whatsoever when you drink it.
The powder is in a proven 2:1:1 ratio with 2500mg of L-Leucine, 1250mg of L-Valine, and 1250mg of L-Isoleucine. This makes for 5 grams of BCAAs per scoop, but you can easily double the serving for 10 grams of BCAAs total and 5 grams of Leucine.
All three of these BCAAs are pharmaceutical grade, instanised, and ultra-soluble. MAN wanted to make sure their powder doesn’t contain any fillers, fluffers, or extras: just pure, high-quality BCAAs.
Now, let’s get down to the most exciting part of the powder: the flavors. Not only have MAN focused on making their powder stand out through their quality, but they’ve got some amazing flavors that resemble that of some of your favorite sweets and treats.
Here’s the full flavor list:
- Grape Bubble Gum
- Blue Bombsicle
- Pineapple Express
- Sour Batch
- Fruit Smash
- Strawberry Kiwi
- Green Apple
- Tropic Thunder
- Sour Nukes
So, if you want a refreshing, yet familiar taste with your BCAAs, then you’ll want to check out MAN Sports ISO Aminos.
As the powder also doesn’t contain any stimulants or pump products, it’s perfect for any time of the day. Morning, evening, daytime and night, MAN’s amino acids are a great way to retain muscle on a cut or add a little extra boost to your muscle building efforts.
7. Scivation Xtend
Alongside this, Scivation has included glutamine and citrulline for added health and performance support.
The formula is completely sugar, carbohydrate, and fat-free but jam-packed with amino acids to boost MPS and make sure you’re making the best gains possible.
From elite weightlifters to general fitness enthusiasts, Scivation’s Xtend is for everyone.
The full mix contains:
- 640mcg of Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)
- 3500mg of L-Leucine
- 2500mg of L-Glutamine
- 1750mg of L-Isoleucine
- 1750mg of L-Valine
- 1140mg of their Electrolyte Blend
- Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate
- Potassium Chloride
- Sodium Chloride
- 1000mg of Citrulline Malate (in a 1:1 ratio)
As you can see, there’s no fillers or added ingredients designed to make the product look good without actually having any effect on your body. There’s also no stimulants, meaning that you can take it at whatever time of the day without worrying that it’s going to affect your sleep or cause you to crash at an impromptu time.
Scivation also provides the research behind their product which confirms its ability to increase lean mass, muscle strength, and fat loss as well as maintain lean body mass throughout a caloric deficit.
The product comes in 15 amazing flavors: Pink lemonade, Grape, Watermelon, Lemon-Lime, Orange, Pineapple, Fruit Punch, Blue Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, Green Apple, Mango, Tangerine, Margarita, and Pina Colada.
8. Cellucor COR-Performance Beta BCAA
They also know the power of other Beta Alanine, an ingredient shown to increase physical performance by buffering lactic acid.
In turn, this can lead to large gains in lean mass. As beta alanine is also a building block of carnosine, it can also provide antioxidant and anti-aging properties.
Per serving, you get:
- 2.5 grams of L-Leucine
- 1.6 grams of Beta Alanine
- 1.25 grams of L-Isoleucine
- 1.25 grams of L-Valine
When taken in excess, Beta Alanine can cause a tingling. This is completely harmless and is known as paresthesia. Paresthesia can provide a helpful wake-up before a work out due to the alertness that it causes.
So, by coupling two or more servings of COR Performance Beta BCAA with a stimulant such as caffeine, this supplement can double up as an effective pre-workout. Though, by taking just a single serving of the supplement, you can avoid the tingling, which is better later in the day when you’re trying to unwind.
Two scoops provides the clinically studied 3.2 grams of Beta-alanine as well as 5 grams of MPS promoting Leucine and 2.5 grams of isoleucine, the amino acid responsible for encouraging glucose uptake within the muscles.
This also means that it can be used before, after or during your workout, making it a very versatile powder. The product comes in lemon lime, tropical punch, and watermelon flavor.
9. BPI Sports Best BCAA
Not only this, but they’ve included a proprietary CLA Matrix blend which helps to build and preserve muscle whilst maximising fat loss.
They’ve even included L-Glutamine shown to increase muscle protein synthesis and aid immune system function.
Here’s what’s in every scoop:
- 2.5 grams of Glcyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Leucine (as Oligopeptide-Enzymatic Technology Glcyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Leucine)
- 1.25 grams of Glcyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Isoleucine (as Oligopeptide-Enzymatic Technology Glcyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Isoleucine)
- 1.25 grams of Glcyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Isoleucine (as Oligopeptide-Enzymatic Technology Glcyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Valine)
- 1 gram of CLA Matrix (Propietary blend)
- Safflower Oil Powder (Seed), Avocado Oil Powder (Fruit), Coconut Oil Powder (Fruit)
- 1 gram of Glutamine (as Oligopeptide-Enzymatic Technology Glcyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Glutamine)
This makes for 5 grams of BCAAs total, 1 gram of glutamine, and 1 gram of their fat-burning CLA matrix. So, you can build muscle and lose-fat at a much easier rate.
The supplement is notorious for its strong mix-ability, too; leaving you with no clumps, chunks, or grainy textures in your drink. BPI Sports Best BCAA comes in rainbow ice, fruit punch, blue raspberry, watermelon, passion fruit, grape, arctic ice, and cotton candy flavour.
10. EVL Nutrition BCAA Energy
Not only does this supplement enhance your recovery through the essential amino acids.
It also helps to improve your concentration, increase your alertness, and increase your endurance capacity through a variety of helpful ingredients.
The BCAAs themselves come in the optimal 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine: isoleucine: valine.
Two scoops of EVL Nutrition’s BCAA energy provides 5 grams of BCAAs and 6.5 grams of amino acids total.
Here’s everything you get in a 2 scoop serving:
- 90mg of Vitamin C
- 10mg of Vitamin B6 (As Pyridoxine HCL)
- 30mcg of Vitamin B12 (As Methylcobalamin)
- 80mg of Sodium
- 2500mg of L-Leucine
- 1250mg of Isoleucine
- 1250mg of Valine
- 500mg of Beta-Alanine (as CarnoSyn)
- 500mg of L-Alanine
- 500mg of Tuarine
- 110mg of Natural Energizers
- Natural Caffeine (from coffee beans)
- Green Tea Extract (Standardized for EGCG)
They suggest the following servings:
- Anytime energy, use 2 scoops for 5 grams of BCAAs and 6.5 grams of total amino acids
- Moderate energy, use 4 scoops for 10 grams of BCAAs and 13 grams of total amino acids
- Maximum energy, use 6 scoops for 15 grams of BCAAs and 19.5 grams of total amino acids
This makes it perfect for anytime of the day. All you need to do is adjust the serving size to make the supplement suitable for pre-workout or as just additional to your diet.
However, it’s still not recommended to use it prior to bedtime due to the caffeine content. The product comes in blue raz, cherry limeade, fruit punch, furious grape, green apple, lemon lime, and orange dream flavor.
1. How do I choose the best BCAA supplement?
In order to find the best BCAA supplements, you’ll need to investigate all of the options available. Here are some of the top things to look for when choosing the right supplement for you.
- Ingredients – take a close look at the ingredients on the label to find out exactly what’s in the supplement, how much of each nutrient, and whether there are any unnecessary add-ins.
- Brand reputation – who makes the product? Are they well known and trusted in the bodybuilding community? What’s your experience with them?
- Value for money – high quality BCAAs unfortunately don’t come cheap, but that doesn’t mean you need to pay a ridiculous price. Generally, you’ll be looking at $50-$1.50 per serving, depending on the nutrient content and quality of the ingredients. It’s best to compare the serving prices, not the total price.
- Convenience of use/taste – does the product come in capsules, pills, or a powder? If it’s a powder, do the reviews say that it tastes good? What do the reviews say on how well it mixes together? All of these need to be included in your decision making process.
2. Should I choose a proprietary or non-propietary supplement?
Typically, we aren’t huge fans of proprietary blends. We always prefer to know exactly what we’re putting n our body and how much of each ingredient we’re consuming. That being said, we’re OK with proprietary blends when we know that we’re getting at least 5 grams of BCAAs and the rough contents are listed.
However, if we start to see aminos such as glycine, glutamine, and taurine near the top of the blend, we’re not so keen. While it’s nice to have extra aminos, at the end of the day, this is a BCAA supplement and they should be the main ingredient.
In our opinion, none of these supplements are in any form ‘magical’ and so don’t need to be masked with any proprietary blend. There’s really no secret to it. All you need to do is pick the ingredients with the benefits that most match your needs. End of story.
3. What are BCAAs and essential amino acids?
BCAAs occur naturally in a wide range of protein sources. They’re known as ‘essential’ amino acids, which simply means that the body cannot synthesize them by itself and therefore, they have to be ingested through your diet.
All of the essential amino acids are: