You’ve probably seen the letters BCAA pop up on weightlifting and workout forums across the internet. Some claim that they are just another over-hyped supplement, while others rave about their potential to help build muscle. In this article, we take a look at the science behind the best BCAA and pull out the top ten performers in the market.

Best BCAA Supplements Comparison Chart

PRODUCT:

OverAll Rating

DETAILS

Translucent Labs BCAA Glutamine

best bcaa: Translucent Labs BCAA Glutamine

Beast Sports Nutrition Aminolytes

best bcaa: Beast Sports Nutrition Aminolytes
best bcaa: Scivation Xtend BCAAs
best bcaa: Gaspari AminoLast
best bcaa: Evlution Nutrition Recovery Mode
best bcaa: Anabolic State BCAA Supplement
best bcaa: Genius BCAA Powder
best bcaa: Optimum Nutrition BCAA 5000 Powder
best bcaa: Giant Nutrition Giant BCAA
best bcaa: Performix Iso 9:2:2 v2X

Top 10 Best BCAA Supplements

Here they are, the absolute best BCAA supplements on the market. We’ve organized them from five out of five stars downward to highlight the top performers first.


Translucent Labs BCAA Glutamine

best bcaa: Translucent Labs BCAA Glutamine

Quality

Price

Our Rating

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Translucent Labs offers a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. There are eight grams per serving, with an additional five grams of glutamine to help biosynthesize your proteins for faster recovery. The ratio provides four grams of leucine per serving, which is considered optimal for pre and intra-workout.

The flavor isn’t exactly tasty, but it isn’t half as bad as protein powders. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about any synthetic dyes or artificial sweeteners in this formula. It also happens to be vegan-friendly. There’s also coconut water extract to give your body a boost of electrolytes.

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly
  • No synthetic dyes or artificial sweeteners

Cons

  • Average taste

Beast Sports Nutrition Aminolytes

best bcaa: Beast Sports Nutrition Aminolytes

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Price

Our Rating

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Beast incorporates an even mix of essential and non-essential amino acids in their ten-gram formula. Their ratio is 5:1:4, which means each scoop contains two and a half grams of leucine. Electrolytes and co-enzymes have been added for increased endurance as well.

The ratio is unique since most research recommends 2:1:1, giving this supplement an interesting approach to an amino acid intake. While this is a little unconventional, the formula is award-winning. Thanks to the electrolyte blend, your body gains an increase in energy and water retention during even the most rigorous workout.

Pros

  • Award-winning formula
  • Unique ratio

Cons

  • Average taste

Scivation Xtend BCAAs

best bcaa: Scivation Xtend BCAAs

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Price

Our Rating

$

Returning to the 2:1:1 ratio, a scoop of Scivation’s Xtend blend contains seven full grams of anabolic BCAAs along with another two and a half grams of glutamine and one gram of citrulline malate (an isolated watermelon extract). Together, these ingredients aim to provide the benefits associated with BCAAs while also encouraging weight loss.

This is another product that refuses to use artificial dyes or sweeteners. However, it does not state that the formula is vegan-friendly. Compared to Translucent Labs’ version, this blend does offer twice the amount of glutamine.

Pros

  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Twice amount of glutamine

Cons

  • Average taste

Gaspari AminoLast

best bcaa: Gaspari AminoLast

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Price

Our Rating

$$

Marketed as an intra-workout supplement, Gaspari’s Amino Last is a synthetic dye-free formula containing two and a half grams of L-leucine in its ten-gram formula. This mix includes both essential and non-essential amino acids with the favored 2:1:1 ratio. With only five grams devoted to leucine, isoleucine, and valine, some recommend doubling up on this supplement.

Ornithine L-Aspartate is incorporated to increase muscle recovery times, and the Taurine content helps to boost energy by metabolizing fat cells. This supplement tastes pretty good compared to the rest and can be found in nearly every retail location that sells supplement products.

Pros

  • Good taste
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Contains taurine to boost energy

Cons

  • Does not mix well

Evlution Nutrition Recovery Mode

best bcaa: Evlution Nutrition Recovery Mode

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Price

Our Rating

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Evlution produces a number of best BCAA products, but their Recovery Mode blend is relatively new. There is an impressive list of ingredients that comprise this formula, including:

  • 1,000 mg Calci-K
  • 1,000 mg Taurine
  • 1,000 mg L-carnitine
  • 1,500 mg Betaine
  • 1,600 mg Beta-alanine
  • 3,000 mg L-glutamine
  • 750 mg Creatine HCL
  • And 2,250 mg Creatine Monohydrate

Those are added to the five milligrams of BCAAs found in the formula, giving your body an excellent post-workout recovery supplement. While this one may not be able to compete with pre-workout alternatives, it can certainly be your best friend after an intense series of reps.

Pros

  • Helps to sleep faster
  • Great simple ingredients

Cons

  • Average taste

Anabolic State BCAA Supplement

best bcaa: Anabolic State BCAA Supplement

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$

Anabolic State’s supplement contains six grams of BCAAs per serving, though the ratio remains undisclosed. It could be the favored 2:1:1 or a 5:1:4 like Beast Sports. Either way, these essential amino acids are combined with non-essentials to create a ten-gram total.

This supplement also contains anabolic HICA, which is a metabolite of leucine meant to help you build muscle faster. On the downside, you will find synthetic dyes and Acesulfame Potassium on the list of ingredients. On the plus side, this is a steal when it’s on sale.

Pros

  • Contains metabolite leucine
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Contains synthetic dyes

Genius BCAA Powder

best bcaa: Genius BCAA Powder

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$$

Genius looks like a strong contender in the realm of best BCAA supplements. We couldn’t find much about the company outside of Amazon, but their list of ingredients is solid and vegan-friendly. This is a low-dosage of amino acids at 5,000 milligrams, but it does incorporate a few bonuses.

Taurine and caffeine provide ample energy during your workout, while ingredients like Rhodiola and Citrulline malate help you burn fat. L-Citi Choline is included for cell membrane health, and there’s a hefty portion of L-glutamine as well. All in all, this is a decent blend to try if you’re new to BCAA supplements.

Pros

  • Proper dose of vegan amino acid
  • No artificial flavors

Cons

  • More expensive compared to other brands

Optimum Nutrition BCAA 5000 Powder

best bcaa: Optimum Nutrition BCAA 5000 Powder

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$

Optimum Nutrition has been a significant name in the supplement industry for years. Their BCAA 5,000 powder is incredibly affordable, and a revamp of their original PRO formula. With the price as cheap as it is, you can double-up on this one without burning a hole in your wallet. As a formula, this one is strictly essential amino acids.

Pros

  • Easy mixing formula
  • Blend of three branched chain amino acid

Cons

  • Average taste

Giant Nutrition’s Giant BCAA

best bcaa: Giant Nutrition Giant BCAA

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$

This formula utilizes an interesting 12:1:1 ratio in its seven grams of BCAAs. There are no proven studies that indicate such a hefty dose of leucine compared to the others is beneficial, but there’s no harm in taking extra amino acids. A 2:1:1 ratio is, however, still considered superior.

The main benefit that Giant Nutrition has to offer is their incredibly large tub. Much like an enormous batch of protein powder, their supplement is going to last you a while.

Pros

  • high Leucine ratio
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Bad aftertaste

Performix Iso 9:2:2 v2X

best bcaa: Performix Iso 9:2:2 v2X

Quality

Price

Our Rating

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Performix’s supplement is incredibly similar to others on this list, containing multiple low-dose ingredients as well as caffeine. The difference is in its 9:2:2 ratio, which is equally as odd as Giant Nutrition’s 12:1:1.

There are thirty servings in a container, and the taste is masked by artificial flavors that make the product more bearable to consume. There isn’t a lot of information revolving around how they source their ingredients, unfortunately. On the plus side, added PEAK O2 (a mushroom blend) does an excellent job of increasing your muscle’s oxygen capacity.

Pros

  • with PEAL O2 (mushroom blend)
  • with Taurine

Cons

  • with artificial flavoring

What Is A BCAA?

If you’re already familiar with these supplements, skip ahead to the top 10. For those new to BCAAs, it’s important to know what these products are and how they can benefit your workout.

BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids and is comprised of essential acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Together, these amino acids make up roughly 35% of your body’s muscle protein, but you don’t produce them on your own. That’s why they’re called essential because you must consume them through other sources.

Chicken, fish, eggs and more call contain these BCAAs in various quantities and forms. As you consume them, your body can build protein. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are considered the best BCAA combo for their ability to help preserve glycogen stores, which is why so many individuals use them to get the most out of their gym sessions.

Are They Beneficial?

Your body uses its glycogen stores for energy, which translates to the fuel your muscles need when pumping iron. By using BCAA supplements, you’re essentially putting more fuel into the tank before taking your muscles out for a spin. Extra energy can help you achieve higher reps, but there’s more to these essential amino acids than just that.

By filling up your glycogen stores, you’re also keeping your body from breaking down muscle protein to gather that extra energy. Think of it as a safeguard for your muscles, one that allows them to grow to their full potential. In other words, you’re increasing your potential for gains.

Finally, leucine helps with muscle recovery after a rigorous workout. This particular BCAA sends out the signal that tells your body to start protein synthesis. What does that mean? You can heal faster and workout harder the next day.

Not everyone agrees on the benefits that BCAA supplements have to offer. Some rave about their ability to help with a workout while others view them as just another supplement. Are they beneficial? The research is still out, for now, so you’ll have to decide for yourself.

How We Choose Our Ratings

We take out rating systems seriously. Our goal is to highlight the absolute best BCAA on the market to help you make an educated buying decision. Honesty and accuracy are critical components for us, which is why we take the following factors into consideration.

We start by looking at testimonials and customer reviews. A company can make numerous claims, but the real test of a product is the experience it offers the buyer.

Afterward, we factor in the data about the product. For best BCAA products, we took their amino acid content into consideration as well as any other ingredients. The general reputation of the brand is also a deciding factor in our rating system.

We take all of this information and pit numerous products against one another to bring you the best of the best in any given category. Hopefully, our hard work shines through in this top ten list.


Buyer’s Guide

Now that you’ve seen some of the top performers in the industry, it’s important to understand what makes one of these best BCAA supplements work for you. Everyone has different workout goals, and these essential amino acids are not specifically beneficial to lifting weights or bulking up. There are numerous ways these formulas can help, which is why we made this buying guide.

Gaining or Losing?

The first aspect you want to consider is whether you plan on building muscle or losing weight through diet and exercise. If you’re looking to bulk up, then you want your formula to provide added strength, energy, and nitric oxide boosters like L-Citrulline. This keeps the momentum going while helping you to reach higher reps.

If you plan on losing weight, then you might want to consider a more straightforward formula. Essential and non-essential amino acids are great for keeping your muscles toned in this context. Throw in some electrolytes to replenish what your body loses during a workout, and you’ll help yourself to reach your goals without sacrificing muscle quality.

To Carb or Not to Carb?

Carbs are the enemy when dieting, but they can help you keep your energy levels high when bulking up. You might want to take allergies and food-sensitivities into consideration as well. At the same time, you might want to avoid the blood-sugar spike associated with carbs when dieting.

The choice is ultimately yours, but there are very few BCAA supplements on the market that contain carbohydrates. All in all, it is probably best to stick with non-carb varieties as these supplements already contain everything you need whether you’re losing weight or bulking up.

Caffeinated or Not?

Caffeine can give you an excellent energy boost whether you need the push from eating less or to pump out those extra reps. The amino acids in BCAA products are already designed to increase energy levels, which makes the caffeinated variety an intense one.

However, you might not enjoy the way added caffeine makes you feel. If you don’t enjoy energy drinks, then stick with a low-dose or “no-dose” of caffeine in your BCAA supplement.

The Ratio

Research suggests that leucine, isoleucine, and valine work best in a 2:1:1 ratio. In that amount, these compounds increase energy levels while providing the healing benefits you need after a tough workout. It doesn’t matter how you answered the first question, this “golden ratio” works best.

You will find products with a higher leucine content. Whether or not that has any added benefit is still up for debate, however. It might, but you don’t need anything more than two parts leucine according to current research.

Flavor

Last, but not least, you need to be able to stomach the formula. Like most workout supplements, even the best BCAA products are far from delicious. You can find plenty of fruity flavors to make them easier on your taste buds. Keep an eye out for artificial flavorings that ramp up the sugar content, though.