▷ Best BCAA Supplements (2018 Update)

Best BCAA Supplements

Written by Sabrina Wilson and updated on January 4, 2018
Best BCAA Supplements

Each and every week there seems to be a new supplement on the shelves that promise to promote muscle growth, enhance fat loss, improve recovery, and help us build a physique that will turn heads all the way down the street.

Despite this, very few supplements truly stand the test of time.

Many gain a bit of traction within the health and fitness industry, then proceed to lose support as their claims are disproven by those who take them regularly. Others receive enough attention to require subsequent research into their effectiveness – most of which demonstrates that they are no better than their competitors.

And then some work.

The research supports their use, and they stay atop the supplement chain for a very long time, completely irrespective of what new and improved supplements hit the market.

Which is exactly where BCAAs come into the discussion.

What are BCAAs?

Amino acids are often considered the building blocks of our cells. They are used to produce new tissues throughout the body, while also playing an important role in the creation of specific enzymes and the growth and repair of the body’s various cells.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.

These particular amino acids are considered essential as they cannot be made within the body, and as such need to be consumed through diet (they are found in meat, poultry, and dairy). Additionally, each of these amino acids (and these amino acids only) contain a branched side chain – hence the name Branched Chain Amino Acid.

Contrary to other amino acids, BCAAs are broken down within the muscle (whereas others are broken down within the liver), where they are used to repair damaged muscle tissue, while also promoting the growth of new muscle tissue.

What Are the Benefits of Supplementing With BCAAs?

Considering the above, it seems logical that supplementing with BCAAs will have a host of positive benefits in regards to exercise performance, recovery, and muscle growth.

BCAA Supplements Can Improve Muscle Growth

Considering that BCAAs are used to repair damaged muscle tissue, it should come as no surprise that they have the capacity to boost muscle growth.

With this in mind, research suggests that those individuals who supplement with BCAAs and participate in resistance training will induce significantly more muscle growth than those individuals who participate in resistance training alone [1].

This suggest they may have the potential to boost muscle growth significantly, increasing the effectiveness of your workouts substantially.

BCAA Supplements Can Reduce Fatigue During Exercise

In conjunction with their profound effects on muscle growth, BCAA supplements have also been shown to improve exercise performance by staving off physical and mental fatigue.

In fact, research has shown that those individuals who take BCAAs before exercise will report approximately 15% less fatigue than those individuals who do note take BCAAs [2].

This has been shown to come with improvement in performance of up to 17% [3], suggesting that BCAAs have the ability to improve exercise performance, while simultaneously reducing sensations of tiredness and fatigue.

BCAA Supplements Can Enhance Fat Loss

Interestingly, in conjunction with their effects on muscle growth and exercise performance, BCAAs have also been shown to have a positive impact on our ability to lose fat specific mass.

In fact, those individuals who consume as little as an additional 15 grams of BCAAs each day are up to 30% less likely to become overweight or obese [4].

Additionally, research has demonstrated that competitive athletes who have taken BCAA supplements will lose up to 3.5 pounds more than those who don’t take BCAA supplements in as little as 19 days [5].

BCAA Supplements Can Reduce Muscle Soreness

Due to their key role in the muscle and the recovery of muscle tissue, BCAA supplements have also been shown to reduce muscle damage post exercise, causing large reduction in muscle soreness after high intensity physical activity [6].

This makes them a great option for those individuals looking to perform multiple bouts of exercise over consecutive days, or those looking to enhance recovery.

Best BCAA Supplement Reviews

Now the only issue with a popular and effective supplement like BCAA is that the market can become saturated with sub-par options that offer a poor-quality product at a high price point.

As such, we have gone ahead and done all the research for you, finding the best BCAA supplements for men and women available on the market today.

Now when it comes to muscle building and sports performance supplements, it is very hard to look past Optimum Nutrition. Arguably the most popular sports supplement company in existence, they are renowned for producing high quality products that offer excellent effectiveness.

Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Branched Chain Essential Amino Acids Powder, 5000mg, Unflavored, 60 Servings

This is paramount in the BCAA powder. Using high quality ingredients that are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, this is a great option for those not afraid to spend a little more dough.

Scivations Xtend is one of the most popular BCAA supplements on the market, due to its extremely high quality and delicious flavours. This is a great option that mixes extremely well, offers a great rate of absorption, and tastes fantastic.

Scivation Xtend BCAA Powder, Branched Chain Amino Acids, BCAAs, Watermelon, 30 Servings

Similar to Optimum Nutrition’s option, this does come at a slightly higher price point than its competitors – but you are undoubtedly paying for quality.

BulkSupplements are a personal favourite of ours. They constantly put out high quality products at extremely affordable prices – and their BCAA powder is no different.

BCAA Branched Chain Essential Amino Acids Powder by BulkSupplements | 2:1:1 Instantized Formula | Pre/Post Workout Bodybuilding Supplement | Boost Muscle Growth (250 grams)

This is a high-quality product that provides your BCAA is scientifically supported dosages. The only real knock on it is that it is completely unflavoured, meaning that it can be quite bitter if mixed solely with water.

Take-Away Message

BCAAs are one off the few supplements that have stood the test of time. Demonstrating the ability to improve recovery after exercise, increase exercise performance, enhance muscle growth, and promote fat loss, they are one of the most effective supplements on the market.

We truly believe that the three supplements on this list offer the best BCAAs available. As always, if you have had experience with any of them, we would love to hear about it – so please drop us a comment and we will get back to you ASAP.

References:

About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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