Best BCAA Supplements for 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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Over the years, our diets and lifestyles have changed considerably. And with our busy lifestyles, we find ourselves dependent on processed foods – which is even worse.

These processed foods have little or no nutritional value to the body. They are part of the reason the number of lifestyle disease instances keeps increasing.

But like with everything, there is a solution.

First of all, there has to be an intention to make time for a healthier diet. The other option is to use supplements to boost the intake of those nutrients you lack in your diet.

If you are a beginner, it may be difficult to choose a supplement that will work for you.

But there is no need to worry because we got you covered! In this review, we are going to review our top ten BCAA supplements.

By the time you finish reading this article, you will know which supplement is best for you. You may even find 2 or more.

Let’s begin!

What are BCAA supplements?

Our bodies have about 20 amino acids. Out of these, 9 are called essential amino acids.

We can only obtain these amino acids from the diet. Our bodies do not have the capacity to produce them.

Out of the nine essential amino acids, three of them are referred to as Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA).

The name comes from their chemical structure which has branches. You can get these amino acids from protein-rich foods like meat, dairy products, and eggs.

The three Branched-chain amino acids you will find in these supplements are:

  • L-Leucine
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Valine

These supplements have several benefits, including promoting muscle growth, increasing endurance, and keeping you energetic, among others.

Let’s now take a look at our best 10 BCAA supplements in the market.

Best BCAA supplements currently on the market

The supplement industry is one of the most vibrant ones in the health sector. It grows daily.

Because of this, there are so many brands out there such that it is difficult to make a choice. But worry not, that’s why we are here. So your decisions are easier.

Here’s a list of our top ten BCAA supplements for 2020 that we are sure you will also like.

Let’s get into it.

1) Transparent Labs BCAA

Transparent Labs BCAAUnless you are new to the supplement world, you must already know about Transparent Labs.

They have been in the supplement business for more than a decade. Their products are legit.

According to the company, all the ingredients are backed by research. It is supposed to be the best ‘repair and recovery’ supplement in the market.

Well, they can say what they want. But here we believe nobody until our analysis agrees with their words.

Let’s find out how good the product is.

Ingredients

  • Fermented Vegan BCAA 2:1:1
  • L-Leucine – 4000mg
  • L-Isoleucine – 2000mg
  • L-Valine – 2000mg
  • L-Glutamine – 5000mg
  • Coconut water powder – 1000mg

The ingredients in this product show that the company did not come to play. They have a whole 8 grams of the BCAA.

The industry average is about 3 to 5 grams. The coconut water powder brings electrolytes which are essential for hydration when you are working out.

Key highlights

The single package contains 3 servings. It comes in powder form with a scoop.

When taking it, you mix one scoop of the supplement with 10 to 12 ounces of cold water or any other beverage you prefer.

You can take it before, after or during training. It is advisable to take at least 2 servings per day but do not exceed 4 servings.

It is vegan and vegetarian-friendly
The price is fair and you can pay in instalments
It has several flavors to choose from
The ingredient dosage is high and effective
You can only purchase the product directly at the maker

Conclusion

I feel like this is the best way to start the review. We love the product and how heavy-handed they are with ingredients.

We also like the pricing and the different product and we would definitely recommend it.

For more information about these supplements, you can check out the official website at: www.transparentlabs.com

2) Performance Lab

Performance Lab BCAA

Performance Lab is another veteran in the supplement industry. They pride themselves on making ingredients from natural ingredients.

This BCAA supplement claims to help you meet your workout goals. The ingredients should also help you maintain your muscle mass.

You should also have increased endurance and muscle growth. This supplement is for those who have an active gym lifestyle.

It can also be very useful for bodybuilders and athletes of all types.

Ingredients

  • BCAA 2:1:1
  • L-Leucine – 1500mg
  • L-Isoleucine – 750mg
  • L-Valine – 750mg

Unlike many other BCAA supplement manufacturers, Performance labs did not add any filler ingredients.

These ingredients are vegan and vegetarian-friendly. They also thought of allergens excluded soy and gluten from the product.

Key Highlights

The performance lab BCAA supplement can be taken as a pre or post work out. We would advise that you take between 2 and 4 capsules before and after your work out.

One bottle goes for $30 but once in while the company has lucrative offers.

It is gluten and soy-free
Vegan and vegetarian-friendly
Its price is fair
You can only purchase it from the performance labs website

Conclusion

We believe this supplement is unique in many ways. First, it doesn’t have filler ingredients.

It is also soy and gluten-free. This means it caters to a majority of people with these allergies.

In case you are convinced but just need that little nudge, you can get more information on their webisite.

3) Dymatize BCAA 2200

Dymatize BCAA 2200Dymatize is a sports nutrition company that has been around for a while. They are popular and have been churning quality products too.

The first strange thing we noticed was the humongous package. The bottle has a whopping 400 capsules.

According to the company, the product is supposed to help with recovery from intense training.

Ingredients

  • L-Leucine – 1100mg
  • L-Isoleucine – 550mg
  • L-Valine – 550mg
  • Vitamin C – 10mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 1.5mg
  • Calcium – 134mg
  • Riboflavin – 1.7mg

As the name suggests, this supplement contains a total of 2200 mg of BCAAs. Vitamin C can help you lessen cell damage when you are working out.

Vitamin B, on the other hand, helps with energy production in the body. When all these ingredients tie together, they are a potent assistant to your workouts.

Key highlights

This supplement can be used both as a pre and post-workout. You can take two capsules 30 to 45 minutes before and after your workout.

Gluten-free
It is soy-free
Has no artificial sweeteners
Contains extra vitamins

The serving is too small you have to take several capsules a day.
The price is higher than the industry average.

Conclusion

Dymatize BCAA is a great supplement. It has a blend of amazing ingredients to keep you working out to achieve your body goals.

The only thing we have reservations about is the number of pills you have to take for it to be effective.

We feel it would have been better if the serving were bigger. Other than that, we like it and all it has to offer.

You can check it out here

4) Kaged Muscle In-Kaged

Kaged Intra Workout Fuel

In Kaged is a product of the Kaged Muscle company. They came up with the product with the view of it being an intra-workout supplement.

It is supposed to help you refuel to continue with your workout effectively.

The ingredients are divided into three; the muscle fuel matrix (BCAA 2:1:1), the Endura pump matrix to aid with endurance.

Finally, the neuro energy matrix. It is indeed like nothing else we have seen so far.

So what’s in it?

Ingredients

Muscle fuel matrix

  • Fermented L-Leucine – 2500mg
  • Fermented L-Isoleucine – 1250mg
  • Fermented L-Valine – 250mg

Endura pump matrix

  • Fermented L-Citrulline – 3000mg
  • CarnoSyn – 1600mg
  • Coconut water powder – 500mg

Neuro energy matrix

  • Taurine – 1000mg
  • L-Tyrosine – 500mg
  • PurCaf™ Caffeine – 124mg

There are 5 grams of BCAAs which is on the higher side of the industry average and we love it.

Citrulline has also been linked with improving cardiovascular health. It also contains a bit of caffeine which is great for that extra burst of energy.

Key highlights

One bottle of the supplement contains just 20 servings. When taking it as an intra-workout, you mix one scoop with 16 to 20 ounces of water.

If you are not working out you can take a serving anytime during the day. But we advise that it shouldn’t be before bed time because of the caffeine.

It contains patented ingredients
It has 14 active ingredients which is generous
It is soy free
Has no artificial coloring

The caffeine may be overwhelming with all the other ingredients for energy
Its price is way above the industry average.

Conclusion

Many workout supplements we are reviewing are either pre or post work out. In-Kaged is designed as an intra-workout supplement.

We love that they thought of everything you need when working out. Body energy, mental energy, and muscle repair and rejuvenation.

But don’t take our word for it, check it out for yourself.

5) Optimum Nutrition Instantized

Optimum Nutrition InstantizedMost of these supplements that come in powder form are hard to mix with water. Even those that mix may not stay in solution form for that long.

Optimum nutrition came up with this instantized powder that dissolves easily.

It is easy to mix with water, juice, or even your favorite pre or post-workout drinks.

It is available on Amazon and can be shipped to most parts of the world.

Ingredients

  • L-Leucine – 2500mg
  • L-Isoleucine – 1250mg
  • L-Valine – 1250mg

Optimum nutrition contains 5 grams of BCAAs.

Key highlights

One package of the supplement contains 60 servings. One serving consists of 2 scoops of the supplement mixed with water or any pre-workout.

You can take it between meals. Alternatively, you can consume it 30 to 45 minutes before and/or after your workouts.

It is pocket friendly for the amount of supplement you get
It is keto-friendly
You can find it on Amazon

Does not contain filler ingredients

Conclusion

We like that the creators of optimized nutrition instantized had the user’s comfort in mind. Another thing we enjoy is that this supplement doesn’t have artificial filler ingredients.

We would recommend it if you have had trouble with other supplements dissolving. Are you convinced?

6) Betancourt Plus Series BCAA

Betancourt Plus Series BCAA

Betancourt has been unleashing several supplements in the market. They recently did a plus series that had BCAA supplement.

We can call it a premium product. It has a strange BCAA ratio of 4:1:1.

The company believes the product will enable you to get the most anabolic amino acids into your system.

But let’s look at the ingredients to see if we agree.

Ingredients

  • Instantized L-Leucine, Active TR™- 4000mg
  • Instantized L-Isoleucine- 1000mg
  • Instantized L-Valine- 1000mg
  • Zinc- 22mg
  • Potassium – 35mg
  • Vitamin B12 – 30mcg
  • Vitamin B6 – 2mcg
  • Sodium – 20mg
  • Taurine – 1500mg

The Betancourt supplements have the most L-Leucine than we have ever seen. The product also has zinc which is rare in BCAA products but great testosterone production booster.

The taurine could also help reduce muscle cramps and we feel it is a great addition.

Key highlights

The container comes with 30 servings. It is an intra-workout powder. However, you can also use it as pre or post-workout if you so wish.

It has high solubility in water and other beverages
It could boost your testosterone
Includes generous amounts of electrolytes and Vitamin B
It has a lot of L-Leucine

A bit overpriced

Conclusion

We have seen a few BCAA supplements in our day but this is the first time we are seeing a 4:1:1 ratio.

We like it though. I mean we all know the bigger the dose the more effective the ingredient.

We also like that they added a few other useful ingredients to make the supplement even more potent.

Our recommendation is that you try it and the first step is to check out this link.

7) Bulk Supplements Pure BCAA

Bulk Supplements Pure BCAABulk supplements BCAA is marketed as a product that should help you with:

  • Muscle growth, retention, and recovery.
  • Reduced muscle soreness when working out.
  • Increased muscles gain.

It is also one of the easiest supplements to stack. You can pair it with other pre and post-workout supplements without negative consequences.

Just like the company name suggests, they offer the largest quantities of supplements in the market.

Let’s find out more before you can decide if it is the one for you.

Ingredients

  • L-Leucine – 800mg
  • L-Isoleucine – 230mg
  • L-Valine – 389mg

This is the first BCAA supplement that doesn’t have an exact ratio. They market it as a 2:1:1 formula but as you can see, it is not so.

However, we like that there aren’t any filler ingredients that do nothing for the product.

Key highlights

A serving is 1.5 grams. And you need to take it three times daily.

For the best results, it is advisable that you take it about 20 to 30 minutes before a workout.

However, you can also use it as a post-workout if you feel the need.

It is one of the cheapest BCAA supplements in the market
It has a generous dose of Leucine
It is gluten, soy and dairy-free
Easily stackable

A bit overpriced

Conclusion

If you have been on the lookout for a simple BCAA supplement that gets the job done, this is the one.

It is manufactured by a reputable company and most reviewers have great things to say.

We therefore give it our stamp of approval and encourage you to visit the product link.

8) Post Jym Active Matrix BCAA

Post Jym Active Matrix BCAA

As the name suggests, this is a post-workout supplement. It is a product of the Jym Science Company.

The company prides itself on producing research-based supplements. The concept of this product was to aid in recovery after working out.

The product works on the premise that your muscles grow when you constantly allow them to refuel, recover, and rebuild. They claim their products do all that for you.

We have heard many good things about the product but as usual, let’s verify.

Ingredients

  • L-Leucine – 3600mg
  • L-Isoleucine – 1200mg
  • L-Valine – 1200mg
  • Creatin HCl – 2000mg
  • L-Carnitine L-Tartrate – 2000mg
  • Beta- Alanine – 2000mg
  • L-Glutamine – 3000mg
  • Betaine – 1500mg
  • Taurine – 1000mg
  • Black pepper extract – 5.3mg

We are glad to see several ingredients here that are great for endurance, strength, and growth. We also really like that we have black pepper extract here that aids the absorption of nutrients.

Key highlights

One bottle of Post JYM active matrix contains 30 servings. To prepare a serving mix one scoop of the supplement with between 16 and 32 ounces of water.

Allow the solution to dissolve completely for 10 to 15 minutes. It is best to drink up 30 minutes after your workout.

Works well as both a pre and post-workout supplement
Is great tasting
It has a generous amount of BCAAs

The price is more than the industry average
It has some artificial coloring

Conclusion

Post JYM active matrix is one of the best post-workout supplements in the market. The manufacturing company prides itself in thorough research.

Although the price is a bit on the higher side, we understand a lot of work went into it.

If you are looking to try a premium supplement, check it out.

9) Cellucor Alpha Amino

Cellucor Alpha Amino

Cellucor is a company based in Texas that has been in the supplement business for over a decade.

Ingredients

  • BCAA –  5000mg
  • Instatized L-Leucine
  • Instantized L-Isoleucine
  • Instatized L-Vlaine
  • Essential performance amino acid complex – 3750mg
  • Alpha Amino™ Hydration Blend – 1750mg
  • Beta Power® Betaine Anhydrous – 1250mg

We aren’t elated with the presence of the proprietary blend. However, we like that we have 5 grams of Branched-chain amino acids.

We also like that we can see electrolytes which are essential for hydration.

Key highlights

To prepare this pre-workout, you only need to mix a scoop of it with 8 to 12 ounces of water, juice, or any other beverage.

You can take two serving before and after your workout. But do not exceed 4 servings in a day.

It has several flavors to choose from
Doesn’t contain sugars
Contain 0 (zero) calories
Pocket friendly price

It has blends that don’t have real quantities

Conclusion

The only issue we have with this product is the presence of proprietary blends. But since Cellucor is a reputable brand we are giving it a chance.

We like that the product has a fair price and that its’ reviewers have positive things to say.

10) Scivation Xtend BCAA

Scivation Xtend BCAAScivation is a supplement company based in North Carolina. The company is best known for low calorie supplements.

Ingredients

  • L-Leucine – 3500mg
  • L-Isoleucine – 1750mg
  • L-Valine – 1750mg
  • Electrolyte blend – 1850mg
  • Sodium – 220mg
  • Potassium – 180mg

We really like how much L-Leucine we are seeing in this product. It is also great to see electrolytes here even though it is a blend.

Key highlights

You can take this supplement before or during your workout. It is also a great way to increase electrolytes in the body at any other time.

To take, mix 1 scoop of the powder with 10 to 14 ounces of water. Drink it during and after exercise.

Has 7 grams of BCAAs per serving
Has great taste
There are several flavors to choose from
It is easily soluble in water and other beverages

Contains artificial dye

Conclusion

Scivation is a popular supplement manufacturing company. We like how generous they are with the branched amino acids.

The industry average is between 3 and 5 grams but they went wild with 7 grams. Another thing we love is it has more than 10 flavor choices.

Why don’t you check it out .

 

How do BCAA supplements work?

BCAA has several benefits to the body. They aid in the proper growth of muscles. They can also aid in weight loss and lessening fatigue.

Let’s take a deeper look into the BCAA supplements’ benefits.

  • They reduce muscle soreness

One of the things that can make you fall of the working out bandwagon is soreness. It tends to manifest 2 to 3 days after working out.

Studies (1), (2) have shown that BCAAs can reduce protein breakdown during exercise. They can also creatine kinase levels; higher levels indicate muscle damage.

Supplementing with BCAAs can also speed up recovery (3).

  • They reduce fatigue during workouts

Many essential amino acids are broken down in the liver. BCAAs are special as they are broken down in the muscles.

When you exercise, the BCAA levels in the blood decrease. This may lead to an increase in serotonin, which contributes to the feeling of fatigue (4).

Supplementing ensures your BCAA blood levels do not reduce, and you maintain your energy levels.

  • Prevent muscle wasting

Every day your body breaks down proteins and synthesizes more. These processes are supposed to be bal,anced.

Sometimes however, the breaking down happens faster than the synthesis. In this case, you may end up with muscle wastage.

Amino acids form 35% of the proteins in the muscles. When you supplement with BCAAs, you prevent the protein breakdown process from exceeding synthesis (5).

  • Promotes increased muscle growth

The leucine in BCAA supplements promotes the synthesis of muscle proteins. When you supplement the leucine from your diet with these supplements, your muscle growth is bound to improve.

We came across a study where subjects who took about 5 grams of BCAA drink after intense workouts. They showed muscle increase of about 22% more than those who did not take the supplements (6).

  • They can help with weight loss

If you are active, you are bound to keep the extra weight away. BCAA supplements can also help you burn fat faster.

Since they help with protein synthesis, you will have bigger muscles and less fat.

Side effects

With all the good things we have to say about BCAA supplements, are there things you need to look out for?

The first thing to always remember is that too much of anything is poisonous. Always heed to the manufacturer’s instructions when taking supplements.

Sometimes we are so eager to get results that we overindulge. But overdosing is one of the reasons we suffer side effects.

Another reason for side effects is allergens. We were happy to see that some supplements on this list considered people with allergies.

But that may not always be the case. We would, therefore, advise that you make sure you aren’t allergic to any ingredients in the product.

If you can, stay away from proprietary blends. You n,ever know what’s in them, and they may do you more harm than good.

And speaking of things to stay away from, stay away from the supplements if you are on medication.

The same applies if you have an underlying health condition. Unless you have run the sup,plement past your doctor, and they are ok with you using it with your medication and health condition.

But even when you are cautious, bad things can still happen. Different people respond differently to different things.

Some people may still experience side effects when observing all the above. If you feel any of the symptoms below, you should reduce your dosage. If the symptoms persist, stop taking it and see a physician.

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Running stomach
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle soreness

Most of these symptoms will go away after a few days. They mostly occur as your body is getting used to the supplement. But if they persist, it is safe to stop taking them.

Who should buy BCAA supplements?

People from all works of life can benefit from BCAA supplements. If you fall into the following categories, they will be beneficial to you.

Men and women of all ages above 18 years

Most BCAA supplements do not have gender-specific ingredients. So if you are an active adul,t looking to stay active, you should consider them.

Vegans and vegetarians

Most of the essential amino acids are found in animal products. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, they may be difficult to obtain in your diet.

The BCAA supplements are, therefore your best source of the essential amino acids.

Athletes and bodybuilders

We have already talked about muscle wastage due to high-intensity work outs. If you are an athlete and you want DOMS to be a thing of the past, these supplements will be helpful.

BCAA supplements also help with muscle growth. As a bodybuilder, this should be very interesting for you.

Anyone with a high-intensity work out lifestyle should try these supplements.

How do I take BCAA supplements?

BCAA supplements come in a powder or capsule form. Most of the time, you have to mix them with water or another beverage for easy ingestion and absorption.

No two supplements are exactly alike. It is, therefore, imperative that you read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before taking any.

Are BCAA supplements necessary?

We cannot say they are necessary for survival. However, given our ever-busy lifestyles, they can help you live a healthier life.

If you have deficiencies in your diet, they will help out. They may also be necessary if you experience muscle wasting and constant fatigue when training.

Our verdict

BCAA supplements have become popular in recent years. Most people, however, make the mistake of believing them to be magic pills.

If you have been here before, you know that we say these pills are only complementary. You need to have a healthy diet.

For BCAA supplements specifically, you need to be very active when working out.

These supplements have several benefits to your health. Even if you are not active, they can act as nutritional supplements.

For instance, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, you may not get all the amino acids you need from your diet. These supplements will aid with that.

All our picks are products from reputable companies with very good reviews. You should also have seen that they all have the three important amino acids for BCAA supplements.

At this point, you should be able to choose one that will work best for you this year.

All the best!


 

References

 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7810616
  2. https://www.healthline.com/process
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4241904/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17004850
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2267397/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28638350

 

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