Do you often find your muscles are achy and sore after your usual exercise routine? Me too—it can be a struggle, and can sometimes discourage us from returning to the gym.
But wait. Before you give up, there is an answer. If you want to speed up muscle recovery, with an added boost to improve your muscle mass, then the best BCAA supplement might just be your solution.
Keep reading if you want to know what you can do to solve these classic problems.
Quick Product Roundup
What Is a BCAA Supplement?
BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids, including leucine, isoleucine, and valine. A BCAA supplement will come in either powdered or pill formula, to consume pre, during, or post workout.
So, why are they useful?
Well, they are super important in the repair and growth of your muscles during and after exercise. Have you ever heard the term “ripped” used to describe strong muscles? Yeah—your muscles literally rip and then repair themselves in order to grow—this is called protein synthesis.
“What is protein synthesis?” I hear you ask. Well, it’s the complex process within your body which produces the proteins needed for specific tasks to keep you healthy.
When you consume protein, your body breaks this down into the amino acid chains it’s made from. Then, your body will take these amino acids, and piece them together to produce the proteins it needs for your body to run smoothly. If you’re still unsure what I mean, here’s a short video:
The body is a wonderful place, and a BCAA supplement will speed this protein synthesis along. That way, you can ensure your muscles stay undamaged, as they grow stronger and larger.
What to Look for in the Best BCAA Supplement?
Now that we know what BCAAs supplements are for, what do we need to look out for in the best ones? Well, let’s take a look and see:
Powder or Pills?
Although pills are great for slipping in your pocket to take later, I would recommend taking powders to get the best BCAA supplement. Why? Well, they absorb a lot quicker into the bloodstream, which means they’re fast-acting, so your body can start repairing your muscles quicker.
You can mix them into your morning smoothie before your workout. They can also be blended with any other supplements you may take. Need a caffeine energy boost, for example? Good—just mix it with a caffeine supplement!
After much research, it’s been concluded that this is the best BCAA supplement ratio. That makes two leucine, two isoleucine, and one valine. Anything other than this is usually quite controversial, but I like to stay open-minded.
Although this may seem like a pretty trivial matter for the best BCAA supplement, the flavor is actually quite important in ensuring the product is enjoyable.
I sometimes find it difficult to stomach breakfast first thing in the morning. If that’s the case for normal food, imagine attempting to swallow a poor-tasting supplement drink in the early hours. Not ideal. A tasty flavor option makes the best BCAA supplement much more palatable.
The Five Best BCAA Supplements
So, now that we’ve decided on taking powders as the best route for a BCAA supplement, here are my top five of the best BCAA supplements.
Scivation Xtend—what a great name! But there’s got to be more than just a cool name, right? This BCAA product does what we’d expect, providing the usual 2:1:1 amino acid ratio to ensure your muscles keep growing and repairing after working out.
So what makes this product stand out? Well, the addition of citrulline malate for one, especially if you’re tired before you’re morning workout, as it helps fight off this fatigue. Also, the inclusion of glutamine is important to keep the inner workings of your body ticking healthily.
Wait—there’s more. Brooke Wells, Matt Fraser, and Marc Fitt all stand by Scivation for its abilities for recovery—pre, during, or post workout. With three delicious flavors, you have the pick of the litter, and with thousands of online reviews, can you go wrong?
- 2:1:1 ratio.
- Sugar and carbohydrate free.
- Calorie free.
- Keeps you awake and energized.
- Includes some other great ingredients.
- Three tasty flavors.
- Endorsed by fitness lovers and experts.
- Helps facilitate fat loss.
- Includes a proprietary blend of some ingredients.
Want to ensure your muscles recover and repair effectively after a tough workout? Then this is a great supplement, with an all natural blend, for the job.
Are you looking to gain muscle? Well, this one has the answer, as it helps to keep your body’s proteins working effectively, to keep your muscles growing and repairing.
With the optimum levels of valine, isoleucine, and leucine, ensuring fast absorption into the body, this BCAA will ensure that muscle breakdown is limited. This way, you should meet all your muscle-gaining goals, without causing any damage to them.
That said, if you’re looking to lose weight, the BCAAs help keep your muscle mass intact, while reducing your fat levels. This means that all the right weight should be lost, keeping you healthy and lean.
- Good for gaining muscle, and losing weight.
- Fast absorbing.
- 2:1:1 ratio.
- All natural blend.
- Sugar-free flavors.
- Can be taken pre, during, or post workout.
- Three tasty flavor options.
- Comes in three sizes.
- Possible side effects, including stomach problems, and anxiety for some.
This BCAA supplement fully supports protein synthesis to ensure your muscles keep repairing after those tougher workout sessions. It has the typical 2:1:1 ratio of the three key amino acids that we’ve previously discussed. So, if you want to make your energy levels soar, whilst ensuring the natural workings of your body keep functioning, this could be the BCAA supplement to do the trick.
With eight delicious flavor options, this gluten-free product makes for a fabulous choice. As we’ve said, a good flavor makes all the difference, and Evlution Nutrition certainly nails it here!
- 2:1:1 ratio.
- Gluten free
- Eight flavor options.
- Aids protein synthesis.
- Boosts energy.
- Several unquantified ingredients.
This 3:1:1 formula is a little different, but does everything you’d expect from a good BCAA supplement. Not only does it promote muscle growth, but it also repairs damaged muscle as it goes.
What’s the difference, then? Well, BodyBuilding.com stands by its choice of adding 50 percent more than the usual leucine in a 2:1:1 ratio—but why? The company praises this amino acid for its superior anabolic potential, helping to boost protein synthesis.
With this addition, the company promotes this BCAA powder as a great drink to sip throughout the day. So, no need to gulp it down pre or post workout—just take your time! This way, your body will keep synthesizing those proteins throughout the day, to ensure that your muscles are constantly growing and repairing.
- Can be consumed throughout the day.
- BodyBuilding.com signature—someone us fitness fanatics know and trust.
- Helps protein synthesis.
- Keeps your body in an anabolic state all day.
- No additional nutritional ingredients.
- Not a 2:1:1 ratio.
This BCAA has a particularly strange mix of amino acids, in a 4:4:1 ratio. I know right—that’s definitely not something I’ve heard of myself. So why this difference?
Well, by increasing the leucine and isoleucine, this guarantees a safe mix of ingredients, in potent combinations. This improves your body’s ability to repair its muscles in a safe way. Also, it will provide an energy surge that will last throughout the day.
So, if you want results fast, then this is could be the choice for you.
- All natural.
- No caffeine.
- Provides an energy surge.
- Greatly improves muscle repair and growth, fast.
- Only one flavor choice.
- Not a 2:1:1 ratio.
I stand by Scivation Xtend BCAA powder as my top choice for the best BCAA supplement. Want to know why? Well, they stick by the usual 2:1:1 blend of BCAAs, yet they don’t skimp out on other nutrients.
They provide you with those extra ingredients, like citrulline malate and B vitamins, to ensure your energy is boosted, and the healthy inner-workings of your body keep pumping. Also, without the added sugars and carbs, you won’t be gaining extra fat when it’s not necessary.
With the choice of Blue Raspberry Ice, Freedom Ice, and Glacial Grape, you’re not too spoiled for choice that you can’t make up your mind. My current favorite is Glacial Grape, but the choice is yours for the taking.
If you want the best BCAA supplement that grows and repairs muscles, as it should, and more, then Scivation Xtend is the one I recommend. The other supplements on our list are also worth a look and may be more suitable for your needs – go take a look!