BCAAs contain three essential amino acids that cannot be produced inside the human body. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are important at laying the foundation of developing protein for sustained muscle growth.
- Why Supplements?
- Things to Consider When Selecting a BCAA Supplement
- The 5 Best BCAA Supplements for Men
- Closing Thoughts
BCAAs have been shown to provide several fantastic benefits for those who are highly trained athletes and the average person training for the first time. The ability to support more efficient protein synthesis is the most well-known benefit of BCAAs, but their impact is far greater.
BCAAs can give you an added kick during your workout so your energy levels are not exhumed, your focus level will increase, pesky muscle soreness can be alleviated, and you will see an improvement in recovery time.
Although BCAAs can be consumed in dietary substances such as eggs, fish, beans, and nuts, it is common to not gather enough from diet alone. That is where a quality BCAA supplement comes into play. If you are struggling to make it through your workout or need an extra boost, then a reliable BCAA could be exactly what you need.
It is no secret that many men begin a new training program to build muscle, gain lean muscle mass, and sculpt their body to perfection. A quality BCAA supplement can go a long way in achieving your fitness goals. The trick is finding the right one that offers the most bang for your buck.
There are numerous factors you want to keep in mind when determining which BCAA blend is the most compatible with your goals. Potential side effects, the proper amino acid ratio, and great flavor are just a few characteristics that should impact your decision.
Things to Consider When Selecting a BCAA Supplement
BCAA supplements normally come in the form of a powder, but they can sometimes be found in a capsule. Regardless of preference, you want to thoroughly analyze the ingredient list before deciding on your BCAA.
Look for additives that serve you no benefit and see if any desirable ingredients are missing from the list. Develop a check list of all the ingredients you want and do not want to make an informed decision on what supplement you put into your body.
If you are confused at any point in time, then it is wise to consult a medical professional about the benefits and possible side effects of a BCAA formula. If you’re already supplementing with creatine, you can read more on the main differences between BCAA’s and creatine here.
The primary ingredients you want your BCAA to contain is an obvious one. You want the actual branched-chain amino acids to be the focal point. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the three essential amino acids that make up the BCAA group and they should be included in any advertised BCAA blend. The most common ratio of the three amino acids is 2:1:1 with leucine containing the highest proportion. You will notice that some BCAA supplements on our list contain an altered ratio, but you should consult with your medical professional to determine if the ratio is right for you.
Do you need an extra boost of energy for your workouts? If so, then you will want to scan through the ingredient list to see if it includes items tailored to provide energy. Good examples are B vitamins and caffeine, but you will not find an energy booster in all BCAA formulas.
You may find other nutrients added to a BCAA formula to assist with hydration, muscle soreness, absorption, or immune system functioning. If you are specifically searching for the aforementioned benefits, then you want to search for ingredients on the nutrition label that have proven effectiveness. For example, if you want your BCAA to boost your immune system, then vitamin C will be a great thing to be included on the ingredient list.
It is always advised to take preference in supplements that are comprised of all natural ingredients. You want to avoid artificial flavors and sweeteners, fillers, colored dyes, and GMOs. Finding a supplement crafted with vegan BCAAs is an added bonus when searching for a quality blend.
The 5 Best BCAA Supplements for Men
We have compiled a list of five BCAA supplements that are among the best on the market today for men. Take a look and see which particular blend is right for you!
#1 BulkSupplements BCAA Powder
The BulkSupplements BCAA powder contains the commonly found 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The formula contains no GMOs, fillers, or additives. The BulkSupplements blend aids muscle growth and enhances recovery time following a strenuous workout.
One serving of the powder is 1500mg, but there does not appear to be a scoop within the package. On the BulkSupplements website, it is stated that the serving size of 1500mg is equivalent to three-fourths of a teaspoon.
It is recommended to consume the powder three times per day, but this could vary depending on the workout load of the individual taking it. It is best to seek advice from a medical professional if you are unsure how many servings per day are best for your fitness needs. Although it can be consumed approximately 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after a workout, it is advised to consume before a workout to achieve desirable results.
The blend can potentially cause nausea and other stomach discomfort if not taken in conjunction with a meal. In order to cope with any unfavorable taste, it is suggested to mix it with a smoothie. Those who are allergic to soy or eggs are advised to take this product with caution as there is a minimal amount of lecithin found in the blend.
The price of the BulkSupplements BCAA formula varies depending on the quantity ordered and whether it is purchased as a powder, gelatin capsules, or vegetarian capsules.
- Enhances recovery
- Improves workout performance
- Not a variety of flavors
- Does not contain a serving spoon
#3 Dymatize BCAA Complex 2200
The Dymatize BCAA Complex 2200 blend is not a powder but is a gluten and artificial color free tablet that contains the 2:1:1 ratio of the three BCAAs. The formula also contains B vitamins and vitamin C to aid with energy and immune system functioning. The formula is geared toward improving performance of athletes of various skill level. Due to the creative mixture of BCAAs and vitamins, the formula can provide greater endurance and decrease recovery time in between workouts.
One serving size of the BCAA complex equals four tablets and there are 50 servings in a standard container. There is another container available on the Dymatize website that contains 100 servings. The price of the 50 serving (200 tablet) container is $28.99 and the price of the 100 serving (400 tablet) container is $53.29.
It is advised to take four tablets per day. On training days, two tablets should be taken approximately 45-60 minutes before a workout and two tablets should be taken 15-30 minutes after a workout.
- Provides a boost of energy
- Reduces recovery time
- Improves workout performance
- Can produce stomach discomfort in some users
#4 Battle Ready Fuel BCAA Intra-Workout Supplement
The Battle Ready Fuel BCAA formula contains a unique 4:1:1 ratio of leucine, valine, and isoleucine. The blend provides the needed fuel for every workout to sustain muscle growth, reduce recovery time, and alleviate muscle soreness. Leucine is especially important to build consistent muscle growth during a training program and the Battle Ready Fuel BCAA formula has doubled the amount of leucine in their product.
The BCAAs contained within the blend are suitable for vegans and other ingredients include natural flavoring and sucralose. Those who are allergic to soy will want to avoid this product as soy lecithin is also among the ingredients. The blend comes in one natural cherry burst flavor.
The serving size in one container is 5g and there are 90 servings inside. The price of the 90 serving container is $44.99 on the Battle Ready Fuel website.
It is recommended to consume the formula during a workout, but it can alternatively be taken throughout the day in between meals. Battle Ready Fuel advises to mix 1.5 scoops with water before consumption.
- Contains a higher ratio of leucine to aid muscle growth
- Increases hydration
- Limits muscle breakdown
- Lacks a variety of flavors
#4 Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine
This blend contains 8g of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio and 5g of added glutamine. There are no artificial ingredients such as colored dyes, fillers, and additives and the formula contains no GMOs. The vegan BCAAs, glutamine, and coconut water extract used to craft the blend are all supported by clinical research.
The CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine formula can aid in muscle growth and development, limit fatigue, improve metabolism, alleviate muscle damage, promote fat loss, and others. On the Transparent Labs website, there are links directing to studies purporting the benefits of BCAAs.
The addition of glutamine to its BCAA blend provides an added boost to muscle growth and the prevention of muscle breakdown after intense exercise. Those who struggle with hydration will benefit from the 1,000mg of coconut extract per serving in the blend. Coconut water is a wonderful electrolyte that can refuel the body during a rigorous workout.
Not only can it rehydrate the body, but it can improve immune system functioning, provide support for the kidneys, and maintain proper insulin levels. Coconut water contains several fantastic electrolytes which include potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. Replacing these electrolytes that are lost during exercise can aid performance.
The serving size of one bag of the CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine blend contains one scoop totaling 19.65g and each bag holds 30 servings. It is advised to mix the formula with water, but it can be added to another healthy beverage of greater taste preference. It should be consumed approximately 30-45 minutes before a workout or right after completion of a workout. At least two servings per day should be taken to achieve the best results, but there is a warning on the Transparent Labs website not to consume more than four servings in one day.
There are several flavors of the BCAA blend to choose from which include strawberry lemonade, green apple, blue raspberry, sour grape, and orange.
- Supports muscle growth
- Reduces muscle breakdown
- Provides hydration
- No artificial flavors
- Some users report bad taste
#5 Sheer Strength Labs BCAA Post-Workout Supplement
The Sheer Strength Labs BCAA formula does not contain the doubled amount of leucine as the previous supplement on our list. However, the ratio is still higher than the standard 2:1:1 ratio at approximately 2.3:1:1. It is still a viable option to stimulate muscle growth, burn fat, and enhance recovery between workouts. The Sheer Strength Labs formula does not contain artificial flavors or preservatives. As opposed to coming in a powder, this brand comes in capsules.
One serving size in a standard bottle is three capsules and there are 30 servings per container. It is recommended to take three capsules daily and this particular blend is advertised to use post-workout for optimal results.
The price of one bottle of the blend is currently $19.99 for a one time purchase, but users can obtain it for a lower price by subscribing to the Sheer Strength Labs website. The price drops to $14.99 once subscribing and you can alter the delivery frequency to a certain number of weeks or months.
- Relieves muscle soreness
- Provides extra endurance during exercise
- Reduces muscle fatigue
- Some users reported stomach discomfort
- Ineffective for some users
After taking a closer look at some of the top BCAA formulas available, you should have a better idea of which one is best suited for your fitness needs. Consult a medical professional if you still have questions about a particular blend and the effects it will have on your body.
Once you select the BCAA right for you, it is time to get to work on your fitness goals!
BCAA’s are not only confined to men. Women can also benefit from a quality BCAA supplement. You can find the best BCAA’s for women here.
Daniel Lynn Grenier
Daniel has always had a passion for sports and fitness. He previously worked as a manager for a college basketball team while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Daniel also holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science. He is currently an assistant supervisor to a health advocacy program for adults with mental disabilities. In his free time, Daniel likes to run, lift weights, and hike to stay in shape.
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