As you’ve probably already found out, there are dozens of different supplements available on the market. With some being less effective than the other, it’s hard to know which product is actually going to help you improve your performance.
Today, we are going to educate you on the use of BCAA supplements. Branched-chain amino acids are a type of supplement that is worth adding to your routine because of it’s scientifically promising effects.
We will show you the five most effective branched-chain amino acid supplements. These products contain the most amino acids combined with other unique ingredients to optimize your performance and workouts.
The 5 Best BCAA Supplements For Muscle Recovery
Not every BCAA supplement is the same – the dosages and ingredients they contain are where they differ. To reap the benefits of branched-chain amino acids, you’re going to need to consume a significant amount of them each day.
That means you’ll need a stacked product, preferably one that also contains other ingredients that help you get the most out of your training sessions.
We’ve put together the top 5 best BCAA supplements for maximizing muscle recovery. If you’re a serious athlete, you absolutely have to add one of these into your routine.
Let’s check them out!
1. Huge BCAA
The best BCAA supplement available right now is Huge Nutrition’s BCAA product. It’s effective because we formulated this product to contain the scientifically proven 2:1:1 ratio of branched-chain amino acids.
On top of 8 grams of BCAA’s, you’ll also find essential amino acids (EAAs) and electrolytes to provide you with the entire package during your workouts.
Using a supplement like this can help enhance muscle recovery, and we all know how important recovery is for muscle growth (1).
One serving of Huge BCAA is 19.4 grams per scoop, containing the following ingredients:
- BCAA 2:1:1 (4000mg L-Leucine, 2000mg L-Isoleucine, 2000mg L-Valine) 8000mg
- L-Glutamine 5000mg
- Coconut Water Powder 750mg
- L-Lysine 500mg
- L-Threonine 500mg
- L-Tryptophan 200mg
- L-Phenylalanine 175mg
- L-Histidine HCL 150mg
- L-Methionine 150mg
- Calcium 80mg
- Potassium 40mg
- Sodium 80mg
Compared to other alternatives on the market, you’ll find that this BCAA supplement contains a more considerable amount of amino acids and other ingredients. You can stack this product together with a pre-workout supplement to maximize your workout intensity.
2. Xtend Scivation
Another great, high-quality BCAA supplement that has come second on our list is Xtend by Scivation. It has come in second because it contains 7 grams of branched-chain amino acids, while our top pick has 8 grams.
With that said, it still contains a significant amount of amino acids that can help you reduce soreness and maximize your muscles’ recovery process (2).
One serving of Scivation’s Xtend is 13.5 grams per scoop, containing the following ingredients:
- Branched-chain amino acids 2:1:1 Ratio (3500mg L-Leucine, 1750mg L-Isoleucine, 1750mg L-Valine) 7000mg
- L-Glutamine 2500mg
- Electrolyte Blend (Sodium, Potassium) 1140mg
- Citrulline Malate 1000mg
With one scoop of Xtend, you’ll replenish electrolytes during a workout, and there’s also a gram of Citrulline malate in there. Citrulline Malate has shown to boost athletic performance and could relieve muscle soreness, making it an excellent addition to the formula (3).
3. Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules
Next up on our list are Optimum Nutrition’s BCAA capsules. Instead of a powdered product, this brand provides the branched-chain amino acids in a capsule form.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to get in amino’s, or don’t enjoy drinking them, you can opt for capsules. Although you’re going to have to swallow quite a few to get the desired dosage, they’re accessible when traveling or on the road a lot.
One serving of Optimum Nutrition BCAA capsules is two capsules and contains the following ingredients:
- Micronized L-Leucine 500mg
- Micronized L-Isoleucine 250mg
- Micronized L-Valine 250mg
As we can see, it also contains the scientific 2:1:1 ratio of amino acids. But keep in mind, when you compare this to a scoop of Huge Nutrition’s product, which contains 8 grams, you’ll need 16 capsules to match the dosage.
If you prefer capsules, that’s fine. There are no significant differences compared to powder except for the fact that absorption could take slightly longer.
4. Amino Energy
The fourth product on our list is Amino Energy by Optimum Nutrition. This well-known BCAA supplement contains a great mix of amino acids and caffeine sources to support you during your workouts.
The mix of various ingredients makes it an excellent choice to use as a pre/intra workout product because it contains caffeine. In case you didn’t know, caffeine is a stimulant that improves endurance and exercise performance (4).
The amount of caffeine isn’t too high, but just enough to get you going. You can also combine it with a stim-free pre-workout such as Pump Serum.
Two servings of Amino Energy is 9 grams per scoop, containing the following ingredients:
- Amino blend (Micronized Taurine, Micronized L-Glutamine, Micronized L-Arginine, Micronized L-Leucine, Beta-Alanine, Micronized L-Citrulline, Micronized L-Isoleucine, Micronized L-Valine, Micronized L-Tyrosine, Micronized L-Histidine, Micronized L-Lysine Hydrochloride, Micronized L-Phenylalanine, Micronized L-Threonine, Micronized L-Methionine) 5000mg
- Caffeine 100mg
- Green tea leaf extract 50mg
- Green coffee bean extract 10mg
Even though it doesn’t specify each amino acid’s exact dosages, it does contain other vital compounds such as Beta-Alanine and L-Citrulline. These are great ingredients that could contribute to an even better workout and pump.
5. MusclePharm BCAA
The final product on our list is MusclePharm’s BCAA supplement. It’s got a different ratio than the other products on our list: the 3:1:2 branched-chain amino acid ratio.
It’s a simple yet effective product that can help athletes boost muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown.
One serving of MusclePharm is 8,6 grams per scoop, containing the following ingredients:
- L-Leucine 3000mg
- L-Valine 2000mg
- L-Isoleucine 10000mg
As you can see, one serving contains a total of 6 grams of amino acids. Therefore, it’s a great post workout supplement as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question about these types of supplements? Check out our frequently asked questions below!
Although many people will tell you to take bcaas during around the time you're going to exercise, there isn't any scientific data available to support the best time to take BCAAs.
It pretty much comes down to personal preference; most users take them before or during their workout.
Using a BCAA supplement can help accelerate muscle recovery and reduce fatigue. With these benefits, it can help you build lean muscle mass faster, which is something we're all chasing.
To reap the benefits of BCAAs, you're going to need to consume at least 10 to 20 grams per day.
BCAA supplements help build muscle by increasing protein synthesis, decreasing muscle soreness, and accelerating the recovery process.
Rest and recovery are essential for muscle growth, so when this process is optimized, growth will also be faster.
Read our article to learn how much muscle you can gain in one month and what you need to look out for.
No, BCAA supplements doesn't cause any side effects, and they're safe to consume if you stick to the advised dosage guidelines.
Those with a preexisting medical condition should consult their physician before adding a new supplement to their routine.
Yes, you can combine them, and it's safe to do so. Creatine is one of the few scientifically-backed muscle-building supplements, and for athletes, it's a must-have to include.
Yes, you can take branched-chain amino acids during on the keto diet. They won't take you out of ketosis if you keep the dosage moderate (5 to 10 grams per day). It's actually a good idea to do so because they can help preserve and recover muscle mass.
There are no significant differences between capsules vs powder. The only difference would be that capsules might take slightly longer to get absorbed by your body.
Capsules are also often more expensive, but they're convenient when you are on the road a lot. So when we compare BCAA capsules vs powder, it comes down to your personal preference.
You can find branched-chain amino acids in a lot of different foods. Those foods are milk, beef, beans, eggs, milk, and whey protein.
If you want to make sure that your body gets plenty of amino's in, it's a good idea to get more BCAAs in through supplementation.
What you want is a supplement that contains a large amount of branched-chain amino acids. Since you're going to need to get in high dosage to get the benefits, you need a stacked product.
This is why our Huge BCAA supplement contains 8 grams (8000mg) per scoop, which is exceptionally high compared to the competition.
It's also good if a supplement contains electrolytes and other essential amino's to support you during training sessions.
BCAA Supplements shouldn't be causing any water retention, meaning you won't have to worry about getting bloated.
The Bottom Line
Using branched-chain amino acids supplements can be very beneficial for athletes, and they’re definitely a product you should consider adding to your routine.
We’ve shown you the five best BCAA supplements; our top 5 was as follows:
- Huge Nutrition BCAA
- Scivation Xtend
- Optimum Nutrition Mega-size BCAA capsules
- ON Amino Energy
- MusclePharm Branched-chain amino acids
These products contain a significant amount of amino acids and other ingredients that can help you boost your performance.