BCAAs are essential amino acids, meaning your body needs them to function, but cannot make them on its own. Therefore, you need to get them in your daily diet.
There are three amino acids in the BCAA category: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Each amino acid operates differently and provides different benefits to your body.
Branched-chain amino acids can be found naturally in protein-rich foods. Meats, beans, nuts, and some grains all have high concentrations of BCAAs.
On the other hand, you can also supplement BCAAs to get a much higher and more concentrated dose. This option can be ideal for those who train often and intensely as they break down protein, including BCAA’s, more rapidly than those who don’t engage in vigorous exercise.
Something else to consider is that BCAAs will often be included in other supplements. Some of the best pre-workout supplements and some of the most popular protein powders have BCAAs added to them. Even some of the better vegan protein powders have started adding them to the formulation.
To help you find a good product, we’ve researched & compared the best BCAA supplements on the market right now.
Top 10 BCAA Supplement Brands Compared
These are the 10 best BCAA products as picked by our editorial team!
ⓘ If you buy something after visiting a link below, we get a commission.
1. Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine
CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine is a new BCAA supplement that combines 8g BCAAs with 5g of glutamine per serving. And, like all Transparent Labs products, this supplement is completely free of dyes, unnecessary fillers, and harmful additives. Everything you need – nothing you don’t. If you’re interested in just a standalone glutamine product, check out our list of the best glutamine supplements to consider.
- Contains no artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives
- Gluten free
- Available in six delicious flavors
- Sour Grape
- Green Apple
- Blue Raspberry
- Tropical Punch
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Economical tub size contains 30 servings
- Uses fermented vegan BCAAs
- Includes coconut water powder for extra hydration
- Ships worldwide*
What’s In It:
1 Serving (1 scoop, 19.65 g) contains:
- 8 g BCAAs (2:1:1)
- 4 g leucine
- 2 g valine
- 2 g isoleucine
- 5 g glutamine per serving
- 5 mg coconut water powder for hydration
With tons of positive user reviews and scientifically-backed ingredients in the optimal dosages, TransparentLabs’CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine deserves a spot among the best for its superior quality, affordable price, and carefully researched ingredients.
2. Scivation Xtend ENERGY BCAAs
What sets Scivation Xtend apart from other BCAAs is its combination of BCAAs and caffeine. With several flavors to choose from and no sugar, calories or carbs, it’s a great choice if you need that extra kick of energy to power through your workouts. In addition to caffeine, Scivation Xtend also contains vitamin B6, citrulline malate and electrolytes, making it a solid, well-rounded choice to help provide increased levels of energy, decreased levels of fatigue, and enhanced hydration.
- Zero carbohydrate, sugars, and calories per serving
- Available in three fruit flavors:
- Fruit punch
- Blue raspberry
- Includes caffeine to help increase energy
- Includes electrolytes sodium and potassium
What’s In It:
1 Serving (approximately 1 scoop, 11.8 g) contains:
- 7 g BCAAs per serving
- 3500 mg of L-leucine
- 1750 mg of L-isoleucine
- 1750 mg of L-valine
- 1140 mg of “Electrolyte Blend”(Sodium citrate, potassium chloride, sodium chloride) to help replenish minerals lost in sweat
- 1000 mg of Citrulline Malate
- 125 mg of caffeine
If you’re worried about running out of energy mid-workout and want a little pick-me-up that’s easy to mix with water, Scivation Xtend is a good option. With added electrolytes and three flavors to choose from, you can mix up your BCAA supplementation without worrying about carbs, calories or sugar. If you’re just looking for an energy boost and want to skip the BCAAs, check out our picks of the best energy drinks you should consider.
3. Post JYM Active Matrix
Made for post-workout recovery, Post JYM Active Matrix is a solid product that is available in a wide variety of flavors, so you’ll never get bored of this post-workout hit. It was formulated by Jim Stoppani, a world-recognized fitness expert with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology. He developed this product to provide those who train hard with a well-designed product that enhances their recovery efforts.
- Available in 7 flavors
- Blue Arctic Freeze
- Fruit Punch
- Mandarin Orange
- Natural Lemon Lime
- Rainbow Sherbert
- Formulated by Jim Stoppani, PhD
- No proprietary blends
What’s In It:
1 Serving (1 scoop, 19 g) contains:
- 6 g BCAAs
- 3.6 g L-Leucine
- 1.2 g L-Isoleucine
- 1.2 g L-Valine
- 3:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine
- 3 g of L-Glutamine
- 2 g of Creatine HCl (as CON-CRET(r))
- 2 g of Beta-Alanine (as CarnoSyn(r))
- 2 g of L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (as Carnipure(r))
- 1.5 g of Betaine (Trimethylglycine)
- 1 g Taurine
- 5.3 mg Black Pepper Fruit Extract (as BioPerine)
- 45 Calories
- 1 g Carbohydrates
- 35 mg Calcium
If you’re looking for a supplement that’s centered around recovery after a workout, it’s hard to beat the combination of powerful ingredients found in PostJYM; helping to aid in recovery and improve performance overall. With some interesting twists on the traditional fruit-flavored supplement mixes, blends like mandarin orange and rainbow sherbert are sure to add some variety to your post-workout recovery routine.
4. Dymatize All9 Amino
Dymatize All9 Amino (known simply as ALL9) bills itself as a “full-spectrum amino acid supplement that contains both BCAAs and EAAs (Essential Amino Acids). ALL9 gets its name from the fact that there are 9 total amino acids that can be deemed “essential” which the body can’t make on its own. This is unique in the sports supplement market as most emphasize just BCAA’s alone, whereas Dymatize does it with all 9 essential amino acids, which has shown to be the most beneficial way of stimulating muscle protein synthesis compared to just BCAA’s alone.
- Contains both BCAAs and EAA
- Available in five unique flavors
- Cola Lime Twist
- Fruit Fusion Rush
- Jolly Green Apple
- Juicy Watermelon
- Orange Cranberry
- No sugar
- Includes vitamins B6, B12, and C
What’s In It:
1 Serving (1 scoop, 15 g) contains:
- 7.2 g of instantly soluble BCAAs (l-leucine, l-isoleucine, l-valine)
- 2.8 g of essential amino acids (l-lysine, l-threonine, l-phenylalanine, l-methionine, l-histidine, l-tryptophan)
- 90 mg of vitamin C
- 1.5 mg of thiamin
- 20 mg of niacin
- 10 mg of vitamin B6
- 2.5 mcg of vitamin B12
- 9 mg of pantothenic acid
- 25 mg of sodium
- 200 mg of coconut water fruit powder
- Allergy Information: Contains Tree Nuts
ALL9 is great for those who want a complete spectrum amino acid supplement that goes beyond BCAAs. There are several flavor varieties to choose from — some quite unique from the competition, like Cola Lime Twist. Those who are sensitive to phenylalanine should not take this supplement, as l-phenylalanine is one of the essential amino acids in the mixture. Overall a solid buy for anyone who wants to make sure they’re getting all of the amino acids their body needs for support of protein synthesis and muscle growth.
5. MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 Energy
MusclePharm is a well-known brand that’s always looking for ways to break the mold of supplement products and do so in a way that’s built on scientific study. The combination of BCAA’s with caffeine, green tea leaf extract, and panax ginseng root powder provides an optimal energy boost and reduces overall fatigue.
- Available in Blue Raspberry or Watermelon flavor
- Unique 3:1:2 BCAA blend which is patent pending (3 leucine, 1 isoleucine, 2 valine)
- Contains caffeine for that added endurance boost
- 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee
- Tested by third-party Informed-Choice and guaranteed free of banned substances
What’s It It:
1 Serving (2 scoops, 9 g) contains:
- 6 g BCAAs per serving
- 3 g of L-Leucine
- 2 g of L-Valine
- 1 g of L-Isoleucine
- 5 Calories
- 2g Carbohydrates
- 100 mg Caffeine
- 50 mg Green tea leaf extract
- 50 mg Panax ginseng root powder
MusclePharm is a well-known brand of muscle growth and energy supplements, and although this particular product only comes in two flavors, it provides you with six grams of BCAAs and 100 mg of caffeine for that added push to get through your workouts. If you’re looking for the one-two punch of BCAAs and caffeine, MusclePharm’s BCAA 3:1:2 Energy is worth trying to see how it works for you.
6. EVL NUTRITION BCAA Energy
BCAA Energy is a great product from a brand that’s exploding in popularity: EVL Nutrition. Along with BCAAs, this product contains beta-alanine, l-alanine, taurine, and a vitamin B and C complex for an extra burst of endurance enhancement.
- 13 different flavors!
- Zero Calories, carbs, and sugars
- Gluten Free
What’s In It:
1 Serving (2 scoops, 9 g) contains:
- 5 g BCAAs
- 2,500 mg of L-leucine
- 1,250 of L-Isoleucine
- 1,250 mg of L-valine
- 90 mg of Vitamin C
- 10 mg of Vitamin B6
- 30 mcg of Vitamin B12
- 500 mg of CarnoSyn(r) Beta-Alanine
- 500 mg of L-Alanine
- 500 mg of Taurine
- 110 mg of “Natural Energizers” (Natural coffee, green tea extract)
The most unique thing about this product is that there are so many different flavors to choose from (Furious Grape, anyone?) so you’ll always have something different and unique to keep you going.
7. BPI Sports Best BCAA
Best BCAA is a simple BCAA powder made by BPI Sports and offers 5g of BCAAs per serving, combined with 1,000mg CLA and added agmatine for potentially optimized fat oxidation in addition to recovery benefits. If you’re looking for flavor variety, BPI is one of the best choices, with a dozen different options to choose from. Plus, it’s affordably priced.
- 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs
- 15 different flavors to choose from!
- Includes Omega-6 fatty acids and CLA
- Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee
What’s In It:
1 Serving (1 scoop, 10 g) contains:
- 5 g BCAAs
- 2.5 g of L-Leucine
- 1.25 g of L-Isoleucine
- 1.25 g of L-Valine
- 1 g of Proprietary Omega 6 fatty acids and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) Matrix
- Saffron Oil Powder (seed)
- Avocado Oil Powder (fruit)
- Coconut Oil Powder (fruit)
- 250 mg Agmatine Sulfate
BPI Best BCAA is definitely a solid choice if you’re focused on the taste of your powdered supplement mix. It does contain artificial sweetener and contains the oils of tree nuts (coconut), so you’ll want to watch out for those if you’re sensitive to them. If you’re looking for a good overall BCAA supplement, this product should definitely be on your list.
8. Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules
This is an excellent choice of BCAA supplement made by Optimum Nutrition. If you read this brand’s reviews online, you’ll see that people are more than satisfied with their products. This is the perfect choice if you’re just looking for pure BCAAs with no added ingredients. The only downside would be that you need to take 10 capsules per day to get the average 5 g serving of BCAAs that most manufacturers recommend.
- Pure BCAAs, no other ingredients
- Made by Optimum Nutrition, one of the best brands out there
- BCAAs 2:1:1 ratio
- Available in 60, 200, or 400 count capsule bottles
What’s in It: (Capsule form)
1 Serving (2 capsules) contains:
- 1 g BCAAs per serving
- 500 mg micronized L-Leucine
- 250 mg micronized L-Isoleucine
- 250 mg micronized L-Valine
If you’re looking for one of the simplest, most cost-effective, and well-reviewed BCAA products, then this is it. Optimum Nutrition is a brand that has been around a long time and produces quality products.
9. Cellucor Alpha Amino Performance BCAAs
Like many of the other brands profiled here, Cellucor is well known in bodybuilding and weightlifting circles for its performance products. Alpha Amino, their amino acid supplement, is no exception. With 14 different amino acids and five delicious flavors, Cellucor has given fitness enthusiasts a lot to love with this dietary supplement.
- Reliable and well-known brand with a history of creating supplements for fitness
- Contains Essential amino acids as well as BCAAs
- Zero calories, carbs, and sugars
- Contains electrolytes
- Available in four flavors
- Fruit Punch
- Icy Blue Raz
- Lemon Lime
What’s In It:
1 Serving (1 scoop 12.7 g) contains:
- 5 g Instantized BCAA 2:1:1 Blend
- 3.75 g of Essential Performance Amino Acid Complex
- Micronized (L-Glutamine, Taurine, L-Alanine, L-Citrulline, L-Arginine, L-Lysine HCI, L-Phenylalanine, L-Threonine, L-Methionine, L-Tyrosine, Histidine)
- 1.75 g of Alpha Amino Hydration Blend
- BetaPower Betaine Anhydrous (1250 mg)
- Coconut (Cocos nucifera) water powder
- Dipotassium Phosphate
- Disodium Phosphate
- Dimagnesium Phosphate
- 65 mg of Phosphorus
- 13 mg of Magnesium
- 30 mg of Sodium
- 70 mg Potassium
Cellucor Alpha Amino provides a good choice when you need reliable hydration, fast. With raw coconut water, over a dozen amino acids, and BCAAs, it’s among the best in terms of full-spectrum amino acid supplements.
10. BSN Amino X
BSN Amino X comes with a 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs and five different flavors available (that we saw), plus vitamin D, taurine, alanine, and citrulline, creating a solid formula for testosterone-boosting, increased energy, and nitric-oxide enhancement. It’s a well-rounded muscle support supplement. BSN also has a pretty unique 70 serving container available; A 30-serving size tub is also available. The downside is that the individual amounts of amino acids are not disclosed.
- Micronized for easier mixing
- Larger size tub available
What’s In It:
1 serving (1 scoop, 14.5 g) contains:
- 10 g of Micronized BCAA Blend (L-Leucine, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine, L-Alanine, Micronized Taurine, Micronized L-Citrulline)
- 12.5 mcg of Vitamin D
- 170 mg of Sodium
- 2 g of “Efforsorb Endura Composite” (Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cholecalciferol)
BSN’s Amino X supplement is a decent choice if you’re looking for a little bit of everything with your supplement. Because it blends both BCAAs and some EAAs, it provides a good balance of the amino acids the body needs, but without the sugar and caffeine.
How to Pick a Good BCAA Supplement
Some products may contain more BCAAs per serving than others, so it can be difficult to scour the playing field of all the BCAAs available on the market today. It’s important to make sure that the BCAA product favors leucine in comparison to isoleucine and valine. This is because leucine is considered to be the more important of the three BCAAs. This is because it is important for activating the muscle protein synthesis pathway known as mTOR . Isoleucine and valine are certainly important in their own right, but leucine is considered to be the most important component of BCAAs.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure the product is dosed at a ratio of 2:1:1, meaning that the product has twice as much leucine as it does isoleucine and valine. Also, make sure the product has at least 5 total grams of BCAAs in order to get your money’s worth. Any less is just a waste of your precious hard-earned money.
Now, of course, the product should have all three BCAAs in there, but sometimes companies will provide additional ingredients to the product in order to make their product stand out from the competition. These include ingredients such as creatine , capsaicin , and nitric oxide boosters like L-Citrulline . These ingredients are solid additions for sure, but make sure that these are additions that you actually want. If not, you’ll just be driving up the cost of the product for yourself without any additional benefit.
It’s an unfortunate fact that many BCAAs are on the pricey side. So it’s even more important that you make sure you’re getting your money’s worth from the company you’re buying from. Make sure that if it contains any extra ingredients, that those are helpful to you and your fitness goals. Also, make sure it is adequately dosed; the last thing you want is to get the short end of the stick while paying a decent amount of your hard-earned money on the product.
Most BCAA supplements (at least the powdered versions) come in 20 and 30 serving containers. Remember that it’s most likely the case that you’re getting more bang for your buck with the containers that have smaller amounts of servings, as they most likely contain more BCAAs per serving. If you’re really concerned, you can always split the servings in half if you’re really trying to stretch your dollar here.
BCAA supplements come in either tablets, capsules, or powders. The powdered versions are by far the most popular, as they provide the most variation with the vast amount of flavoring options, as well as their portability. However, this doesn’t mean that there is anything necessarily wrong with taking the tablets or capsules. It’s all a matter of personal preference at the end of the day. The form in which you take it in does not affect how the BCAAs will work in your body.
Have you heard anything personally about the product from friends or fellow gym-goers? Don’t forget to check online reviews as well, but it’s very important to remember to not only check the manufacturer’s website, but also third-party websites like Amazon, Bodybuilding.com, and TrustPilot. These can be valuable, objective resources for you to consider when buying your BCAA supplement.
Have you ever heard of the brand before? Is it a well-known brand in the sports supplement industry? Some people feel more comfortable with more well-known brands like Optimum Nutrition or BSN compared to some lesser-known brands. But just because a brand is not as famous, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. Sometimes you just have to take the dive if you feel that a company’s product is good, despite them being an “up-and-comer”.
These are the most commonly asked questions about BCAAs and BCAA supplements.
ⓘ Any specific supplement products & brands featured on this website are not necessarily endorsed by Zachary.
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Contents of this Article
- Top 10 BCAA Supplement Brands Compared
- How to Pick a Good BCAA Supplement
- BCAAs FAQ
- What are BCAAs?
- What are the benefits of BCAAs?
- What do BCAAs do to your body?
- What are the recommended dosages for BCAAs?
- What foods contain BCAAs?
- What are BCAA Supplements?
- Should You Take BCAA Powder vs BCAA Tablets?
- Are BCAAs a waste of money?
- Do I need to take BCAAs?
- Are BCAAs a steroid?
- Are BCAAs banned in sports?
- Who can benefit from taking a BCAA supplement?
- Should I take BCAAs if I don’t work out?
- What can make BCAAs less effective?
- Can I take BCAAs individually?
- How do I take a BCAA supplement?
- Can I take BCAAs on an empty stomach?
- When is the best time to take BCAA supplements?
- Should I take BCAAs on days I don’t work out?
- Is it okay to take BCAAs before bed?
- How quickly do BCAAs work?
- How often should I take BCAAs?
- For how long should I take BCAAs?
- Should I take a break from BCAAs?
- Can you take too many BCAAs?
- Are BCAA supplements safe to take?
- What are the side effects of BCAA supplements?
- Do BCAA supplements cause damage to the kidneys and liver or any other organ?
- Do BCAAs affect sperm?
- Do BCAA supplements cause acne?
- Do BCAA supplements cause hair loss (alopecia)?
- Will BCAA supplements cause testicle shrinkage?
- Can I take a BCAA supplement with other supplements?
- What are the best supplements to take BCAAs with?
- Should I take BCAAs if my other supplements have some added to them?
- Do BCAAs increase testosterone?
- Do BCAAs help you lose weight?
- Do BCAAs help you gain muscle?
- Do BCAAs give you more endurance?
- Do BCAAs give you energy?
- Can BCAAs make you stronger?
- Will I Lose Weight or Muscle Mass If I stop using a BCAA supplement?