BCAA is a protein complex consisting of 3 essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. The human body is not capable of synthesizing them on its own, and meanwhile, they make up a third of all protein structures in the muscles, taking a direct part in their restoration and contributing to a qualitative mass gain. Regular exercisers and novice bodybuilders are encouraged to supplement with food or protein, but as workouts get harder, supplementing with these specific amino acids is essential.
There are many domestic and foreign companies involved in the production of BCAAs, however, there is no objective research on which ones are better. When compiling this rating, we tried to evaluate the composition for the quality and quantity of useful components, the popularity and reputation of the manufacturer, as well as the recommendations of athletes and user reviews on independent sites. Traditionally, amino acid supplements have been offered in the form of powders, tablets, capsules, and liquids, but in fact, the form of the supplement does not really depend on the effectiveness — it should be chosen based on the convenience of taking, depending on the circumstances.
The Best BCAAs in Powder Form
5 Do4a Lab BCAA 8-1-1
Do4a Lab BCAA 8-1-1
Another well-known Russian manufacturer of sports nutrition stands out from the competitive environment with full openness of information about its products. For example, he reports that his BCAs are made from Wirud raw materials at the Evalar plant without adding any extraneous components. By offering consumers pure BCAAs free of glutamine, taurine, malta, etc., Docha believes it helps them save money and reach their full potential. And I must say, many users completely and completely agree with it.
A 10 g serving of powder contains 7.2 g of leucine and 0.9 g of auxiliary amino acids. At the same time, a 900-gram package costs about 2 thousand rubles, which is about 2 times cheaper compared to foreign analogues. Thus, it is much more profitable for weightlifters to purchase domestic products made from high-quality semi-finished products using high-tech equipment, especially since the results of such savings do not suffer in any way, but rather improve.
4 Be First Classic Powder
Be First Classic Powder
Traditionally, the sports nutrition market is dominated by companies from the USA and Europe, but in 2008 a company appeared in Russia that uses the same raw materials and the international quality control system ISO and NACCP. Not surprisingly, this brand of BCAA supplement is receiving positive feedback from customers. It does not contain potentially harmful components like acesulfame potassium and aspartame. Only 3 key amino acids and an anti-caking agent (unflavored powder) or flavor ingredients such as citric acid, flavor and sucralose are present.
Athletes who have tested the product on personal experience note the absence of excessive sweetness, satisfactory cost and normal consumption (200 g — 40 servings). They evaluate the effectiveness as high: after taking it, you immediately feel better and the effectiveness of the lesson increases, from which we can draw conclusions about the rapid absorption of the components. The only drawback is that you often have to order it via the Internet.
3 Scivation Xtend BCAAs
Scivation Xtend BCAAs
The peculiarity of this complex lies in the perfect combination of ingredients with proven effectiveness in a significant concentration. So, in addition to BCAA, it includes:
- glutamine (2500 mg) — directly affects muscle synthesis, respectively, and mass gain;
- citrulline (1000 mg) — improves blood circulation and increases efficiency;
- pyridoxine (620 mg) — helps to activate the breakdown of fats.
A big plus is the presence in the composition of the mixture of electrolytes — minerals that the body loses with sweat during intense sports.
Thus, Xtend is great for disciplines with increased load — boxing, crossfit, athletics. According to athletes, it is better to take it during or after training, when it is necessary to stop muscle catabolism and start recovery processes. Just do not mix the drink in advance, because L-glutamine breaks down very quickly in water.
2 Ultimate Nutrition BCAA-12000 Flavored
Ultimate Nutrition BCAA-12000 Flavored
Each serving of powder from an American company, one of the most famous in the world of professional sports, supplies the body with 3 g of leucine and 1.5 g of isoleucine and valine. This combination (2:1:1) is considered optimal for beginners who are at the stage of burning subcutaneous fat. Despite the fact that the pure amine complex has a bitter taste, it is quite comfortable to take the product due to flavoring additives. In total, there are 11 fruit and berry flavors, of which, according to consumers, “blackberry” and “pink lemonade” are the most pleasant.
Many powder products tend to form lumps during mixing. UN has created a formula due to which the amino complex, when shaken in a bottle, completely dissolves in water. True, with the usual stirring with a spoon, individual flakes may remain. The resulting drink has a calorie content of 120 g, therefore, in addition to the main effect, it gives a feeling of satiety for a while. Working properties, according to reviews, appear quickly — it is much easier to train after taking BCAA, and muscles recover a day or two earlier.
1 MODERN USPlabs
Those who are serious about bodybuilding and work out for 2-3 hours a day should take amino acid formulations with an increased content of leucine. It is he who is responsible for accelerating protein synthesis, respectively, and gaining muscle mass, while the remaining amino acids play a supporting role. The most progressive in this regard is the USPlabs company, which provided a premium product with the most advantageous ratio of 8:1:1 to date and a total content of valuable “aminoks” of 15 g / 1 serving.
In professional circles, the complex is considered the best in all respects. The unstable glutamine in it has been replaced with a more stable sustamine, which stimulates the production of glycogen and has an anti-catabolic effect. In addition to BCAA itself, several valuable ingredients are indicated in the composition: the essential amino acid lysine, growth stimulant taurine and a mixture of electrolytes. The product is produced in the form of a fine powder, the crystals of which dissolve instantly, and this drink is very pleasant to drink. By the way, mini-packages sometimes appear on sale, which are recommended to be taken for testing.
The Best BCAAs in Capsule and Tablet Form
4 R-Line BCAA Caps
R-Line BCAA Caps
The most valuable substance — leucine — in the composition of R-Line BCAA capsules is relatively small: only 1.05 mg per serving of 5 pcs. However, users indicate that a second wind after adding them to a sports diet opens in the same way as from more expensive counterparts with a much higher content of nutrients. There are no miracles — just such an amount is optimal for entry-level bodybuilders, but not enough for advanced athletes experiencing high-intensity loads.
It is recommended to take the drug 5-6 capsules at a time, however, many initially reduce the dosage to 3, while someone, on the contrary, increases it to 9-10 capsules, fortunately, the cost allows you not to save on performance. The capsules may seem large at first, but over time you can get used to the size. Girls especially appreciate the product — thanks to it, they feel like tireless «fitness darlings» during cardio training.
3 Evalar SportExpert BCAA+
Evalar SportExpert BCAA+
Evalar is known as a pharmaceutical manufacturer that owns its own plantations in Altai, scientific laboratories and high-tech production based on BOSCH and UHLMANN equipment. Most recently, he released a new sports nutrition product, BCAA+, which is supplemented with water-soluble vitamin B6 and beta-alanine, which helps reduce fatigue during training and relieve muscle pain after it. Another important difference of the drug is the certification according to the international GMP standard, which strictly regulates all production processes.
The novelty was immediately treated with interest (not least because of the very affordable price), and today there is a fairly wide evidence base created on the basis of user experience. Both women and men notice a qualitative improvement in their workouts, a decrease, or even a complete absence of pain, a gradual weight gain and a decrease in the percentage of fat.
2 Scitec Nutrition BCAA-1000
Scitec Nutrition BCAA-1000
The ability to purchase a product with BCAA at any time is very important — no one wants to stock up hugely or stop taking a product at the most crucial moment. Skytech Nutrition’s amino acid sports supplement is sold in almost all major specialty stores, which indicates its popularity. Due to the peculiarities of the composition, which includes a complex of vitamins B, they resort to its help in order to gain weight, as well as maintain the work of the heart and blood vessels.
Take «BCA-shku» usually 3 times a day, 2 capsules, which in total corresponds to 2.58 g of L-leucine, 1.26 g of L-isoleucine and 1.26 g of L-valine. This amount covers the need of an adult, if necessary, the dosage can be increased, but not more than 15 g at a time, otherwise the digestibility of other amino acids worsens. High user ratings are justified by ease of use (small capsules, easy to swallow) and efficiency: after 15 minutes it becomes easier to complete repetitions and work out the entire training plan.
1 Maxler 4200
Maxler’s restorative complex was created according to the classic 2:1:1 recipe and, in addition to essential amino acids, contains only the ingredients necessary for the cachet. The absence of unnecessary substances has a positive effect on the cost of the drug: 400 tablets in one bottle correspond to 133 servings (1 serving = 3 tablets). If taken as recommended in the instructions, 2 or 3 times a day, the supply will last more than a month. And Considering that it is recommended to drink BCAA not in a course, but on an ongoing basis, when recalculated, it turns out that this is almost the cheapest sports supplement.
Athletes and coaches speak of it commendably, but they prefer the tablet preparation — not everyone liked the powder. But the tablets, according to them, although large, are swallowed easily, and begin to act in the training process. By the way, you should not chew the pills — they are too bitter, which indicates the originality of the remedy. The effect of the application is manifested in improving the quality of the performance of sets, including complex ones, as well as in accelerated recovery after training.
The Best Liquid BCAAs
3 Olimp BCAA-4000 Extreme Shot
Olimp BCAA-4000 Extreme Shot
Transportation of free L-amino acids into cells is carried out together with sodium ions. Knowing this, OLIMP Sport Nutrition specialists included a special Nitroloader System complex with sodium (50 mg), pyridoxine (1.05 mg) and cyanocobalamin (1.875 mg) in the BCAA-4000 Extreme Shot formula. Thanks to this solution, the efficiency of absorption of amino acids that are in the composition in a free crystalline form becomes even better.
The liquid is poured into disposable drinking bottles of 60 ml. According to the instructions, they are required to take 2 units per day, so one box is enough for only 10 days. Buyers admit that it is expensive, but worth it: even the most extreme workouts are easier, after them the body returns to normal faster, in addition, the speed of mass gain is noticeably increased.
2 BioTech USA Liquid-BCAA
BioTech USA Liquid-BCAA
Sweet and sour (slight bitterness is also present) solution with BCAA is easy to drink and quickly absorbed. 1 serving (30 ml) contains 1 g of amino acids from the inseparable trinity, of which 0.6 g is leucine. Another 0.915 g falls on other aminocarboxylic acids necessary for the human body: ornithine, lysine and arginine. Acting in synergy, they provide a powerful anti-catabolic effect, increase the secretion of growth hormone and accelerate repair.
Users do not report side effects, on the contrary, the liquid is well tolerated by their gastrointestinal tract. At the same time, it is combined with all types of sports nutrition, which further simplifies their intake. The container contains 1 liter of solution, and it lasts for a long time. Storage conditions are also quite simple: the product should be placed tightly closed in a cool, dry place, for example, in a refrigerator. To sum up, this is one of the most successful proposals from BioTech along with its L-carnitine and Whey Zero.
1 Sports Technology BCAA-5000
Sports Technology BCAA-5000
Non-alcoholic slightly carbonated drink has a high content of amino acids (5000 mg, in a ratio of 2:1:1). A single intake of the complex half an hour before or during training leads to a decrease in the level of the stress hormone — cortisol, which in turn ensures a natural slowdown in catabolism. The body responds to this process with the absence of fatigue, increased efficiency, better sleep quality and readiness for new sports achievements.
The product is very pleasant to the taste, «Orange-Mango» is especially good. The taste of «Lime-Lemongrass-Ginger-Mint» is more for an amateur, but he also found his fans. Supplied in disposable ampoules of 25 ml, packed in 20 pcs. It is convenient to take them with you one by one to training and take them at the right time, without being distracted by the dosing and mixing process. The energy value is minimal — 16 kcal per 1 serving, so the remedy does not replace food intake, the feeling of hunger does not dull.
Best BCAAs with Dietary Features
3 Geneticlab Nutrition BCAA 2:1:1
Geneticlab Nutrition BCAA 2:1:1
Aspartame, gluten, and maltodextrin are absent from this supplement, but sucralose is high enough that some users find the product overly sweet. As for the target amino acids, there are just as many of them as needed: in a serving (5 g) 2.3 g of leucine and 1.15 g of isoleucine with valine. In addition to them, glutamine (5 g) is present in the composition, which is recommended to be taken additionally by people who work a lot in the gym in order to gain mass.
Even professional coaches and athletes speak flatteringly about the quality of the Russian product, arguing that in terms of the ratio of useful compounds and the cost of one serving, there is nothing better on the market yet. Tastes are pleasant, saturated, «Exotic» and «Pineapple» are especially praised. The effectiveness of the product is noticeable not only to bodybuilders, but also to long-distance runners: after it, the muscles do not ache so much, it becomes much easier to train.
2 Optimum Nutrition BCAA-1000
Optimum Nutrition BCAA-1000
The company that created the Gold Standard 100% protein and won the trust of millions of consumers around the world is clearly not going to give up. Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Acid Blend consistently gets hundreds of rave reviews about its effectiveness, but most importantly, absolutely everyone can take it, including those who suffer from celiac disease, that is, gluten intolerance. And although marketers are very fond of speculating on the gluten-free topic, about 0.5% of the population is still recommended to limit the intake of this plant-based protein along with supplements and food. It is for them that the BCAA supplement from ON is very relevant.
In addition to plant fiber, the product also lacks the sweetener aspartame (until recently suspected of being carcinogenic), maltodextrin (has a high glycemic index) and sucralose (may have an allergic effect). Of the active ingredients in the content of the pill, there are only the most necessary for the buyer: L-isomers of three essential amino acids, as well as gelatin and anti-caking agent magnesium stearate. If such a composition suits the buyer, it is better for him to take the capsules, since in the powder it is changed to give certain taste characteristics.
1 VP Laboratory BCAA/2:1:1
VP Laboratory BCAA/2:1:1
It is quite difficult for vegan athletes to choose a sports nutrition that meets their principles. However, the vegan complex with BCAA still exists and is produced by the well-known company VP Lab. She claims that 100% vegetable composition is used for its manufacture, while eggs, milk and gluten can only be present in residual, i.e., very small amounts. According to the materials of specialized publications (for example, the German magazine vegpool.de), the manufacturer is obliged to report their possible presence by law, however, the product is fully suitable for a vegetarian menu.
Important advantages of the powder with amino acids are the microscopic particle size and, as a result, excellent solubility and fast absorption, as well as the absence of bitterness. The taste palette of the product is wide, mainly fruit accents, but there is also a neutral taste. The content of L-leucine is high — 3,600 mg per serving. The total amount of protein reaches 90 g out of 100, so the drug is an excellent source of protein not only for athletes, but also for all vegetarians.