There are nine essential amino acids the body needs to function correctly, and three of them are branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). These are leucine, isoleucine and valine.
BCAAs are contained in protein-rich foods like fish, eggs, and dairy products. Additionally, you can take these types of amino acids as dietary supplements.
Athletes and people into extreme physical fitness prefer taking BCAAs to boost their muscle strength and stamina. Moreover, BCAAs hasten fat burning and recovery from injury during and after workouts. These amino acids repair torn muscles and tissue much faster than other chemicals. Because of their protein-rich content and ability to build muscle, BCAA’s are an important choice for many.
The supplement industry consequently has several BCAA supplement varieties readily available for purchase. Not all of these versions are potent and effective, and some may not have enough BCAA content, and others do not contain the suitable types of BCAA that you may require. Therefore, the challenge for most lies in finding the top brand selling the best BCAA supplements.
Our compilation brings forth some of the most premium and practical varieties of these amino acid supplements. Read on to make your selection easier.
The Best BCAA Supplements in 2022
All brands claim to make the absolute best supplements. It is essential to remember that not all varieties work well for everyone. There is the factor of dosage, BCAA ratio, and sources, among others.
According to our research, these are the best BCAA supplements that will be relevant and suitable for the majority of users:
- XWerks Motion
- Performance Labs BCAA
- Cellucor Alpha Amino BCAA
- Perfect Aminos
- Cellucor BCAA Sport
- Genesis Gold
- Essential BCAA 2:1:1 Powder
- Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine
- MTN Ops BCAA
- Beast Sports Aminolytes
- Genius BCAA Powder
- Max Gains Promolex
- Huge Supplements BCAA
- IdealFit IdealLean BCAAs
- EHP Labs Beyond BCAA + EAA
- Naked BCAAs
- NSP Nutrition Advanced Aminos 1000
XWerks Motion takes your average BCAA supplement to another level. It contains a well-proportioned blend of BCAAs, carbohydrates, and electrolytes. Thus XWerks ensures you gain maximum strength and muscle recovery and boosts energy levels and essential salts during and post workouts. This enables you to achieve maximum endurance and performance from your physical sessions.
The XWerks Motion supplements come in a bag of 50 servings. Each serving size has a balanced ratio of 3g of BCAA and 25g of carbs. This blend splurges your energy levels throughout your workout. The unique strain of dextrin carbohydrates is a particular type of branched out carb that is the best energy source for your body during athletic performance and recovery. It increases your body’s exhaustion threshold level and decreases its stress hormone response from physical activity.
These supplements come in two enticing flavors; raspberry and lemon, and manufacturers recommend taking one to two scoops for every hour of training or physical session. The magical formula is easily digestible and does not cause bloating, a common concern with similar supplements.
XWerks Motion provides a convenient purchasing experience through a safe payment gateway and free shipping. Moreover, you get the flexibility of getting a full refund if you are unhappy with your product.
Performance Labs BCAA
Performance Labs BCAA is a premium quality supplement that boosts performance and muscle strength. It provides several benefits, such as increasing muscle growth, decreasing fatigue and exhaustion, and soothing muscle health and soreness. Besides, this BCAA supplement is also helpful for people with liver diseases, as it aids in liver health.
This supplement is excellent because it uses a superior strain of the BCAA formula, known as Ultramodern BCAA 2X. This provides the best variety of amino acids in the proper ratios, i.e., 2:1:1 of L-leucine, L-valine, and L-isoleucine. The formula is made with a unique fermentation technology to enable better absorption.
Manufacturers recommend taking 2 to 4 capsules an hour before your workout session. After the session, take 2 to 4 more tablets. If your sessions are of higher intensity, you can even take 2 to 4 capsules in the middle of the workout for maximum benefits. This facilitates your muscle recovery much faster.
Performance Labs BCAA supplements work well with various dietary preferences and lifestyles. These are vegan, natural, completely GMO, dairy, and gluten-free. Moreover, the supplements are free from synthetic flavors, additives, and harmful chemicals.
Cellucor Alpha Amino BCAA
Cellucor is a renowned name in the supplement manufacturing business. They have been making some of the best body-building supplements and health formulas for over two decades. Their Alpha Amino BCAA supplement is especially popular among fitness enthusiasts for providing the best source of muscle strength, stamina, and recovery.
Unlike other supplements that only contain BCAA in the 2:1:1 ratio, if the three main branched out amino acids, Cellucor brings you something extra. Their BCAA formula contains other essential amino acids in addition to these three, thus maximizing your muscle recovery and growth post workouts.
Each Alpha Amino supplement comes in a bag of 30 servings in three exciting flavors; fruit punch, icy blue razz, and watermelon. The brand offers free shipping, and several subscription offers to its regular customers. The brand remains the number one choice in the country for providing the best post-recovery solutions to bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness junkies since their supplements are formulated for providing the best hydration, recovery, and energy boosts that are crucial for a practical session.
Perfect Amino is another premium BCAA supplement available in capsule form instead of powder. So for those who prefer popping a pill instead of drinking your amino.
The Perfect Amino supplement was created after thorough research and studies on why the body loses muscle mass with age and ways to stop it from doing so at a rapid rate. Dr.Minkoff, the Genius behind this supplement, created a formula with eight essential amino acids in the perfect balance. Later on, he tested the product by consuming it himself and found that his muscle injury improved his overall well-being by putting on 12 extra pounds of lean body mass. From thereon, Dr.Minkoff started prescribing the formula to his patients. Patients reported additional benefits like stronger nails and shinier hair, besides the apparent effects of improved stamina and muscle recovery.
A single serving of the supplement contains 5000 mg of the amino acid blend. Besides the three branched-out amino acids, this has additional essentials that help maximize your overall health, muscle growth, and recovery.
Cellucor BCAA Sport
The Cellucor BCAA Sport is a premium blend of BCAAs in the 2:1:1 ratio and essential electrolytes. The amino acids help your muscles recover from the strain of physical activity by healing them from injuries and sustaining their health. At the same time, the electrolytes contained in the blend replenish your body’s essential minerals and salts that you lose through sweat while working out.
Cellucor’s supplements are NSF-certified for sport. You can count on these formulas to provide the trusted and authentic variety of minerals approved by major sports bodies like the NFL and MLB. The ingredients inside the bottle are original, natural, and free from artificial and harmful chemicals.
The supplement comes in a bag of 30 servings, where you’ll get 4000mg of the BCAA blend, 2,250 mg of other essential amino acids, and 2000mg of glutamine. Thus the well proportioned mineral-rich formula is an excellent option for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike for improving their endurance and performance.
Genesis Gold is one of the pricier options on our list. This price is high because, in addition to being a BCAA supplement, Genesis Gold also provides hormone and hypothalamus support.
This is an exclusive and premium proprietary blend, as it contains a fusion of all the essential plus extra amino acids that add up to a total number of 20. Along with this, Genesis Gold has other unique ingredients such as plant and herbal extracts and probiotics.
Genesis Gold is a complete solution in terms of being a superfood. The price tag justifies its premium organic and natural ingredients formulation, GMO-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. In a single pack, you get not only amino acids that are so essential for performance and muscle health but also special goodies such as grains, sea minerals, herbs, and other plant-based superfoods.
The unique blend of Genesis Gold helps regulate your hormones, hypothalamus functions, and muscle recovery. Thus it is a supreme option for people looking for holistic health and well-being.
Essential BCAA 2:1:1 Powder
The Essential BCAA 2:1:1 Powder is a basic formula that contains the essential branched-chain amino acids, i.e., leucine, isoleucine, and Valine, in the requisite 2:1:1 ratio. These BCAAs facilitate protein synthesis and muscle recovery and are dietary supplements for athletes and bodybuilders.
The supplement helps you gain muscle and lose weight, and tone up. Taking the Essential BCAA Powder is easy, as no extra preps are required, and you can add it to your regular shake. The powder comes in a range of exciting flavors like Peach Rings, Blue Raspberry, Snow Cone, etc. And for those of you who would instead prefer none of these flavors, you have the option of choosing the unflavored powder. Few brands offer the unflavored option, thus making My Protein a winner in this case.
Thus, the Essential BCAA Powder by My Protein is a no-fuss, straightforward solution to your protein shake needs and can be purchased at a highly affordable cost.
Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine
Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine is an improved formula for recovery and increased insurance. It is made with natural ingredients and is free from artificial sweeteners, additives, and dyes. The company uses natural flavors and sweeteners such as stevia. Furthermore, the supplement comes in five yummy fruity flavors, such as sour green apple and strawberry lemonade.
The bonus in Transparent Lab’s BCAA supplement is the addition of L-glutamine and coconut water for that extra strength and hydration. The formula contains the essential amino acids, thus helping you build muscle and increase your performance and endurance levels during workouts. The supplement stimulates protein synthesis, leading to improved immunity and reduced fatigue.
MTN Ops BCAA
MTN Ops is another fantastic BCAA supplement with the right proportions of branched-chain amino acids. It does all that a good BCAA supplement is meant to, i.e., provide muscle and protein synthesis, enhance muscle recovery, boost performance and stamina.
If you are unsure which BCAA supplement to choose among the wide variety available in the market, you can safely select the MTN Ops option. It has the correct ratio of required BCAAs without artificial or harmful additives and comes in exotic natural flavors like tropical punch and strawberry dragonfruit. Thus with MTN Ops, you get increased glucose, hydration, protein synthesis, and delicious flavors.
The formula comes neatly packed in a tub with 30 servings. Each scoop of the powder contains 11 mg of the BCAA formula. This supplement is an excellent choice at a reasonable cost to bring effective results and more value for money.
Beast Sports Aminolytes
As its tagline goes, Beast Sports has designed the Aminolytes formula to help you train harder and recover faster. Each serving contains 5 grams of the BCAA formula, an intense amount for protein synthesis and muscle repair.
Aminolytes are packed with natural ingredients that replenish the electrolytes you lose while sweating during workouts. Thus it regulates the fluid levels in the body and provides extra hydration to all the muscles. Additionally, its BCAA profile does wonders for your muscle synthesis and growth. This is particularly beneficial to athletes, as consuming the supplement during and after workouts enables their muscles to recover faster and strengthens their stamina and endurance. At the same time, the exhaustion and fatigue threshold goes down.
The Beast Sports Aminolytes supplement dissolves quickly in water and comes in pineapple and watermelon flavors. So now you can conveniently fill your sipper with this energy booster in yummy flavors and take it with you during your workout sessions.
Genius BCAA Powder
The BCAA supplement by Genius is a balanced formula that strengthens muscle and brain health. The brand has designed the supplement based on research that BCAAs support protein synthesis and have a significant role in enhancing brain activity. The brain needs proteins for its optimum functioning, and BCAA supplements provide it with the right combination of amino acids.
In addition to the three BCAAs, i.e., leucine, isoleucine, and Valine, the Genius BCAA supplement contains citrulline malate, L-tyrosine, and taurine as cognitive boosters like citicoline, Rhodiola Rosea, and caffeine. These chemicals fuse to provide a well proportioned and potent mix of proteins and stimulants that regulate muscle and brain health.
Max Gains Promolex
Max Gains’s BCAA supplement Promolex is available in capsule form and is excellent at facilitating lean muscle growth. Each bottle contains 150 capsules, and manufacturers recommend a single dosage of 5 tablets.
Promolex follows the recommended BCAA ratio of 2:1:1, containing isoleucine, leucine, and Valine. Each serving of the formula also contains 1500 mg of L-glutamine in addition to the BCAA ratio. The fusion of the two components aids in muscle recovery and fatigue reduction.
Huge Supplements BCAA
Huge Supplements BCAA formula is one the most potent on our list as it contains the largest serving size of BCAAs. Each Huge BCAA supplement serving size contains 15g of amino acids that include BCAAs in the recommended 2:1:1 ratio.
In addition to BCAAs, the supplement contains coconut water and L-glutamine for increased hydration, muscle protein synthesis, and post-workout recovery. This fantastic and potent formula is available in two exciting flavors; kiwi blueberry and bomb popsicle.
For those looking for an intenser dose of BCAA with additional hydration, consider the Huge Supplements BCAA formula.
IdealFit IdealLean BCAAs
The IdealFit IdealLean BCAA supplement is designed specifically for women. Though all BCAA supplements are suitable for both men and women, gender is not a factor that sets apart different formulas. However, The IdealLean supplement has a unique blend to attract women consumers.
This fantastic supplement also contains the ideal 2:1:1 amino acids ratio and is reasonably priced. You can enjoy tantalizing flavors like raspberry lemonade with a high content of 7 grams of BCAAs to boost your energy and endurance.
Extra hydrating ingredients in the blend, such as coconut water and green tea extract, enrich the supplement with added benefits. Moreover, the IdealFit formula has Theromdiamine, which aids in fat burn. Other ingredients include L-glutamine and L-citrulline, making this BCAA supplement an enriching and potent recipe for women to strengthen their vitality, stamina, and performance.
EHP Labs Beyond BCAA + EAA
EHP Labs has formulated a unique blend containing branched-chain amino acids and essential amino acids (EAA). The supplement targets the worn-out workout muscles of the body and restores their health, and it soothes muscle soreness and helps grow new muscle tissue.
The supplement comes in a range of yummy exotic-sounding flavors like grape candy lollipop and mandarin twist and is packed with 10 grams of EAA and 8 grams of BCAAs. EHP Labs has added a nootropic blend and Senactiv to its supplement formula, thus bringing you not your average BCAA booster but something extra.
Naked BCAAs is a great fuss-free BCAA formula, and its name suggests a straightforward blend of branched-chain amino acids in the recommended 2:1:1 ratio. It comes in a natural, vegan, and unflavored blend and is one of the best varieties of BCAA supplements that brings instant energy and stamina.
The Naked BCAA supplement has serving and dosage sizes at par with other entrees on the list and is a bundle of pure BCAAs packed with essential nutrients to give you a power-packed workout session. Similarly, it provides instant recovery from post-workout fatigue and raises your exhaustion threshold. The supplement tackles your body’s physiological stress response system to enable you to work out harder and longer.
An added feature is Naked BCAA’s cost per serving and price value. It is reasonably priced and is one of the top-selling supplements on Amazon.
NSP Nutrition Advanced Aminos 1000
NSP Nutrition is the brainchild of Vince Gironda, and their Advanced Aminos 1000 tops the charts as an excellent BCAA formula. The unique feature is that the blend is made with essential and branch chain amino acids from egg whites. Thus this specific BCAA supplement has a vital amino acid profile that works effectively on muscle growth, strength, and repair. It enables faster recovery from training and helps stay anabolic.
The blend works on the body’s glucose level and enhances its metabolism. Therefore it helps manage hunger and appetite. Moreover, the Advanced Aminos 1000 can help maintain a positive nitrogen balance, which can help limit muscle loss.
Another appeal is the supplement’s price point, and it provides a range of benefits and instant results at an affordable cost. Moreover, the brand is customer friendly and makes purchases and shipping convenient for the user. All customers get a 30-day money-back guarantee if they are not satisfied with the product.
How We Ranked The Best BCAA Supplements
With the market so saturated with similar-looking and sounding supplements, all the varieties have the same profiles. However, if one digs deeper, specific differences in the formulas and the ratios of ingredients differentiate these BCAA supplements.
It is challenging to sift among the lotto list down the best, and we had to keep specific critical indicators on the table to gauge the merits of individual formulas. The following were our considerations when compiling the best BCAA supplement list:
Quantity of BCAA Per Serving
The dosage of BCAAs contained in a single serving is vital in identifying the formula’s potency. Usually, most supplements have between 5g to 15g of BCAA per serving. This is the average bracket, and anything less than this will be of inferior quality.
The best supplements use the 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and Valine. This ratio is crucial in providing the main benefits of branched-chain amino acids. The supplement loses its effectiveness if the balance is even slightly disturbed. For instance, inferior quality formulas may contain a 10:1:1 ratio, which takes away the strength of the supplement. Thus we strictly adhered to formulas that had the 2:1:1 BCAA ratio.
Quality of Ingredients
Our particular focus was on supplements made from natural ingredients only. Premium brands use organic, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients. In addition, the formulas are free from synthetic dyes, flavors, and other toxins. Plus, the supplements should be GMO, gluten, and dairy-free.
Dissolvability and Texture
Some supplements do not dissolve well in liquids like water, and coarse granules float on the surface when adding the powder to the drink, and this naturally makes the supplement unpleasant to consume. Thus we considered formulas that quickly and smoothly dissolved in water and made a well blended and even textured drink.
Your BCAA supplement must primarily contain the three essential BCAA’s, i.e., leucine, isoleucine, and Valine. If other amino acids are added to the formula, that’s a bonus. But anything short of the primary three BCAAs was a total no from our end.
The reputation of the manufacturer cannot be ignored. Reputable brands carry their name because they manufacture premium quality supplements. Chances of a lesser-known brand or one with an unfavorable reputation producing a substantial supplement are rare. Therefore, we only chose brands with a high reputation and popularity in the market.
Following on the heels of a high reputation are the number of positive reviews a brand receives from its customers. It is easy to confirm the authenticity, effectiveness, and quality by reading its reviews. Thus, we closely reviewed user testimonials and feedback during our selection process and selected accessories with the highest user ratings.
Value for Money
The price range of BCAA supplements falls under a broad spectrum. The cheapest version can cost you anywhere between $25 to $35, while the expensive varieties can exceed $100. However, the critical thing to consider is the value you get for the money you spend. If you spend a hundred bucks on your supplement, you should contact the results you want. Similarly, in an attempt to save money, you should not compromise on quality. Hence, selecting supplements that provided good value for money was challenging but essential.
Though a good BCAA supplement should have three essential amino acids, some brands add other items to the formula. This can include anything from extra amino acids to herbal extracts, glutamine, nootropic ingredients, to coconut water. A well-balanced formula will have all the essentials and nutrients that classify it as a superfood.
Variety of Flavors
Alas, the taste of the supplement is something one cannot ignore. Producers can pack a formula with rich nutrients, but there is no fun in consuming it if it tastes horrible. The best deal is finding varieties with power-packed ingredients and exciting and delicious flavors.
What Are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)?
Amino Acids are particular types of chemicals that make up the different proteins in the body. There are 20 other amino acids in all, and of these, nine are called essential amino acids. The body itself cannot make the essential ones, and thus, you need to obtain these from your diet.
Among the nine essential amino acids, three are called branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs. These are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are called branched-chain due to their peculiar chemical structure, found in protein-rich foods like meat, dairy, and eggs. BCAA’s can additionally be taken in the form of supplements.
BCAA’s have several benefits for the human body. Most of these are primarily concerned with the protein synthesis in the body, which leads to muscle repair and growth and a range of other benefits related to energy, stamina, endurance, brain health, etc. Thus BCAAs should be incorporated into the diet daily. This is especially true for people who do rigorous workouts or are professional athletes, as such people require healthy muscle growth and instant muscle recovery.
How Do BCAAs Work?
Branched-chain amino acids play a critical role in building and repairing muscles. Their chemical structure is branched out, thus the name, and this structure also affects how the body uses these chemicals. The body requires BCAAs to handle its physiological responses to stress and its metabolism and muscle health.
BCAAs are metabolized in the muscles instead of the liver like other amino acids. Therefore they provide unique energy and boost directly to the muscle instead of circulating in the blood before reaching the target areas. This is why BCAA’s main benefit is to bodybuilders, athletes, and people into extreme fitness.
In addition to muscle growth, BCAAs aid in fat burn, improve stamina and endurance, and even contribute to liver health. Thus BCAAs are vital chemicals required by the body and can be taken as supplements.
What’s The Best Time To Take BCAAs?
Taking a BCAA supplement entirely depends on individual preferences, requirements, and desired results. The popular opinion is that people need to take this before or after a physical workout session. However, that is unnecessary as BCAAs are beneficial chemicals the body needs for optimum functioning, and you can take these anytime.
Usually, people take it before a workout, during training, or after completing their physical session.
When taken pre-workout, the supplement increases energy levels for the exercise and reduces muscle protein breakdown during the session. This is a great time to take the supplement as it keeps your endurance levels high while sustaining the intensity of the workout. It prepares the body for muscle protein synthesis after the training.
Though most people take the BCAA supplement after their workouts, this is considered the best time to take it. Consuming the supplement right after your workout immediately hydrates the body by regulating its fluid levels, and it replenishes the electrolytes lost during the training. Also, the formula helps repair muscles and aids in the build-up of new muscles. This is of unique consequence, as muscles suffer wear and tear during intense workout sessions.
You can also take BCAAs on days when you are not working out. For people leading an active lifestyle, intake of amino acids is a must for protein synthesis. It prepares and hones your body for training days, even when taking the supplement.
Among the nine essential amino acids, three are branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs. The three BCCAs are leucine, valine, and isoleucine. Each of these has individual functions and benefits.
Leucine is the most important branched-chain amino acid and has a critical role in maintaining the body’s metabolism. It regulates the blood’s sugar levels, keeping them in the normal range and thus balancing the body’s energy levels. Additionally, it contributes to muscle build-up and repair. Studies indicate the role of leucine in increasing the body’s protein synthesis by 25%.
Isoleucine is also an essential amino acid that plays a significant role in fat burn and boosting metabolism when grouped with leucine and Valine. The body breaks down isoleucine through carbohydrates and fats, thus speeding up the body’s fat-burning process and consequently helping a person lose weight.
The third branched-chain amino acid has additional functions besides its primary role in protein synthesis leading to muscle growth and repair. Valine helps improve the body’s immunity as well as its brain functions. Simultaneously, it provides glucose to the muscles for enhanced energy. Thus Valine is also a critical chemical required by the body for balanced functioning.
Benefits of BCAAs
As discussed above, BCAAs play a vital role in the body’s protein synthesis, and they synthesize proteins in the muscles, thus contributing to muscle health. Let’s look at the five significant benefits of BCAAs in detail.
Muscle Growth and Repair
One of the significant benefits of BCAAs is that they help build muscle. Leucine stimulates the body’s protein synthesis process, enabling muscle growth. Once the BCAAs enter the body, they help the body make new muscles by providing it with extra proteins necessary for muscle growth.
Moreover, muscles go through much wear and tear during intense workouts. Muscle soreness is also a common effect of strenuous activities. The BCAAs are critical in helping the body repair worn-out muscles and facilitate fast muscle recovery. They also help soothe muscle soreness. Therefore, people take the BCAA supplement after workouts to strengthen their muscles, gain speedier recovery, and enhance overall endurance.
Enhanced Endurance and Stamina
These particular amino acids help people train harder and perform to their maximum. BCAAs decrease fatigue resulting from workouts and increase the body’s threshold level for stress. Exhaustion and fatigue levels vary for different people. How quickly you tire after an activity depends on many factors, like your sugar level, fitness level, environmental conditions, and the intensity of your workout. However, when you take extra proteins in the form of BCAAs, your endurance and stamina increase. BCAAs thus boost both physical and mental stamina.
Since BCAAs are vital for muscle building and growth, fat burn is an added positive side effect that follows. The protein synthesis enables muscle growth, which happens through the production of lean muscle, and the acids burn body fat to replace it with lean muscle. Thus, lean muscle growth and fat burn are two-fold processes. Studies have indicated the positive role of BCAAs in increasing the body’s metabolism, resulting in weight loss. Furthermore, taking leucine with glutamine regularly can help shed off excessive pounds.
An additional and little-known benefit of taking BCAA supplements is improved liver functioning. Studies have indicated that people with liver diseases have deficient levels of branched-chain amino acids in their bodies. Clinical trials showed that when patients with liver cirrhosis were given BCAA supplements, there was a significant improvement in the signs and symptoms of the disease. Similarly, medical research claims that regular intake of BCAA supplements can reduce the risk of liver cancer in patients with liver cirrhosis.
Muscle Mass in Chronically Ill Patients
Research has shown that BCAA supplements in the diet of chronically ill patients can help them maintain muscle mass. People suffering from terminal diseases like cancer lose lean muscle mass rapidly over a shorter period. Leucine in the BCAA supplement controls this issue and helps build up the lost muscle.
BCAA Clinical Trials
All the benefits of BCAAs have been scientifically verified and authenticated. Over recent years, several studies have investigated the effects of branched-chain amino acids in people and their positive or negative impacts.
Studies on Muscle Health
According to a study conducted in 2012, scientists concluded that BCAA supplements reduce muscle breakdown and tear resulting from training sessions in a group of males. The trial subjects, in this case, resistance-trained men, were given BCAA supplements in a random order, before, after, and during workouts. The results showed that men who had taken the supplements experienced minor muscle soreness and exercise-induced muscle damage.
A 2006 research displayed the role of BCAAs in protein synthesis. According to the study, BCAAs played a crucial role in activating enzymes in protein synthesis after physical activities. This synthesis leads to muscle health, recovery, and a boost in endurance during and after intense workouts. The study reflected the anabolic effects of BCAAs in the muscles during such physical sessions.
Studies on Immunity, Blood Sugar Level, and Other Interactions
Besides research on the role of BCAAs in muscle growth and repair, there are several studies on their other benefits. For instance, a 2006 study indicated that BCAAs stimulated the lymphocytes in the body to synthesize proteins, RNA, and DNA in response to infections. Therefore, this study and others like it have reflected the positive role of BCAAs in boosting the body’s immunity. As per research, BCAAs thus help the body make chemical compounds that combat illnesses, infections, and diseases.
Yet another 2003 research conducted on rats studied the effects of BCAAs on the body’s blood sugar levels. BCAAs are known to interact with blood sugar and help regulate it by keeping it in the safe bracket. Glucose levels affect the body’s metabolic activity and energy levels. To examine this, researchers studied the effects of isoleucine on the plasma glucose levels of rats. They found that isoleucine stimulates glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells without insulin.
Besides investigating BCAAs role in muscle growth, boosting immunity, and regulating blood sugar, scientists also studied their effects on exhaustion and fatigue threshold of the human body. In a 2007 study, researchers found that BCAAs also targeted mental exhaustion besides reducing muscular fatigue and had a significant role in reducing body and brain fatigue.
There are still several other studies that have linked BCAAs’ role to liver health. Researchers found out that regular intake of BCAA reduced signs and symptoms of liver diseases like liver cirrhosis in patients and reduced their risk of liver cancer. Though BCAAs can not reduce mortality rates, but can nonetheless maintain healthy liver functioning.
BCAA Dosage Guidelines
The dosage of BCAA supplements varies among people and is affected by age, workout intensity, nutrition, gender, and environment. However, manufacturers provide basic guidelines on when and how to take these supplements.
As a rough guideline, if you plan to take the supplement before your workout, you can take between 6 to 10 grams of the powder. Post-workout, you can safely handle 10 to 15 grams. A general daily dose of BCAA should be between 5 to 10 grams.
Daily dosage also varies for regular gym-going men and women. Manufacturers recommend physically active women take around 3 to 5 grams of BCAA supplement daily. However, if your workouts are more intense, you can increase your intake. The recommended dosage for men is different. Regular gym-going men and bodybuilders should usually take 15 to 20 grams of BCAA in a day.
BCCA can be ideally paired with protein or carbohydrates to consume after an hour of working out. If your training is not rigorous, you should avoid taking pure leucine.
The best option, in any case, is to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations before you take your BCAA supplement.
BCAA Side Effects
For the most part, branched-chain amino acids have more benefits than any side effects. Researchers confirm that daily intake of BCAA can improve your endurance and stamina, and it can also help you build lean muscle and shed unwanted weight.
However, excess of anything can be detrimental in different ways. Medical scientists have set about investigating any adverse effects of BCAA on human health. They have discovered that excessive intake of BCAA can result in minor side symptoms like nausea, headaches, and increased fatigue. Researchers have also found that too many BCAAs in the system can lead to loss of coordination and increased insulin resistance, leading to Type 2 diabetes. Moreover, since BCAA interacts with blood sugar, people undergoing surgeries should avoid taking these before and after the surgery.
Besides these general side effects, BCAAs can have problematic effects for people with special medical conditions. People with Lou Gehrig’s disease, Maple Syrup Urine Disease, kidney disease, liver, and heart disease should avoid BCAAs. Similarly, people who take excessive alcohol should also refrain from taking these supplements.
BCAA Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the best sources for BCAAs?
A: All foods rich in protein contain a good amount of BCAAs. These include fish, dairy products like cheese and butter, eggs, chicken, and lean meat. Other natural sources of BCAA include lentils, milk, tofu, and quinoa.
Q: What’s the difference between protein powders and BCAA supplements?
A: BCAA supplements contain branched-chain amino acids that help synthesize proteins, and protein powders have one or more types of proteins. Both BCAAs and proteins help with muscle strength and recovery, but the body processes them differently, thus affecting the muscles in different ways.
Q: Why are BCAAs important?
A: BCAAs are three of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce independently but need crucial functions. BCAAs help in muscle growth and repair, reducing muscle soreness post workouts and reducing fatigue. Additionally, BCAAs boost the body’s immunity, regulate blood sugar levels, and help burn fat by enhancing the metabolic rate.
Q: What are the common side effects of BCAAs?
A: Excessive intake of BCAA supplements can lead to minor side effects such as indigestion, stomach discomfort, nausea, fatigue, reduced coordination, headaches, and dizziness.
Q: How often should we take BCAA supplements?
A: BCAA supplements’ dosage depends on a person’s fitness level, gender, nutrition, workout intensity level, etc. Manufacturers provide general guidelines on when and how much formula to consume. Generally, the best time to take a BCAA supplement is after your workout.
Q: Do BCAA supplements improve sleep?
A: Most research shows BCAA not to have any impact on sleep quality or sleep patterns.
Q: Will BCAA help me lose weight?
A: BCAA supplement aids fat burn while building lean muscle and is thus quite beneficial in excessive weight loss.
Q: Are BCAAs bad for the kidneys?
A: Most studies show BCAA supplements do not impact kidney function. Excessive use in patients with medical conditions could lead to some problems. Thus it is best to consult your doctor if you already have a kidney-related problem.
Q: Is it safe to include protein powders and BCAA supplements in my diet?
A: Protein powders and BCAA supplements work differently due to their different compositions. BCAA supplements contain three of the nine essential amino acids, while protein powders may contain other amino acids. We recommend consulting your doctor or physician before including both formulas in your diet.
Q: Can BCAA make you gain weight?
A: Excessive use of branched-chain amino acids may result in some side effects, such as a shorter life span and irritable mood. It may, in some cases, lead to weight gain.
Q: Do I have to wait after taking a BCAA supplement to eat my meal?
A: Manufacturers recommend taking a 45-60 minute break after taking your BCAA supplement post-workout to let the body absorb the formula entirely.
Q: Can women take BCAAs?
A: BCAAs are healthy and necessary amino acids that help the body with protein synthesis leading to greater energy levels and muscle growth. Thus, it is recommended and essential for women who do strenuous physical training or sports.
Q: When should we not take BCAA supplements?
A: Although it is loaded with benefits, you should avoid BCAA supplements if you have or are about to undergo surgery. This is because BCAAs interfere with the blood sugar levels of the body. Also, people who take excessive amounts of alcohol and pregnant or lactating women should avoid the use of BCAAs.
Q: Is it safe to take BCAAs on an empty stomach?
A: The body best absorbs BCAAs on an empty stomach, and this implies that the acids quickly set about maximizing doing their job if they don’t interfere with some other nutrient in the stomach or bloodstream.
Q: What are the best sources of BCAAs?
A: All protein-rich foods like eggs, lean meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products are excellent sources for your required amount of branched-chain amino acids. Additionally, you can take these as supplements.
Q: Can I take BCAAs before bed?
A: BCAAs are safe to take at any time of the day or night, and medical experts highly recommend these for people who work out and do high-intensity workouts. This is so as BCAAs enable faster muscle growth and overall muscle health. As long as your supplement does not contain agents like caffeine, you can safely consume it before bed.
The Best BCAA Supplements in 2022 Conclusion
Branched-chain amino acids are essential chemicals that help the body recover from workout-induced muscle wear and tear, muscle soreness, and physical and mental fatigue. Research has confirmed BCAA’s positive role in helping build lean muscle by directly synthesizing proteins in the target muscles.
Moreover, BCAAs boost the body’s endurance and stamina by releasing quick energy and regulating blood sugar. This enables people to perform to their max during workouts and helps them recover faster. BCAAs help the body’s physiological response to stress and reduce the fatigue threshold level, enabling people to train harder and longer.
Also, studies have confirmed that BCAAs play a pivotal role in strengthening the body’s immune system. They help make the chemical compounds that help the body fight disease and infections.
Alas, it is not just physical endurance that the BCAAs tackle, but also the mental. Medical research shows that increased BCAA intake improves brain functioning, mental stamina, and liver health.
Therefore BCAAs are essential nutrients that one should take to improve their general endurance and physical performance. The best part is that you can take dietary supplements to fill in the gaps left by the lack of a protein-rich diet. Whether or not you are an athlete, a regular dose of BCAA will help your general well-being and provide added benefits to your health. Try a top BCAA Supplement above today!
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