Before we answer the age-old question of which are the best BCAA supplements, let’s brief you a bit on the WHY. You need Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) to live. Without them, your body would not be able to support organ function, heal muscle, walk or lift weights.
What are BCAA’s?
The three BCAA’s are leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are the building blocks of protein. They are also essential to human movement. The human body will not function if it does not have an adequate supply of BCAA’s.
Molecularly a BCAA is an proteinogenic amino acid that has aliphatic side-chains with a branch (a central carbon atom bound to three or more carbon atoms) (see here). Proteinogenic means “protein creating,” and muscle can not form or exist without protein.
What Do They Do?
BCAA’s help with energy production and fat loss, but their main function is to boost muscle growth. They have a significant anabolic effect on the process of protein metabolism. They increase the rate of protein synthesis, and decrease the rate of protein degradation in a resting human muscle (source), Basically, they help your muscles heal and grow.
BCAA’s can not be created by the human body. Therefore it is imperative to either…eat a LOT of protein, or supplement your diet with these amino acids.
If your aim is optimal health, fitness and performance…simply eating the “right foods” won’t be enough. You can’t consume all of the branched-chain amino acids you need with food alone. You need to supplement your diet with additional BCAA’s. That equates to finding the best BCAA supplements you can, which is why you are here.
Only The Best
Understanding the BCAA landscape can be tricky. There are huge marketing machines behind certain brands, so the most expensive brands are not always the best.
Your health, and your hard-earned results deserve the best. That’s why I did the research for you. I compiled a list of the Top 5 BCAA’s available for purchase today.
Top 5 Best BCAA Supplements
#1. Poloquin Group BCAA Excellence 2.0
I have always been a fan of Charles Poloquin’s supplements. His commitment to purity is beyond reproach. But if you are looking to save some coin, his stuff is not for you.
If you are looking for pharmaceutical grade quality, Poloquin BCAA Excellence 2.0 is what you want. This product is the highest quality BCAA on the market today.
#2 Bulk Supplements BCAA 2:1:1
Bulk Supplements Branched-Chain Amino Acids are my second choice. It is a close second though. Bulk Supplements puts out some of the highest caliber supplements available (at a grreat price too!). Poloquin’s products are the only ones that have a higher standard of production.
One thing I really like with Bulk Supplements BCAA’s is that you can choose to have your amino acids in either powder, gelatin or vegetarian capsule form. This gives you the flexibility of either mixing your BCAA’s in a liquid (of your choice), or popping a handful whenever you need some aminos.
#3 MusclePharm BCAAs
MusclePharm is a relatively new supplement company. The thing I like about their products, is that they are tailored specifically to boost athletic performance. Their company slogan is “The Athlete’s Company” and they mean it!
The purity of their products is superior to almost any supplement on the market…except the first two mentioned here. They sponsor some of the most tested athletes in professional sports…so their products have to be pure.
#4 Universal Nutrition BCAA 2000
Universal first started making supplements back in 1977. They’ve been at this for awhile now.
They know what they are doing.
They’ve refined their research and production process thoroughly. That is why I listed Universal BCAA 2000 as the third choice here. A solid product with years of happy customers.
#5 NOW Sports BCAA Powder
The story of a company is important. This is especially true for companies that make supplements. A lot of large companies get into the supplement business strictly to make a lot of FAST cash. They sacrifice quality for quantity, because they are only after the money.
They spend millions on marketing their product as “the best” every made. This is generally always a false claim. You see…a company that has “small business roots” is the exact opposite of the huge marketing machine mentality.
Over the decades, Now Foods has developed a superb reputation in the supplement business. They have achieved this by focusing on quality and excellence. So much so that their NOW Sports Branched-Chain Amino Acid Powder is one of the best BCAA supplements in the world.
All because way back in 1948, Paul Richard decided to focus on making products you could trust to put in your body.
I hope this list helps guide you, as you navigate yourself to the best BCAA supplement! If you have any questions or comments feel free to put them in the comment section below…and I’ll help you anyway I can!
Thanks so much!