When it comes to supplements, there are so many different products available these days, it’s sometimes even hard for an experienced professional such as myself to keep up. No matter what they bring out though, the three mainstays never seem to lose their spots as the kings of the industry.
The three I’m referring to are protein, creatine, and the subject of today’s article, BCAA’s. I’m going to explain what they are and why they are essential, as well as showing you the overall best options on the market. We’ll look at my top pick, BSN Amino X, as well as 4 alternative options that provide a variety of additional benefits.
The first thing we need to do is to make sure you know exactly what BCAA’s are. BCAA’s stands for branched-chain amino acids. They include Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, which are deemed to be the three most essential amino acids and are considered the building blocks for protein.
BCAA’s are essential for building muscle, alleviating soreness, and reducing fatigue. The fact that they cannot be produced by the body naturally explains why they are such an incredibly popular supplement.
In over a decade in the industry, I haven’t come across a supplement, outside of protein, that I would consider more important when it comes to building muscle.
|Taste||Amino Content||Additional Supplements||Price||Availability|
|Platinum BCAA 8:1:1||N/A||5/10||0/10||10/10||7/10|
- 1 BSN Amino X
- 2 Alternative Options
- 3 Best Pre-Workout Option- Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy
- 4 Best Tasting-BPI Best BCAA
- 5 Best Vegan Option-USN Original BCAA+
- 6 Best High Leucine Ratio & Best Capsule-Muscletech Platinum BCAA 8:1:1
- 7 Conclusion
BSN Amino X
BSN has been around for almost 20 years and specializes in supplements designed to build muscle and enhance your workouts. They are responsible for the most popular pre-workout around with their N.O. Xplode, having won more awards than any other supplement company in the last 6 years, and now being one of the best selling BCAA’s on the market to boot.
If that isn’t enough credibility to convince you to give it a try, let me explain why I believe it to be the number one BCAA you can get your hands on.
Amino Acid Content
When purchasing branched-chain amino acids it shouldn’t be a surprise that the primary thing customers will be looking at is the overall amino acid content of the product.
Well Amino X clears that first hurdle with flying colors with 10g per serving, while other rival products contain only 6-7g on average. In addition to the standard three BCAA’s, it also includes decent quantities of Alanine, Taurine, and Citrulline, which are other amino acid’s that further help to increase the effectiveness of your workouts.
While not quite as important as the actual impact of the product, the taste is normally the first tiebreaker when it comes to choosing your preferred BCAA’s. I mean, who wants to buy a product you’ll use every day if you find it unpalatable.
Again, this isn’t something you need to worry about here. Regularly showing up on rankings of the best tasting BCAA’s available, it comes in 8 great flavors, including the unique strawberry dragon-fruit, to appeal to people of all tastes.
With the previous two points taken care of, the only potential deal-breaker could be cost, as supplements aren’t exactly the cheapest products around, to begin with.
Thankfully, Amino X sits right around the average benchmark for this type of product. While you will be able to find cheaper versions, you get what you pay for, as they say. For a quality product like this, you are certainly getting value for money and it is priced at a rate that should make it accessible to all.
Considering how important our physiques are to those of us who toil away in the gym regularly, it’s unsurprising that we are very conscious about what we put in them
In recent years, sugar has been moved away from, because of its links to diabetes and excessive weight gain. Unfortunately, many drink mixes use it as a way to flavor their products and improve their taste, which can make life difficult for the average health and fitness enthusiast.
That isn’t the case with Amino X however. Featuring no sugar, and less than 1g of carbohydrates of any kind, you can be confident you won’t be consuming anything that could hamper those hard-earned results.
While the facts I’ve outlined above will have sold this to the majority of readers, I understand that in a community such as ours, there will be people among us looking for something very specific.
Well, if you fall into that category, I’m confident I’ll have you covered with one of the following options.
Best Pre-Workout Option- Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy
Optimum Nutrition is one of the top supplement companies around. They always produce high-quality products that are at, or near, the top of their range.
Their Amino Energy perfectly follows that trend. A great tasting product, made from high-quality ingredients that, while not cheap, doesn’t break the bank.
At 5g of amino acids per serving, it is just slightly below average. However, containing 100mg of caffeine per serving, it makes it a great combination of BCAA and pre-workout in one.
A perfect option for someone who wants to avoid either getting bloated taking two supplements before a session, or just wants to try and keep the cost down.
Best Tasting-BPI Best BCAA
BPI is somewhat of a newer brand, having just celebrated its 10th birthday. What they lack in age they certainly make up for in experience though, as naming your product “Best” anything is a bold move.
While I don’t necessarily agree with it being the best overall, I certainly wouldn’t argue with it being the best tasting.
Available in 15 awesome flavors, you will find this product in almost any discussion regarding the best tasting BCAA’s, usually right at the very top.
While it comes in slightly below average at 5g of amino acids per serving, it is still solid in that regard. For those of you who are a little pickier when it comes to taste, I’m more than confident you’ll be satisfied with this.
Best Vegan Option-USN Original BCAA+
It’s becoming a running trend in my reviews of late, but I felt it was important to include a vegan option.
When it comes to the BCAA market, no one has done that quite as effectively as USN, a long-running supplement company, with a history of high-quality products.
BCAA+ comes in at the top end of the average range with 6.9g of amino acids per serving while being 100% vegan friendly. I have no hesitation in recommending this as the preferred vegan option available.
Best High Leucine Ratio & Best Capsule-Muscletech Platinum BCAA 8:1:1
Of the three BCAA’s, the consensus is that Leucine is the most important. As such, you will often find companies produce products with that in greater proportion than the other two.
You will often find 3:1:1 or 4:1:1 options but very rarely any higher. That’s why this option is so unique, with a massive 8:1:1 ratio. If you are looking to prioritize leucine, this has no rival.
On top of that, many people also prefer capsules, as opposed to drinks. This can be for any number of reasons, such as taste, convenience, bloating, etc. Again, this comes in above the competition on that front too.
Muscletech has for years been one of the premier producers of supplements and their expertise shines through on this product. I genuinely believe if you are looking for a high leucine or capsule option, or both, this is unrivaled.
Scoring highly in all categories, Amino X is truly head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to the BCAA market.
Beyond that, BCAA+ is probably the most viable alternative, as it is both fully vegan, so can be used by all, as well as containing the second-highest amino acid content on the list.
I wholeheartedly believe these two should cover almost all of your BCAA needs, but if they don’t, the other options on the list will surely tick them off.