Top 10 BCAA Supplements of 2013
The Top 10 BCAA Supplements and Best BCAA
Branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs are some of the most crucial substances that men and women need in their quest of building leaner and bigger muscles. Protein is the building block of muscles, and thus a healthy dose of protein- its building blocks and derivatives need to be incorporated into a bodybuilder’s lifestyle. As much as we would like to ingest large amounts of protein-rich food items, the dosage or concentration is simply not enough to produce significant muscle gain and development. This is where supplementation comes in. Aside from an intensive resistance-training program, it is a must to consume amino acids- the building blocks of protein- separately as well.
It is true that protein-rich food items such as dairy, poultry, and meat products already feature protein, but you should know that individual amino acids greatly influence the process of muscle growth and development in a myriad of ways. Of all the amino acids there is, medical studies have shown that leucine, valine, and isoleucine, collectively referred to as branched-chain amino acids are crucial in optimal muscle growth, increased energy levels, as well as enhanced performance.
Branched-chain amino acids are called as such due to the inherent structure of isoleucine, valine, and leucine exhibit on molecular level. These amino acids have been around far longer than other amino acids such as creatine and beta-alanine, but it was only recently that fitness experts and medical professionals realized the wide range of benefits that can be derived from BCAA intake in terms of muscle growth and development. Although these amino acids are generally small in size, the different functions they assume are highly significant especially among individuals who aim to obtain maximal muscle gains in an effective and safe manner.
BCAAs are identified as essential amino acids. This basically means that we need to source them from our diet or through supplements as the human body is unable to produce them on its own. It is important to remember that BCAA supplementation should only be taken in prescribed amounts. Excessive amounts of the three amino acids-leucine, valine, and isoleucine may prove to cause unwanted side effects as well.
The Three Amino Acids
There are 22 essential amino acids that the body needs to function properly. Of all these protein building blocks, leucine, valine, and isoleucine are known to comprise 1/3 of the amino acids within the muscle tissue. It is therefore crucial for men and women to include three amino acids in their bodybuilding workout system.
According to medical research and studies, leucine is the amino acid which boasts the greatest impact when it comes to protein synthesis amongst all aminos. It is a major amino acid complex that stimulates anabolic or muscle-building activity in the muscle. It has the unique ability in facilitating skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Although there are food items that contain leucine, this essential amino acid in free from is absorbed quicker by the body when compared alongside leucine sourced from food intake. If your goal is to maintain quality muscle mass, leucine through BCAA suppelementation is a must as it alleviates the degradation from a low-calorie diet regimen.
Valine is an aliphatic amino acid which exhibits the same structure and function as that of isoleucine and leucine. Food items namely dairy products, soy, flour, fish, meats, and vegetables contain significant levels of valine, which should be consumed for nourishment and wellness reasons.
Valine plays the role of stimulating protein synthesis which in turn result s in muscle growth. It also plays the crucial role of preventing muscle tissue breakdown by delivering extra amounts of needed energy to cells. Valine is also found to regulate blood sugar levels. A healthy dose of valine also stimulates the central nervous system, thus individuals who take ideal amounts of valine through BCAA supplementation can expect excellent mental functioning.
You guessed it right! Isoleucine features pretty much the same in structure as the amino acid, leucine. It facilitates proteinogenesis, a process which converts amino acids to proteins in the body. It is essential to include isoleucine into one’s diet as this amino acid enables the body to manufacture muscles, antibodies, and numerous hormones too. Isoleucine is an energy giver as this amino acid breaks down into acetyl-CoA. The degradation of acetyl CoA results in the production of energy, carbon dioxide, and oxygen.
Benefits of BCAAs
BCAAs feature the ability of moving through the bloodstream. Once it reaches the brain, it effectively reduces the production of serotonin which lowers one’s sense of fatigue and tiredness. The brain then sends out this signal to the rest of the body, thereby increasing performance and endurance.
Muscle Cells Stimulation
If your goal is to train for you to get a stronger, bigger, and leaner body, it then becomes crucial to fuel the muscles at the cellular level. In order for muscles to develop, amino acids need to be present. Of all the 22 amino acids, the three amino acids of BCAA comprise 1/3 of muscle protein. The intake of BCAA should not only be through separate supplementation, but also included in the diet. Aside from muscle cell stimulation, BCAAs aid in:
- Reduction of muscular fatigue
- Hasten recovery rate
- Prevent the loss of other essential amino acids caused by extreme physical activity r workouts
Safety of BCAA Supplementation
Unlike other bodybuilding supplements that flood the market, BCAAs are relatively safer to take on a continuous basis as they are metabolized by muscle tissues and not the liver. There are no side effects to the intake of BCAAs.
BCAA Shopping Guide
Branched-chain amino acids come in several form factors- tablets, capsules, and in powder form. It is best to choose the variety which perfectly fits your needs as well as lifestyle. A large majority of bodybuilders opt to choose BCAA in powder form since all the needs to be done is drink the supplement before and after workout. It usually takes several BCAA capsules to work its wonders. Those who lead busy lives tend to forget taking the capsules or pills.
The more important consideration when buying BCAA is the manufacturing company. Choose a product which is developed by reputable companies. Never go for cheaper, lesser known brands. Your body will need premium BCAA for guaranteed optimum muscle growth and development.
Top Ten BCAA Supplements
1. Foundation Series BCAA Powder
If you are looking for a cheap, quality BCAA supplement, look no further as reputable company Bodybuilding.com boasts an outstanding offering called Foundation Series BCAA Powder. This brand carries some of the most effective supplements in the market, and of course, this includes its Foundation Series BCAA powder.
One selling point of Foundation Series BCAA is that it features the ideal leucine/valine/isoleucine ratio- 2:1:1! This means that for every 300 gram bottle that you purchase, you get up to 2.5 grams of leucine and 1.25 grams for both isoleucine and valine. You will get positive results in as fast as a few weeks with Foundation Series BCAA.
It is not the tastiest supplement out there as it comes in the unflavored variety. Although this is the case, it makes it very flexible as users can simply mix it with any other drink that they include in their diet or workout regimen. The Foundation Series BCAA just like its rivals can be used as pre-, intra-, and post-workout drink.
Users of Foundation Series BCAA experienced muscles fullness after a few weeks of regular used. In addition, their overall wellness has improved significantly with the introduction of Foundation Series BCAA into their lives.
Aside from effectiveness, the inexpensive price tag of Bodybuilding.com makes it one of the best-selling BCAAS in the market today. At $18.00 per 100 servings, it is a deal that you cannot refuse.
2. BCAA Caps
Intense workouts are the only means by which men and women can successfully build muscles. Aside from following a well-balanced diet, rigorous training needs to be in place. Despite numerous studies and conclusive evidence that supports exercise as the only means to increase muscle size, only a small percentage of people are actually incorporating it in their lives. Why? Their main reason for ditching workout is the fatigue, exhaustion, and tiredness after each and every workout. Worry no more! You can now realize your dreams of having leaner and stronger muscles with the help of BCAA Caps by Infinite Labs.
Infinite Labs, the company responsible for the manufacturing of BCAA Caps, markets it as an Advanced Metabolic Fuel. While its primary purpose is to increase energy, this BCAA supplement offers other beneficial features too:
- Effectively reduce post exercise fatigue
- Decrease the rate of muscle protein degradation
- Enhanced muscle protein synthesis
- Improved endurance
You not only enjoy optimal strength with regular intake of BCAA caps, but also infinite power that will enable you to build muscle at an incredibly faster rate.
Aside from BCAA Caps, Infinite Labs also offers BCAA supplement in powder form. Just like majority of BCAAs in the market, the powder is unflavored, thus it can be added onto any post-, intra-, or pre-workout drink that you routinely take as well.
The BCAA Caps is sold at $21.99 for 240 caps while the powder form retails at $19.99 per 240 grams.
3. Cor-Performance Beta BCAA
If there is one too-good-to-be-true BCAA supplement, it would be Cellucor’s Cor-Performance Beta BCAA. From its mixability, taste, to the great results that it delivered among its users, there is nothing but sweet praises for this BCAA supplement.
Although there are many theories regarding the ideal leucine: isoleucine: valine ratio, the guys at Cellucor kept it simple and real with a 2:1:1 ratio. Aside from these three crucial amino acids, citrullin maleate, beta alanine, and HICA are just some of the other premium ingredients which help in producing the excellent results when you take Cor-Performance Beta BCAA.
Improved performance at the gym is only one of the many benefits of using Cor-Performance. Users who are faithful to the product swear by the more impressive recovery rate they started experiencing when they included Cellucor’s BCAA supplement in the equation.
Co-Performance Beta BCAA comes in lemon-lime flavor and so far is the best BCAA powder drink available.
Despite the potency and great-tasting quality of Cor-Performance Beta, there is one thing which makes it an alternative option among some bodybuilders-its price. At $39.99 per 30 servings, this can be tad bit of expensive. This is especially true for those who train extensively and need to replenish their body before, during, and after workout sessions.
If you are determined to grow some serious muscles while being more than willing to spend on their BCAAs, Cellucor’s Cor-Performance Beta is the product for you!
4. Dymatize BCAA Complex 2200
Dymatize is undeniably one of the more reputable brands when it comes to the development and manufacturing of bodybuilding supplements. Their own version of BCAA comes in pure, free form per serving. The branched-chain amino acids that this product features is easily assimilated by the body, thus users experience immediate boost in energy when taking this product. It is an excellent preworkout supplement as well as post-workout supplement as its pure-free from qualities guarantee maximum muscle regeneration and recovery.
This is an excellent choice of BCAA supplement for those who lift heavy weights. Maximum muscle gain can be expected within weeks of continued use. Users of Dymatize BCAA Complex report increased in endurance. If your goal is to enhance your ability in lifting weights, you will never go wrong with the choice of Dymatize as part of your fitness regimen.
Another great feature of this product is affordability. The 200 capsule bottle is priced at $13.48 while that of the 400 caps that can last for 100 days retails at $23.98 per bottle.
5. Amino 1
Amino 1 by MusclePharm definitely lives up to its promise of increasing muscle gains, enhancing endurance, and improving the rate of muscle repair and regeneration. One of the biggest problems of performing intense resistance-training workouts is muscle soreness and fatigability. The growth and development of muscles stop once you take a rest from regular training. Beginners feel rewarding to notice muscle gains after a few days of working out, but they stop abruptly after a week or two of intense training due to extreme fatigue and muscle pains. Worry no more as Amino 1 by MusclePharm is not only an outstanding hydration system, but also aids in the fast recovery of muscles.
MusclePharm’s Amino 1 comes in four flavors namely Orange Mango, Lemon Lime, Cherry Limeade and Fruit Punch. Gone are the days when you feel like torture whenever you drink your BCAA pre-workout supplement! Unlike the competition, Amino 1 is easy to mix and prepare. The Advanced Electrolyte Hydration System with coconut water does its job well of delivering adequate hydration before and during workouts. It also boasts an impressive 3:1:2 leucine, isoleucine, and valine ratio. Fuel up your workout regimen by drinking Amino 1 by MusclePharm.
Amino 1 is being sold for $28.79 per 32 servings and $47.99 for 50 servings.
6. Modern BCAA
If you are after outrageous, massive gains there is no other BCAA supplement that can top the benefits delivered by Modern BCAA by USPLab. Lean muscle mass and energy are increased off the charts! In as little as two months, you will see an increase in muscle mass and significant reduction in fat. Unlike its competitors, USPLab deviated from the normal and created their own leucine: isoleucine: valine ratio- 8:1:1. The result is a dynamic amino acid blend that enables users to harness massive amounts of energy for longer and harder workouts.
Aside from the standard leucine, isoleucine, and valine combination, the guys from USPLAb incorporated glutamine and a unique electrolyte blend for added benefits such as faster recovery and optimum hydration. Users get 10 grams of essential aminos per scoop of Modern BCAA- a value relatively higher than those offered by competing brands.
If you are not keen on getting the standard unflavored variety, USPLAb offers Modern BCAA in three tasty flavors namely Fruit Punch, Grape Bubblegum, and White Blue Raspberry.
The better BCAA as it is called by thousands of bodybuilders Modern BCAA comes in a 428 gram- tub and retails at $26.45.
7. BCAA 5000 Powder
If you have an intense bulking and cutting routine, you will need a dependable BCAA supplement to gain real, impressive results. This is exactly what Optimum Nutrition delivered when they released their own BCAA supplement- BCAA 5000 Powder.
According to its users, the 10g amino serving enables their body to remain in the anabolic stage during and even after workouts. Aside from considerable lean muscle mass gains, customers have reported a significant drop in body fat percentage. It is hailed as one of the best pre-workout supplements due to the ideal ratio of the three BCAA aminos.
Although BCAA 5000 Powder doesn’t taste as tasty compared to flavored pre-workout drinks, it still gets the job done. The gains are so great that you won’t notice the average tasting blend that this product offers. After all, 99% of BCAAs in the market feature the same bland, if not horrid, taste. If the taste bothers you, BCAA 5000 Powder can be readily mixed with other protein shake preparations!
Optimum Nutrition offers their BCAA 5000 Powder at $22.95!
8. BCAA 6000
Gaspari Nutrition’s BCAA offering features a 4:1:1 ratio, thus making it a leucine-filled BCAA supplement. As mentioned earlier in this article, leucine primarily functions to trigger muscle growth, increase energy and enhance one’s endurance levels.
Expect a considerable improvement in the execution of your workout routine as BCAA 6000 is excellent when it comes to recovery. By taking BCAA 6000 before working out, you can train for hours on end without usual fatigue, headache, and tiredness.
BCAA 6000 is in pill form so you don’t have to endure the traditional horrid taste that most BCAA powders feature. If you would like to get solid, muscle gains and enjoy good value, Gaspari Nutrition’s BCAA 6000, at $22.09 per bottle is the right BCAA product for you!
9. BCAA 1000 Caps
BCAA 1000 Caps from Optimum Nutrition is an ideal pre-workout supplement which effectively fuels the body during intense, resistance-training workouts. From the ample servings, quality ingredients, and the price BCAA Caps was successful in delivering a potent BCAA mix that offers impressive results without breaking bank.
Optimum Nutrition enumerated the concentration of the three essential amino acids in 2:1:1 ratio- leucine- 500 mg, isoleucine- 250mg, and valine 250 mg.
The BCAA offering from Optimum Nutrition comes in capsule form so consumers need not worry about bad tasting drinks. Aside from the high levels of energy that it provides, BCAA 1000 when taken after intense training improves recovery. Users report reduced soreness and feeling of exhaustion with BCAA supplementation.
In terms of price, BCAA 1000 ratails at $11.56 per 200 capsules. You get the most bang for your buck if you make the right decision of making this BCAA supplement from Optimum Nutrition your choice for pre- and post-workout supplement.
10. BCAA 3:1:2
MusclePharm offers the best BCAA supplement which is rapidly absorbed by the muscle tissues during workouts. It was developed to bring desirable results such as maximum lean mass development while minimizing muscle damage after rigorous workout routines.
The 3:1:2 leucine, isoluecine, and valine bring exactly what the body needs. To reduce muscle breakdown while supplementing enough energy during workouts, the guys from MusclePharm formulated a patent-pending branched-chain amino acid formula with 3 grams of leucine, 1 gram of isoleucine, and 2 grams of valine.
You get superior results from this amino acid ratio as BCAA 3:1:2 is made from quality ingredients. Athletes as well as professional bodybuilders primarily depend on this BCAA brand from MusclePharm for maximum muscle gain, enhanced recovery, and increased energy for workout sessions.
MusclePharm’s BCAA 3:1:2 can be purchased for as low as $26.95 per bottle!