In the seemingly never-ending quest to be in the best physical condition you can be, you’re working out like a beast, hoping to get ripped. You may even know about BCAA supplements and even have started taking them. However, are you taking the best BCAA supplement?
What Does BCAA Do?
Branched-Chain Amino acids are commonly used to treat Lou Gehrig’s disease, brain conditions that have been caused by liver disease, the elderly, cancer patients, and those who are on bed rest. Even healthy people will take BCAAs, so they don’t get tired, but also so they can improve their concentration.
However, bodybuilders and fitness fanatics often search for the best BCAA supplements that work toward preventing muscle loss due to catabolism, which is the act where your body increases the rate which protein is broken down so it can get the amino acids inside the muscles and use that for fuel.
There are three main reasons why you may want to start taking BCAA supplements:
- Immune System – When you start taking BCAAs, you’re boosting your immune system. Each time you are lifting weights, your body is being put through a lot of stress. If your body isn’t able to handle that stress, you’re going to have difficulties with muscle recovery and perhaps even increase the chances of becoming sick.
- Protecting Yourself Against Amino Acid Deficiencies – By adding BCAAs to your supplement routine, your helping your body keep up with the high demands of some of the most restricted diets, especially ones where you aren’t able to get protein-rich foods like meat, whole eggs, and dairy products.
- Preventing the Loss of Lean Muscle Mass – Whenever your body is under stress, or you have to stop training for some time, you’re going to be at risk of losing lean muscle mass. This is a problem people who are facing surgical procedures face, and when they take BCAAs, they are less likely to go through catabolism.
What Is A BCAA Dosage?
If you want to get all the benefits of BCAA, the recommended dosage varies depending on what you are taking the product for. According to WebMD, the recommended dosages by mouth are:
- For a brain condition due to liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy): 240 mg/kg/day up to 25 grams of branched-chain amino acids.
- For mania: a 60-gram branched-chain amino acid drink containing valine, isoleucine, and leucine in a ratio of 3:3:4 every morning for 7 days.
- For tardive dyskinesia: a branched-chain amino acid drink containing valine, isoleucine, and leucine at a dose of 222 mg/kg taken three times daily for 3 weeks.
- For anorexia and improving overall nutrition in elderly malnourished hemodialysis patients: granules of branched-chain amino acids consisting of valine, leucine, and isoleucine at a dose of 4 grams taken three times daily.
However, if you are training, you may be wondering when to take BCAAs. Here’s a good idea of both effective dosages and when you should take them:
Bodyweight And BCAA Intake
- 150 pounds or less – 3 grams BCAA before, during and after your training.
- 151 pounds or more – 5 grams of BCAA before, during and after your training.
If you want to maximize protein synthesis and reduce the breakdown of muscle tissue, follow these recommended dosages:
Bodyweight And BCAA Intake
- 150 pounds or less – 10 grams BCAA before, during and after your training.
- 151 pounds or more – 15 grams of BCAA before, during and after your training.
Best BCAA On The Market
Now that you know a little more about BCAAs and what they do, here are some of the best BCAA supplements available, in our opinion:
*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table
Vintage Build – The Essential 3-In-1 Muscle Builder
If you are looking for a product that will help you build muscle, this is a great option. The unique formula gives your body a boost because it has a variety of ingredients that help build muscle, such as BCAAs, L-Glutamine, and Creatine Monohydrate.
These chemicals have been effective components in helping build muscle mass. If you’re considering this product, you may be disappointed by the flavor choices (only fresh berries flavor or lemon lime are available on Amazon). However, there are some positive reasons why this is a great option:
- Affordable enough for most exercisers
- Delivers a 3-in-1 system, which is immensely effective
- Helps to improve strength and recovery time
- Surprisingly great tasting
- Works for men and women
- Money back guarantee delivers added reassurance
- Will help you build lean muscle
BPI Sports Best BCAA Powder
One of the reasons why the BPI Sports Best BCAA Powder is among the best BCAA supplements is because it is affordable and it also comes in a variety of flavors. This product uses Oligopeptide-Enzymatic Technology which is a bonded chain of leucine, isoleucine, and valine—three key amino acids our bodies need to retain muscle mass and reduce protein catabolism.
When you use this powder, not only will it help recover, repair, and prevent muscle breakdown, but it can help anyone who is looking to burn fat and lose weight, while still building lean muscle mass. Other notable features about this product include:
- 30 servings of BCAA powder, packaging may vary
- Cutting edge BCAA performance formula
- Amino acid supplement designed to promote muscle building and strength
- Lowers body fat levels and assists with muscle repair/recovery
- Fantastic Flavor
Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to mess with powders, then these capsules may be your preferred method of taking BCAA supplements. With these capsules, you are getting a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine to valine.
Because these are in capsule form, you can take them before you start training, between meals, or even after you’ve finished your workout without having to mess around with the bulky containers, measurements, and mess. Notable benefits of this product include:
- 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine
- Easy to swallow capsules
- Supports muscle building and exercise recovery
- Great for women
Naturo Nitro, BCAA Instantized Powder
It doesn’t matter what kind of workout you’re doing, be it endurance training, cross fit, or weight lifting, the Naturo Nitro BCAA Instantized Powder can help you build lean muscle mass.
Unlike other amino acid supplements, this particular product is stimulant free and has the perfect ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, so you can increase protein synthesis, which enables faster muscle recovery. Notable features of this product include:
- Powder formula to boost protein synthesis and muscle growth
- Easily absorbable
- Can be taken before and after your workouts to prevent muscle breakdown
- Great lemon lime flavor
Cellucor Alpha Amino Acid Supplement With BCAA
As one of the best BCAA powder supplements, Cellucor Alpha Amino Acid Supplement with BCAA gives you lasting endurance that you’d hope to get from a performance BCAA product. This increased endurance can be credited to their proprietary 3X Leucine Matrix, which takes the benefits of BCAA to a whole new level.
It features instantized L-Leucine, Leucine Nitrate, and Leucine Peptides, which are essential to enhancing your body’s ability to fuel skeletal muscles, reduce protein breakdown, and preserve muscle glycogen stores. Notable features of this BCAA include:
- Helps Increase Endurance
- Reduces Muscle Soreness
- Promotes Muscle Growth
- Helps Prevent Muscle Breakdown
- G4 Chrome Series
After taking great care of watching what you put into your body and sticking to a strict workout routine, it’s understandable that you’ll want to preserve all that hard work by taking one of the best BCAA supplements you can find. No one wants to see all the lean muscle mass that they’ve worked so hard for, go away because they needed a break from working out, thanks to catabolism.
When you take any one of these great BCAA products, not only are you retaining muscle mass, but you can also enhance your immune system and reduce the chances of having a disease that’s caused or made worse by a lack of amino acids. You’ll find that when you incorporate BCAAs into your workout regime, you’ll see improvements in your body, but you may also feel a difference!