Fitness & Nutrition

Best BCAA Supplements

What are Branched Chain Amino Acids?

BCAA supplement drinks are among the most popular fitness supplements for several big reasons. Athletes and fitness-minded people often take BCAA supplements combined with whey protein to boost performance, minimize soreness, and prevent muscle fatigue. They certainly make it for an easy and tasty way to easier stay hydrated!

BCAAs or Branched-chain amino acids, are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are the most important amino acids for building and maintaining lean muscle.

There are other amino acids but BCAAs are unique because they have a branched molecular structure and are the only amino acids that are broken down in muscle. They’re naturally found in well balanced diets with meats. However there are no conclusive studies showing added benefits of taking BCAA supplements with an already protein rich diet.

That said, many people take BCAA supplements when traveling or fasting when they may not have access to lean meats and to stay hydrated.

BCAA supplements are generally considered safe.

There are even signs that BCAAs may help individuals with certain liver diseases. If this is describes you, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before taking BCAAs to make sure it’s safe for you.

Here is our quick guide and top picks

How to Choose the Best BCAA Supplement

When shopping for a BCAA supplement, only choose products from reputable brands that follow safety and quality standards, such as third-party testing and current certifications from the Food and Drug Administration.

It’s not unusual to see BCAAs included with other supplements like caffeine, glutamine, beta-alanine, citrulline, and taurine. Also keep in mind that some supplements may contain added sugars, gluten, soy, and artificial sweeteners.

Always read the ingredients lists if you want to avoid any of these.

BCAAs are available in powder form to mix with water or as soft capsules.

Lastly, BCAA supplements are not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or nursing.

How We Ranked The Best BCAAs

BCAAs are very common so be sure to evaluate before you buy a product that it has good ingredients and not just a sugary sports drink.

The following are chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: Are the ingredients and formulas well-balanced and transparent?
  • Customer Feedback: Do people in the fitness community approve, and has the supplement been around for some time?
  • Flavor: Will those 30 servings be delightful or just forcing down medicine syrup?
  • Value: Is the product the best bang for your buck, and how likely are you to buy again?

Disclosure: When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This in no way affects our editorial independence. See our advertiser disclosure.

MuscleTech – Amino Build

Best BCAA Overall

Highest BCAA content with added electrolytes and natural fruit


Self regulated quality – learn more

BCAA Content

Leucine: 4,000 mg
Isoleucine: 1,500 mg
Valine: 1,500 mg

Additional Nutrients

Betaine Anhydrous: 2.5 g
Taurine: 1 g
Magnesium: 50 mg
Zinc: 15 mg
Sodium: 170 mg
Sodium Citrate: 595 mg
Sodium Chloride: 80 mg
Potassium: 50 mg
Dipotassium Phosphate: 45 mg
Coconut water (Cocos Nucifera): 100 mg
Watermelon juice (Citrullus lanatus): 100 mg


Best for Hydration

High BCAA content with added electrolytes


NSF for Sport – quality, purity, and safety

BCAA Content

Leucine: 3,500 mg
Isoleucine: 1,750 mg
Valine: 1,750 mg

Additional Nutrients

Glutamine: 2,500 mg
Citrulline Malate: 1,000 mg
Vitamin B6: 640 mcg
Sodium: 220 mg
Potassium: 240 mg

Bucked Up – Racked BCAA

Supports Fat Burn

Added nutrients for fat loss and hydration


GMP – consistent manufacturing standard

BCAA Content

Leucine: 2,000 mg
Isoleucine: 1,000 mg
Valine: 1,000 mg

Additional Nutrients

L-Carnitine: 1,000 mg
Acetyl L-Carnitine: 1,000 mg
Gamma-Butyrobetane HCL: 15 mg
L-Tyrosine: 500 mg
Taurine: 1,000 mg
Chromium: 500mcg
Sodium: 78 mg
Himalayan sea salt: 200 mg

Optimum Nutrition – Essential Amino Energy

Best for Energy

Contains caffeine from natural sources


Self regulated quality – learn more

BCAA Content

Amino Blend – 5,000 mg of 15 different ingredients including Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine

Additional Nutrients

Caffeine: 100 mg
Green Tea Leaf Extract: 50 mg
Green Coffee Bean Extract: 10 mg
Sodium: 10 mg

Cellucor BCAA Sport

Popular Choice

Great for everyday use


NSF for sport – quality, purity, and safety

BCAA Content

Leucine: 2,000 mg
Isoleucine: 1,000 mg
Valine: 1,000 mg

Other Aminos blend: 2,250 mg of 6 other ingredients

Additional Nutrients

Glutamine: 2,000 mg
Potassium: 35 mg
Sodium: 110 mg
Chloride: 172 mg
Phosphorus: 14 mg

Universal BCAA Pro

Best for Travel

Basic BCAAs in soft capsules


Not specified

BCAA Content

Leucine: 500 mg
Isoleucine: 250 mg
Valine: 250 mg

Additional Nutrients

Vitamin B6: 2 mg

Wrap Up

Supplements are not magic pills or drinks that transform physiques and performance without attention to nutrition and exercise. Taking BCAA supplements is not crucial to fitness if you are getting sufficient amounts of BCAAs through your diet.

Look for ways to add a variety of protein-rich foods to your diet, and supplement with whey protein and creatine. In order to gain muscle mass, you need to eat enough calories and protein, and then have a specific weightlifting plan. Once your nutrition and workouts are established, involving BCAAs and whey protein supplements can enhance your results.

As you increase your workout intensity and frequency, supplements like BCAAs should become a staple in your daily consumption. Fueling your body to perform and recover can take you to the next level.

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