The Best Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Supplements for Bodybuilding

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Working out is categorically known to cause aches and pains in places you didn’t even know existed. The first day after an intense workout can be pretty sore, but the second day is often even worse. So how can we help combat this irritating side effect of workouts?

Well, we may have just the answer.

In this article, we’ll explore the best BCAA supplements out there which are known to help prevent these aches and pains. With the help of the best BCAA, you’ll be able to build lean muscle mass with minimal pain.

The Best BCAA Supplements — Top Five

Now let’s tell you our favorite choices of the best BCAA supplements.

1. Scivation Xtend BCAA Powder

Our first option for the best BCAA is the Scivation Xtend powder, which contains the usual 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs we like to see. This makes it the ideal formula to promote lean muscle growth and repair.

A lot of our products contain this ratio, so why is this one special? Well, we like it when a BCAA product also contains ingredients which support your insides just as much as your outside. With the inclusion of glutamine, which supports your intestines and digestion, and citrulline malate, which boosts your energy, we’re in for a winner here.

What’s more, not only do a number of athletes recommend this product for its muscle growth, but Scivation Xtend is known for its fantastic flavors. These include Blue Raspberry Ice, Knockout Fruit Punch, and more—all ideal for a pre-gym pick-me-up.

  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams.
  • Sugar: 0 grams.
  • Calories: 0.
  • BCAAs: 7 grams.
  • Vitamin B6: 640 mcg (32 percent).
  • 2:1:1 BCAA ratio.
  • No sugars, carbohydrates, or calories.
  • Nutritional ingredients for energy and alertness.
  • Promoted by Matt Fraser, Marc Fitt, and Brooke Wells.
  • Known as one of the best tasting BCAAs.
  • Helps build lean muscle mass.
  • Contains an electrolyte blend, so we don’t know exactly what quantities are included.

2. Gnarly Nutrition BCAA Powder

Despite being in the game for close to a decade now, Gnarly is a company that is making a strong reemergence in the supplement world. While the company’s main target audience is endurance athletes like bikers and rock climbers, the high quality of their supplements positions bodybuilders and weightlifters as the best-qualified consumers. 

The company’s passion is “in progressing each athlete’s best, from the inside out”! 

One of the company’s main missions is sustainability as it aggressively cuts back on plastic use. All of their tubbed products are packaged in steel cans, which are recycled at 70% compared to plastic at less than 8%.

  • BCAAs: 5 grams.
  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams.
  • Sugar Alcohol: 2 grams.
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 gram.
  • Calories: 20.
  • Potassium: 70 mg (2 percent).
  • 2:1:1 BCAA ratio.
  • Comes with and without caffeine. 
  • Helps build lean muscle mass.
  • Nutritional ingredients to promote endurance.
  • Very tasty.
  • Steel can for sustainability.
  • Contains 6 grams of carbohydrates.

  • Since the can is made out of steel, it is irritating to open it without an object.

3. Evlution Nutrition BCAA Energy

Our next best BCAA powder also contains the recommended ratio of 2:1:1. This, coupled with the natural energizers, makes it an ideal option for improving your gym performance.

We always like to see some new and interesting takes on the usual BCAA powder, which is why we like this Evlution Nutrition product. With the inclusion of beta-alanine, which is known for its effects on improving athlete exercise performance, this one will help improve your gym experience and success.

On top of that, we have some great ingredients which aid the inner workings of the body, like taurine, and vitamins C and B. So, not only will it help boost muscle growth, but it’ll also keep your body functioning as it should.

  • BCAAs: 5 grams.
  • Beta-alanine: 500 mg.
  • Taurine: 500 mg.
  • Vitamin C: 90 mg (150 percent).
  • Vitamin B12: 30 mcg (500 percent).
  • Vitamin B6:10 mg (500 percent).
  • 2:1:1 ratio.
  • No sugars, carbs, or anything unnatural.
  • Some tasty flavor options.
  • Easy to mix.
  • Convenient, as it can be taken at any time of day.
  • Potential side effects for some people.

4. Evlution Nutrition BCAA5000 Powder

Here, we have our third 2:1:1 ratio BCAA supplement; that makes it three out of three so far. So, why does this one stand out from the crowd?

Well, to start with, it has a whopping eight flavors to choose from, including furious grape—my personal favorite—acai berry, and peach lemonade. However, once we take this into consideration, there aren’t any really stand-out ingredients which make it interesting. So, if you’re looking for a tasty option, which focuses purely on the BCAA components, this one is your winner.

  • BCAAs: 5 grams.
  • 2:1:1 ratio.
  • Easy to mix.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Eight delicious flavor options.
  • Focuses purely on BCAAs, and not much else.
  • No added vitamins.
  • Includes artificial flavorings.

5. Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy

This product has a variety of ingredients, including some fantastic ones to help boost your energy and focus in the gym, like caffeine. This helps to ensure you perform all the necessary exercises to help increase your muscle mass.

What’s more, there are a couple of other active ingredients in Amino Energy which actually help you to lose weight, including green tea extract, and green coffee bean extract. This means you’ll be less likely to put on fat, so your muscle mass remains lean.

This option also includes the essential BCAAs to help the growth and repair of your muscles, as well as beta-alanine, glutamine, and citrulline, which we’ve discussed previously. These all ensure your body keeps functioning at its best, whilst helping you boost your muscle mass as you go.

  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram (<1 percent of daily value).
  • Calories: 5.
  • Amino blend: 5 grams.
  • Energy blend: 160 mg.
  • Provides energy for the gym.
  • Includes some ingredients to improve your body’s inner health.
  • Boosts your focus.
  • Helps you lose fat.
  • Contains a number of proprietary blends, so quantities of all ingredients are unknown, including the BCAAs.
  • Includes artificial flavorings.
  • Only one flavor.

6. RSP Amino Lean

RSP is our final best BCAA, providing that surge of energy at any time of day, to get you through your workout regime. Coming in an array of really delicious flavors, like watermelon and blackberry pomegranate, this will provide a fruity buzz to your daily routine.

What makes this one a little different, however, is not just the amino acid blend that includes BCAAs, but the weight loss blend. So not only do we have citrulline, arginine, beta-alanine, and more, we also get green tea and green coffee bean extract to help reduce body fat. This promotes the building of muscle mass, in a lean way.

  • Amino acid blend: 5000 mg.
  • Weight management blend: 1500 mg.
  • Energy blend: 130 mg.
  • Improves energy levels in the gym.
  • Multiple tasty flavors to choose from.
  • Helps weight loss.
  • No jitters.
  • No sugars, carbs, or calories.
  • Numerous proprietary blends, so BCAA levels, and other ingredient quantities, are uncertain.

Informational guide on BCAA Supplements

What Are Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) and How Do They Work?

BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, include three types of amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine, in that order. They help support the growth and repair of your muscles after a tough workout, to reduce the usual soreness you may feel the next day, as well as helping to build muscle.

Now is a great time to go into more detail about what protein synthesis is, so I’ll put on my science cap for this part—here goes.

Your body requires protein to continue working healthily. Why? Well, when you eat food like meat, beans, and pulses, your body breaks these proteins down into amino acid chains. These chains are then pieced back together to form new proteins, which perform the particular tasks your body needs them to do.

For example, when you work out intensely, your muscles become damaged, so your body requires specific proteins to help repair this damage. The best BCAA should help to speed up this protein synthesis. This video should help you to understand it a little more.

The Benefits of BCAAs

Why are BCAAs the best supplements for the job? Well, a number of reasons actually, including:

  • Helping the growth and repair of your muscles.
  • Helping to limit muscle damage.
  • Improving exercise performance.
  • Reducing the soreness of your muscles after working out.
  • Improving your immune system.
  • Keeping you energized.

What to Look for in BCAAs Supplements

So that’s all the science stuff over with—now onto the best bits, starting with the factors to look out for when searching for the best BCAA for men and women.

Powder or Pills?

Below, you’ll notice that all of the best BCAA supplements we’ve chosen come in a powder form. But why is that?

Well, in comparison to pills—which can seem easier to consume—powders contain much higher quantities of ingredients, as their scoops are bigger than pill capsules. Also, the best BCAA powder absorbs much quicker into the bloodstream than pills, so it acts quickly and effectively.

2:1:1 Ratio of BCAAs

Studies show that, when it comes to the mixture of leucine, isoleucine, and valine in a BCAA supplement, 2:1:1 is the way to go to achieve the most effective muscle repair. So, if this is specified in the ingredients of the best BCAA for women and men, you’re onto a winner.


A lot of people forget the importance of flavor. If you struggle to even stomach breakfast in the morning, forcing down a foul-tasting powder each day can be extremely difficult. Therefore it’s important to take a look at the array of flavor options before you make your decision.


Now you’ve read through our five best BCAA supplements, you’re probably wondering how we’re able to choose a favorite. That said, there’s only one which we think has everything to do what a BCAA supplement should do, and that’s the Scivation Xtend BCAA powder. But why, exactly?

Well, for starters, the 2:1:1 BCAA ratio makes this a reliable and scientifically-proven mix to improve protein synthesis. But it doesn’t stop there, as it includes numerous other ingredients to boost your energy in the gym and improve your health.

To add to this, the eight flavor options, making it the best BCAA out there, give that finishing touch to make us happy. If you want a BCAA that pretty much has it all, we think this is the one.