What is the Best BCAA Supplement on the market? Top 5 Reviews & Detailed Buying Guide

Image showing intra workout reviews

Welcome to the Vital Repz 2019 best bcaa roundup.

As you know, Branched chain amino acids are a seriously effective workout supplement. But what you might not know (yet) is that some supplements are not what you think.

In fact, some are downright garbage.

Many supposed "intra-workouts" hide behind proprietary blends to cover up their lack of reliable ingredients. And guess what happens if you buy those products?

Sure, you'll waste some cash but worst of all, you won't get the results you want. And I don't know about you, but I only buy supplements that get me real results for my hard work in the gym.

With that in mind, We’ve made it our job to evaluate what's currently on offer.

Think of this as the bcaa Olympics. We make each supplement jump through hoops and over hurdles to see which stands up to our scrutiny.

The Best BCAA Supplement Reviews And Recommendations

If you are in a hurry and want a quick rundown of the best supplements, then check out top 5 bcaa list to see which products came out on top.

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Supplement

Best of the Best

#1 Scivation Xtend

Contains 7g of BCAAs in the proven 2:1:1 ratio. Includes electrolytes for hydration & glutamine for recovery.


The Budget Choice

#2 BulkSupplements Instantized BCAAs

Pure vegan-friendly amino acids with no artificial ingredients. Available in different sizes to suit your needs & budget.


Best Capsules

#3 Optimum Nutrition BCAA 100 Capsules

200 servings per bottle and one serving is only 2 capsules. Recommended if you prefer taking pills over powder.


Best Tasting Intra-Workout

#4 BSN Amino X

Contains 10g of total amino acids. We liked the flavors better than what Xtend has to offer.


Great for energy but not for everyone

#5 Evlution BCAA Energy

This supplement can replace your pre-workout. We prefer it over Amino Energy.

Supplement Details

#1 Scivation Xtend

Best Of the Best

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • Contains more BCAAs than the other products we reviewed
  • Includes electrolytes for intra-workout hydration
  • Glutamine & citrulline for muscle recovery

#2 BulkSupplements BCAA

Best Value

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • Pure BCAAs
  • Many different sizes are available
  • Instantized for efficient mixing

#3 ON BCAA 1000 Caps

The Best capsules

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • Contains 400 capsules
  • Only 2 capsules per serving
  • BCAAs are in the 2:1:1 ratio

#4 BSN Amino x

Best Tasting

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • Has 10g of total amino acids
  • Caffeine free
  • We liked the taste more than Xtend

#5 BCAA Energy

Good for energy but the caffeine isn't for everyone

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • We prefer this formula over Amino Energy
  • Can replace your pre-workout

#1 Scivation Xtend — Best Overall

Scivation Xtend is a notorious intra-workout supplement with a full 7g of bcaas per 1-scoop serving. But on the other side of the tub, there are new ingredients that are absolutely worth talking about.

There's 2.5g of glutamine per serving which quite ironically, is more than some specialized l-glutamine powders can boast in a serving of their own powder!

There's also a full gram of citrulline malate, 640 mcg of vitamin B6 and an electrolyte blend. In particular, the electrolyte blend is useful because of how vitally important hydration is for health and performance.

Then, on the other side of the coin, we have the taste. Not all users reported liking the taste, citing that some flavors can be too strong.

For our full Scivation Xtend review, you can click the link for a detailed breakdown of the supplement.


#2 BulkSupplements Pure 2:1:1 BCAA Powder — Best Budget BCAA

BulkSupplements BCAAs are one of the best value choices for those on a budget. The formula may not be the most extensive in that it doesn't include additional amino acids, but regarding getting pure bcaas for a fair price, this supplement is hard to beat.

On the serving side of things, it only takes 1.5g of powder to get the recommended dose. This means that even a small 250g bag will last for a long time. And although it doesn't come with a scoop (the main downside of the product), measuring out the powder is easy if you have some kitchen scales.

Personally, we find that weighing supplement powder out is sometimes more accurate than going by manufacturer scop sizes anyway. Because as we know, one scoop can be a lot bigger than it should be depending on the eagerness of the user.

Back to BulkSupplements. The BCAAs are unflavored which admittedly, isn't very exciting. However, this lack of taste makes them ideal for mixing into juice or a standard sports drink. And it's ultimately, it's why we consider BulkSupplements bcaa to be the best budget BCAA for the money.


#3 Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Capsules — Best Capsules

With ON's instantized BCAAs, getting a full gram of micronized amino acids requires you to take just two easy to swallow tablets. For those who need more than a gram, you're looking at around 4 capsules in a go..

The amino acid breakdown is 500 mg of l-leucine, 250 mg of l-isoleucine and 250 mg of l-valine. This is the 2:1:1 ratio which is the best ratio if muscle growth is your goal.

Users agree that the tablets helped them to recover faster from their workout. However, if you need to take a lot of BCAA in one go, some users reported it could be slightly inconvenient, as I alluded to above.

On the value side of things, there are 60, 200 and 400 tablet bottles to choose from. The largest size gives you 200 servings which should last even the most regular bcaa users months.

If you prefer to drink your amino acids, then I'd avoid Optimum Nutrition bcaa this time. But, if you want high-quality bcaas in capsules format, or don't want to risk poor tasting bcaas, then this may just be the kind of product to buy on your next supplement haul.


#4 BSN Amino X — The Best Tasting

Amino X by BSN is, in my experience, the best tasting bcaa supplement there is. But this doesn't mean it's perfect.

One scoop contains 10g of amino acids, which on the surface is a truly impressive dose. However, we can't see how many of these are bcaas. Still, the other 2 amino acids are l-citrulline and taurine which we can't really complain about either.

On the value side of things, a standard tub gives you 30 servings. There's also a more substantial 70 scoop tub, but I recommend sticking with the 30 serving option until you find a flavor you really like. Personally, I find watermelon to be the most refreshing but blue raspberry is also one of my top choices.

The mixability is probably the most smooth experience We’ve ever had with a bcaa supplement. With ice cold water, BSN Amino x mixes in only a matter of seconds which is a testament to the consistency of the powder.

On the first try, you might notice a fizz. But don't worry, it doesn't contain any weird ingredients or sugar, it's just sodium bicarbonate.


#5 Evlution Nutrition BCAA Energy — Best For Energy

Last but not least, BCAA Energy offers the muscle building benefits of amino acids, while also providing your body with the perks of pre workout supplements.

Containing naturally sourced caffeine and beta alanine, taking a regular pre workout supplement is not necessary when using BCAA Energy. This saves you preparation time, and a nice chunk of change to boot.

In our reviews of the best amino acids for energy, Evlution Nutrition comes out on top.

Our testing shows that this product does what it says, but given that many users do not want to mix their BCAAs and caffeine, we feel that it falls a little short compared to the other 4 supplements.

Nevertheless, for those seeking a natural 2-in-1 supplement, Evlution bcaa energy holds its own against even the most prominent brands of amino acids.


Similar Amino Acid Reviews

Here are some of our other reviews, of similar muscle gain products.

The BCAA Supplement Checklist

Quality Of Ingredients

Finding out whether or not your bcaas are legit is as easy as a bodyweight bicep curl. There are only 3 ingredients you need to look out for; leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

These 3 amino acids and their dosages are responsible for whether or not your supplement is useful. In particular, you want to look out for them in a 2:1:1 ratio, or roughly that ratio. We don't need exact figures here, this isn't a science experiment.

Mixability

Prefer your bcaas in pill form?

Then go ahead and skip this section.

But if you're like me, and you enjoy the taste of refreshing bcaas between sets, then you will know how crucial mixability is. Personally, I've never had any issue with getting my bcaas to mix on the first attempt. But I know some people have.

For me, the only thing I found difficult to get right the first time, was the strength of the flavor. Mixing bcaas with more water weakens the taste, which although not to my personal liking, does reduce the chance of clumping.

On the other hand, using less water which is what I recommend, makes the flavor taste more authentic like I'm really eating watermelon or whatever I have in my shaker bottle. However, with some brands, this may cause the mixability worse.

That said, the vast majority of bcaas are instantized, which is a fancy way of saying that the powder mixes right away. In the past, I've even been able to mix up my bcaas with nothing but a spoon when I didn't want to use a shaker cup.

Taste, Taste, Taste!

Some say it's all about the quality of the product.

And for the most part, I'd agree. But with such a simple product like bcaas, taste can usually be the deciding factor when most supplements generally contain the same ingredients.

In a word, you want your supplement to taste refreshing. There's a reason why bcaas are made in fruity flavors and not chocolate-based flavors. Sure, chocolate tastes great, but I wouldn't exactly call it ‘refreshing.'

Affordability

Whether you ration your bcaas to workout days or drink them like tap water, nobody wants to pay over the odds for supplements.

Clearly, if you're going to be giving bcaas a permanent position in your supplement stack, you want to keep them there at a reasonable cost. Thankfully, this is easy to do.

Although other ingredients can certainly be effective, they add weight to the price tag.

For some of you, this may be worth it. For others on a tighter budget, my recommendation is to stick to pure bcaas for now.

Value For Money

You'd be forgiven for thinking ‘value' is all about price, but that's just not true.

Good value in the world of supplements and in particular, can be measured using two simple metrics.

  • The dose per serving
  • Number of serving divided by the product price

I really encourage you to look at the dose in each scoop. A higher dose means you need to use fewer servings, and using fewer scoops makes the tub last longer which means you don't have to refresh your supplies as often. This is usually much better value in the long run.

The 3 Best Types of BCAAs To Watch Out For

All BCAA supplements share the same core ingredients. However, some have very different ratios and formats. While you may prefer to take powder your friend might take capsules. To clear up any confusion, I've outlined what each type does and who it's best suited for.

2:1:1

The standard ratio means that for every gram of valine and isoleucine, there's twice as much leucine. This is important because leucine is the "trigger" for switching protein synthesis on. Not only has it been tried and tested by science, but it makes the most sense from a muscle-building perspective.

2:1:1 BCAAs were the first to hit the market and  are available in powders, capsules, and ready to drink (RTD) bottles.

Powdered

Powdered aminos can be bought in nearly any flavor you can think of. This means that the competition between brands is quite high. As such, you can generally expect a pleasant tasting supplement to sip on between sets.

Unlike protein powder, BCAA powder should not be mixed with milk, only water. Many people will prefer powder to capsules because the flavors are something you can look forward to drinking.

Capsules

Capsules or pills can be ultra-convenient for busy people. There's no need to mix or shake and they can be taken anywhere you go. Often, the best BCAA brands will have both powder and capsules, so you're getting the same reliable formula but just in capsule form.

The downside to capsules is that you miss out on taste and for some, they can be hard to swallow.

Conclusion

Overall we recommend Scivation Xtend as the best bcaa supplement for 2019. The fact that one scoop has over 10g of amino acids, 7g of which are bcaas, is why xtend is so hard to topple from its perch.

The added electrolytes show attention to detail because hydration isn't something you hear many people talking about in fitness, especially not in bodybuilding circles.

That said, this product can get complicate.

The flavors. There's just so many to choose from. But when the only hurdle you have to jump over is flavor choice, you know that you've landed on a great supplement.

We hope you enjoyed our guide, and hopefully it helped you decide which product to go for in the future.

Scivation Xtend | Our #1 Rated

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Jonathan Abbott
Jonathan Abbott
Jonathan is a long time fitness enthusiast who specializes in helping others reach their goals faster with the most up to date sports science. When he's not working, you'll find him challanging his body with heavy squats and deadlifts.