The 7 Best BCAAs to Buy in 2018

Speed up recovery time with these top-supplements

We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.

BCAAs. These letters together make up a line of supplements that many fitness enthusiasts consider a staple. Their technical name is branched-chain amino acids, and studies have shown they help with muscle recovery and stimulate muscle growth. Made up of the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, they come in powders and pills and in a variety of formulas, each of which offers specific performance promises.

Not everyone believes in the benefits of BCAA supplements, and some say you can (and should) get plenty of the same ingredients through food. It’s also important to note that these products have not been tested or approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and it’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.

If you do decide to jump on the BCAA bandwagon, you’ll find there are a ton of them on the market. While they all contain the same basic ingredients at their core, they each offer something slightly different. Here are the top BCAAs on the market.

Best Powder: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA

From ramping up your recovery post-workout to helping you overcome a plateau, exercise enthusiasts give this BCAA supplement high marks all around. Easy to mix, one serving contains 5 grams of BCAA and just 10 calories. It also boasts Wellmune for immunity, Rhodiola for endurance, and electrolytes for performance. It’s designed for use before, during, or after your workout.

In comes in 24 flavors from watermelon to cake batter, banana and everything in between. More than 15,000 customers have rated this powder on Amazon, and the consensus is they love it. With high praise for its value, taste, and effectiveness. A few complain that they don’t like the new formula as well as the old, and some aren’t fans of the taste, but the majority consider it a must.

Best Capsule: SHEER BCAA Capsules

SHEER BCAA Capsules - #1 Best Branched Chain Amino Acids Post Workout Supplement Builds Muscle and Burns Fat Fast - Full 30 Day Supply
Courtesy of Walmart

If you’d rather not mix things up and use a pill instead, there are these BCAA capsules from Sheer Strength Labs. From helping you burn fat to build muscle, they promise “ripped” results. If you don’t see those results, they have a 100 percent money back guarantee. No questions asked. Three capsules equal one serving, and they’re a great alternative for those who don’t like the taste of those BCAAs you drink.

Customers rave about them and say they have seen rapid results with use, and that they love the ease of capsules as opposed to powder. They also tout the outstanding customer service from Sheer Strength Labs “They hands down win for a product that works with excellent customer service,” one customer wrote.

Best Caffeine Free: BSN Amino X Post Workout Muscle Recovery & Endurance Powder

If you work out in the evening or just like to avoid caffeine in general, this caffeine-free formula from BSN won’t keep you up at night. It has 10 grams of BCAA per serving, with a 2:1:1 ratio and comes in a variety of flavors including grape, blue raspberry, and watermelon.

Despite its lack of stimulants, customers say this powder is effective and delivers on its promises to help improve endurance during your workout and aid recovery after. For optimum results, they recommend two servings (1 scoop in 6-8 ounces of the beverage of your choice) per day. Customers love the fact that this powder doesn’t clump when mixing and say it tastes great, boosts performance, and reduces soreness.

Best Unflavored: Pure BCAA: NOW Sports Branched Chain Amino Acid Powder

If you’re not a fan of all the fruity flavors of other BCAA powders, this 100-percent pure, unflavored version from NOW Sports may be more your taste. The recommended dosage is 1-3 teaspoons per day, which can be mixed into a beverage of your choice—anything from juice to protein shakes.

Customers say they love that it doesn’t contain a bunch of filler or fake sweeteners and that they notice a boost in energy and decrease in recovery time after a workout. Some customers, however, find it doesn’t mix in well, and the taste of the unflavored formula isn’t for everyone.

Best-Tasting: Evlution Nutrition BCAA Energy

If you want a BCAA that not only works well, but tastes great, exercise enthusiasts say this one from Evlution Nutrition is the way to go. While it comes in 14 different flavors, Blue Raz is a fan favorite. It contains zero carbs and zero sugar, so it beats many energy drinks on those counts.

A serving is two scoops and can be taken up to four times a day, before, during or after a workout. Customers love the taste and overall effectiveness of this BCAA, noting the remarkable energy they get from it. A few note that it makes them feel a bit jittery, but overall, customers seem to love this one.

Best for Women: IdealLean, BCAAs For Women, Orange Paradise

While most BCAA powders can be used by men and women alike, this one is formulated specifically for women. Each serving delivers 5 grams of BCAAs but zero calories and zero carbs.

One scoop equals a serving, which you combine with water to drink during your workouts and throughout the day on days you’re not training. It comes in five flavors, including green apple, orange paradise, and iced mocha latte. Customers say it’s great for alleviating sore muscles and boosting energy, and many like the flavors. Some, however, find the flavors too sweet.

Take a peek at some of the other best vitamins for women you can buy.

Best Vegan: Truth Nutrition Naturally Fermented BCAA 2:1:1 Powder

Some BCAAs contain milk and other non-vegan friendly ingredients, but this one from Truth Nutrition isn’t one of them. Instead, it’s plant-based, non-GMO, gluten-free, and all natural. What it is full of is ingredients promised to help you increase strength, speed, endurance, and reduce recovery time. It comes in two flavors—red raspberry and watermelon—which are created with natural flavors and Stevia. Each serving (one scoop) contains 5 grams of BCAAs and can be taken up to three times a day, before, during, or after a workout.

Customers say they love the purity of this product and the fact it still delivers the same results as other BCAAs. “Yummy, clean and fresh tasting,” one reviewer wrote on Amazon. Others, however, aren’t as big of fans of the flavors, and at least one noted that it turns bitter if you don’t consume it right away after mixing.

Was this page helpful?