The Best BCAA Supplements for Men Working Out To Build Muscle
If you’ve landed on this page, then building muscle means something important to you. And, when something is important to you, you take the necessary steps to master it.
In this case, the topic is branch chain amino acid supplements (BCAA Supplements) and how they can help you step up your physique and performance.
On this page we aren’t going to lie to you. When it comes to BCAA supplements, the quantity, purity, and ratio matters.
- So much so, that 90% of the BCAA supplements out there containing 5 gram formulas or less simply do not work. Period.
- But, at the same time. For those people that say “BCAAs don’t work”… We say bullshit. When in the PROPER DOSE, branch chain amino acid supplements can literally change the game if you’re willing to work a bit harder than the average bloke and stay consistent.
On this page, we’re going to explain to you how you ought to be taking BCAA supplements, as well as which BCAA supplements we’ve ranked as top of the top.
And let’s get one thing straight:
These BCAA recommendations are based on what has worked for us. If you are a slacker, don’t work hard, can’t stay consistent, and ‘just want to look good’ – then the BCAA supplements on this page, and exercise protocols we recommend, aren’t going to work for you.
You’re fucked, and you’re never going to improve.
But, if you’ve got fire in your blood… If working hard leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction every day. If you set out to build a powerful body for yourself and don’t care what anyone else thinks… Then you’ve clearly got what it takes to change your body, and based on this ethic you contain… Consistent and proper BCAA supplementation will make a noticeable difference.
We’ve made this page for you.
Straight Up – What BCAA Supplements Build Muscle?
If you want to build more muscle by using BCAA supplements, then the following rules apply. We aren’t making these up, they are either based upon science or anecdotal to bodybuilding. The same rules can be said for women, and our top 3 BCAAs for Women are here. The list is pretty similar.
- First off, protein still matters. BCAA supplements do not massively alter your daily protein intake need (unless you are taking a lot of them, typically to avoid calories from protein [technical]). Rather, BCAAs are a way to supplement amino acids during your workout; which protein isn’t the best choice for. For evidence supporting the importance of adding protein to your exercise program, check out this study where men only trained 4 days a week.
- If your exercises are burning large amounts of fat, BCAA supplementation can help preserve muscle. Research is leading us to believe that by increasing the amount of fat being oxidized in the body, the amount of amino acids broken down for energy also increases. This study found that BCAA supplementation kept the enzyme that breaks down your muscles into BCAAS in check during high fat oxidation exercises.
- BCAA Supplements help men to workout longer and reduce indicators of muscle damage. View this study ( or this one) to see how researchers determined that BCAA supplementation reduces muscle damage in young athletes.
- The BCAA dosage and ratio matters, above all else. If you are not getting at least 4 grams before your workout, you really shouldn’t expect to notice any benefit. And, if you are taking an actual BCAA supplement, you better expect it to be providing at least 6 grams of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio. If it’s not, and it’s priced the same as BCAAs that do contain 6+ grams… Then what are you doing?
10 Best BCAA Supplements for Men
Here you have our personal recommendations for BCAA supplements. This is what we take, above all else (unless we are doing a BCAA review for a new product, of course). If you like something else, or have a question – go for it at the bottom of this post.
#10 – BPI Best BCAA
Best BCAA by BPI is an extremely popular supplement, mainly due to its massive distribution network. Due to this, we believe that it’s quite important to include it on this list.
If you look into the formula of this BCAA supplement, you will find a 10 gram per serving blend of oligosaccharide based BCAAs along with CLA and Agmatine sulfate.
It’s broken down like this: 5 grams oligosaccharide BCAAs, 1 gram CLA matrix, 250 mg agmatine, and 3.75 grams of flavoring/coloring/waxes. Now consider oligosaccharide BCAAs for a moment, what are they?
Oligosaccharide essentially means Leucine, Isoleucine, or Valine within a chain of amino acids. So, for example: Glycyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Leucine. The premise, is that the branch chain amino acid will cross into your body more easily, as well as come with some EAAs (essential amino acids) that can be utilized as well.
This is pretty cool, but here is the issue: at 5 grams oligosaccharide BCAAs, you’re probably only getting 2 grams BCAA AT BEST. This is weak, real weak.
Based on this, we support BPI Best BCAA as game changing if you are taking 3+ servings at a time. Which hopefully won’t burn a hole in your pocket. On with the list!
#9 – Pro Supps Amino Linx
Ranking in as our #9 BCAA is Amino Linx, ProSupps take on this class of supplement. While the BCAAs in Amino Linx are not oligosaccharide based, we still run into the problem of not knowing exactly how much BCAA is in the product.
Amino Linx contains a proprietary blend of 12 ingredients adding up to 8.8 grams per 13.7 gram serving. One would assume that Amino Linx contains atleast 5 grams BCAA, and the remaining ingredients are of lesser amount, but still enough to aid performance.
Overall though, we can’t be certain. However, considering this is prosupps, we view Amino Linx in the context of stacking this BCAA on top of one of their pre workouts – Jekyll or Hyde. In that scenario, the sum of all ingredients would give a great rush in the gym.
However, on the basis of growth – the questionable lack of 6+ grams BCAAs may be an issue. So, if you are looking for something to stack on top of a ProSupps pre workout to boost performance, and am not necessarily concerned with triggering actual growth from your BCAA – consider Amino Linx for a good time.
#8 Universal Nutrition Juiced Aminos
Next on our best BCAA supplements list we have Juiced Aminos by the long lasting nutrition company Universal Nutrition. Like AminoLinx, this BCAA is intended to be taken WITH Universal Nutrition’s pre workout, animal rage.
On its own, Juiced Aminos would be effective if you took two scoops. But, this is assuming the prop blends contain a legitimate BCAA amount and ratio.
Aside from the BCAA mix, this supplement contains sustamine and two forms of carnitine. There is a lot of supporting research for sustamine. In addition, during your workout is when carnitine levels will be the lowest.
As a whole, we believe this BCAA is better than 9 and 10 if you are either taking 2 doses on its own, or stacking it with a pre workout.
#7 Cellucor Alpha Amino
Cellucor Alpha Amino is where the scale starts to tip into what we favor. In alpha amino, you KNOW that you are getting 5 grams of BCAAs (roughly at least, considering the 3X leucine blend contains things like leucine nitrate, so the weight of the nitrate is part of that 5 grams).
But still, we’ll take a known total amount over an unknown amount any day. The only downer is that we do not know the real BCAA ratio, as well as it only weighing in at 5 grams.
But still, when you consider some of the great sales Cellucor likes to offer, it is totally feasible to get Alpha Amino on a great sale to legitimate taking 2X servings and getting one heck of a workout.
The BCAA in Alpha Amino is only half the formula. In addition, you will find a 3 gram electrolyte matrix as well as 2.5 grams essential amino acids. This is a decent addition for energy and endurance purposes.
#6 Kaged Muscle In-Kaged
In-Kaged is a product that contains 5 grams of quality 2:1:1 ratio BCAAs on top of additional performance enhancing ingredients plus caffeine. This is a great intra-workout option for those who spend excess hours in the gym, and want that extra stimulant boost on top of BCAAs and pump ingredients.
Obviously, In-Kaged was designed to be taken with Kaged Muscles own pre workout, Pre-Kaged. When you consider taking these two as a combo, this raises the total BCAA to 9.5 grams 2:1:1, which is a powerful dose. The only drawback is ALL that caffeine between these two products, which well, catches up to you.
There are some better examples of this style of BCAA farther down the list which we prefer.
Top 5 Real BCAA Considerations for Male Bodybuilders and Athletes
Honestly, the above 5 BCAA supplements are not our taste. Sure, they are decent, and better than the vast majority of BCAA supplements out there. But when it comes down to what we CHOOSE to take, it’s all about that higher level. The BCAA supplements below ranked 1 to 5 are on that higher level, and really the primary focus of what we recommend for the best results.
You will notice that as we go, the actual BCAA content increases, the 2:1:1 ratio is prevalent, and artificial sweeteners and dyes lessen and lessen. These are the qualities we consider high quality. And it takes high quality supplements, high quality food, and high quality training in order to build a high quality body.
#5 Jym Supplement Science: Post Jym Active Matrix
Jim Stoppani’s Post Jym Active Matrix makes it onto our top BCAA list as a great post workout BCAA option.
Post Jym contains just about every possible add-on you can think of to take in addition to your standard post workout meal or protein shake. In Post Jym, you’ve got 6 grams of BCAAs, betaine, creatine HCL, carnitine, and more.
If you are on a crazy calorie restricted diet, this is a great post workout addition to your whey isolate protein shake. If you are simply looking to build awesome mass, this is a great addition to your post workout meal or mass gainer.
#4 – Metabolic Nutrition: Tri-Pep BCAA
Tri-Pep by Metabolic Nutrition is similar to BPI’s Best BCAA (#10) except for the fact that, well, it’s done right. Tri-Pep contains 10 grams of polysaccharide BCAAs per serving, and by their recommendations its perfect to take 2 servings, bringing your total intake to 20 grams (at 20 grams polysaccharides, we’d anticipate over 5 grams BCAAs).
This does get pricey, real pricey, considering that takes the serving size per tub down to 20. But, if taste means everything to you (polysaccharides taste better, possibly the reason they were brought to the market), and you do not mind artificial dyes or sucralose… This is a great option that does it much better than BPI.
As a whole though, we do prefer a guaranteed 6+ grams of confirmed BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio. It’s the gold standard. But, this is a good example of innovation which may lead to the next big step in BCAAs.
#3 – Carbon by Layne Norton: Recover
Carbon Recover is where our BCAA list starts to get very, very good. In this BCAA supplement, you get 8 whole grams of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio as well as 3 grams of citrulline malate, 1 gram of L-carnitine L-tartrate, and 480 mg tart cherry powder.
Compared to everything else we’ve covered on this top 10 BCAA list… Carbon Recover is a BCAA made for a king. By BCAA content alone, Carbon Recover is running laps around the lesser quantity BCAAs, all while maintaining the SAME PRICE RANGE.. Interesting, right?
There are only minor adjustments that can make Carbon Recover better, and those are what makes our #1 and #2 rated BCAAs that much better. But from where we are at, if you are looking for a great recovery BCAA, Layne Norton made this one just for you.
#2 Labrada: BCAA Power
Labrada earns our 2nd best BCAA supplement with its BCAA supplement simply named BCAA Power. In this formula, you will find 7 grams of fermented BCAAs in the optimal 2:1:1 ratio, 3 grams of fermented glutamine, 1 gram of coconut water, and an assortment of electrolytes which may or may not originate from the coconut water complex.
This is essentially one of the best BCAAs to take while working out, period.
As a whole, BCAA Power is awesome. Like Carbon Recover, it absolutely blows away every supplement we’ve already showed you – and by a lot. But, the best is yet to come with Transparent Labs own BCAA Glutamine.
#1 Transparent Labs: BCAA Glutamine
Don’t let the simple labeling deceive you, Transparent Labs products are the hot topic in the supplement industry as of their immergence in 2015. And like the legendary pre workouts (Bulk, Lean, Stim-Free) in Transparent Lab’s arsenal – BCAA glutamine is an absolute beast loaded with more value than any other product could ever dream of offering.
In BCAA Glutamine, you have a whole 8 grams of BCAAs in the 2:1:1 ratio, something that only Carbon Recover also has. But where Carbon Recover includes 3 grams of Citrulline Malate, Transparent Labs includes 5 grams of glutamine with a whole gram of coconut water powder.
And where Layne Norton’s Carbon Recover uses artificial dyes to make its BCAA look cool, Transparent Labs keeps things natural by never adding artificial colors that’s only purpose is advertising.
Again and again, BCAA Glutamine has won us over. The dosage is not only massive, but massively effective. There aren’t any harmful dyes or sweeteners. And simply put, Transparent Labs products work better than the competition. Go ahead and search out reviews, you will find the same thing.
If you would like to learn more about Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine, you can follow this link – BCAA Glutamine. Or, simply go to transparentlabs.com. When we shop there, we use the coupon code ‘save10’ for 10% off everything. It has worked for us since January.
For Questions or Comments about the Best BCAA (branch chain amino acid) Supplements for Men, start a conversation Below
The term Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAA, for short, refers to Leucine, Iso-Leucine, and Valine, which are the most important of the nine amino acids, which act to repair and rebuild muscle. When taken before and after your workouts, BCAAs can provide your body with fuel and help to jumpstart the muscle protein synthesis process for faster recovery, which in turn helps with faster results. If you’re a hard training athlete, BCAAs helps to enhance your sports performance, reduce muscle breakdown, and help to support weight loss. For vegetarians, or for those with food allergies or varying food intolerances can also benefit from our best bcaa supplements. For those of you who have never used a bcaa supplement before, we’ve taken the time, and done the research, to provide you with the top 10 best bcaa supplements on the market!