If there is a hot topic regarding men’s fitness issues, it has to be BCAAs – if you are reading this, you might be wondering what the best BCAA for men actually is.
They are gaining increasing popularity in the fitness world, and you probably have seen plenty of people endorsing them, as well as articles.
However, all the noise that surrounds them might make you wonder if they are worth the hype they getting, or whether you need to spend money on them.
The inherent risk of them failing to work for you will make you wonder the ones you can actually trust.
However, you should not fear using them anymore, because we have done all the hard work for you and compiled a comprehensive list of the best ones you can find.
For a quicker reference, here is a summary of the best five BCAA supplements.
If you are thinking about maximizing your brain advantages, you need to know a summary of BCAAs and what they are, what the best supplements are, and using them in your routine.
What are BCAA supplements?
Also referred to as Branched Chain Amino Acids, these are important nutrients that your body will get from the proteins you consume – including legumes, meat and dairy products.
They consist of a group of three essential amino acids; valine, isoleucine and leucine.
The body in turn, will need amino acids to make proteins, or changing proteins into muscle.
The body synthesizes the nonessential amino acids (which are 11), while it obtains the 9 essential amino acids (including BCAAs) from your diet. BCAAs are very important to the body because they bypass your liver, and that means they can enter your cells directly through the circulation of blood.
This means that they also reduce the time it takes for the body to break down molecules (the catabolic process), and improve the rebuilding of those molecules (the anabolic process).
In simple terms – they maximize the amount of muscle that your body builds after tearing it down during your workouts.
You usually take them so that you can increase the rate of your muscle growth, increase your stamina and improve your body’s endurance during exercise. In addition, they also help with reducing your fatigue and enhancing weight loss even after exercise.
What are these amino acids?
This is the primary strong component of the three amino acids, due to its status as the primary BCAA. Since it is the resident strongman, it will stimulate the process of protein synthesis, much more than the other two, which explains why it is more than the others in terms of ratios.
This is probably what you would call the ‘hard gainer’ of the trio. It plays an intermediary role more often than not, as it helps the muscles to take in more glucose and the body to use up more glucose for energy when you exercise, but the body will not rely on it much when doing muscle synthesis.
This is like the smallest kid in a trio of boys playing in the park – but what it lacks in protein synthesis, it makes up for it in smarts. It helps in enhancing cognitive functioning, as well as muscle recovery.
In summary, these three molecules play the following roles:
- Improve the rate of muscle synthesis, through the breaking down of products at higher rates, and then enhancing the optimal amounts of muscle in your body
- Helps you to maintain a lean muscle mass, even on those days you do not exercise. This is because studies show that they reduce the rate of atrophy in muscles you do not use much when you are out of the gym setting
- They improve your strength training and endurance, because they improve the adaptations of the neuromuscular system (the nerves and muscle connections) and allow the body to manage the stress better
- They help in recovery of the muscles, which reduces the soreness that accompanies intense physical training, and allow you to resume going to the gym faster
- They help in suppressing appetite, and staying lean
- They improve the balance of hormones, which allows the body to work for you
- While it is not clear, some studies suggest that they can also manage the levels of insulin in the body and help you avoid Type 2 diabetes in the long term.
Is there an ideal ratio?
You might be wondering why this question even exists, especially because you just want to take them and go to the gym to lift some weights.
However, the information is important to help you know what you are actually taking and why.
Many BCAA supplements will have a mix of the three essential amino acids. However, there are others that will have only Leucine, although this has some disadvantages. They have a bitter taste, while they do not give you the many benefits that are described above.
Leucine, however, is king among the three ingredients, and will be listed first in the ratios you see. For instance, a 10:1:1 ratio denotes there are 10 parts of leucine to one part each of valine and isoleucine.
The best ones to pick are usually those that have 2 or 3 parts of leucine, then one part each of isoleucine and valine. A very high quantity of leucine is unnecessary though, unless you are looking forward to having insane muscles like wrestling or competitive bodybuilding types. So, consider looking for those with a ratio of 2:1:1, 3:1:1 or 4:1:1.
Are there any side effects?
As with all chemicals you put into your body, there are some chances that negative reactions will happen. However, it is best to be aware of all the risks – you do not want to put your health and body in danger, just because you want the maximum benefits.
The good news is that these supplements are mostly harmless, although there are specific instances when you should be avoiding them. They are:
- If you are a woman, and you are breastfeeding or pregnant – there is insufficient research on the safety levels
- Avoid using them if you are under 18 years old
- For both men and women, it is best to avoid these supplements when you are heading into surgery. This is because they will alter the blood sugar levels, so make sure to stop taking them a few weeks before surgery begins.
How do I choose them then?
You are probably reading this and thinking, “well, this information is nice and all, but how do I choose the one that is best for me?” you are not alone in this. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide:
✅ Select the one that is the most convenient for you and your situation. For most people, the powder form of the supplements is the most convenient, although BCAAs also come in form of capsules and tablets. Consider your own preferences – if you like flavored water, then you can choose the powder form, but if non-flavored water is your type, then you can choose the pills.
✅ Always select a solid ration, mostly 2:1:1, 3:1:1, or 4:1:1
✅ Always note the ingredient composition, even if it may not seem important at first. Never select supplements that have a bunch of filler ingredients and additives, and always choose the ones with the most natural ingredients. You do not want to further raise your health risk through unnecessary chemicals and sugars, so keep that in mind.
✅ The supplement must be easily absorbable by the body. For instance, if you like warming up before your workout begins, you need a BCAA that the body can absorb when you do mild activity, and you can enhance the benefits you get from the supplement.
✅ It needs to be affordable for you. A supplement can satisfy all the previous criteria above and end up being too expensive for you, so you can substitute it for something else. No need to be poor on the quest to get a better body and a healthier lifestyle, friends. However, there is no need to choose something that is too cheap either; you do not want to risk compromising your progress because of cost factors and taking in low quality supplements.
The top BCAA supplements
1- EvoSport BCAA Branched chain amino acid tablets
If you are just starting out in the world of fitness and want to build your muscle but have no idea where to begin, this is a great pick for you. Since the ratio of the amino acids is at 2:1:1, it will likely work well for you when you are just starting out and maximize your recovery rates.
The dose of each amino acid is also reasonable for someone starting out. The total amount of BCAAs you are taking is about 600mg, which consists of 300mg leucine, 150mg valine and 150mg isoleucine, and comes in the form of tablets if you do not like the idea of drinking flavored water after your workout.
Things to note:
➡️ Has a BCAA ratio of 2:1:1
➡️ Serving size per day is one to four tablets, depending on your doctor’s prescription
➡️ Has 4g of Vitamin B6, which reduces tiredness and improves your stamina levels
➡️ The amounts of leucine, isoleucine and valine respectively are 300mg, 150mg and 150mg
➡️ No added sugars or carbs, only using ingredients such as Magnesium stearate to help it last longer (but they are not harmful to the body).
2 – Evlution Nutrition BCAA5000
This is another BCAA supplement that can boost your muscle endurance, coming in the form of capsules that are easy to take even when you are on the go.
The formula is great enough to support a multitude of functions – body recovery, synthesis of protein, muscle repairs and lean mass, helping you achieve a better and healthier body.
Similar to most supplements on the list, it has a 2:1:1: ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine, and the ingredients that are in use are of the highest quality to give you the best experience possible. The total dose is about 5 grams, which is a reasonable dose to take for an average individual – unless you plan to be involved in competitive bodybuilding, which will make you go for stronger formulas.
Things to note:
➡️ Always take it between meals, and 30 to 45 minutes before your exercise session
➡️ The daily serving is one to three capsules
➡️ Comes in a 2:1:1 ratio, which means it contains 2.5g of leucine, and 1.25g of isoleucine and valine respectively.
➡️ If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are under medication, avoid taking the supplement.
3- BulkSupplements Pure BCAA 3:1:2
This is sort of like the supplement you are never 100% sure about in terms of the effects and benefits it has. That is not necessarily a bad ting though, and the reason could be its employment of the 3:1:2 ration, which is not common in BCAAs supplements.
The ratio it uses means that you have an increasing chance of faster synthesis of muscle protein, as well as faster recovery time. It contains no artificial ingredients, in case you are concerned about that – while it may not have the nicest taste, you will gain the muscle you have always wanted.
Bottom line is: if your interest is gaining muscle at elite levels, as well as getting optimal levels of body strength and leanness, maybe this product is going to work perfectly for you.
Things to note:
➡️ The ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine is 3:1:2
➡️ Because of the leucine, it may have a bitter taste that you do not like. Dilute it in fruit purees or smoothies to remove the taste
➡️ For the best results, it is best to take it 20 to 30 minutes before your exercise session, whether mild or intense
➡️ The daily dose is 1500mg, and you take one tablet three times a day
4- BPI Sports best BCAA
All of the supplements we mentioned above have quite the unpleasant taste – but this one is different. After all, who would not want their supplements to taste good? No one, and we are sure you count yourself among the many.
Not only does this supplement contains the best trio of the essential amino gang in the mix, but also comes with a blend of avocado oil powder, safflower oil powder, and coconut oil powder.
In addition, there is quite the interesting ingredient in form of agmantine, which will significantly boost your energy between workouts, mental awareness, muscle pumps, and healthy sensitivity to insulin – making it important in warding off Type 2 Diabetes.
Like many of the BCAA supplements you will find, it has a ratio of 2:1:1 – although you should note that you will require two scoops to achieve the daily recommended amounts of each BCAA.
If you are a fan of diverse flavors, you will be pleased to hear that this product comes in three flavors: blue raspberry, fruit punch, and arctic ice. In case you are searching for the elusive 1% to convince you to pick a BCAA supplement, try this one and see how well it works for you.
Things to note:
➡️ Comes in three flavors
➡️ The BCAA ratio is 2:1:1
➡️ Contains agmantine that helps in muscle recovery and appetite suppression, as well as powder from coconut oil, avocado oil and safflower oil
All this information can be quite overwhelming if you have never thought about it before – but the summary is that a combination of healthy nutrition, exercise routine, and intake of BCAAs will help you achieve the results you want.
They are a good thing to try, especially if you are looking to bulk your body in the long term.
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