Clean BCAA Capsules Continue to Show the Way
BCAA supplements are one of the most convenient bodybuilding products because they help you remain in an anabolic state anytime, anywhere.
The Best BCAA Supplements of 2020 feature clean and science-backed formulations which help you achieve your fitness goals and boost your long-term health.
Whether they come in capsule or powder form, they help you gain a much-needed edge in and out of the gym.
Quick List: Best BCAA Supplements 2020 Edition
The best BCAA supplements combine ingredients into “stacks” that deliver superior long-term results.
More on these later, but for now here is a quick list of The Best BCAA Supplements:
|#1. Performance Lab Sport BCAA – Our top-rated standalone BCAA supplement with a 2:1:1 ratio. It features a clean formulation and superior bioavailability. Performance Lab website|
|#2. Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules – One of the rare BCAA supplements which use AJIPURE® amino acids. This ensures customers of superior quality. It’s one of the top BCAA supplements on Labdoor.com. Do Vitamins website|
|#3. GAT Sport FLEXX BCAAs – You can’t go wrong with its seven grams of BCAAs per scoop. Plus, it has the fat-burning amino acid l-carnitine. GAT Sport website|
|#4. Labrada BCAA POWER – Another top-notch product with seven grams of fermented BCAAs per serving. It’s also one of the best-tasting BCAA supplements on the market. Labrada website|
|#5. KAGED MUSCLE BCAA 2:1:1 – Features first-rate fermented BCAAs which suit vegans and vegetarians KAGED MUSCLE website|
Or, read on to learn about the trends, ingredients, and other pertinent facts about the Best BCAA Supplements.
Why BCAA Supplements are in Demand in 2020
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are among the most versatile – if not the most versatile – bodybuilding supplements.
Bear in mind amino acids are the building blocks of protein. You can’t build serious muscle mass without amino acids.
For their part, BCAAs are essential amino acids. This means the body cannot synthesize or produce them – you must obtain them from whole food sources such as beef, chicken breast, tuna, salmon, tilapia, turkey breast, eggs, and peanuts. Supplements also help tremendously.
Moreover, amino acids are the focal point of strength and fitness programs. They help you achieve a variety of fitness goals which include strength, power, endurance, and stamina. Here are their general fitness benefits:
- Increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS)
- Ramp up muscles’ energy levels during vigorous exercise
- Increase muscle growth via the mTOR pathway
- Facilitate the muscle recovery process
There are three kinds of BCAAs. Let’s break them down further.
L-leucine (or simply leucine) is the undisputed king of BCAAs. The reason is simple: it is the most anabolic amino acid because it helps kickstart the muscle protein synthesis (MPS) process.
If you want to produce maximum results, make sure to exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and consume ample leucine from foods and supplements. It’s crucial to replenish your leucine supplies regularly because they diminish when you exercise.
A typical BCAA supplement contains twice the amount of leucine than the other BCAAs, l-isoleucine and l-valine (following the traditional 2:1:1 BCAA ratio). The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for leucine is 14 mg/kg/day for adults. BCAA supplements should help you achieve that goal.
If leucine helps you muscle up, l-isoleucine (or simply isoleucine) helps ramp up endurance and repair muscle tissue – two important exercise benefits.
The body breaks down isoleucine for energy inside the muscle tissues. This is a BCAA which can help you exercise longer and harder.
Isoleucine also helps keep muscle wasting at bay, maintain a positive nitrogen balance (for more muslce growth), and regulate blood sugar levels.
L-valine completes the BCAA triumvirate. Just like l-isoleucine, l-valine helps increase endurance and repair muscle tissue. The latter has other important benefits:
- Improves sleep quality
- Quells anxiety
- Suppresses appetite (for more fat loss)
- Increases muscle mass
Clearly, all three BCAAs are versatile. They help you achieve an assortment of fitness goals.
Whether you’re into strength training, high-interval intensity (HIIT) training, fasted training, CrossFit, BODYPUMP, or marathons, BCAA supplementation can take your performance to the next level.
The takeaway: BCAAs’ versatility make them one of the most in-demand supplements in the bodybuilding industry. We don’t see that trend changing in 2020 and beyond.
What Do People Expect from BCAA Supplements in 2020?
We said it before, we’ll say it again: standalone BCAAs are excellent bodybuilding supplement ingredients. Unfortunately, manufacturers included BCAAs with fat burners, pre-workout ingredients, and stimulants in some of their products in the recent past.
While this may work perfectly for some individuals, the chances of experiencing unwanted side effects increase when there are too many ingredients (especially harsh “other ingredients”).
On the flip side, more customers appreciate standalone BCAA products. Sticking to BCAAs helps preserve the dosage of each amino acid. Too many ingredients may compromise their dosage levels.
When they reap the full benefits of BCAAs, they can help take their performance at the gym to the next level. They’re confident they will achieve their long-term fitness goals.
With that in mind, expect many consumers to seek out standalone BCAA products this year. For them, more isn’t necessarily better. In fact, they love keeping it simple.
Like we earlier mentioned, today’s BCAA supplements feature a 2:1:1 BCAA ratio. That’s two servings of l-leucine and one serving each of l-isoleucine and l-valine.
Here’s the key: that ratio represents the ratio which is in human muscle tissue.
According to the April 2017 issue of Nutrition (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov), “appropriate BCAA ratios could…also mediate the key regulators related to protein metabolism including the mTORC1 pathway.”
While the study didn’t specify the appropriate BCAA ratio, a 2:1:1 ratio should suffice. The reason: a majority of modern science-backed BCAA supplements stick to this ratio.
Customers aren’t complaining, either: it’s the ratio which gives them the best possible results.
Like other bodybuilding supplements, BCAA products can get a bad rap because of their filler and harsh ingredient content.
Whenever finicky customers spot a questionable stimulant, artificial food coloring, and the like, they tend to back off. We don’t blame them. We don’t want them in any supplement, either.
Some manufacturers include second-rate components so they can gain an edge over the competition. They include dirty ingredients to make the supplement taste better at the expense of the customer’s long-term health.
Fortunately, some companies have dignity – they believe simplicity is the key when formulating BCAA supplements. We’re glad the best BCAA products boast of clean formulations
What’s the use of consuming a supplement if your body cannot absorb the ingredients efficiently? Everything will go for naught. You’re just wasting your time and money.
On the other hand, BCAA supplements which have excellent bioavailability allow you to reap their full long-term benefits. Some of them rely on advanced delivery forms.
Case in point: the inclusion of BioPerine® black pepper fruit extract. Doing so allows your body to absorb the nutrients more efficiently.
When this happens, expect fewer side effects (bloating, gas, indigestion, etc.) to occur. You can’t ask for anything more than that.
Quality BCAA Sources
You can find BCAAs mostly in animal products. With that in mind, many BCAA supplements have animal origins.
Here’s the harsh reality: many sleazy manufacturers derive their BCAA components from animal products such as duck feathers. We pointed this out in our Labrada BCAA POWER review.
On the other hand, some companies derive their BCAA supplements from Chinese corn. It may sound good at first, but some food products from China may contain toxins and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).
Savvy consumers want their BCAAs simple and clean. Fermented BCAAs which manufacturers derive from sunflowers and other plants quickly come to mind.
Long story short, fermented and plant-based BCAAs are clean and premium forms customers should look for this year. Not only do they exude quality, but they also have excellent bioavailability. They’re worthy of a spot on your supplement stack over the long haul.
Many BCAA supplements come in the traditional powdered form. Many customers prefer this form because some of these products have refreshing tastes and tremendous health benefits.
You can’t blame them. It’s hard to pass up on, say, a raspberry-flavored BCAA supplement which quenches your thirst and helps you remain in an anabolic state.
Unfortunately, these great-tasting BCAA products may also contain fillers such as the aforementioned artificial food colorings (FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 6, etc.).
Some manufacturers taint their supplements with these dirty ingredients and synthetic flavors so they could please their customers’ taste buds. Good for you if you have a go-to BCAA product in powdered form without these harsh additives.
On that note, expect a paradigm shift: BCAA capsules.
Realistically, there aren’t many BCAA capsules on the market – not yet, anyway. However, they have certain advantages in terms of convenience. For one, you can carry them in your pocket.
You can also take them with a pre-workout, intra-workout, or post-workout supplement at your convenience.
Finally, BCAA capsules have a cleaner ingredient profile than their powdered counterparts. You won’t find any BCAA capsules with artificial food colorings in your bodybuilding supplement store shelves.
Plus, manufacturers use high-quality capsules for better absorption and digestion. The key takeaway: if you want to get the most out of your BCAA supplement, try it in capsule form.
How Best 5 Supplements Rates and Ranks the Best BCAA Supplements of 2020
For general information on purchasing high-quality supplements, please check out the Best 5 How to Buy a Good Supplement guide. In terms of the Best BCAA Supplements in particular, here are the criteria we used in our ratings:
- Combinations: BCAA supplements which stand out rely on superior stacking for superior results.
- Healthy: The best BCAA supplements on the market look out for their customers’ long-term health.
- Quality: BCAA products which use premium and branded ingredient forms usually stand out from the rest of the field.
- Research: Science-backed supplements not only produce great results, but they also earn the respect of consumers.
- Service: Great bodybuilding supplement companies aren’t just about great products; their customer service also excels in terms of customer care, shipping, returns, and money-back guarantees.
- Value: The best BCAA supplements give customers the fastest return on their long-term investment.
- Cleanliness: We prefer BCAA products without fillers, dirty components, and harsh “other ingredients.”
We also take into account which companies have a strong online presence and good reputation. These manufacturers stand behind their products.
Best BCAA Supplements – 2020 Edition
#1: Performance Lab SPORT BCAA
Our top-ranked BCAA supplement of 2020 is the epitome of a clean and simple standalone product which should make a tremendous impact. One four-capsule serving yields three grams of BCAAs on a 2:1:1 ratio.
That may seem simple enough. However, consider the fact the manufacturer uses a highly-absorbable form of BCAAs which it naturally fermented from sunflowers.
To top it all off, the company uses Plantcaps® pullulan capsules which have key amounts of prebiotics for excellent bioavailability and improved gut function.
Truly, Performance Lab SPORT BCAA steers from the norm of filler-laden bodybuilding supplements. It’s one of the reasons it deserves the top spot in our rankings.
Performance Lab SPORT BCAA Summary
|Advanced Ingredients: BCAA 2:1:1 (fermented from sunflower lecithin) 3000 mg (l-leucine 1500 mg, l-isoleucine 750 mg, l-valine 750 mg)|
|Clean Label: Yes. Performance Lab SPORT BCAA is one of the cleanest – if not the cleanest – BCAA supplement on the market this year.|
|Advanced Delivery: Yes. The manufacturer uses Plantcaps® pullulan capsules for improved absorption and better long-term results.|
|Price: $25 for one box (120 capsules; 30 servings)|
|Any Deals? Yes. You can buy two boxes (240 capsules) for $47.50 (five percent savings). You can also buy three boxes (360 capsules) for $67.50 (10 percent savings).|
|Service: 24/7 customer service (receive an e-mail response within 30 minutes), seven-day returns policy|
|Official Website: https://www.performancelab.com|
|Read our in-depth Performance Lab SPORT BCAA review|
#2: Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules
Another BCAA capsule supplement takes the No. 2 spot. Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules contain “no animal products and no fillers. Made from pure pharmaceutical-grade vegetarian amino acids, Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules are the highest-quality, highest-purity branched-chain amino acids in the world,” per its official website.
This product’s 2.1 grams of BCAAs per three-capsule serving may pale in comparison to many competitors, but it makes up for it in terms of quality – it features AJIPURE® amino acids and Vcaps® Plus vegetarian capsules for improved absorption. In addition, its label boasts of Labdoor.com quality assurance. It’s non-GMO, certified vegan, and certified paleo friendly as well.
The bottom line: Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules is one of the highest-quality BCAA supplements. Make no mistake about it.
Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules Summary
|Ingredients: L-leucine (Ajipure®) 1050 mg, L-isoleucine (Ajipure®) 525 mg, L-valine (Ajipure®) 525 mg, Vcaps® Plus vegetarian capsule (hypromellose)|
|Clean Label: Yes. This is one BCAA supplement which is clean from top to bottom.|
|Advanced Delivery: Yes. Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules utilizes Vcaps® Plus vegetarian capsules improve nutrient absorption and performance.|
|Price: $24.95 for a 90-capsule bottle|
|Any Deals? Yes. Free shipping on orders over $75. Receive a 10 percent discount gift card valid on your first order when you subscribe to the company’s newsletter. The company also offers re-order, military, and other service discounts.|
|Service: Customer service e-mail and five-star return policy|
|Official Website: https://dovitamins.com|
|Read our in-depth Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules review|
#3: GAT Sport FLEXX BCAAs
The famous bodybuilder Sadik Hadzovic has one of the most impressive physiques today. We daresay his body resembles Golden Era of Bodybuilding legend Frank Zane’s. His aesthetics (not to mention work ethic) are off the charts.
Hadzovic also endorses GAT Sport FLEXX BCAAs, one of the most well-rounded BCAA formulations on the market. It has a tremendous seven grams of BCAAs and 3.5 grams of l-leucine per 11.5-gram serving. We’re certain these will help you muscle up and conquer your workouts day in and day out.
It doesn’t stop there: GAT Sport FLEXX BCAAs also has 500 milligrams each of the fat-burning amino acid l-carnitine and coconut water powder. Plus, it has key amounts of vitamin B6 (176 percent of the daily value) and vitamin B12 (292 percent of the daily value).
No wonder Sadik Hadzovic is such an impressive bodybuilder – GAT Sport FLEXX BCAAs helps him crank out more reps and remain in an anabolic state. It’s simply a must for any hard-training individual.
GAT Sport FLEXX BCAAs Summary
|Ingredients: Carbohydrate 3 g, Vitamin B6 3 g, Vitamin B12 7 mcg, Sodium 40 mg, Potassium 56 mg, BCAA Matrix 2:1:1 7 g, L-Leucine 3.5 g, L-Isoleucine 1.75 g, L-Valine 1.75 g, L-Carnitine 500 mg, Coconut Water Powder 500 mg|
|Clean Label: No. Other ingredients include: Natural and Artificial Flavor, Malic Acid, Maltodextrin, Sucralose, Silicon Dioxide, Acesulfame-K.|
|Advanced Delivery: No. The company uses regular supplement powder.|
|Price: $29.99 for a 345-gram container (30-day supply)|
|Any Deals? Yes. Free shipping on orders of at least $40 within the continental U.S.|
|Service: Customer service e-mail and hotline, 30-day return policy|
|Official Website: http://www.gatsport.com|
|Read our in-depth GAT Sport FLEXX BCAAs review|
#4: Labrada BCAA POWER
Meet another unique and versatile BCAA supplement: Labrada BCAA POWER. If the name rings a bell, it’s the signature BCAA product of LABRADA Nutrition (bodybuilding legend Lee Labrada is the CEO).
Just like GAT Sport FLEXX BCAAs, Labrada BCAA POWER also has an impressive seven grams of branched-chain amino acids per serving on a 2:1:1 BCAA ratio. The latter also has a solid 3.5 grams of muscle-building l-leucine per 14-gram scoop.
The manufacturer takes pride in its clean fermented BCAA content. Because LABRADA nutrition ferments its BCAAs in its pharmaceutical laboratories, “The result is a higher-quality, allergen-free, and more efficacious amino acid,” per its official website. There’s no way you will find any duck-feathered-sourced BCAA in this product.
Plus, it has three grams of fermented l-glutamine per serving. It’s also one of the tastiest BCAA supplements on the market. It won’t surprise us one bit if Labrada BCAA POWER gains serious traction this year and beyond.
Labrada BCAA POWER Summary
|Ingredients: Calcium 35 mg, Magnesium 4 mg Sodium 15 mg 1% Potassium 30 mg 1% Fermented Branched Chain Amino Acid Complex 2:1:1 7 g Fermented Leucine 3.5 g Fermented Isoeleucine 1.75 g, Fermented Valine 1.75 g, Fermented L-Glutamine 3 g Coconut Water, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Coconut Oil Creamer|
|Clean Label: No. Labrada BCAA POWER contains the artificial sweetener sucralose.|
|Advanced Delivery: No. The manufacturer uses regular BCAA powder.|
|Price: $23.52 for a 417-gram container (30 servings, currently on sale on manufacturer’s official website)|
|Any Deals? Yes. Earn 10 rewards points for every $1 you spend on Labrada.com. You also earn rewards points by referring a friend. The Labrada Subscribe & Save Program allows you to receive your product when you want it with an additional five percent off. When you purchase $100 worth of items (after any coupon discount) on Labrada.com, you receive free shipping.|
|Service: Customer service e-mail and hotline, 30-day return policy|
|Official Website: https://www.labrada.com|
|Read our in-depth Labrada BCAA POWER review|
#5: KAGED MUSCLE BCAA 2:1:1
We’re officially including KAGED MUSCLE CEO Kris Gethin as one of the minds behind B5’s Best BCAA Supplements. His KAGED MUSCLE BCAA 2:1:1’s five grams of branched-chain amino acids and 2.5 grams of l-leucine per serving should help you achieve your muscle-building goals in and out of the gym.
Gethin is confident KAGED MUSCLE BCAA 2:1:1 will increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and keep muscle breakdown at bay, per the company’s official website. We agree wholeheartedly.
This product’s fermented BCAA content is perfect for vegans and vegetarians alike. There’s no question it’s one of those no-fuss, no-frills supplements. KAGED MUSCLE BCAA 2:1:1 is a simple and clean standalone BCAA product which should resonate well with many customers.
KAGED MUSCLE BCAA 2:1:1 Summary
|Ingredients: L-Leucine (Fermented) 2.5 g, L-Isoleucine (Fermented) 1.25 g, L-Valine (Fermented) 1.25 g|
|Clean Label: Yes. KAGED MUSCLE BCAA 2:1:1 is clean from top to bottom.|
|Advanced Delivery: No. The manufacturer uses regular BCAA powder.|
|Price: $18.87 for a 200-gram (36-serving) container|
|Any Deals? Yes. KAGED MUSCLE’s Military and First Responder Program offers discounts to military personnel, firefighters, law enforcement, and emergency medical personnel.|
|Service: Customer service hotline and e-mail, return policy, and 30-day money-back guarantee|
|Official Website: https://www.kagedmuscle.com|
|Read our in-depth KAGED MUSCLE BCAA 2:1:1 review|
Conclusion on the Best BCAA Supplements of 2020
It bears repeating. This year represents a paradigm shift in the BCAA category of bodybuilding supplements.
If you’re accustomed to the traditional powder form, you’re in for a shock: BCAA capsules should make a big impact in 2020 and the foreseeable future.
Moreover, the Best BCAA Supplements represent top-notch formulations which should help you achieve your short- and long-term fitness goals. You can’t go wrong with any of these five products, that’s for sure.