It’s no secret that BCAAs are some of the best supplements around. Out of the 20 amino acids in your body, the three standouts are branched chain amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Why are they important? Well, they:
- Make up most of the amino acid pool
- Contribute to protein synthesis
- Help you recover from exercise.
- They’re also essential, which means you need to get them from your diet.
Keeping that pool of amino acids full helps us put on muscle, manage weight, and control recovery.
Research shows that taking BCAAs around your workout triggers anabolic processes such as muscle growth.
Normally, your body starts rebuilding hours after your workout when you eat a healthy, balanced meal. Nutrients from food fill in the gaps created by workout-induced breakdown.
BCAAs provided targeted nutrients – amino acids, to be exact – to signal recovery sooner. They get straight to the source of the problem, helping you recover from workouts more quickly and stay in a positive protein balance.
Therefore, BCAAs are the perfect supplement to complement your peri-workout nutrition. Unfortunately, a large majority of them contain artificial sweeteners and synthetic ingredients.
It might not seem that bad at first glance. When you take a deeper dive, however, artificial ingredients are detrimental to your gains.
We’re here to talk all things BCAA, artificial additives, and how you can find the best BCAA supplement without artificial sweeteners or ingredients.
But first – why should you care about limiting artificial ingredients?
The real issue with BCAAs are artificial sweeteners and additives
The demonization of sugar caused a surge in artificial sweeteners.
And for good reason – sugars aren’t great for you. (Except, ironically, around tough workouts, which begs the question why we’re putting artificial sweeteners in workout supplements in the first place. But I digress.)
So what’s the story with artificial ingredients?
All types of artificial sweeteners have been shown to induce glucose intolerance. Strangely enough, they’re not really metabolized by human digestive systems.
Instead, it’s postulated that artificial sweeteners negatively affect your gut microbiome. By doing so, they negatively affect your ability to metabolize other nutrients normally.
In 2014, researchers in Israel found that, indeed, artificial sweeteners deregulate metabolism and lead to glucose intolerance. Within the lab, they could elevate blood sugar simply by transplanting microbes from rats who ate artificial sweeteners to those who never even touched them.
Another group of researchers at Georgia State University studied similar effects of other artificial ingredients, such as emulsifiers. They found that added chemicals negatively affected health, resulting in obesity and metabolic issues. In mice sensitive to inflammatory gut disease, these emulsifiers increased incidences of inflammatory bowel disease, furthering their digestive issues.
Why do BCAAs have artificial sweeteners anyway?
That’s a great question. The only people who truly know are individual supplement companies.
But my guess is this – a large majority are designed to be drinks.
Just a quick Google search shows four out of the top five BCAA results are powders mixed with artificial ingredients (such as sweeteners, which often involve crazy amounts of ‘E’ numbers). Clearly most BCAA supplements are designed to be delicious post-workout treats.
Again, this comes back to the sugar issue. People want to drink something that tastes good (just ask the early protein shakes), but they don’t want added calories and extra sugar. Little do they know, artificial ingredients can trigger the exact problems consumers are trying to avoid.
So how do you avoid artificial ingredients?
Well, you have two options, really. You can drink a BCAA supplement that tastes terrible, or choose a different method – capsules.
We prefer capsules. They’re quick and painless, don’t require any extra equipment, and are no more complicated than taking your daily multivitamin.
Since you don’t ‘taste’ capsules, companies don’t add any artificial sweeteners or flavors into BCAAs that come in pills. Which is why we now only choose BCAAs that come in this form.
So, without further ado, here’s our pick for best BCAA supplement without artificial ingredients.
The Best BCAA supplement without artificial sweeteners or ingredients
*You can only buy Performance Lab BCAA from their office website:
– www.PerformanceLab.com –
Performance Lab BCAA ferments plants, particularly sunflower lecithin, to make a BCAA concoction identical to real food. This way, your aminos are easily accepted by the digestive system (including gut microbiota) for easy absorption.
Every supplement at Performance Lab is GMO-free, additive-free, gluten-free, and risk-free. Every single product they release is lab-tested for quality and purity, so you can rest assured you’re getting only the ingredients promised. They’ll soon be featured on the Informed Sport list, a quality assurance program that audits supplements for consumers.
The Performance Lab difference – Does it work?
On top of elite ingredient quality, Performance Lab BCAA really works. Their formula includes research-proven levels of leucine, isoleucine, and valine – with twice the amount of leucine for best results. Within their capsules, you’ll find all of these benefits:
- Enhanced protein synthesis for muscle and tissue growth
- Reduced fatigue by blocking tryptophan
- Energy production without glycogen (great for intense training)
- Triggered release of IGF-1 growth hormone
- Improved immune system
- Quicker uptake of amino acids directly in to your muscles
They’ve gone the extra mile to conduct extensive research on their product for your review. Just visit their website and learn more.
With Performance Lab BCAA, you get all of the above without the dangers of artificial sweeteners and ingredients. Sounds like a rare win-win.
Final thoughts: Avoid BCAAs in powder form. Capsules are the way forward.
Athletes, casual exercisers, aging populations, and more can benefit from a great BCAA.
Despite good intentions, the artificial ingredients in most BCAAs knock their power down a few notches. BCAAs that come in capsules, such as Performance Lab’s BCAA, solve this issue.
I mean, even ice cream has protein in it, but is it the best dietary choice around your workouts? It’s hard to argue there are better choices than dessert. Why not pick the best choice for your BCAA as well?
Performance Lab’s supplements stand out in ingredient quality and manufacturing methods. Their BCAA is a no-frills, no-additive, yet effective way to get your amino acids in.
Even better, a 30 day supply costs just $25, and the prices go down as you buy in bulk. Sounds like a company that believes in natural ingredients and putting their customer’s first.