Finding an effective BCAA supplement these days can be quite challenging.
Not because there is a lack of quality, but rather there is way too much competition.
BCAA supplements provide many benefits but they are often paired with random ingredients that may not suit your specific needs.
Caffeine is one of these ingredients.
While there are many benefits to consuming caffeine, that doesn’t mean that you want it mixed in with everything!
In this article we are going to take a look at the best BCAA without caffeine that is available to buy in 2020.
What are BCAAs?
BCAAs stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids, specifically three amino acids known as leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
These three branched chain amino acids can be found in a lot of the protein that you consume through your diet. They are a crucial part of muscle growth and strength increases and they are vital for muscle protein synthesis.
For people whose protein intake is very low (vegetarians, vegans, people on very low-calorie diets) BCAAs can be excellent at preserving muscle and may also help with muscle growth.
However, BCAA supplements are not just about building muscle, they have many other functions. This is where people who dismiss BCAA supplements are wrong; there are many benefits associated with taking BCAAs that make supplementation worthwhile.
Benefits of BCAAs
Stimulates protein synthesis
The most commonly mentioned benefit of taking BCAAs is that they can help stimulate protein synthesis in people whose protein intake is below average. This is a perfectly legitimate benefit and is wrongly overlooked by certain critics.
Protein synthesis aside, there is one main benefit of taking BCAAs for everyone. This forms an umbrella that several other benefits fall under…
…BCAAs have been shown to have anti-fatiguing & weight loss properties.
This means that taking BCAAs can increase exercise duration, helping you to build strength, increase muscle size, and even burn more calories leading to weight loss.
A 2011 study in the Journal of Sports Medicine & Physical Fitness found that BCAA supplementation led to increased fatigue resistance as well as increased fat oxidation during exercise . This means that supplementing with BCAAs can help you train longer and burn more fat than you would ordinarily.
Improved aerobic performance & reaction time
Other studies have found that taking BCAAs can improve your aerobic performance as well as your reaction time. Making BCAAs a perfect supplement for sportsmen and women.
Another benefit associated with BCAA supplementation is a reduction in perceived exertion during exercise. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is how difficult you feel an exercise is, and we use a scale from 1 to 10 (there are other scales that use different start and end points but this is the most simple) with 1 being not difficult at all and 10 being “I can’t do this for one second longer”.
A 1997 study by Blomstrand et al found that cyclists who supplemented with BCAAs saw a significant reduction in their RPE scores . This could be due to the effect that BCAAs have on fatigue: the fresher you feel, the less exercise is going to hurt.
BCAAs may also help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout
There is currently a lot of research looking into this. However, the results have been mixed, with some studies finding that BCAAs do reduce post-workout soreness while other studies finding no significant difference compared to a placebo. Anecdotally, many lifters swear that they feel less pain the next day when taking BCAA supplements.
Why Caffeine and BCAAs don’t always mix
The thing is, a caffeinated BCAA supplement is not a bad supplement, we do not want to give that impression.
Caffeine has many benefits for sports performance, cognition, and even fat loss.
A combination of BCAAs and caffeine would help you to train hard and concentrate better, as well as potentially helping you burn a few more calories.
However, not everybody wants caffeine combined with BCAAs.
There are several reasons for this: Firstly, if you are avoiding caffeine so that you can build up your tolerance again then you would absolutely want to avoid BCAAs with caffeine. In fact, you may be taking the BCAAs instead of caffeine because of their anti-fatiguing effects.
Another reason would be that you are already consuming enough caffeine as it is.
If your pre-workout contains 300mg of caffeine, then you certainly don’t want your BCAA supplement to contain even more caffeine!
Caffeine can also have some unwanted side-effects, particularly if you are sensitive. Nausea, headaches, jitters, heart palpitations, and an upset stomach are all well-known side effects of caffeine.
Luckily, there are a number of very good BCAA supplements that avoid caffeine.
We are now going to take a look at what is (in our opinion) the best caffeine-free BCAA supplement on the market in 2020. Performance Lab Sport BCAA.
Introducing Performance Lab Sport BCAA
*To Buy, Visit: www.performancelab.com/products/bcaa
Performance Lab is a respected established supplement company that prides itself on the high quality of its products.
Their supplements are split into two groups; the CORE range which targets your general health and vitality, while the SPORT range focuses on the traditional sport supplements products.
Their BCAA supplement is part of the sport range.
The main thing about Performance Lab BCAA is that it’s pure; it is not packed full of “filler” ingredients.Performance Lab BCAA trusts that the original three branched chain amino acids are going to be effective enough to yield excellent results.
Each serving contains 3000mg of BCAAs split into a traditional 2:1:1 ratio of L-Leucine (1500mg), L-Isoleucine (750mg), L-Valine (750mg).
The BCAAs that Performance Lab use are made from fermented sunflower lecithin and, as mentioned above, are split into the 2:1:1 ratio where there is double the amount of leucine as there is isoleucine or valine.
The reason for this is that multiple studies have found that this ratio is most effective for muscle protein synthesis. The use of sunflower lecithin is excellent as it is very easy to digest and has a high biodiversity when compared to other common BCAA sources.
The capsules are made from Plantcaps®, a 100% natural and vegan friendly product that also helps with digestion. They are made from fermented tapioca and are prebiotic-infused – other companies often use gelatin or HPMC/cellulose which aren’t beneficial for you.
What we like about Performance Lab Sport BCAA
The first thing that we like about Performance Lab Sport BCAA is the fact that they have use high-quality ingredients to make their BCAAs. There is a lot of misinformation about where most supplements companies get their BCAAs from, but Performance Lab have been completely open about this.
100% Natural, Vegan-Friendly & Easily Digestible
Sunflower Lecithin is a fantastic source of BCAAs, it is natural, vegan-friendly, and it is also easily digestible. The Plantcaps® capsules are also a nice touch, sticking with easily digestible, vegan-friendly, capsules that come from plant sources will keep everyone happy.
See, it’s little touches like this that make a big difference.
Scientifically-Backed 2:1:1 Ratio & 30 Servings
Performance Lab Sport BCAA also uses the golden ratio for BCAA supplements, no messing around here. 2:1:1 is established as the most effective, and the overall dosage of 3g per serving is spot on.
Each pack contains 30 servings, which should keep you happy for a month.
No Caffeine Included
You can take them before a workout, and they should start working immediately. Alternatively, you could take them intra or post-workout as a way to jump-start protein synthesis and to allow your muscles a chance to recover from the workout.
One of the main benefits of BCAAs is their ability to support recovery, so taking them before you go to bed would also be a good idea. As they are non-stimulatory and don’t contain caffeine this is a good option, one that would be impossible if you were using a caffeinated BCAA supplement.
- To Buy, Visit: www.performancelab.com/products/bcaa
Hold On…Caffeine Isn’t Actually Bad For You
Throughout this article we’ve told you why we like to avoid caffeine with BCAA supplements.
However, you can’t deny the benefits caffeine brings to the table: increased energy, alertness and even mental focus.
As a result, we like to have a separate caffeine pill. This gives you the option of adding caffeine to any supplement you want when it suits you.
That’s where Performance Lab Stim comes in.
Performance Lab Stim contains a natural, clean source of caffeine. As well as L-Theanine (which is known to work in synergy with caffeine to offer enhanced cognition). Pair this with the B-Vitamins that caffeine depletes and Performance Lab Stim offers the best ‘caffeine pill’ that we’ve seen yet.
So, Performance Lab Stim stacked with Performance Lab BCAA isn’t a bad option. Just don’t take any caffeine pills close to your bedtime and you’ll be fine.
*You can check out Performance Lab Stim at: www.performancelab.com/products/stim
Different people have different needs. There are many people out there who will want a BCAA supplement that also contains caffeine.
But many more will prefer to keep their BCAA supplements and their caffeine separate. So as to avoid taking too much.
As a result, Performance Lab Sport BCAA is the perfect non-caffeinated BCAA supplement for us.
Performance Lab BCAA is made from high quality ingredients at the correct dosage, is easily digested, and is entirely plant-based.
Taking this BCAA supplement should help stimulate protein synthesis which can lead to bigger, stronger, muscles.
It should also lead to improvements in workout performance and concentration thanks to the anti-fatiguing effects of branched chain amino acids.
You’ll be able to add more reps to your sets. You may even be able to improve your one rep max. It will also make a huge difference to your sporting performance, boosting your aerobic capacity and keeping you sharper by banishing tiredness.
This is a supplement that you really don’t want to ignore!