If your BCAA supplement hasn’t met your expectations, perhaps it’s time for a change.
How about a BCAA product which helps increase immunity, boost heart health, and ramp up antioxidant protection?
Enter Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA.
We bet you’re just as excited as we are.
Enjoy the review as usual, folks.
About Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA is a “banned-substance-tested formula” which has “electrolytes, antioxidant vitamin C, and other performance-supporting ingredients in a lightly-flavored mix that encourages drinking throughout your training,” per its official website. Formula notes:
- Unique ingredients. Rare BCAA product which has both Wellmune and rhodiola extract.
- Five grams of BCAAs per serving. 2:1:1 BCAA ratio.
- Taste. Double-edged sword among customers.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA Supplement Facts (Cranberry Lemonade, 28 Servings)
|Serving Size: 1 Scoop (10 g)|
Servings Per Container: 28
|Nutrient||Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|Total Carbohydrate||4 g||1%*|
|Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid)||9 mg||15%|
|Magnesium (as Magnesium Oxide)||60 mg||15%|
|Sodium (as Sodium Chloride)||100 mg||4%|
|Potassium (as Potassium Chloride)||100 mg||3%|
|BCAA Blend (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine)||5 g||†|
|Bakers Yeast Beta Glucan (Wellmune®)||250 mg||†|
|Rhodiola Extract (root)||200 mg||†|
|Other Ingredients: Natural And Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Lecithin, Calcium Silicate, Silicon Dioxide, Sucralose, Red 40, Blue 2.|
|Directions: Mix 1 scoop in 10-12 fl. oz. of cold water.|
BCAA Powder For Muscle Endurance & Recovery
Let’s keep it real, folks: Optimum Nutrition is one of the most popular – if not the most popular – bodybuilding supplement manufacturers today.
Their products speak for themselves.
Of course, when you think about this company, perhaps the first thing which comes to mind is its Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey.
It’s one of the solid protein supplements on the market. Trust us.
They may not be perfect, but they’re two of the most comprehensive multivitamins we’ve seen to date.
Let’s see if Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA is up to the task.
This product “is built on a foundation of branch-chained amino acids prized by athletes for their ability to spare muscle during endurance training and help kickstart the muscle-building process after weight training,” per its official website.
“This banned-substance-tested formula also includes electrolytes, antioxidant vitamin C, and other performance-supporting ingredients in a lightly-flavored mix that encourages drinking throughout your training,” per the same source.
It’s clear from the product description Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA is an intra-workout supplement.
“This is the new Gold Standard for intra-workout support,” per the manufacturer’s official website.
However, the company also says you can take Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA “before endurance training” and “after weight training.”
In that case, this BCAA supplement (like most products of its kind), is versatile.
Not only is it versatile, but it is also banned-substance-free.
Hard evidence: the Informed-Choice stamp of approval on the container.
Any bodybuilding supplement with this logo “has been ‘skip-lot’ tested (tested at least on a monthly basis) for banned substances by LGC’s world-class sports anti-doping lab,” per Informed-Choice’s official website.
We say that’s awesome.
As a consumer, you will breathe a huge sigh of relief any time a supplement has no banned substances. It makes life easier.
Of course, the three BCAAs (l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine) – which take up five grams per serving – are at the forefront.
This much is right on the industry average, folks: most BCAA supplements have four or five grams of per serving.
That much will help you reap their full benefits:
- Increase protein synthesis and muscle mass
- Preserve muscle mass
- Boost fat loss
- Regulate hormone balance during intense exercise
- Ramp up endurance
- Keep muscle soreness at bay
- Improve overall health
Now you know why BCAAs are some of the most well-rounded bodybuilding supplements around.
However, we’re bummed the manufacturer doesn’t break down Optimum Nutrition BCAA Blend’s individual ingredient amounts.
You guessed it – it’s a shady proprietary blend.
That’s unbecoming of a renowned manufacturer such as Optimum Nutrition.
That’s where you use your math skills.
Using the five grams of BCAA per serving and the 2:1:1 BCAA ratio as your guides, the computation comes down to 2.5 grams of leucine, 1.25 grams of isoleucine, and 1.25 grams of valine per scoop.
That should work – a 2:1:1 BCAA ratio is the most common among BCAA supplements.
Leucine is the most anabolic amino acid which helps kickstart muscle protein synthesis.
You won’t grow muscle without leucine. End of story.
Two grams of leucine or so per serving would suffice for a BCAA supplement.
Too bad we don’t know the exact amount of leucine of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA.
Well, two parts leucine for every one part isoleucine and valine ought to do the trick.
For its part, isoleucine also has tremendous fitness benefits:
- Increases energy and endurance levels
- Shortens recovery time
- Helps promote healthy blood sugar levels
- Regulates blood clot formation
- Maintains a positive nitrogen balance
- Helps repair muscle tissue
You can see for yourself isoleucine is one awesome BCAA.
As for valine, it also helps repair muscle tissue and ramp up endurance.
Not only that, but it also helps increase muscle growth, suppress appetite, improve mental function and sleep quality, and regulate the nervous system.
The takeaway: when you combine the three BCAAs, good things happen.
When you scroll down Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA’s ingredients list, you can tell it has a unique identity.
Look no further than its bakers yeast beta glucan (Wellmune) and rhodiola extract (root) components.
These set this product apart from the rest of the field. We have yet to see a BCAA supplement which has them.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA has 250 milligrams of Wellmune per serving.
“Patented Wellmune can also help support your immune system so you can hit your next workout,” per the manufacturer’s official website.
On the other hand, Wellmune’s official website says it “is a natural ingredient to support overall health and wellness by boosting the body’s immunity.”
“This ingredient’s ability to help the body stay well is clinically proven,” per the same source.
Hey, exercising is a must – it keeps the body in tip-top shape.
Hitting the weights at the gym, doing cardio, and playing recreational sports help boost the immune system.
Unfortunately, too much of it may be detrimental.
According to MedicinePlus’ official website, “Heavy, long-term exercise (such as marathon running and intense gym training) could actually cause harm.”
Good thing Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA’s Wellmune component is here to save the day.
The good news: numerous scientific studies have backed up its efficiency since 2008. Plus, it has no serious side effects.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA’s final key ingredient is 200 milligrams of rhodiola extract (root) per serving.
This herb has a plethora of health and fitness benefits:
- Wards off fatigue
- Boosts cardiovascular health
- Improves well-being
- Ramps up antioxidant levels
- Lowers anxiety levels
- Protects muscle tissue during training
- Increases exercise endurance
It sure seems to us rhodiola extract is one unheralded BCAA supplement ingredient.
In fact, we say more BCAA products should include this ingredient, plain and simple.
So, in a nutshell, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA ought to help you reap the full benefits of BCAAs, increase your immunity, and then some.
It may not be a perfect supplement, but its uniqueness should make an impact on your lifestyle.
Let’s check out the formula ingredients:
- Calories, 15: The manufacturer takes pride in Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA in having just 15 calories per serving. On that note, we’re sure this product will help you achieve your lean muscle-building goals. Awesome.
- Total carbohydrates, 4 g: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA’s four grams of carbs per serving represent a measly one percent of the daily value (a value of five percent or less is low). Once again, three words come to mind: lean muscle-building goals.
- Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid), 9 mg: This BCAA supplement’s vitamin C content isn’t off the charts at 15 percent of the daily value, but it should help, nonetheless. Ascorbic acid helps ward off the common cold, keep free radicals at bay, improve vision, regulate blood pressure levels, and boost heart health.
- Magnesium (as magnesium oxide), 60 mg: Just like vitamin C, this product’s magnesium content isn’t sky high, but it should help. Magnesium helps improve sleep quality, regulate muscle and nerve function, improve cardiovascular health, promote healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, strengthen bones, and boost immunity. Talk about a bona fide Jack of all trades, folks.
- Sodium (as sodium chloride), 100 mg: With its measly four percent of the daily value for sodium, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA is safe for those who are monitoring their sodium intake.
- Potassium (as potassium chloride), 100 mg: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA is not a significant source of potassium at just three percent of the daily value.
- Bakers yeast beta glucan (Wellmune), 250 mg: An ingredient which helps boost the immune system and overall health so you can train more efficiently and consistently. We think it’s a great inclusion in Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA.
- Rhodiola extract (root), 200 mg: A plant-based ingredient which helps keep fatigue at bay, boost heart health, ramp up endurance, protect muscle tissue, and increase antioxidant levels.
BCAA Blend, 5 g
- L-leucine: The most anabolic amino acid which helps kickstart the muscle protein synthesis process. Leucine also helps preserve muscle mass and torch fat (by signaling the release of an appetite-suppressing hormone from the hypothalamus).
- L-isoleucine: A BCAA which helps ramp up energy levels, shorten recovery time, regulate blood sugar levels, and repair muscle tissue.
- L-valine: A BCAA which helps repair muscle tissue, increase endurance, ramp up muscle growth, improve mental function, and boost the immune system.
We said it all along, folks: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA has a unique identity.
When you harness the powers of BCAAs, Wellmune, and rhodiola extract, good things happen.
Plus, the formula is downright simple – it’s a sharp contrast to other BCAA products which bombard consumers with every fancy ingredient imaginable.
So, not only is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA unique, but it is also simple and efficient.
These are three adjectives which should describe your BCAA supplement. Trust us.
Like we said, we love the Informed Choice stamp of approval. This product has no banned substances whatsoever.
As for the 2:1:1 BCAA ratio, it’s the norm for BCAA supplements, folks.
Whether you take Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard before, during, or after your workout, it should make a difference.
We can’t get enough of the Wellmune and rhodiola extract inclusions.
You’ll enjoy a heap of slew of health benefits which include improved immunity, better heart health, increased antioxidant protection, and greater resistance against fatigue.
Don’t forget Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA is also low in calories, carbs, and sodium.
Another plus is reputation – customers have given this BCAA supplement high marks online.
They also rave about Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA’s taste – they say it’s one of the best in the business.
Now, for the chinks.
We already mentioned this product’s BCAA Blend is proprietary in nature – note the company fails to divulge the individual amounts of the BCAAs.
Plus, we spotted several fillers.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA’s Cranberry Lemonade flavor has sucralose, an artificial food coloring which has several side effects.
It also has FD&C Red No. 40 and FD&C Blue No. 2 – two artificial food colorings which also have side effects.
We’re wondering why the government has not banned these artificial food colorings yet.
It’s loud and clear they should.
Finally, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA’s taste is a double-edged sword – the naysayers cite this as the main reason they gave the product a thumbs down.
As for us, we think it’s good. It didn’t blow us away, but good, nonetheless.
In a nutshell, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA has tremendous upside.
Yes, it has flaws. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t make an impact.
This calls for a cleaner, advanced formula. No doubt about it, folks.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA Benefits
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA has the following benefits, per its official website:
- Five grams of BCAAs per serving
- 2:1:1 BCAA ratio
- Rhodiola extract for increased endurance
- Wellmune for increased immunity
- No banned substances
We agree with all of these claims. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA should help you reap all of these benefits plus more.
Who Takes It?
The manufacturer intended Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA for healthy and active individuals who are at least 18 years of age who want to increase muscle mass, boost endurance and immunity, and achieve their daily fitness goals.
Any Side Effects?
Optimum Nurition Gold Standard BCAA has sucralose, an artificial food coloring with several side effects.
This BCAA supplement’s Cranberry Lemonade flavor also has several food colorings (FD&C Red No. 40 and FD&C Blue No. 2) which have side effects.
If these, or any other ingredient, make you feel doubtful, please consult your physician before buying.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA Summary
- Unique ingredients. BCAA supplement with unique identity.
- Five grams of BCAAs per serving. With a 2:1:1 BCAA ratio.
- Wellmune component. For increased immunity.
- Rhodiola extract component. Helps increase endurance, boost heart health, and protect muscle tissue.
- Low in calories, carbs, and sodium. All good.
- Great reputation. Customers have given it high marks online.
- Proprietary blend. Company doesn’t break down BCAA Blend’s individual ingredient amounts. Thumbs down.
- Has fillers. Has sucralose and several artificial food colorings. Boo.
- Taste. Double-edged sword among consumers.
Pricing & Buying Info
- 1 28-Serving Container (28-Day Supply): $29.99
- Available online and in retail
Final Word on Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA
Does this Optimum Nutrition BCAA product set the gold standard?
Don’t get us wrong, folks: it has several great benefits. However, we just cannot get past the proprietary blend, fillers, and taste (which cuts both ways among customers).
We’ll give this one a good rating (we suggest you give this product a try), but at the same time, we are clamoring for a cleaner, advanced formula.
We’re crossing our fingers it happens.