Best BCAA Supplement in 2021 (Reviews and Buyer’s Guide)

Best BCAA Supplements

If you are on the lookout for the best BCAA supplement to increase fat loss, improve focus during workouts, and retain quality muscle mass, then fear not—our reviews of the top branched-chain amino acids supplements have got you covered.

We tested and reviewed many of the best-rated BCAA supplements for both men and women based on a couple of factors, including the quality of the ingredients, company transparency, and overall value. Besides our BCAA supplement reviews, we have also featured a detailed guide for finding the right product for you.

Let us see how these supplements perform.

The Best BCAA Supplement in 2021—A Quick Look at the Top 10

Product
Rating
Key Features
Website
1
OVERALL RATING
10
Expert Review
  • 12 mouth-watering flavors
  • Bloat-proof
  • 1,140 mg electrolyte blend
FROM: $ 19.99
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2
OVERALL RATING
9.9
Expert Review
  • Vegan
  • Allergen-free formula
  • Simple to take
FROM: $ 39.00
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3
OVERALL RATING
9.8
Expert Review
  • Vegan
  • Added coconut water powder for hydration
  • Clean ingredients
FROM: $ 39.00
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4
OVERALL RATING
9.7
Expert Review
  • 6 delicious flavor options
  • Added magnesium
  • 310 mg IdealLean Fat Loss Blend
FROM: $ 34.99
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5
OVERALL RATING
9.6
Expert Review
  • 9:6:5 BCAA ratio
  • Most effective BCAA for bodybuilders
  • Zero sugar
FROM: $ 44.99
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6
OVERALL RATING
9.5
Expert Review
  • Only 4 ingredients
  • Non-GMO
  • Fast-dissolving
FROM: $ 34.99
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7
OVERALL RATING
9.4
Expert Review
  • 4:1:1 BCAA ratio
  • Zero sugar
  • Hydrating electrolytes and Hydration +Plus Blend
FROM: $ 41.99
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8
OVERALL RATING
9.3
Expert Review
  • 4 refreshing flavors
  • Electrolytes + Alpha Amino Hydration Blend
  • Perfect 2:1:1 BCAA ratio
FROM: $ 24.99
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9
OVERALL RATING
9.2
Expert Review
  • Anti-bloat
  • Zero artificial flavors and sweeteners
  • Vegan
FROM: $ 42.00
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10
OVERALL RATING
9.1
Expert Review
  • Easily mixable
  • Allergen-free
  • Vegan
FROM: $ 50.30
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Top 10 BCAA Supplement Reviews

1. XTEND Original Blue Raspberry Ice Review

OVERALL RATING 10
  • Editor’s Pick: Best BCAA for pre-workout
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Powder, 2:1:1
  • Servings per container: 20, 30, or 90 servings
  • Shipping: Free shipping for account holders and subscribers
  • Price: From $19.99
  • Discounts: Subscribe and save 20%

XTEND Original offers a powerful formula of 7 grams of BCAAs in the ideal 2:1:1 ratio, with added hydrating electrolytes and other performance-enhancing ingredients. To our delight, this BCAA powder is calorie-, carbohydrate-, and sugar-free, making it also suitable for people on the keto diet.

The XTEND Original flavor variety is awe-inspiring. For this best BCAA supplement 2021 review, we tested out the Blue Raspberry—thankfully, the fruity aroma is not too overpowering. According to customer reviews, the Italian Blood Orange and the Mango Madness flavors are just as delicious.

This easy-to-take top BCAA supplement does not contain any harmful substances, and it produces quick results. Most importantly, this formula does not cause bloating or an upset stomach, and it is easy on the digestive system.

On the flip side, some customers would wish this product came in an even larger size. 

P.S. Dear readers on a keto diet, if you are looking for the most delicious keto shakes to go with your BCAAs, check out our recent article. We are sure you will love it.

PROS:
  • Impressive flavor variety
  • Easy to digest
  • Hydrating
CONS:
  • Some customers would like to see even more size variety

2. Performance Lab SPORT BCAA Review

OVERALL RATING 9.9
  • Editor’s Pick: Best BCAA capsules of 2020 for athletes
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Capsules, 2:1:1
  • Servings per container: 120 capsules (30 servings)
  • Shipping: Free worldwide shipping for orders over $100.00
  • Price: From $39.00
  • Discount: Discount on bundles

If you are looking for the best BCAA pills, then the Performance Lab SPORT BCAA is the right choice for you. According to product claims, this is the ideal choice for endurance and strength, making it especially beneficial for athletes.

As one of the best BCAA supplement products on the market, SPORT BCAA contains the science-backed 2:1:1 ratio in dual forms, Ajipure (created with Ferment-A-Pure technology) and NutriGenesis BCAAs (fermented). Apart from offering customers the ideal BCAA ratio, the branched-chain amino acids are delivered in NutriCaps—a better, vegan-friendly alternative to harmful sweeteners and artificial flavors.

Besides being non-GMO and gluten-free, this BCAA for men and women is also caffeine-free, soy-free, synthetic-additive-free, and non-irradiated.

According to Performance Lab instructions, users should take three capsules before and three capsules after working out.

Although this product is more costly than others, you can save a lot of money by purchasing multiple boxes. On the positive side, these are probably the best BCAA capsules for those who find larger pills difficult to swallow.

PROS:
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Allergen-free
  • Easy to take
CONS:
  • Some customers are put off by the serving size

3. Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine Review

OVERALL RATING 9.8
  • Editor’s Pick: Best BCAA on the market with glutamine
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Powder, 2:1:1
  • Servings per container: 30 servings
  • Shipping: Free shipping within the US on orders over $150.00
  • Price: From $39.00
  • Discounts: Discount on bundles

CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine by Transparent Labs contains simple, clean ingredients that reduce fatigue and maximize lean muscle growth without adverse effects. Each serving of this toprated BCAA supplement offers an ideal 2:1:1 ratio of fermented vegan BCAAs, added L-glutamine for the immune system and intestinal health, and hydrating coconut water powder.

Even though this is not the best BCAA supplement for those who are looking for pure BCAAs and nothing else, the added ingredients help in useful protein synthesis and faster recovery. In fact, coconut water powder is an excellent electrolyte source, as it contains potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and calcium.

Overall, the Transparent Labs CoreSeries best glutamine BCAA supplement is an innovative and powerful formula void of added fillers, artificial colors, and harmful substances. No matter whether you are a professional athlete or a regular gym-goer, you will benefit from this potent BCAA supplement.

The only negative thing we found was that some customers experienced delayed shipment.

PROS:
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Very hydrating
  • Zero harmful substances
CONS:
  • Some customers experienced issues with shipment

4. IdealFit IdealLean BCAAs Lemonade Review

OVERALL RATING 9.7
  • Editor’s Pick: Best BCAA for women
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Powder, 2:1:1
  • Servings per container: 30 servings
  • Shipping: Free shipping over $79.00
  • Price: From $34.99
  • Discount: 50% off sitewide with discount code on the official website

IdealLean BCAAs are highly nutritious and mouth-watering branched-chain amino acids specifically designed for women. Not only do these BCAAs for women come in a variety of delicious flavors, but they are also an excellent source of added nutrients such as magnesium.

Each serving of IdealLean BCAAs delivers 3,000 mg of branched-chain amino acids in the ideal 2:1:1 ratio. The supplement also offers 310 mg of IdealLean Fat Loss Blend to accelerate weight loss and increase lean muscle gains.

One serving of the IdealLean top BCAA for women contains 10 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Although these are low amounts per serving, people looking for calorie-free options may want to look elsewhere.

In general, customer reviews are very positive, and many users consider IdealLean BCAAs the best BCAA supplement for women who want to lose fat and build lean muscles. On the downside, several customers claim the Grape Explosion flavor is very artificial.

PROS:
  • Women’s best BCAA
  • Good source of added nutrients
  • IdealLean Fat Loss Blend helps in weight loss and muscle gains
CONS:
  • Some customers state that the Grape Explosion flavor tastes artificial

5. ALLMAX Aminocore Review

OVERALL RATING 9.6
  • Editor’s Pick: Best BCAA for bodybuilding
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Powder, 9:6:5
  • Servings per container: 111 (2.57 lbs)
  • Shipping: Free shipping within the US on orders over $75.00
  • Price: From $44.89
  • Doscount: N/A

What sets ALLMAX Aminocore apart from other BCAA supplements on the market is the 9:6:5 amino acid ratio that has been shown to be capable of providing a 350% increase in anabolic activity. Besides the higher BCAA ratio, this is the best BCAA powder for those who want to benefit from a hefty amount of B vitamins.

If you are a big fan of fruity aromas, you will love trying out any of the six different flavor options. Although the BCAA powder flavor that receives the most praise is the Fruit Punch Blast, we found the Pineapple Mango just as heavenly.

Above all, this is an entirely sugar-free, filler-free formula with zero non-BCAA aminos. We loved the fact that ALLMAX displays 100% transparency by being upfront and honest with its products’ formula. Every lot has been third-party lab tested and manufactured in a registered facility.

It should also be noted that an overwhelming number of professional athletes consider this the best BCAA for cutting—it has been tested for banned substances.

PROS:
  • 350% increase in anabolic activity
  • Six mouth-watering flavors
  • Sugar-free
CONS:
  • Some users dislike the smell

6. Naked Nutrition Naked BCAAs Review

OVERALL RATING 9.5
  • Editor’s Pick: Best BCAA product for keto
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Powder, 2:1:1
  • Servings per container: 100 servings
  • Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $49.00
  • Price: From $34.99
  • Discount: Subscribe and save 5%

Naked Nutrition’s Naked BCAAs is one of the highest-quality, most quickly absorbed branched-chain amino acids you can find on the market. People looking for an unflavored top BCAA powder with the ideal 2:1:1 BCAA ratio will especially enjoy this supplement from Naked Nutrition.

This highquality BCAA supplement will also suit people who prefer a product with the fewest different ingredients—to clarify; the Naked BCAAs contain only L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine, and sunflower lecithin. The number of ingredients is kept at a minimum, and the formula is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and suitable for vegans.

Apart from athletes and average consumers, our keto readers will also enjoy using this highest-quality BCAA. Based on the numerous satisfied customer reviews and testimonials, this is a fast-dissolving BCAA supplement that effectively reduces muscle fatigue during workouts and helps build lean muscle mass.

On the flip side, some customers complain about the slightly unpleasant flavor. Since the Naked Nutrition BCAAs are unflavored, we highly recommend mixing the powder with a tasty electrolyte blend or another drink of choice.

PROS:
  • Minimal number of ingredients
  • Non-GMO
  • Dissolves fast
CONS:
  • Some customers complain about the slightly unpleasant taste

7. Betancourt Nutrition BCAA Plus Series Review

OVERALL RATING 9.4
  • Editor’s Pick: Best BCAA for men
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Powder, 4:1:1
  • Servings per container: 30 servings
  • Shipping: Standard US shipping is $10.00 for any sized order
  • Price: From $41.99
  • Discount: Occasional sales

The Florida-based Betancourt offers athletes and regular gym-goers a wide array of best testosterone boosters, fat burners, and pre-workouts. In these BCAA supplement reviews, we tested their popular BCAA Plus Series in Candy Watermelon flavor. As a side note, besides the Plus Series, Betancourt also sells BCAAs in pill form.

We found the BCAA ratio a bit unusual straight off the bat, as the formula contains a ratio of 4:1:1 of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. According to Betancourt, this product contains Active TR Leucine, a more slowly-absorbing form of the essential amino acid. As a result, L-leucine is delivered to the body gradually, prolonging the protein synthesis’s signaling, making this one of the best BCAAs for men.

In addition to the high L-leucine content, the powerful formula also contains a hefty dose of zinc, B6, and B12. Besides the small amount of hydrating electrolytes, it includes a Hydration +Plus Blend made up of readily-absorbed Sustamine (L-alanyl-L-glutamine) and taurine.

Overall, we were very impressed by this BCAA supplement’s effectiveness, and judging by the best BCAA supplement reviews, so were the customers. Although the formula is not the best for fueling your workouts (due to the lack of caffeine), you can take it at any time during the day without feeling jittery.

PROS:
  • Sugar-free
  • High L-leucine content
  • Hydrating formula
CONS:
  • Some users leaving reviews on BCAA supplements prefer the standard 2:1:1 BCAA ratio

8. Cellucor Alpha Amino BCAA Review

OVERALL RATING 9.3
  • Editor’s Pick: Best-tasting BCAA
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Powder, 2:1:1
  • Servings per container: 30 servings
  • Shipping: Free for Cellucor members
  • Price: From $24.99
  • Discount: Subscribe and get 20% off and free shipping

With the Cellucor Alpha Amino BCAA, you can push your workouts to the next level. Besides the scientifically backed 2:1:1 BCAA ratio for optimal muscle gain and performance, this potent formula also contains 11 essential amino acids and hydrating electrolytes. For the purpose of this best BCAA review, we tested out the Lemon Lime flavor.

Apart from around 200 mg of electrolytes, the ingredients also include the Alpha Amino Hydration Blend with coconut water powder and betaine anhydrous.

This is a beneficial BCAA powder for women for training and rest days alike. Because of the hydrating formula, the Cellucor Alpha Amino BCAA product is ideal for recovery and electrolyte replenishment. Besides this, the flavor options are delicious and not too overpowering or artificial.

On the downside, this product is sweetened with sucralose or Splenda. Since sucralose can kick you out of ketosis, we don’t recommend this BCAA supplement for our readers following a ketogenic diet.

PROS:
  • Flavors are delicious and refreshing
  • Hydrating formula
  • Ideal 2:1:1 BCAA ratio
CONS:
  • Contains sucralose or Splenda

9. Thorne Research Amino Complex Review

OVERALL RATING 9.2
  • Editor’s Pick: Best natural BCAA supplement with stevia
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Powder, 2:1:1
  • Servings per container: 30 servings
  • Shipping: Free ground shipping within the contiguous US
  • Price: From $42.00
  • Discount: Subscribe and save 10%

The Thorne Amino Complex is a readily absorbable and digestible healthy BCAA powder with high concentrations of branched-chain amino acids in the ideal 2:1:1 ratio.

Besides BCAAs, this potent supplement also contains a decent dose of other amino acids for muscle protein synthesis stimulation and recovery. According to the countless satisfied customers, this is a useful supplement for decreasing muscle fatigue and improving endurance during workouts.

This product comes in two mildly flavored, citrusy aromas, Lemon and Berry. To our delight, both options taste very natural, and the formula is sweetened with stevia. However, some best BCAA supplement reviews by customers claim that the Berry flavor is too sweet.

Nonetheless, this is a quality, Thorne-verified formula that is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and suitable for our vegan readers.

PROS:
  • Easy on the stomach
  • Sweetened with stevia
  • Vegan-friendly
CONS:
  • Some reviewers claim the Berry flavor is too sweet

10. Pure Encapsulations BCAA Powder Review

OVERALL RATING 9.1
  • Editor’s Pick: Best organic BCAA powder with minimal ingredients
  • Type and BCAA ratio: Powder, 2:1:1
  • Servings per container: 68 servings (227 g)
  • Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $100.00
  • Price: From $50.30
  • Discount: N/A

If you love unflavored BCAA supplements in powder form, then you will be obsessed with Pure Encapsulations BCAA Powder. The first thing we noticed about this BCAA supplement is the simplicity of the ingredients list—it contains 3,000 mg of free-form BCAAs with the 2:1:1 ratio and nothing else.

To clarify, this means that there are no allergens, artificial additives, and GMOs in this potent formula. Hence, it can be safely consumed daily by people with different sensitivities.

To confirm our positive feelings about this BCAA powder by Pure Encapsulations, we also had a look at user reviews of this and other popular BCAA supplements. Based on most customers, this is a must-have for vegetarians and vegans who are looking to build lean muscles while maximizing performance in the gym.

On the flip side, some people were complaining about the lack of availability of Pure Encapsulations’s products. In fact, Pure Encapsulations supplements are only available through qualified healthcare professionals. So, if interested, we recommend using the Healthcare Practitioner Locator provided on the brand’s official website.

PROS:
  • Easy to mix into different liquids
  • Allergen-free
  • Perfect for vegans/vegetarians
CONS:
  • It can only be purchased through a qualified healthcare professional

How to Choose the Best BCAA Supplement in 2021

High-quality BCAA supplements will not only preserve the glycogen stores of your muscles but also provide you with adequate fuel while minimizing muscle protein breakdown during workouts. In the following sections, you will learn more about branched-chain amino acids, and why they are beneficial.

Along with a short introduction to BCAAs, this review also features a detailed guide on selecting the right supplement for you. We will look at some of the factors that include the amino acid ratio, ingredients, and overall cost. Let us start.

What are the Best BCAA Supplements?

Branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs for short, are essential amino acids that muscles “burn” for energy. The term “essential” means that the body cannot create them by itself, but instead, they must be obtained from supplements or food.

The three branched-chain amino acids are valine, isoleucine, and leucine; believe it or not, they make up approximately 35% of the essential amino acids in the muscle protein. As for their unique name—it only refers to their unusual chemical structure.

Benefits of Top BCAA Supplements

Any person can benefit from BCAA supplementation. Although men can also take BCAA supplements, there are a couple of reasons why women are advised to prioritize these essential amino acids. Let us look at both genders’ benefits first, and then we’ll discuss why women especially should consider taking a BCAA dietary supplement.

Reduced Appetite

A lot of people like taking BCAA supplements to ward off cravings and reduce high appetite levels. Hence, not only will a BCAA supplement help you cut down on the unwanted calories, but it will also potentially satisfy your sweet tooth. The truth is that many BCAA products on the market taste amazing, and the variety of flavors is almost endless.

However, the main reason why topselling BCAA supplements can reduce appetite is that leucine activates mTOR, an enzyme that takes part in protein synthesis. As a result of increasing mTOR levels in the body, a signal that nutrition needs are satisfied is sent to the brain.

So, if you want to give your favorite appetite suppressants a break, try out BCAAs.

Increased Metabolism

A BCAA supplement can help people looking to shed body fat without losing quality muscle mass. For this reason, BCAAs have the ability to maintain or increase metabolism speed, which in turn allows the body to burn more calories even when resting.

Faster Recovery

Muscle aches and overall fatigue can hinder the quality of your workouts. With this in mind, best amino acid and BCAA supplements are an excellent choice for helping you recover faster from training sessions, as they play a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis. Indeed, BCAAs can help you feel more energized while exercising, which makes your workouts better, and the results come quicker.

Balances Hormones

Women with hormonal issues and irregularities can reap numerous benefits from taking womens BCAA supplements. One of the main reasons why women have a difficult time gaining muscle is low testosterone levels. Not only do low testosterone levels inhibit achieving noticeable results in the gym, they also harm the metabolism of women.

On the whole, BCAAs can increase testosterone levels in both men and women while lowering cortisol, the primary stress hormone. On the flip side, high cortisol levels can result in blood sugar spikes and decreased progesterone.

Other BCAA benefits for women and men include:

  • Easing symptoms of tardive dyskinesia
  • Treating specific brain disorders
  • Fortifying the immune system
  • Maintaining muscle mass in individuals with chronic illnesses

Factors to Take Into Consideration When Shopping for Best BCAAs for Women and Men

Without a doubt, BCAA supplements have a lot of benefits for men and women. Having said that, how does one choose the right supplement? Here are a couple of critical factors to consider if you are unsure what to look for in a quality BCAA supplement.

The Ratio of Amino Acids

The first thing to look out for when choosing the best amino acids for women and men is the leucine to isoleucine and valine ratio. If muscle growth maximization is your goal, then the ideal ratio for you is 2:1:1. In other words, you want to get twice as much leucine in your BCAA supplement as isoleucine or valine.

This is the ideal amino acid ratio because leucine is much more important in muscle protein synthesis than the other essential amino acids. As a side note, combining leucine with the latter two amino acids is more effective than using leucine on its own.

As a general rule, all three essential amino acids are required to provide the best possible results. This means that if you want to reap all of the BCAA benefits for women or men, you are advised to skip products that contain only leucine or that have it in abnormal ratios.

Ingredients

In many cases, BCAA supplements can contain other ingredients besides branched-chain amino acids. For instance, some supplements also contain added threonine or tryptophan in their formula, whereas others may also include electrolytes or extra nutrients like magnesium.

In addition to this, take note of BCAA supplements that contain artificial or natural sweeteners or flavorings, and check whether the product is sugar-free or gluten-free.

If you have sensitivities to specific ingredients, make sure to triple-check the BCAA nutrition facts before making a final purchase. Fortunately for you, we have done the dirty work and selected only the BCAA supplements with the purest ingredients.

Third-Party Testing

We strongly recommend choosing top BCAA supplements that are third-party lab tested for purity and safety. Most importantly, choose supplements from brands that put the health and safety of their customers first.

How to use BCAAs?

For the most part, BCAAs are safe for both men and women to use regularly. Admittedly, there are a few things to keep in mind when using them continuously.

Dosage

To determine the proper dosage for your needs, always check the recommended serving size on the product label. In the case of powders, one serving is typically going to equal one scoop. By sticking to the manufacturer’s recommended serving sizes, you will be able to get the proper amount of branched-chain amino acids for maximum results.

Timing

The best time to take BCAA supplements is before, during, or after a workout. Even though BCAA supplements can be consumed at any time of the day, most people prefer to use them before or during training sessions. To increase results and reduce muscle protein breakdown, you are recommended to take your BCAA supplement in this time frame.

Using BCAA supplements before or during a workout is especially helpful for people who train on an empty stomach. Not only does a BCAA supplement help with preserving muscles during a fasted state, it also makes sure that the metabolism isn’t harmed.

Apart from this, good BCAA supplements can also be used after an intense workout for faster muscle recovery. However, if you typically consume a high-carbohydrate protein-rich meal or a post-workout smoothie after your workout, then you may not require BCAA supplementation.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, BCAA supplementation is an excellent way to lose fat, speed up the recovery process, and retain quality muscle mass. Although both genders use branched-chain amino acids in supplement form, they provide a couple of added benefits for women (such as balancing out hormones).

Overall, we sincerely hope that this best BCAA review and guide helped you decide which product is the right match for you. Of course, also remember to eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of fluids, and get enough rest. Stay healthy and safe!

FAQs

Are BCAA supplements worth it?

Yes! Judging by the countless positive user reviews and testimonials, BCAA supplements are worth your time and money. 

According to science-based evidence, BCAAs have three main benefits:

  1. They increase muscle growth by stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
  2. BCAAs decrease fatigue and muscle soreness, or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
  3. They increase energy levels and help in increasing exercise duration and intensity.

Also, BCAAs prevent muscle breakdown or wasting, especially in users with chronic diseases such as cancer. Lastly, BCAA supplements are very beneficial for people with liver disease.

What is the best time to take a BCAA supplement?

As we stated in our BCAA guide, these branched-chain amino acid supplements can be taken at any time during the day. Nevertheless, experts claim that taking a BCAA supplement before, during, and after a workout has added health benefits. If you want to find out more about proper BCAA supplement dosage timing, make sure to read our guide in the section above.

What is the best BCAA supplement?

In all honesty, we do not have one favorite BCAA supplement. As a rule, we believe that the best BCAA supplement should have a good ratio of branched-chain amino acids (the most common being 2:1:1). It should be free of harmful substances such as unnecessary fillers and artificial ingredients, and it should taste fantastic.

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our reviews above, and let us know which BCAA supplement is your favorite!