Best Tasting BCAA
Today we’re counting down our top picks for the best tasting BCAA supplements.
BCAAs (Branched-chain Amino Acids) make up three of the nine essential amino acids our body needs.
They can be found in dairy products and other foods high in protein, but also taken in supplement form.
Many people enjoy supplementing with them to accelerate the rate of muscle recovery, decrease muscle fatigue, and improve overall stamina.
There’s just one problem though: BCAA supplements don’t usually taste that great.
Due to their bitter flavor profile, it’s a good idea to spend some time seeking out those which have a more palatable taste.
👑 Our Pick for Best Tasting BCAA
⭐ Our Other Top Tasting BCAA
- Best of the Best: XTEND Original BCAA
- Runner Up: MusclePharm Essentials BCAA
- Best Blend: Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy
Best Tasting BCAA Reviews
XTEND Original BCAA (⭐ Best of the Best)
The best tasting BCAA supplement in our view is XTEND Original, and many people would agree, as the product is listed as a #1 best seller by Amazon in the category of BCAA nutritional supplements.
The flavor we’ll be looking at in this article is the cool and refreshing glacial grape, but one of the best things about XTEND’s line of BCAA supplements is that they offer a huge variety of flavors. If grapes aren’t your thing, then you can try blue raspberry ice, Italian blood orange, watermelon explosion, or even tropic thunder. All of these flavor options balance out the bitter flavor profile of the BCAAs in the supplement, making it extremely palatable, and dare we say it, even tasty. The good thing about the range of flavors is that it ensures whatever your fruit preference, you should find the perfect one for you.
Aside from the fruity flavors, though, what else does this BCAA supplement have to offer?
Well, apart from being the self-proclaimed ‘World’s #1 BCAA brand’, XTEND has more than 15 years of experience creating supplements to aid muscle recovery. This supplement is yet another triumph for the top brand, as it is widely-praised by those who have tasted it, and is listed as a #1 best seller in its category on Amazon. This supplement features 7g of BCAAs, adhering to the magic 2:1:1 ratio which is proven by extensive research.
What’s impressive about this particular BCAA supplement, aside from what we’ve already touched upon, is how it manages to create a series of sumptuous flavors without the inclusion of sugar. Yes, that’s right, there is absolutely no sugar in this supplement. There are also no calories in it, and no carbs either. That makes it perfect for those working towards their weight loss goals, as well as anyone who just wants to avoid sugar and carbs for dietary reasons. Finally, it’s free from caffeine. While caffeine can be a great energy-booster, it can also cause you to crash and increase your dependency on the stimulant, so it can only be a good thing that you won’t take any on board with this supplement.
The quality of the supplement is backed up by third parties, as it is Informed-Choice Certified and NSF Contents Tested & Certified. This means that the manufacturing process held up to intense scrutiny, and passed with flying colors. It also means that it’s a perfectly safe supplement for athletes of all levels to take, given that it’s free from banned substances which could lead to issues with sanctioning bodies.
- 7g BCAAs
- Glacial Grape (15+ other flavors available)
- Zero carbs, sugar, and calories
- Third party tested and certified
- 14.3oz container
WHY WE CHOSE IT AS OUR TOP PICK
1. It dissolves more easily and tastes better than any other BCAA we’ve tried.
2. The product is free from carbs, sugar, calories, and caffeine, making it safe for most people to take regardless of dietary needs.
3. It’s safe for athletes due to rigorous third party testing and no banned substances.
4. There are a wide range of flavors to choose from, so just because you might not like one, you can always try another.
MusclePharm Essentials BCAA (🥈 Runner Up)
MusclePharm is a huge name in the health and fitness industry, and this BCAA supplement it produces is a fine product which tastes great.
Although there are only a couple of flavors to choose from with this supplement, each one is top quality, and therefore shouldn’t disappoint. The one we’re looking at is the delightfully refreshing fruit punch flavor, but you can also get the delicious watermelon flavor too if that’s more your thing. The decision to stick to just a few flavors means the brand has been able to perfect the formulas, to the extent that many of the customers who use it regularly claim it’s irresistible. One of the top reviews, in fact, states that they would add it to every glass of water they drank if they could. Such high praise of the flavor means that if you want to seamlessly introduce BCAAs into your diet, then this is a fantastic and pleasant way to do so.
As an ‘Amazon’s Choice’ product, this BCAA supplement has plenty of credibility, and the wealth of positive user reviews can testify to that. This product offers 6g BCAAs, and 30 servings within each 9.1oz container. The 3:1:2 patent-pending ratio from MusclePharm is made of 3 leucine, 1 isoleucine, and 2 valine, which it believes is the ideal amount of each three proteins your body needs to truly thrive. This product will help you to enhance your muscle gains, as well as maintaining and supporting the development of lean muscle.
The beauty of this supplement is that it is easily mixed with water, and as we’ve already established, makes for a great-tasting drink. Just like many protein powders, this BCAA supplement actually improves the flavor of a glass of water rather than just being tolerable. It’s also free of calories, carbohydrates, and sugar, so you can feel confident taking it even if you adhere to a certain diet which forbids carbs and sugar.
This BCAA supplement has passed the third party test, and has been certified by Informed-Choice. This means that athletes can take it without fear of taking on banned substances. There’s also a generous 100% money-back guarantee with this supplement, so that means if after a 30-day period you aren’t satisfied with your results, then you can claim a full refund. This try before you buy period is hugely useful for determining whether or not this is a BCAA supplement you can see yourself taking for the long-term.
- 6g BCAAs
- Available in fruit punch and watermelon flavors
- 9.1oz container
- Informed Choice certified
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Free from carbs, sugar, and calories.
Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy (✨ Best Blend)
Optimum Nutrition is another well-known supplement manufacturer in the health and fitness industry, and it produces one of the best BCAA supplement blends.
While concord grape is the flavor we’re focussing on here, Optimum Nutrition’s range of BCAA supplements offers a number of different flavors. These flavors range from the fruity, like pineapple and lemon lime, to the sweet, like cotton candy. Whichever flavor you go for, you’re guaranteed to get something which cuts through the bitter characteristic of BCAAs, which will make it easy to incorporate the supplement into your daily routine.
The product is listed as ‘Amazon’s Choice’ under the tag of ‘amino energy’ and this is because it delivers outstanding results and provides a generous energy boost. While this is in part due to the amino blend, it’s largely a result of the caffeine in the supplement. There is 100mg of caffeine which comes from green tea extracts, which will help you get through challenging workouts and slumps throughout the day. As an all-encompassing energy-providing supplement blend, you get so much more than just BCAAs with this product, which makes it great to take on a regular basis for the various health benefits.
In each serving of this supplement, you’ll get just 5 calories, 1g of carbs, and absolutely no sugar. This makes it suitable for most dietary preferences, so long as you’re fine with the minimal carbohydrate content.
- 20.6oz container
- Blend of amino acids
- 10+ flavors
- Free of sugar
- Provides caffeine from natural sources
Choosing the right BCAA for your health and fitness goals can be tough, especially since you not only want to find one that works well, but also avoid those that taste bitter and unpalatable.
Fortunately, there are several key factors you can look out for to determine whether or not a BCAA supplement is the real deal.
The main things to bear in mind before you part with your cash include what flavors the supplement offers, what the ratio of ingredients is, and whether it includes carbohydrates, sugar, or caffeine.
Given that this is a guide to the best-tasting BCAA supplements, it would be remiss of us not to talk about the flavors as a priority.
After all, if you don’t like the flavor of the supplement, what is your incentive to take in on a regular basis?
As you might imagine, only you will know what flavors and combination of flavors will be most palatable to you.
However, there are a few things you should know.
Firstly, the overwhelming majority of great BCAA supplement flavors are fruit-based. That’s a fact.
This is probably due to the bitter flavor profile of BCAAs, which requires something sweet to counteract it.
Fruit does this job well, with natural sweetness and a refreshing character that goes well with a glass of water.
Whether watermelon or apple is best for you is not our place to say, but what we would advise is that you pay close attention to the user reviews.
The only real way you have of knowing whether a specific flavor hits the spot or not, is to see what other people have to say about their experience with it.
The other main way to tell whether it’ll taste good or not, is to scrutinise the company and do your research to find out whether they’re known for producing flavorful powdered supplements.
Chances are, if they do one or two flavors well, then you can safely assume that most of their flavors will be at least worth trying.
The next most important thing you should consider before making a decision, is the BCAA ratio offered by the supplement.
There are three BCAAs, and each one is an essential amino acid that your body needs to function optimally.
These three amino acids are called leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
What you’ll typically see on a BCAA supplement label is the ratio of these three amino acids, which takes the form of leucine:isoleucine:valine.
Leucine is the most important because it is essential for the growth of muscle tissue, so there will always be more of this in any good ratio.
The ratio which is considered optimal by many is 2:1:1, so be wary of companies who have ratios not in accordance with this one.
That said, there are reputable supplement brands such as MusclePharm which have patent-pending ratios which they believe are even more effective for muscle growth and recovery.
MusclePharms’ BCAA supplement has a slightly different ratio than the others, and the manufacturer claims that this is backed up by research, so it’s possible that there isn’t just one ratio that can work well.
Additives & Extra Ingredients
As well as the three BCAAs you’ll find in any BCAA supplement, you might also find a number of extra ingredients or additives.
These additives can either help provide additional health benefits and better flavor, or detract from the supplement and provide unwanted side effects from taking it.
Generally, the less additives that are in your BCAA supplement, the better.
At the end of the day, you’re investing in the BCAAs themselves, not anything else.
Having said that, there are some extra ingredients which can enhance the supplement, so without further ado let’s take a look at what some of the most common additives are and how helpful or harmful they can be.
The first additional ingredient, which can be a good or bad addition depending on how you look at it, is caffeine.
While caffeine can provide an excellent energy boost and help you cruise through a workout or slump in your day, it can also lead to crashes and dependency on the stimulant.
Whether or not you want caffeine in your supplement is ultimately a personal preference decision, but if you already drink enough caffeine during the day, then it’s probably wise to steer clear if possible.
Sugar is another ingredient that can be good or bad depending on how you look at it.
On the one hand, sugar can provide the sweetness you need to counteract the natural bitterness of the BCAAs. Plus, it is arguably better for you than sucrose and artificial sweeteners.
On the other, sugar won’t help you with your weight loss goals of course, or your teeth.
If you’re going to be taking this BCAA supplement daily, then maybe you don’t want it to contain too much sugar in each serving.
Carbohydrates are common in some BCAA supplements, but many are free from them.
Whether or not you’re ok with carbohydrates in your BCAA supplement will depend in large part on your dietary preferences.
If you adhere to a strict low-carb diet, for example, then it’s probably best that you try to avoid taking on any unnecessary carbohydrates.
If this isn’t the case, and you don’t mind taking on additional carbohydrates with your supplement, then perhaps it can provide your body with a little more energy to help you get through the day.
In general though, carbohydrates shouldn’t make too much of a difference, it’s mainly sugar and caffeine that you should pay attention to.
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Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Tasting BCAA
Why do BCAAs taste so bad?
BCAAs are notorious for having a bad taste, and this is primarily due to their bitter flavor profile.
Due to the importance of BCAAs for accelerating recovery and helping reduce muscle soreness, there has been a lot of emphasis on improving the taste of the supplements it’s featured in.
To make a great-tasting BCAA, manufacturers have to offset the bitter taste with other ingredients, otherwise the supplement can be unpalatable.
Which company BCAA is best?
There are a number of companies which produce high-quality BCAA supplements.
In our view, at the top of the pile there is XTEND, MusclePharm, and Optimum Nutrition.
Each of these companies has an outstanding reputation in the world of health and fitness supplements, so you can rely on them to have excellent customer service and high-quality products.
Does BCAA increase weight?
BCAAs can have the opposite effect, and actually help you to delay weight gain and even boost the rate at which you burn fat.
This makes the health supplement a great option for adhering to a weight loss program and getting the most out of your diet.
If you wish to supplement with something natural that will help you in your weight loss goals, you could do a lot worse than BCAAs.
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
BCAAs make up three of the nine essential amino acids, so taking them on board via a supplement can help you reach your health and fitness goals.
While you can find them in certain foods, if you really want to ensure you have the best chance of gaining muscle or losing weight, taking them as a supplement is the way to go.