If you have been doing workouts for a while, you are going to across BCAAs and a lot of talk about amino acid supplements benefits.
But what is the difference between amino acids and BCAAs?
Amino Acids Vs BCAAs
The difference between BCAA and amino energy is that BCAAs are made up of only three essential amino acids, isoleucine, leucine and valine.
These three amino acids have a lot of benefits but mostly they increase endurance, recovery and muscle buildup.
Essential amino acids are made up of 8 essential amino acids: L Tryptopha, L Methionine, L Histidine, L Threonine, L Phenylalanine, L Lysine and the three BCAAs.
The other five are not critical for muscle building, but your body needs them from food since they cannot be produced inside you.
Top 7 Amino Acid Supplements On The Market Today
Look below for first class, all naturally formulated Amino Acids products that are currently topping the charts on the market.
And good news? They are available on Amazon stores; scroll down, read the unique benefits each brings to the table and choose one or more, knowing full well you are getting proven supplements from reputable brands and Amazon marketplace.
1. BulkSupplements (Buy on AMAZON)
Combined with workouts and a healthy diet, you’re going to get a significant boost with your pumps.
There are a lot of benefits, but one of the most important is that it boost metabolism and muscle growth. It contains l-valine, l-isoleucine and l-leucine, and it’s been optimized at 2:1:1 ratio.
With these ingredients you’ll be able to maximize results for each workout you do. Supplement should benefit those who engage in power lifting, cross fit and strength training.
If you’re wondering when should I take amino acids, it depends on the instructions. In this case it is either before or after workouts. What is important is you take the proper amount so you will get the maximum benefits.
When the right amount is taken you’ll get the best possible effects from your workout and diet. As the BCAAs make their way in your body, your muscles get bigger and harder.
One of the reasons why the BulkSupplements BCAAs works is it ensures 100% retention of lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass is what allows your body to bulk up and gain those hard muscles.
Apart from boosting growth of lean muscle, the BCAAs also minimize muscle tissue damage so you’ll be able to recover faster. Speedy recovery along with greater endurance makes a big difference in muscle toning.
The BulkSupplements BCAA also gets our nod for the excellent valine, isoleucine and leucine combo. The way they have been put together allows for quicker absorption so you’ll be able to do more workouts and get better results.
The product has also been tested for purity so it’s been proven to work.
- Boosts muscle pumps
- Speeds up muscle recovery
- Improves muscle mass retention
- Ingredients list is a bit confusing
BulkSupplements is known for their quality products and this belongs on that list. The BCAAs are excellent and provide the kind of muscle and energy boost you need.
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2. BCAA Capsules by Optimum Nutrition (Buy on AMAZON)
The brand is well known for their powerful supplements, and this is one of them. There are a lot of BCAAs around but the BCAA capsules is a cut above most BCAA supplements.
The first thing that sets this apart from others is that it is capsule form. This means you don’t have to mix any powder and mess around with mixing.
Just pop the pill before or after workouts. You can also take the capsule after meals. No matter how you take the capsule, you’ll get all the essential benefits.
Each 1000 mg pill contains the essential BCAAs your body needs to speed up muscle gains. Wit regular intake of the BCAA capsules you’re going to feel the difference as your muscles get bigger.
Your existing muscles get better toning and definition. Contrary to what some believe, you’ll also benefit from BCAAs if you have existing muscles.
These capsules are also available in powder form so you can decide which one to take. For convenience, the capsules are preferable to powder.
Apart from being convenient, these capsules are in 2:1:1 ratio (leucine: isoleucine and valine). This is the optimum ratio and ensures your body gets the highest amount of BCAAs.
The capsules do not work overnight, but give it time and you’ll reap the benefits. The most obvious benefit is greater muscle tone.
However the capsules can do more than that as it also reinforces your physical strength. As you gain strength, your recovery and endurance get a boost as well. Lastly, these capsules are lactose free and won’t cause stomach upset or aches.
- Excellent lean mass retention
- No side effects
- Improves blood flow
- Capsules take a bit of time to take effect
Optimum Nutrition has received a lot of positive feedback for their health supplements, and the BCAA deserves them as it is very effective in stimulating muscle growth while increasing strength at the same time.
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3. Sheer Strength BCAA (Buy on AMAZON)
When taken as indicated your body will receive the essential nutrients necessary to build muscles. However the capsules don’t stop at muscle building as it also reinforces your existing lean muscle tissues.
As your muscles get stronger, you’ll bulk up and shed those unwanted pounds too. These BCAA capsules are not far burners, but that’s a consequence as you’ll have more energy to burn those pounds.
The BCAAs in each Sheer capsule has been carefully formulated so you’ll get optimum benefits. Essentially what it does is build up your stamina so you’ll have greater endurance.
The more endurance you have, the more reps and sets you’ll be able to do. This in turn builds up your muscles.
The BCAA Sheer capsules are just the right size so it’s easy to swallow. Another cool thing about these capsules is each one has the full complement of benefits.
The biggest benefit of these capsules is they turbocharge protein synthesis so you’ll get bigger muscles. The capsules don’t have any side effects so you’ll be able to do more workouts and exercises.
The Sheer BCAA also enhances your recovery so it wont take as long for you to get back in the gym.
Another advantage of this supplement is it burns a lot of body fat. Of course you’ll need to go on a diet as well. The difference is diet and workouts alone won’t produce the kind of muscle gain that you’ll get with these capsules.
- In convenient capsule form
- No unpleasant side effects
- Speeds up protein synthesis
- It might take a few capsules to feel the full effect
Sheer gets our nod for coming up with a powerful formula that really works. If you don’t want to mess around with powder drinks but don’t want to give up any of the nutritional benefits, the Sheer BCAA capsules will be for you.
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4. Optimum Nutrition Amino Acids (Buy on AMAZON)
Each serving has 5 g of amino acids, 10 calories and 0 g of sugar. The lack of sugar means you won’t put on unwanted fat and instead just lean muscle tissue.
A single serving provides 100 mg of caffeine. Extracted from coffee bean and green tea, this is what gives your body the energy needed to keep going.
The nice thing about Amino Energy is you control the amount of caffeine you drink. You can increase or decrease the scoops as necessary as long as it does not exceed 10 scoops a day.
When you take Amino Energy, it won’t be long before you notice the effects. You will feel stronger and your body’s protein synthesis speeds up.
The accelerated process means muscles are repaired at a faster rate. It also means you don’t have to push yourself too much as you’ll get more from each exercise.
Amino Energy does not produce any side effects even if it is caffeine. In short it has the features you’d want – energy, alertness, muscle pumps – are here. However it doesn’t have the side effects.
Bottom line: Amino Energy provides a lot of power and energy, but without the jitters. If you want the perks of coffee and the muscle building of amino acids, this is it.
- There are no side effects
- Improves protein synthesis
- Easy to mix
- The consistency is a little thick
Contrary to what some believe, there is nothing wrong with mixing amino acids and caffeine as long as it’s done properly. The best example of that Amino Energy as it provides the benefits you need without the side effects.
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5. AMINO X by BSN (Buy on AMAZON)
Not only does Amino X give you the energy to work out, but it also boosts recovery and endurance at the same time.
The secret is its 2:1:1 ratio of BCAA, s it is the appropriate so you’ll get the best results possible. Apart from amino acids, the Amino X is free of caffeine so you won’t feel any side effects.
Even without caffeine you’ll still feel the extra energy. It won’t however, keep you awake at night.
Amino X is easy to mix and you’ll get the results you want. The most obvious benefit is you will develop greater endurance whether you take this day or night. As you do more weight and reps, the stronger you become.
The other advantage is your recovery time is improved as well. If you find yourself running out of air quickly, Amino X is the one that’s going to pump you up.
It also doesn’t cause any bloating or gas. We also like the fact that you can take this pre or post workout and still get the same health benefits.
The Amino X is easy to mix as well. It does not clump and the taste is pretty good. With L-citrulline, L-alanine and BCAAs, you’re going to get powerful muscle pumps and increased strength. The product is available in five flavors.
- Easy to prepare
- Boosts muscle buildup
- Promotes faster recovery
- Takes a few days for full effect
Amino X is an excellent amino acid supplement. It mixes quickly and doesn’t leave any bits in it. If you’re after an amino acid supplement that accelerates muscle development this is worth a look.
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6. NOW Sports Amino Complete (Buy on AMAZON)
The primary benefit you’re going to get is a muscle boost. You will feel your body get stronger and have the energy to last longer.
Amino Complete comes with the vital nutrients your body needs to keep going and gain large, hard muscles. You only need to take 4 capsules and you’ll reap optimum results.
Just s important, you’re going to give protein synthesis a helping hand. Protein synthesis repairs your damaged muscles and makes them bigger.
That is the natural process and works fine for most people. However it’s not going to be enough for if you’re looking to really bulk up.
That is why a product like Amino Complete makes an impact in your workout. It also doesn’t take long before your muscles start growing at a faster rate than before.
Amino Complete is not the first or the last BCAA supplement to appear in the market. But it is one of the best.
We also have to point out that Amino Complete should appeal to a lot people who don’t like the idea of mixing and preparing drinks. If you prefer amino acids in capsule form this is a good choice.
- Non GMO
- Capsules are easy to swallow
- Provides excellent muscle boost
- Does not produce effects overnight
Now Sports makes a lot of good capsules, and Amino Complete is one of, if not the best that they have. It takes a lot of guts to say that your product has a complete set of amino acids, but Amino Complete is one product deserves this.
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7. Amino HD 1000 (Buy on AMAZON)
These capsules are 100 mg each and filled with all the essential amino acids. All the capsules also contain extra nutrients that add to its quality and nutrients. This means you’re going to get the nutrients your body needs.
What sets Amino HD apart from others is the thoroughness of testing. The product has been tested and approved by a third party, a testament to its potency and reliability.
It also uses the 2:1:1 ratio for the best possible results. As we have pointed out, your muscles need some help to bulk up at the level you want. That can only happen if you’re taking BCAAs like this one.
Amino HD contains 250 mg valine, 250 mg isoleucine and 500 mg leucine. This is the proper combination so you’ll boost your muscles and speed up recovery. Along with faster recovery you will also experience greater endurance.
One of the most common problems that new users face is running out of gas and breath. When this happens it’s not uncommon for the person to just give up.
That is where Amino HD becomes important. While it is known primarily as a muscle builder, it is just as effective when it comes to enhancing your strength.
- Excellent blend of amino acids
- Easy to consume
- No side effects
- Workouts still required for maximum benefits
Amino HD is one of the top products we have come across, and it’s as powerful as claimed. We also like the fact that it’s very convenient to use.
If you ant the benefits of amino acids and BCAAs without mixing a drink, Amino HD is a great choice.
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Benefits of BCAAs
The benefits of BCAAs are numerous, and we will explain the important ones. Keep in mind that the benefits you get from BCAAs depend on the amount.
Stimulates Lean Mass Buildup
BCAAs provide a lot of benefits, but the most important is they lead to lean muscle mass development. Men and women who regularly take BCAA supplements are the ones most likely to have lean muscle mass.
Less Belly Fat
A lot of the attention has been focused on what BCAAs can do to build up muscle. What you may not realize is that this is just as effective for getting rid of belly fat.
Not only does it eliminate belly fat, but it also functions as a deterrent for belly fat. It is also effective as a means of keeping body fat to a minimum.
Improves Protein Synthesis
Protein synthesis is your body’s way of building up muscles. When you lift weights and do strengthening exercises, your muscle tissues get torn down.
When you rest and recover, protein synthesis begins the repair process. The muscles torn during your weightlifting sessions are repaired and become bigger to accommodate the weights you’re lifting.
That is how protein synthesis works in principle. However its efficiency depends on how much amino acids you have.
By taking BCAA supplements you’ll speed up the process and you’ll end up with harder, bigger muscles. BCAAs also prevent muscle cells from breaking down so you’ll keep the lean mass you worked hard to build.
Provides Other Health Benefits
While fat burning and protein synthesis are for muscle building, you get other health benefits such as insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake. BCAA supplements are ideal for some diabetics because it enhances metabolic markers.
Complements Workout and Diet
As any health nutritionist will tell you, BCAA supplements are no substitutes for working out. You also need to go on a healthy diet to ensure you get the best possible results.
However, working out and going on a diet is not enough. Only if you take BCAA supplements will you build muscles.
BCAA supplements also play a vital role in energy and muscle production. As your body gets used to the BCAAs and amino acids, your body will reap the benefits and improve your physique.
BCAAs also increase your dietary intake and the amount of nutrients in your body. With the proper amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, you’ll avoid health problems and no longer have to take a ton of supplements.
BCAAs also do more than just build muscles however, as it also improves motivation and reduces fatigue.
Why BCAAs are Essential for Muscle Building and Improving Health
We have already explained what BCAAs are and how their difference from other amino acids so we will not repeat that here. What we want to point out is that BCAAs make up 40% your body’s amino acid needs.
By making amino acids a part of your daily regimen, you’ll be able to meet your daily requirements more easily.
BCAA Sources: Food vs Supplements
Now the question becomes, which BCAAs are more reliable, those found in foods or supplements?
BCAAs are available in some foods including those that are rich in protein. The best choices are whey protein, eggs, salmon, beef and chicken.
Eating these means you’ll get BCAAs, but while it’s a good idea to include these in your diet, they should not be your only source of BCAAs.
The problem with food based BCAAs is it’s not always possible to eat these foods. You also cannot be certain of how the food was processed and if it still contains the BCAAs your body needs.
There is also no way to be certain if the food has the BCAAs you need to build up muscles.
The fact is it is more practical to get BCAAs from supplements. Whether it is in capsule or powder form, you’re assured of getting the amount of BCAAs you’re going to need for muscle and strength building.
If you’re an athlete who needs to eat specific types of food, you’re going to get more out of your exercises.
For Old and Young
One of the most common misconceptions with BCAA supplements is assuming that it is only for young people. That is not true at all since even older individuals will benefit from it as well.
BCAAs, in particular leucine, is very effective in boosting protein synthesis by up to 145%.
These benefits do not distinguish between young and old people. What matters is that you take BCAAs to augment your regimen. Another common practice is to just take leucine.
The belief is that leucine is all you need for protein synthesis boosting. That is not true as you also need the other BCAAs for maximum effect.
Supplement Side Effects
There should be no side effects when you take amino acids since your body needs them. In fact there is a good chance you will feel weaker if you don’t take them.
However, just like with all health supplements you should take these only as directed. Do not take more than what is recommended because it might cause problems later on.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is an amino acid?
A: Amino acids are compounds found in supplements and food. There are two types, essential and non essential. Essential amino acids include BCAAs. Both provide energy and nutrients your body needs.
Q: When to take amino acids?
A: It depends on the supplement you are taking. Just follow the instructions and don’t take more than what is necessary.
Q: What is an essential amino acid?
A: Essential amino acids are those that your body cannot produce, so you need to get them from food and supplements. Essential amino acids are:
Q: What about non essential amino acids?
A: Non essential amino acids are those that your body is able to produce. You can also find some of these help your body build up energy and strength.
The non essential amino acids are:
- Aspartic acid
- L-glutamic acid
Q: What about BCAAs?
A: BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids, are the most important amino acids for building strength. They also enhance your post workout recovery and improves muscle growth.
Q: Why should I take amino acids?
A: Your body needs amino acids to be healthy. They also promote weight loss and improves your overall well being.
Q: Why should I take BCAAs?
A: Your body needs it to boost protein synthesis.. Protein synthesis is how your body builds up muscles.
After working out, your body repairs those muscles and makes them large enough to accommodate what you’re lifting. What BCAAs do is augment that process so you end up with bigger muscles.
Q: Why is it wrong to take more than the recommended amount?
A: Consuming more than the required amount makes it harder for your body to digest. There is also no benefit to be derived from taking more than what is recommended.
Q: What is the best type of amino acid supplement?
A: The best are those that contain BCAAs or essential amino acids.
Q: Which is more important, BCAAs or essential amino acids?
A: Both are important, and only you can decide what is more vital. If you want to focus on building up muscle and strength, look for one with BCAAs as that is their specialty.
Amino acids and BCAAs are part and parcel of any strength training program, and it is imperative that you take them.
As long as you take them and complement it with a good workout and diet, you will get that ripped body you’ve been looking for.
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