In the quest for never-ending muscle growth, gym-goers and fitness fanatics take many different supplements to enhance their physique and keep themselves injury-free. From whey protein and creatine to HMB, there are plenty of options for optimising your workouts. One of the newer and more popular options is branched-chain amino acids, more commonly known as BCAAs.
In this article, we’re here to help you understand what BCAAs are and why you should take them. To ensure you get high quality, nutritional value for your money, we've compared the best powders and tablets to bring you a ranking of the top 10 BCAA supplements in the UK available on Amazon, Decathlon and more!
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Now that you know a little more about the advantages of taking BCAAs it’s time to look at the different options available online. After all, finding the right one will give you the best chance of consistency, which is the key to a better diet and body.
The first thing to consider is the type of supplement you want to take. Sadly, popping open a tin of tuna in the locker room is highly frowned upon. Not only that, but dietary supplements are often more cost-effective than the amount of food you’d need to consume to get the same nutritional benefits. Though we would always recommend taking supplements alongside a well-balanced diet.
BCAA powder is taken by mixing with water or an isolate drink. Once ingested, the mix floods the muscles with amino acids, ensuring the ingredients get to work quicker. However, they can be a little more inconvenient to carry around with you.
Tablets, on the other hand, are much easier to transport, but work slower. So the question you need to ask yourself is whether you need to take BCAAs on the go? If so, then tablets may be the better option. If you exercise mainly at home or take a shaker to the gym, then a powder may be best.
Next, you’ll want to consider the nutritional value of your supplement. Not all BCAA’s are made equal, and you’ll get more from one brand than others. Generally speaking, BCAAs are divided into their individual amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine. The value of each will vary, with most companies opting for a 2:1:1 ratio respectively.
5 – 12 g of total dietary BCAAs are more than sufficient for most people. However, athletes may want to consume up to 20 g per day. To understand how much you'll need to supplement, combine the individual components (leucine, isoleucine and valine) to get an understanding of how much they will add to your diet.
To help you out, we've provided the amount of each amino acid per serving for all of the supplements in our ranking.
This won’t influence the nutritional value of the supplement, but will affect your ability to take it consistently if you get it wrong. Nowadays, there are an array of flavours, from blue raspberry to watermelon, and while it might seem insignificant, if you don’t like it, you won’t take it - it’s as simple as that!
Of course, tablets typically won't have any flavour, unless you pick the chewable kind. However, this won’t be especially significant as they’ll be going down too quickly for you to notice anyway.
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Gold Standard BCAA
For Those Who Like to Work Out Every Day
Maintain and Gain Muscle Protein
Nutrition Amino X Energy
A Smooth Blend to Help With Fatigue
Used by Everyone From Runners to Bodybuilders
Premium Body Nutrition
Good Value and Plenty of Top Ingredients
Vegan BCAA 2.1.1 + Glutamine Chewable Tablets
Chewable Vegan-Friendly Tablets
BCAA Power Punch
Maximise Your Training Sessions
BCAA 2.1.1 + Glutamine Chewable Tablets
One of the Countries Most Trusted Suppliers
Amino Blast BCAA Powder Amino Acids
Building Muscle Without Sacrificing Taste
BCAA Amino Acids
From Spain With Love
If you're the sort of person who makes time to train every day, then having high amounts of amino acids in the form of a supplement is essential. For that reason, we've chosen Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard BCAA as our number one pick.
It has a much higher amino acid content per serving than any of the others in our ranking, and you get about a month's worth (should you take one a day. More than simply focusing on performance, this supplement also includes multiple vitamins for overall wellbeing, such as vitamin C for immune health.
Did you know that approximately 35% of muscle protein is compromised of BCAAs? Therefore, if you're looking to train regularly, you'll need to have enough available in your body when it's time to work out. Luckily, Reflex Nutrition have your back with these capsules!
Each tablet contains three amino acids to help you maintain and gain muscle mass. You'll be required to take around six tablets each serving, so they might not go as far as some other options, but all the minerals are high-grade.
BSN offer plenty of flavours to entice you into taking your BCAA supplement. We've chosen the blue raspberry flavour, but there are six other options, including green apple and fruit punch. Thankfully, it's more than just a taste sensation, providing you with quality amino acids.
Additionally, this supplement includes vitamin B6 to help increase stamina and metabolism. But we particularly like how well the formula mixes, which isn't something that can be said for every powder.
If you've had a meander through the internet already, then you'll have likely come across Optimum Nutrition. They're one of the most recognisable sports supplement brands, and that's because they consistently deliver the goods.
This is their bulk option, providing 1000 tablets. As you only need to take two per serving, this gives you a whole lot of supplements! They can be taken either post or pre-workout and are used by all types of athletes, from runners to bodybuilders.
This BCAA powder from PBN is similar to using a protein shake. Simply add a scoop to 250ml of water in your shaker, and shake vigorously for approximately 30 seconds. From there, you'll be drinking fine watermelon-flavoured BCAAs, which taste much better than Mr. Styles' watermelon sugar, we assure you.
This blend of BCAAs is formulated to aid muscle growth and repair, weight loss and increase strength. As a nice little bonus, it's one of the more affordable options, with just as much of the good stuff inside.
Here, we have another offering from Domyos. This BCAA supplement is slightly different in that it includes a wide variety of B vitamins, such as B6, B9 and B12. In the tub, you'll find 120 vegan-friendly tablets. However, you will be required to take five per dose.
These tablets are also chewable, making them much easier and more enjoyable to take. They even come in lemon flavour, that's fresh without being too sweet or cloying.
USN has created the Power Punch Amino Acid Blend to help athletes and exercise enthusiasts meet their needs. It's packed full of leucine, isoleucine and valine, meaning you'll be able to maximise your training sessions.
Not only that, but it's 100% vegan and has zero sugar. Plus, they have added vitamin b6, which helps to regulate and maintain a normal amount of amino acids in the blood. It isn't the cheapest option, but you'll surely get your money's worth!
Decathlon is one of the UK's most reliable sport and fitness stores, and Domyos is their flagship brand. With their BCAAs supplement, glutamine has been added, which is another amino thought to encourage weight loss.
Many have found that these tablets are much easier to take due to their chewable nature, meaning you won't have to try and swallow two big capsules just before your work out. Sadly, they're not as juiced up as some of the other options, but whether this is a determining factor will depend on how many BCAAs you require.
This offering from Warrior supplements aims to help athletes in multiple aspects, from breaking down and synthesising proteins to ensuring that you remain focused on your workout and capable of giving it your all. If that's not good enough, they taste pretty good too!
Here, we've opted for cherry cola flavour, but there are another five options should you be inclined towards something fruitier. One thing worth mentioning is that the ingredients include added caffeine, which could be dangerous if you work out in the evenings, take a pre-workout or are sensitive to caffeine.
Weider is a Spanish company that produce a plethora of different supplements for athletes. This BCAA supplement use the traditional 2:1:1 ratio of amino acids, with 26 servings in each bottle.
130 tablets may seem like a lot, but Weider recommend you take 5 tablets per serving. This means you'll only get 26 servings in a tub, which is a little short of average. Plus, the capsules are known to be on the larger side, so these might not be the most comfortable to take.
Research suggests that amino acids, particularly leucine, can help to reduce excess fat and encourage metabolism. Finally, they may reduce the onset of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), which means you’ll be back in fighting shape that little bit quicker.
It’s worth noting that these supplements should be taken up to 15 minutes before you work out to get the maximum result. If you’re worried about the side effects, thankfully, when consumed in moderate amounts, they are generally safe.
Whether it's for warm-up or recovery, the right sports nutrition will help you reach your full potential. To help you stay on track, we've ranked some of the best sports drinks and protein powders available online in the UK!
Whether you're looking to bulk up, maintain what you have or supplement your diet, we hope you've enjoyed browsing our list of the top recommended BCAAs in the UK. Why not try out a few different ones to see which works best for you and your routine? Plus, you'll get to sample a bunch of different flavours along the way!
Author: Lewis Clark
No. 1: Optimum Nutrition｜Gold Standard BCAA
No. 2: Reflex Nutrition｜BCAA Capsules
No. 3: BSN｜Nutrition Amino X Energy
No. 4: Optimum Nutrition｜BCAA 1000
No. 5: Premium Body Nutrition｜BCAA
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