If you've been in the fitness world for a while, you've probably heard a lot about amino acids in general, and even more about the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and BCAAs are three specific amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—that are critical for muscle growth. But what's so great about amino acids and BCAA supplements?
Well, you might say that BCAAs do a fair amount of heavy lifting within the intricate pathways of muscle growth. They contribute to energy production and even fat loss, and leucine—probably the most important of the BCAAs—can help initiate muscle protein synthesis. When it comes to building size, BCAAs are the most critical amino acids. (Learn even more about them here!)
Most people sip on BCAAs while training because they can help fuel your workout, especially if you're low on calories or happen to train fasted. For some folks, amino acid supplementation can even help with soreness and recovery from regular weight training. Plus, they're damn tasty to drink any time of the day.
The next time you lift, try adding 5 grams or more of BCAAs to your intra-workout drink and sip it throughout your session. Take a gander at the list below to see what our community has to say about their favorite flavors of amino acid products!
EVLution Nutrition GLU+
"I'm kind of a health freak, and this is one of the only supplements I choose to allow into my body."
"Very good taste for this supplement. Blue Raz is delicious, my favorite flavor, and I can't wait to try again!"
Optimum Nutrition Essential AmiN.O. Energy
"I like Optimum Nutrition products in general, and this AmiN.O. Energy is great."
"Excellent product to take during low-carb dieting. Provides sustained energy and mental focus with enjoyable flavors."
"I'd drink it for the taste alone. When I wake up, throughout the day, pre-workout—you name it, I'm drinking it."
"Without a doubt, the best-tasting BCAAs out there. Absolutely awesome taste, which can [actually] be a bummer as you find yourself drinking more than you should."
"I absolutely love this stuff. It helps me get through my workouts without fatiguing as easily."
"I have tried several different post-workout BCAA drinks, and BSN AMINOx is by far the best. Helps with recovery and the taste is unmatched."
NLA for Her Her Aminos
"I love both flavors so much! I've never been a fan of anything watermelon flavor (I don't even like actual watermelons), but I absolutely love this one and you can never go wrong with pink lemonade—yum!"
"Wonderful flavor and I can really feel the difference if I do not use this, especially after leg day."
"I take this daily with Uplift before my workout and drink it throughout my workouts. And if I am super tired in the afternoon, I'll put some in a water bottle and it helps give me that little extra boost I need to finish off my day!"
"Xtend will always be my favorite BCAAs. The taste is absolutely amazing and the nutrition profile is just right. The price is also extremely affordable."
"I've been using this product for over a year and I it has been a great addition to my workouts. Keeps me hydrated and having something sweet in between sets is a nice little reward."
"My favorite BCAA! The mango is amazing!"
Post JYM Active Matrix
"Best post-workout ever! Great flavor (flavor really works for me), less DOMs, and recovery seems much quicker."
"This is a product with great taste, the right ingredients, and no bull!"
MuscleTech AMINO BUILD
"This is a great product, helps with soreness, and has a pleasant taste. I was unsure about white grape, but I find it to be less "in your face" strong than the purple grape flavors. It has a great combo of ingredients!"
"The white grape flavor is the best!"
"This product is great! It's a really refreshing great taste, and mixes as well as any other product I've ever tried."
PharmaFreak AMINO FREAK Powder
"It has a great taste and truly works for muscle recovery."
"My favorite flavor is the blue raspberry. It tastes just like Kool-aid to me and doesn't have any funky aftertastes."
BPI Sports Best BCAA
"Hands-down my favorite BCAA that I've tried. I often train fasted, and this keeps me hydrated and energized!"
"Love this BCAA! It mixes very well and the flavors are true to their name! My favorite is the watermelon ice. It tastes like a juice box and doesn't have a chemical aftertaste."
Optimum PRO BCAA
"I use it as a drink throughout the day and during my workouts. Raspberry Lemonade tastes fantastic and is very refreshing. Definitely buying again!"
"Dosed correctly, micronized, mixes instantly, and tastes great. It tastes goes well together with orange mango Glycofuse for a great intra-workout drink."