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13 Best BCAA Tablets to Boost Your Workouts in 2020

If you’ve landed on this list of the best BCAA tablets, you’ve probably got an inkling as to what they are and what they do. 

However, if you're still after some more info before you buy, you’ve come to the right place. Here at OriGym we’ve got the answers to some key questions at the bottom of the article, and also the best BCAA tablets reviews so that you can find the right supplements to really get your fitness fired up.  

Before you carry on reading, have you ever thought about sharing your passion for fitness with others? If so, be sure to check out our Personal Training Certification and level 4 advanced sports nutrition course, or download our latest course prospectus for more information. 

Also, feel free to download our FREE 16 Week Home Strength Training Programme before jumping in.

What are BCAA tablets?

BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) tablets are a supplement designed to provide amino acids that aren’t provided by the body but are essential to it: mainly leucine, isoleucine, and valine. 

Amino acids are critical in certain functions within the body, but mainly building proteins and balancing hormones, which, as you probably already realise, are an integral part of the structure of the human body. The BCAA amino acids are crucial for muscle growth and repair:

Leucine, isoleucine, and valine, represent 3 of the 20 amino acids that are used in the formation of proteins. (Gleeson, 2005)

Another proven benefit of BCAA is that it reduces muscle fatigue by contending with another amino acid, Tryptophan, in getting to the brain. As Linda M. Castell et al explain: 

‘Tryptophan is the precursor for the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), which is involved in fatigue and sleep....Increased plasma free tryptophan leads to an increase in the plasma concentration ratio of free tryptophan to the branched chain amino acids (BCAA) which compete with tryptophan for entry into the brain across the blood-brain barrier. (Castell et al., 1999)

When the levels of tryptophan outweigh the BCAAs the result is chronic fatigue and tiredness, hence the need for increased BCAAs, especially during and after exercise! 

BCAA supplement tablets provide these essential amino acids in a simple and easy to take format. 

If you're still open to finding the right type of supplement for you, check out OriGym's list of the best running supplements, or our yoga supplement list for an even larger range of products to choose from. 

#1 - Opal Fitness BCAA + 

Price: £11.99 for 120 tablets

reflex bcaa tablets uk

If you’re looking for a quick turn-around in results then the Opal Fitness BCAA Plus tablets are the best option for you - with over 1000 reviews and an average 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon, these will give you results, fast. A significant number of the BCAA tablets reviews state that they saw results within days - DAYS - so don’t put off those long-awaited gains any longer!

The Opal Fitness BCAA tablets have been created with a specific formula designed to optimise their effectiveness and maximise muscle growth. This includes the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine in a 2:1:1 ratio, which has been said to be the optimum ratio for protein production. 

One of the main reasons many people avoid taking supplements is how unpleasant they can be to take, whether that’s awful taste or oversized tablets that look more suitable for a horse. Luckily, these tablets are easy to swallow and won’t leave a bitter aftertaste, which many other BCAA tablets from UK sellers do, so the entire supplement experience is much more pleasant.  

An extra added feature that should grab your attention: these BCAA Plus tablets have added Vitamin B6, which works effectively with the BCAA to increase absorption, reduce fatigue, and provide overall support for your immune system. So, you’re not only getting the usual benefits from the BCAA tablets, but you’re getting extra added health advantages. And, if all that hasn’t quite convinced you, then one bottle can last you up to 8 weeks – that’s amazing value for money! 

To finally tick off all those boxes, the Opal Fitness BCAA Plus tablets are also made from a completely vegan-friendly formula. Finding great vegan BCAA tablets is a struggle in itself, especially ones that won’t have you running for your water bottle to wash away the taste, so we think these are the best BCAA tablets for vegans and value for money.

We even have a list of the best vegan cookbooks for those who want to discover new ways to up their nutrition game! 

#2 - Xellerate Nutrition BCAA Tablets 

Price: £20.97 for 425 tablets

how to use bcaa tablets

With 1000mg worth of BCAA in every tablet, Xellerate provides everything you need and more from BCAA supplement tablets. The bottle tells you that you can build more muscle and burn more fat with the use of the supplements, which is exactly what we’re looking for! 

The first thing you notice about the Xellerate BCAA tablets is that  they come in an absolute monster of a bottle. You get 425 tablets in each one, which adds up to 141 days worth of supplements, which does explain the slightly higher price tag of around £20. But, if you crunch the numbers, the price you’re paying per tablet is pretty low so you’re actually getting a lot more for your money than you would with other brands. 

These are another brand of BCAA supplement tablets with added Vitamin B6, so you get all the added benefits of this important vitamin as well, including a strengthened immune system and reduced fatigue after your workout. These are also another great option for vegan BCAA tablets – lots of other brands have some form of gelatine in them, so it’s a refreshing change to see Xellerate accommodating for those with differing requirements.  

For quicker and fresher delivery, you’ll be pleased to read that these BCAA tablets are manufactured in the UK. Plus, if you’re worried about medical standards and hygiene then you can be reassured that these tablets will be made to the same standards and high quality as any other medicine and supplementary products in the UK. 

So if one of the key factors affecting your purchasing decision is value for money, these are probably the best BCAA tablets for cost when you look at the price per tablet. We’d definitely recommend these if you’re ready to fully commit to using BCAA supplement tablets as the overall price is a little higher. Anybody ready to take their body to the next level will get all the support they need from Xellerate!

#3 - Biotest BCAA Peptides

Price: £41.99 for 300g

Biotest BCAA tablets

These Biotest BCAA tablets claim to be considerably more effective than  the standard BCAA supplement – 250% more effective, in fact. While this exact number is difficult to prove, the composition seems to be sound. These tablets are combined with whey protein to act as a ‘best of both worlds’ supplement that is meant to bring muscle gain to its absolute highest level.  

Biotest gives a step by step process outlining how their product achieves its status of the ultimate BCAA. It essentially has added chemicals to enhance the amino acids uptake and transport to the relevant locations for protein production, which makes it an effective  exercise supplement.  

The Biotest BCAA tablets do have an important caveat: the health claims made by the company are not backed up by the Food and Drug Administration, so there’s no guarantee  that it will do all the things it says it will. The ingredients do follow some of your typical BCAA formula, with leucine and whey protein. Biotest do provide some references for their claims, so if you’re a scientifically minded  athlete, then give them a look and see how you feel for yourself. 

This uncertainty combined with the larger price tag is why we wouldn’t recommend this as a first-time product for anyone just entering the world of BCAA tablets. We would, however, recommend it for anyone who has good experience with BCAA products and is looking to advance their supplement game to the next level.

#4 - Matrix Nutrition BCAA Tablets 

Price:  £9.99 for 120 tablets

bcaa tablets review

Matrix Nutrition’s main ambition is to help you ‘Rule Your Goals’. They provide a fantastic range of products and supplements to do this, with new items regularly appearing on their website. If you’re new to the world of supplements then following Matrix Nutrition’s online guides will help you figure out which supplements will be most efficient in achieving your fitness goals. Informative yet easy to use, this a company serious about fitness and dedicated to your needs. 

Their range of BCAA tablets are another great choice for building and preserving lean muscle, with the optimum 2:1:1 ratio we mentioned earlier. Each portion has 1335mg of Leucine, which is the most important of the amino acids commonly found in BCAAs. This is a hefty dose which will be massively supportive for any workout you have in mind.  

One bottle contains 120 tablets, or you can get a larger bottle with 240 BCAA supplement tablets. If you’re just starting out and not sure if these supplements are for you, we’d recommend starting with the 120 bottle to try them out.  

With the price tag in mind, these are some really cheap BCAA tablets, amongst the cheapest you’ll find, so definitely worth giving a go if you’re interested in entering the world of supplements. Combined with the handy beginners guides, their user friendly website, and huge range of products, you’ll definitely be able to Rule Your Goals in no time!

#5 - MyProtein Essential BCAA Amino Acid Supplement (270 Tablets)

Price: £18.62 for 270 tablets

best bcaa tablets uk

MyProtein has a huge range of nutrition products, specialising in vitamins, snacks and supplements meant to boost your health and support your exercise. They’re worth checking out for all of your fitness needs, including a whole section dedicated to high quality vegan supplements!

The MyProtein BCAA plus tablets in particular are made up of the classic 2:1:1 ratio that we’ve come to expect from our BCAAs, and the commonly added vitamin B6 to aid muscle generation and fatigue reduction. These are great for reducing stiffness after a workout, with  some BCAA tablets reviews claiming that they feel no muscle pain at all after using them. No muscle pain? Yes please!

You can grab bottles of either 90 or 270 tablets; the bigger bottle offers more value for your money, so if you’re looking to save money in the long run then we’d say go with the 270 tablets bottle. The 90 would be better if you just want to try dipping your toe into the BCAA supplement tablets pond before committing to a bigger bottle, though.  

So these are the best BCAA tablets for UK customers looking for value for money, with the only downside being the somewhat bitter taste and larger size of the tablets, meaning they can take a little getting used to. Wash them down with your favourite sports drink and they become some solid BCAA supplement tablets, recommended to athletes of any level. 

#6 - Bulk Powders Pure Series BCAA Tablets 

Price: £9.23 for 100 tablets

bcaa tablets review uk

The Pure Series BCAA tablets have everything you would need from BCAA products, with the added benefit of offering some cheap BCAA tablets for this list.  

These have the golden 2:1:1 ratio, but no added health ingredients like vitamin B6, which is  unlike a lot of the other BCAA tablets out there. This is the trade off for the cheaper price tag: you’d have to add separate supplements to your regimen if you wanted all the extra benefits, but in terms of BCAA tablets these aren’t necessary for the primary purpose of rebuilding new muscles. That being said, these are a great place to start if you want to experiment with BCAA supplements without the risk of wasting money if you find they’re not for you.  

This product comes in bottles of 100 tablets and 250 tablets and, strangely, you’re better off buying the 100. Usually buying in bulk is the most cost effective option, but hey – we’re not complaining!  

So, while the Bulk Powder Pure Series BCAA tablets may not have a lot of the same  advantages that are common with other brands, they make up for that by being a no nonsense, incredibly cheaper option. So we’d recommend  buying them to try them out – they might just be exactly what you’re looking for. 

#7 - Love Life Supplements Essential Amino Acid Tablets 

Price: £24.95 for 300 tablets

bcaa plus tablets

The Love Life Supplements BCAA tablets bottle is another beast of a thing, with 300 tablets per bottle. If you’re ready to take the plunge and really invest in the world of BCAA, then the sheer volume and reasonable price with this brand could be the best BCAA tablets brand for you.

This is another supplement that contains not only the 3 BCAAs  needed for protein synthesis, but also a further 5 amino acids needed for general health and wellbeing.This is a fantastic addition to any supplement, purely because it reduces the need to invest in (and remember to take!) other supplements, and lowers the pressure on you to plan your meals quite as vigorously. Especially with a vegetarian/vegan diet, a wide-ranging supplement can be incredibly beneficial – so it’s handy that these are vegan BCAA tablets too! 

But of course, no supplement is a substitute for a varied and healthy diet – that’s why they’re called supplements! 

These BCAA supplement tablets are fast acting, claiming to be digested and put to use within 20 minutes of ingestion. These are great for taking before you set off to the gym, or if you forget to take it in the morning (which happens to the best of us!), and with a supply of up to 2 months they’ll soon be a great addition to your fitness lifestyle. 

As for the standard stuff, these tablets will function to add muscle  mass, increase endurance, and lower recovery time between workouts. Exactly what we’re looking for in BCAA tablets!  

#8 - Spartan Force BCAA with Leuzea Root Extract 

Price: £17.00 for 100 tablets

cheap bcaa tablets uk

The Spartan Force BCAA supplement tablets are a solid choice, and do everything you’d expect from BCAA, and more. Uniquely, these tablets are formulated with Leuzea root extract, which introduces a whole new edge to the supplement game. 

Firstly, these BCAA plus tablets have the all important magic ratio of 2:1:1, so we know they give the right balance of BCAAs, and provide the key supplementary factors: muscle growth and retention, increased protein integration, and advanced exercise performance. So far, so good!  

Where the Spartan Force BCAA tablets differ is in the addition of Leuzea root extract. This weird and wonderful plant adds crucial things as vitamin C and folic acid to the already helpful BCAAs: the benefits of this include better all-round health, increased stimulation for muscle growth, better endurance, and positive influences on hormone levels.

These added benefits go some of the way to explain the slightly bigger price tag that this product has. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive than  your average supplement, but we think it’s worth it – and if you’re ready to fully invest, you can get a three pack while saving a bit of money  overall. Win-win!  

So if you’re looking to try something new, and take a supplement  that has a lot more goodness than standard BCAA plus tablets, then look no further – especially if you’re okay dropping a bit of money on it. Look at it as an investment, and you’ll be seeing the fitness returns in no time. 

#9 - MusclePharm 3:1:2 Capsules 

Price: currently unavailable

benefits of bcaa tablets

No, that isn’t a typo – we’ve moved away from the 2:1:1 ratio onto MusclePharm’s patented 3:1:2 formula. According to MusclePharm, this is the ideal ratio of the BCAAs – and since they’ve patented the design, you’ve got to think that there is some truth to the claim.  

MusclePharm, like other BCAA brands, tells you that this supplement will do everything you’d expect: support muscle gain, reduce post-workout fatigue, improve performance. It also claims that the new formula will release the all important amino acids themselves at the ideal time for your body, exactly when your muscles are most in need of them.

If different nutrition levels and formulas is something that interests you then maybe you should look into becoming a nutritionist? Read through our article on how to become a sports nutritionist here to see if it's the right career for you!

These are a little on the pricey side. We assume that’s due to the  patented formula, which could become the next big thing in supplement design. For that reason, it could be a bit of a risk buying these tablets – it’s a whole new type of BCAA supplement tablets after all. But if you’ve been seeing good results from the regular ratio and want to go even further, then maybe this new formula  is the next logical step.  

So, these supplements certainly do what you need them to, but is this fancy new formula better than the conventional 2:1:1? Well, you’ll  just have to try them out and decide for yourself! 

#10 - T-Rex Integratori BCAA Plus Tablets 

Price: £24.45 for 150 tablets

myprotein bcaa tablets

The T-Rex Integratori is back to the tried and tested 2:1:1, so you know that these BCAA supplement tablets will be there to support you both during and after your workout, by enhancing and sustaining lean muscle. This supplement has a great amount of added vitamins, too: Vitamin E, B1, and B6. So as well as the usual effects, you’ll have the added  benefit of fatigue reduction, maximisation of proteins, and increased energy gain.  

In terms of price, this is on the higher end of the scale, being just under £25 for 150 tablets. You are getting a lot for your money here, though, as this supplement has more added vitamins than the average  brand. And at any rate, that slick looking bottle can’t be cheap to make!  

More good news for vegans, as these are another option for vegan BCAA tablets. This is rapidly becoming the norm for supplements,  which is certainly a good thing – everyone should be able to support their fitness goals however they need - just be sure to check every brand before purchasing as some haven’t adopted the vegan-friendly approach just yet.  

If you're looking for some other ways to get protein in your vegan diet, check out our article on the best vegan protein sources to make sure you're as healthy as possible!

So all in all, these are pretty solid BCAA plus tablets that will do the job you need it to, and more. You are getting a lot out of this bottle, so the benefits are worth the price. So go ahead and nab yourself one of these awesome bottles and watch your gym-life improve, fast. 

#11 - Gold Tech Nutrition BCAA+ Ultra 

Price: £11.99 for 120 tablets

bcaa tablets uk

The Gold Tech BCAA plus tablets are formulated with the effective 2:1:1 ratio, so you know immediately that you’re getting the right levels of amino acids. They also have some added vitamin B6, which, as we know, is great for diminishing the dreaded delayed-onset muscle soreness.  

The biggest difference with the Ultra tablets is that they contain up to 2400mg of BCAA, and 16mg of vitamin B6, which is much more than the average supplement. This means you could get away with having fewer tablets per day (great if the tablets are more suitably sized for a horse!), which would allow the bottle to last longer. A simple way to save a bit of cash!   

Another advantage of these tablets is how easy they are to swallow, and that they don’t leave a bitter aftertaste. While this might not seem overly important, it’s actually a big consideration because it can be a huge barrier to taking BCAA plus tablets if the experience itself means you’d rather have teeth pulled: these tablets are a pleasant change from that! 

So if you’re keen for a more intense supplement to support a more powerful workout, then these are the best BCAA tablets (UK) for you. They do everything you’d expect great BCAA tablets to do and then some, with an acceptable price tag as well.

#12 - SciTec Nutrition Amino Acid Formula Tablets

Price: £19.89 for 500 tablets 

cheap bcaa tablets

This is the best BCAA tablets option for anyone who is ready to dive head first into the world of BCAA supplements, or are looking to stock up their BCAA cupboard for the long run. Due to its massive size, you need to be ready and dedicated to make the commitment (if you’ve read this far then we’re guessing that you probably are!). 

The main selling point of this product is the hefty bottle – you can either buy 500 tablets or 1000 tablets at a time. This is considerably larger than any other brand on our list, yet not the most expensive so you’re definitely getting great value for money with SciTec.  

As for the stats, they are reasonably standard with the acids you’d expect but with no added extras. This is a minor downside because if you are looking to get into supplements then it’s worth grabbing a brand that gives you extra acids or vitamins. However, as pure BCAA supplement tablets, you can’t get much better.  

So, these are the best BCAA tablets for those who don’t mind paying a little extra to buy in bulk – you’ll be saving money in the long term! And if you do, you’re sure to be content with what you get, as these are some  absolutely solid supplements. So grab them, and get bulking! 

#13 - Optimum Nutrition Superior BCAA Tablets

Price: £13.95 for 160 tablets

matrix bcaa tablets

The Optimum Nutrition BCAA tablets are jam packed with a high quality blend of 18 types of amino acids, which includes the essential amino acids for building protein, along with other important but not essential types. 

The formulation of these supplements means you only need to take one tablet twice a day as one serving contains 1903mg of amino acids - definitely the best BCAA tablets for anyone a little uneasy about excessive tablet taking. The downside of this is that they are on the larger side, so make sure you have plenty of water with you when you take these tablets.

Unlike many of the other options on this list, this brand doesn't follow the traditional 2:1:1 BCAA ratio, but due to the amount of other added amino acids that will benefit your training in the long run, this probably isn’t as necessary for the advantages. 

If the unusual formula of these BCAA tablets hasn’t quite convinced you, then the availability of a smaller bottle of just 160 tablets might provide a good option for you. Great for those just starting out: Optimum Nutrition also supplies a larger bottle at 320 tablets

For the best BCAA tablets for amino acids then Optimum Nutrition is the brand for you, you’re getting a lot of amino acid for your money, which means a whole lot more benefits to your fitness!

How to use BCAA tablets

Every brand will state on the bottle the recommended serving and amount for maximum efficiency from the BCAA supplement tablets, so the best option is to start off this way and then adapt the amount (within the recommended daily amount!) to suit your workout needs.  

Most BCAA tablets are taken either before or after a workout, with different benefits. For pre-workout, the tablets generally help in endurance and soreness (DOMS) and with aiding muscle recovery, meaning you’ll be keeping energy high during all of your workouts. For post-workout, they help in reducing delayed-onset muscle sut. When it comes to the question of when is best to take BCAA tablets? the answer is ultimately up to you and depends on your fitness goals.

If you have underlying health conditions or issues then be sure to consult your doctor before introducing BCAA tablets into your routine.

When to take BCAA tablets

This is definitely one of the most common questions when it comes to incorporating BCAA tablets into your fitness routine: the answer to when should BCAA tablets be taken? usually depends on the main effect you want from the supplements.

For more of a energy boost during your workout then taking the tablets before exercising is key. Most brands will instruct you on how long before a workout is best to take them for the BCAAs to be absorbed into the body, but a general guideline is about 15 minutes beforehand. If you're more concerned about muscle soreness post workout, then take the BCAA tablets just after your exercise for the best effect. When to take BCAA tablets is ultimately up to you!

Some brands also recommend taking BCAA tablets before bed to further aid muscle recovery, but make sure your choice of BCAA supplement tablets don't contain added extras like caffeine. 

How many BCAA tablets a day?

This depends wholly on the concentration of BCAA per tablet and your bodyweight. Most brands recommend 2 or 3 servings a day, with a serving ranging anywhere from 1 tablet up to 5 tablets. Be sure to read the instructions and always follow the manufacturer's guidelies! 

Benefits of BCAA tablets

best bcaa tablets

You're probably wondering, what do BCAA tablets do? Well, there are a great number of benefits to BCAA tablets that can help everyone, not just those focused on fitness. The main amino acids contained in these tablets are those that are essential to everyday life but aren’t provided by the body. As Michael Gleeson states: 

‘BCAA supplementation can reduce net protein breakdown in muscle during exercise and reduce fatigue and enhance performance via effects on the brain.’ (Gleeson, 2005)

These benefits further include:

  • Reduced impact of DOMS and soreness on muscles
  • Improved muscle building (BCAAs encourage protein synthesis in muscles)
  • Supply energy during workouts (once the muscles have utilised the glucose for energy, the BCAAs can act as another source)
  • Reduce fatigue during strenuous exercise (due to the extra source of energy, and because BCAA block Tryptophan - see our paragraph on what is BCAA at the top for info on this)
  • Support the immune system 
  • Protect lean muscle (BCAAs provide another source for protein breakdown instead of using the body’s own protein sources)

If learning all this info about amino acids and BCAA has really grabbed your attention, then take a look at our article on how to become a nutritionist to see how you match up to this career path.

Do I need BCAA tablets?

While you might not necessarily need BCAA tablets, you do need the amino acids that they provide. Most people who eat a balanced and healthy diet do recieve enough of these, but the supplements provide a sure-fire way to make sure they’re incorporated into your diet. 

They are also a great addition for dedicated gym goers as they aid in muscle recovery, muscle building, and provide extra energy. 

What are the best BCAA tablets?

bcaa tablets review UK

This all depends on your fitness goals and routine, and general personal preferences. You may be more concerned about added extras as well as the needed amino acids, you might want a larger stock with more value for money, or you might just be starting out with BCAA supplement tablets and want a cheaper option to see if they work for you.

Whatever your needs, this list has the best BCAA tablets reviews to help you support your nutrition and fitness in the best way possible.

Before you go!

Well, that was a lot of info to take in, but it’s all useful and necessary stuff that can help your fitness in the long term. You should definitely remember to keep an eye out for different size bottles as you might be able to save yourself some money in the future. 

If you’ve enjoyed learning all about BCAA tablets and amino acids, then maybe you’d enjoy learning more about fitness and nutrition and imparting that knowledge on others: check out our level 4 advanced sports nutrition course or download our free course prospectus to find out more! 

References

  1. Castell L.M., Yamamoto T., Phoenix J., Newsholme E.A. (1999) The Role of Tryptophan in Fatigue in Different Conditions of Stress. In: Huether G., Kochen W., Simat T.J., Steinhart H. (eds) Tryptophan, Serotonin, and Melatonin. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 467. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-4709-9_90
  2. Gleeson, M. (2005). Interrelationship between Physical Activity and Branched-Chain Amino Acids. The Journal of Nutrition, 135(6), pp.1591–1595. 

Written by Dee Hammond-Blackburn

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Dee on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Dee holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature, and is currently finishing her MA in Marketing Communications and Branding from Edge Hill University. Her passion for fitness and content writing brought her to OriGym, and she has since become a qualified Personal Trainer and a Sports Nutrition Specialist. Combining her skills in fitness and writing, Dee has a professional interest in fitness blogging, content creation, and social media. Outside of her writing role Dee enjoys reading, healthy cooking, and playing football with her dalmation.

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