7 Best BCAAs Without Sucralose Or Artificial Sweeteners

Branched chain amino acid supplements can provide important health benefits to certain groups of people.

Unfortunately, many BCAA products contain artificial sweeteners and that dreaded unknown ingredient, Natural Flavors.

This article reviews several of the best BCAA supplements currently on the market that are without sucralose & other artificial flavor additives.

 

7 best BCAAs without artificial sweeteners

Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules

BulkSupplements BCAA Powder in Gel Caps

Now Sports Nutrition, BCAA Capsules

Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Capsules

Zhou Nutrition Muscle BCAA Capsules 

Crazy Muscle BCAA Capsules

Raw Barrel’s Pure BCAA Tablets

 

What these Best BCAAs don’t have

To make this Best Artificial-Free BCAA list, all seven of these BCAA products met the following criteria:

  • no sucralose
  • no other artificial sweeteners either
  • no sugar alcohols like xylitol, erythritol, isomalt
  • no “Natural Flavors”
  • no sugar
  • no additional supplements

 

What’s next

Up ahead I’ll go into a detailed review of each of these Best BCAA products.

First though, let’s take a quick look at a few of the science-backed benefits of BCAAs.

 

 

test tubes red - heydayDO icon

Science resources included

As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.

 

 

BCAA benefits

Branched-chain amino acids offer helpful nutritional support that those of us who work out regularly need, whether we get them in the protein-rich food we eat (like meat, chicken, dairy, eggs, beans, etc.) or in supplement form.

Several sports science research studies have been conducted that have demonstrated the following BCAA benefits.

  1. BCAAs help build muscle by stimulating the process of muscle building known as muscle protein synthesis following resistance training & intense exercise. (1)
  1. BCAAs reduce muscle damage caused by strenuous exercise such as strength training, when taken before, during, or after the workout period. (2)
  1. BCAAs enhance muscle recovery following exercise, as our bodies engage in the process of muscle repair & adaptive growth in response to our workouts. (3)
  1. BCAAs reduce sore muscles following strength training, a condition that’s also known as DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. (4)

 

Best BCAAs without artificial sweeteners

OK, here are the details for the seven cleanest BCAA supplement products I could find on the market at this point in time.

A little reminder about the point I made earlier regarding what these BCAAs don’t have among their ingredients.

These are pure BCAAs, not only free of artificial sweeteners & flavors but also without any other added supplements.

Keepin’ it clean, baby…

 

How they’re ranked

The first four supplements I mention (from Do Vitamins, BulkSupplements, NOW Nutrition, & Optimum Nutrition) have all been tested by Labdoor, an independent 3rd party supplement testing company.

Not only that, but those 4 BCAA supplements also all rank in the top 10 in terms of best quality on Labdoor’s BCAA report. (5)

The other three aren’t excluded from Labdoor’s BCAA rankings because there’s anything wrong with them.

They’re not on Labdoor’s report only because Labdoor hasn’t tested them yet.

 

They’re all in gelcap/capsule form

Not a single powder-that-you-drink BCAA product made my list.

There was only one candidate in drinkable powder form that was clean enough to make it, but it had so many customers complaining about its taste, I left it off.

All of the other highly rated BCAAs in powder form have something in them to improve their taste, as you’ll see in the section that follows these reviews.

 

The fact is, BCAAs in their pure form have a taste you’ll NEVER say is one of your favorite things to enjoy.

That’s why the powdered, drinkable forms of BCAAs almost always have some form of flavor additive in them. 

Whether it’s sugar, sugar alcohols, sucralose, “natural flavors” or whatever, manufacturers are trying to mask the gnarly taste of BCAAs when sold in the drinkable powder.

 

Blackboard diagram of BCAA leucine

“Leucine In The Chalkboard Without Diamonds”

 

(Clicking on their names will open their product pages on AMZ in separate tabs.)

1. Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules

Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules - heydayDo image copy

Features:

  • #1 Ranked BCAA product for quality by Labdoor
  • 4.4 ⭐  140 reviews on Amazon
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO Plant Sourced
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.05 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

2. BulkSupplements BCAA (gel caps)

BulkSupplements BCAA Powder - heydayDo image copy

Features:

  • #2 Ranked BCAA product for quality by Labdoor
  • 4.5 ⭐  8,100+ reviews on Amazon
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • .75 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

3. Now Sports Nutrition, BCAA Capsules

Now Sports Nutrition, BCAA Capsules - heydayDo image copy

Features:

  • #5 Ranked BCAA product for quality by Labdoor
  • 4.3 ⭐  75 reviews on Amazon
  • 2.6:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.6 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

4. Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules

Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules - heydayDo image copy

Features:

  • #7 Ranked BCAA product for quality by Labdoor
  • 4.2 ⭐  3,200+ reviews on Amazon
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • .5 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

5. Zhou Nutrition Muscle BCAA Capsules

Zhou Nutrition Muscle BCAA - heydayDo image copy

Features:

  • 4.3 ⭐ 82 reviews on Amazon
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.25 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

6. Crazy Muscle BCAA Capsules

Crazy Muscle BCAA Tablets - heydayDo image copy

Features:

  • 4.7 ⭐  250 reviews on Amazon
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.5 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

7. Raw Barrel’s Pure BCAA Tablets

Raw Barrel BCAA Tablets - heydayDo image copy

Features:

  • 4.6 ⭐  500+ reviews on Amazon
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.5 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

4 more BCAAs without Sucralose

I thought I’d include this section for those of you who’d prefer to drink your BCAAs instead of taking capsules, and are OK with letting a particular flavoring additive slide.

Here are the four best BCAA supplements in powder form I chose after combing through the ingredients & manufacturing methods of dozens of drinkable BCAA products.

Here are a couple of points to consider:

  • None of these have sucralose in them
  • All of them have something besides BCAAs in them

 

I provide the non-BCAA ingredients for each of them, so you can see what the manufacturer put in them to try & mask that lovely taste of plain BCAAs.

Remember, for the purpose of this article (Cleanest BCAAs) I needed to exclude these from my ‘Best’ list.

However, you may be fine with the additional ingredients in one or more of these BCAA products.

 

And as you’ll see, aside from their flavor additives, these are very well-made BCAA supplements. 

(p.s. They’re not ranked in any particular order.)

 

Truth Nutrition Fermented Vegan BCAA

Truth Nutrition Vegan BCAA Powder - heydayDo image copy

Additional ingredient(s):

Citric acid, Natural Flavor, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Citrate, Stevia, Sea Salt, Beet Root Juice Color, Sunflower Lecithin

Features:

  • Vegan
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 2.7 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

ProMix BCAA Powder Amino Acid

ProMix BCAA Powder - heydayDo image copy

Additional ingredient(s):

Crystallized Lemon Juice, Non-GMO Cane Sugar, Stevia, Beet Juice & Turmeric for color

Features:

  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO Plant Sourced
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 2.5 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

NutraBio BCAA Natural Powder

NutraBio BCAA Natural Powder - heydayDo image copy

Additional ingredient(s):

Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Monk Fruit Extract, Stevia

Features:

  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO Plant Sourced
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 2.5 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

Thorne Research – BCAA Powder for Sports

Thorne Research - Amino Complex - heydayDo image copy

Additional ingredient(s):

Amino Acid Complex, Citric Acid, Flavors, Stevia, Rebaudioside A, Silicon Dioxide, Vegetable Juice Color

Features:

  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.25 grams of leucine per serving

See reviews on Amazon

 

 

question answer purple - heydayDo icon

BCAA FAQs

Here are answers to a few of the commonly asked questions regarding Branched Chain Amino Acids.

 

How can I get BCAAs naturally?

Here’s a list of foods highest in BCAA content: (6)

  • Whey, milk, and soy proteins
  • Beef, chicken, fish, and eggs
  • Lentils & beans
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Whole grains

 

What ingredients should I look for in BCAAs?

Leucine, isoleucine, & valine are the branched-chain amino acids.

Look to confirm that the amount of leucine in the serving size is twice the amount of isoleucine & valine.

This yields the 2:1:1 ratio you will often see when reading supplement companies’ BCAA marketing literature.

 

Actually, there has not been a ton of scientific research done to confirm that the 2:1:1 ratio is even the best one there is (7).

But you’d never know it from reading all the hype on “how ideal” the 2:1:1 ratio is from the supplement manufacturers.

 

Are BCAA’s vegan?

Some BCAAs are vegan, some aren’t.

The BCAA supplements that are vegan or vegetarian-friendly, sourced from plants & non-GMO, will usually have that information prominently displayed on their packaging & marketing material.

 

 

Is Sucralose bad for you?

Sucralose is synthetically produced from sugar.

So it’s considered an artificial sweetener, and that reason alone is enough of a turnoff for many people, yours truly included.

(I also think it just tastes like it was born in a lab…)

 

But actually, there is no conclusive scientific evidence proving that sucralose poses a serious health risk to humans.

A negatively-slanted meme circulating about sucralose is that it is bad for your digestive system, your gut, &/or your liver.

 

To date, there are no human studies or medical reports anywhere that confirm that is the case.

 

This false rumor likely originated from the research study that used rats & sucralose.

They determined that the rats taking sucralose eventually lost a significant amount of their gut’s beneficial bacteria. (8)

Keep in mind this is only a single small study, and that it happened to rats, not humans.

 

But avoid cooking with it

When used in high temperature cooking, a research study showed that sucralose did break down into byproducts they described as “a potentially toxic class of compounds” that may be linked to an increased risk of cancer. (9)

Many of us avoid it simply because it’s artificial, but the fact that it turns into something nasty at high temperatures is a pretty good reason to avoid it too.

After all, how do we know if the adding of sucralose to sugar-free products wasn’t done at high temperatures?

 

dumbbell red - heydayDo icon

Wrapping Up

I hope that my article on the best BCAAs without sucralose & other artificial sweeteners is useful to you.

In my quest for clean protein products I’ve researched two other supplement categories & written about them here on heydayDo, in case you’re interested:

Top 5 Protein Powders Without Artificial Sweeteners

Top 20 Protein Bars Without Artificial Sweeteners

 

I wish you well on your fitness journey; let’s go.

– greg

October 2020

 

« Fitness Supplements directory


Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

About Me

heydayDo author Greg Simon
Hi I’m Greg Simon. Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. Surfer. Organic food & wine grower. Guitarist & music producer. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far).

Legal Information

heydayDo.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

About heydayDo

heydayDo is my “fitness after 50” website that’s about embracing the physically active lifestyle as we get older.
 
It’s an information-sharing, personal opinion blog of mine.
 
(So if you’re looking for medical advice, hit up your doctor or health professional for that. I’m just shootin’ the breeze here…) 
 
heydayDo began as a daily journal I kept as I recovered from the latest of many heart operations I’ve had to deal with since birth. 
 
I have a deep interest in learning about nutrition & fitness, and applying it to improve my quality of life.
 
I believe this knowledge can help me be the healthiest & strongest version of me as I can, even in the face of inborn heart disease.
heydayDo author Greg Simon at 60 (Jan 2020) original

The 60-year-old version of me, January 2020

So when I get curious about something, I’ll dig into whatever sports science & medical facts there are on the topic to learn what’s real & what’s hype.
 
Here on heydayDo I share what I’ve learned from my fitness, health, & nutrition research with whoever drops by.