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7 Best BCAA Without Sucralose Or Artificial Sweeteners (2022)

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

Unfortunately, finding a BCAA without sucralose or other unwanted things isn’t real easy, since many BCAA products contain artificial sweeteners & that dreaded mystery ingredient, Natural Flavors.

For this article I tracked down & review several of the best BCAA supplements currently on the market that are without sucralose & other artificial flavor additives.

 

Table of contents

Best BCAA list

Sports science on BCAA benefits

Review: Best BCAA without artificial sweeteners

Best BCAA powder with other ingredients

FAQ

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.

 

Best BCAA without sucralose – my top picks

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

What these Best BCAAs don’t have

To make this Best Artificial-Free BCAA list, all 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.

 

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 when the other EAAs (essential amino acids) are present 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 BCAA without sucralose & other 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…

 

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 — leucine in particular — when sold in the drinkable powder.

(In case you didn’t know, the BCAA leucine has been identified in sports science research to be a forerunner of MPS — muscle protein synthesis — which is the process of protein getting our muscles to grow.)

Chemical formula of Leucine on a blackboard - heydayDo image

“Leucine In The Chalkboard Without Diamonds”

 

Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules

Do Vitamins Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)...
  • BUILD MUSCLE & REDUCE FAT: Our fermented BCAA capsules support lean muscle...
  • ENERGY & MUSCLE REPAIR: These capsules are plant based and have a 2:1:1...
  • BCAA CLEAN & COMPATIBLE: We source the cleanest, most studied ingredients...
  • CERTIFIED DRUG-FREE: Certified by the Banned Substance Control Group and...

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What I like:

  • 4.6 ⭐  700+ online reviews
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO Plant Sourced
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio**
  • 1.05 grams of leucine per serving

** – See my thoughts on this 2:1:1 ratio near the end of the article if interested.

 

Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules

NOW Sports Nutrition, Branched Chain Amino...
  • Same trusted quality with a brand new look! Packaging may vary
  • Amino Acids / Recovery*
  • GMP Quality Assured: NPA A-rated GMP certification means that every aspect...
  • Packaged in the USA by a family owned and operated company since 1968

Last update on 2022-10-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What I like:

  • 4.7 ⭐  22,000+ online reviews
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • .5 grams of leucine per serving

 

BulkSupplements BCAA (gel caps)

BulkSupplements.com BCAA 2:1:1 (Branched...
  • 💪 Increases Muscle Mass - Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAA...
  • 🩹 Supports Muscle Recovery & Endurance - BCAAs, or BCAAs Amino Acids...
  • 💚 Maintains Liver Health - Your liver is responsible for metabolizing...
  • 🏃 Supplement your Workout - Adding BCAAs, or vegan pre workout...

Last update on 2022-10-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

(Note: If you decide to go for these, make sure you pick the “300 Count” size, otherwise you’ll get a bag of just powder.)

What I like:

  • 4.5 ⭐  9,700+ online reviews
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • .75 grams of leucine per serving

 

Now Sports Nutrition, BCAA Capsules

NOW Sports Nutrition, Branched Chain Amino...
  • Same trusted quality with a brand new look! Packaging may vary
  • Amino Acids / Recovery*
  • GMP Quality Assured: NPA A-rated GMP certification means that every aspect...
  • Packaged in the USA by a family owned and operated company since 1968

Last update on 2022-10-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Note: These veggie caps go out of stock frequently, even on NOW’s website. Watch out for Amazon re-routing you to a powder version.)

What I like:

  • 4.6 ⭐  300+ online reviews
  • 2.6:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.6 grams of leucine per serving

 

Zhou Nutrition Muscle BCAA Capsules

Zhou Muscle BCAA | Branched Chain Amino Acids...
  • Never Waste A Workout. BCAAs are vital to muscle protein synthesis, which...
  • Go Harder, Longer. Exercising releases serotonin, which can make you feel...
  • Optimal 2:1:1 Ratio. We formulated Muscle BCAA to include the 2:1:1 ratio...
  • What Sets Us Apart? At Zhou, we use only the highest-quality ingredients in...

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What I like:

  • 4.5 ⭐ 1,300+ online reviews
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.25 grams of leucine per serving

 

Crazy Muscle BCAA Capsules

Crazy Muscle BCAA Pills with The Perfect...
  • PERFECT 2:1:1 BCAA RATIO of l Leucine - l Isoleucine - l Valine increases...
  • GET AMPED IN THE GYM: Boost your pre workout energy and fitness intensity...
  • RECOVER WAY FASTER: BCAA muscle recovery supplements are essential at...
  • BUILD MORE MUSCLE MASS: BCAAs max out your synthesis to grow bigger,...

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What I like:

  • 4.5 ⭐  1,400+ online reviews
  • 2:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.5 grams of leucine per serving

 

Sheer Strength Labs BCAA Capsules

Sheer BCAA - Branched Chain Amino Acids...
  • Build muscle faster: Because BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis, you'll add...
  • Recover faster: BCAAs have been shown to help your muscles recover faster,...
  • Potent BCAA formula: Not all BCAAs are created equally. Sheer Strength Labs...
  • Burn fat faster: Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) help your body burn fat...

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What I like:

  • 4.4 ⭐   1,800+ online reviews
  • 2.3:1:1 Leucine-Isoleucine-Valine ratio
  • 1.05 grams of leucine per serving

4 more branched-chain amino acids without sucralose

I thought I’d include this section for you if you’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 or to boost its nutrient profile.

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- 2:1:1...
  • Natural Amino Acids Supplement: Our fermented BCAA electrolyte powder is...
  • Power up - Train Longer - Get Stronger – Amino Energy, Strength &...
  • Proven science meet Mother Nature: most BCAA powders contain synthetic...
  • Ideal inducive environment – Promotes lean muscle: Now you can skip the...

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

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

 

ProMix BCAA Powder Amino Acid

Promix BCAA Post-Workout Energy Powder, Mixed...
  • Support Recovery and Reduce Muscle Soreness: Promix BCAA Powder is made of...
  • What’s Inside: Our BCAA supplement is packed with 5g of plant-based...
  • Whole Food-Based Ingredients: Made of plant based BCAAs (non-GMO and...
  • Seriously Clean: BCAA Powder is keto- and vegan-friendly, and free of...

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

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

 

XTEND Natural Zero BCAA Powder

XTEND Natural Zero BCAA Powder Blueberry...
  • XTEND BCAA POWDER FOR MEN & WOMEN - The World's #1 BCAA Brand has been...
  • Product Note: Exposure to heat or sunlight may lead to melting/damage of...
  • NATURALLY FLAVORED, NATURALLY SWEETENED - Zero sugar, zero calories, and...
  • IMPROVE RECOVERY & HYDRATION - Consume a minimum of 14 grams of BCAAs per...

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Additional ingredient(s):

Electrolyte Blend: Sodium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride; Glutamine, Citrulline Malate, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Stevia leaf extract, Monk Fruit, Tartaric Acid, Spirulina Extract.

 

Features:

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

 

Thorne Research – BCAA Powder for Sports

Thorne Amino Complex - Clinically-Validated...
  • Energy/Lean Muscle: Helps provide energy and promote lean muscle mass*
  • Sports: Supports sports- and fitness-related activities*
  • Strength: Provides support for muscle strength in anyone needing additional...
  • Clinical Research: The active ingredient formula is backed by more than 25...

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

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

FAQ

Here are answers to a few of the commonly asked questions regarding branched chain amino acids.

 

What ingredients should I look for in BCAAs?

Leucine, isoleucine, & valine are the three branched-chain amino acids, and so those are the main ingredients you need to see when comparing BCAA supplements.

Of the three, leucine is usually listed first and many manufacturers put more leucine in their formulas than the other two BCAAs.

(And they’ll tell you so while they’re at it too.)

You may hear how you’re supposed to check the label to confirm that the amount of leucine in the serving size is twice the amount of isoleucine & valine.

This is because that 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.

 

On top of that, it’s important to realize that there isn’t substantial evidence to prove that BCAA supplements by themselves can stimulate muscle growth.

As I mentioned near the beginning of this article, BCAA supplementation can help stimulate muscle growth if  they’re taken in conjunction with the other essential amino acids (from food or supplements).

The actual words from the International Society of Sports Nutrition on this issue are:

“We conclude that the claim that consumption of dietary BCAAs stimulates muscle protein synthesis or produces an anabolic response in human subjects is unwarranted.”

 

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 just think it 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.

 

Believe it or not, 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.

 

Avoid cooking with sucralose

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?

 

Are BCAA vegan?

Some BCAA are vegan, some aren’t. BCAA supplements that are vegan or vegetarian-friendly & non-GMO will usually have that information prominently displayed on their packaging & marketing material.

How can I get BCAAs naturally?

To get your daily BCAAs from your diet, here’s a list of the foods highest in BCAA content: whey, milk, and soy proteins; beef, chicken, fish, and eggs; lentils & beans; nuts & seeds; whole grains.

What are the best BCAA for women?

Here are the Top 5 cleanest BCAA for women:
Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules;
BulkSupplements.com BCAA 2:1:1;
NOW Sports Nutrition BCAA;
Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Capsules;
Sheer BCAA - Post Workout.

 

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:

Best Protein Powders without Artificial Sweeteners in 2022

Top 24 Protein Bars Without Artificial Sweeteners

 

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

– greg


About The Author

heydayDo author Greg Simon

Hi! I’m Greg Simon.

Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. Over 60 & active. Surfer. Organic food grower. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far).

heydayDo.com is my Fitness After 50 blog that’s about encouraging a healthy lifestyle as we age.

I share my fitness training experience as well as the sports science research I’ve done on the many benefits strength building, exercise, & good eating habits offer us older adults.

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