After cutting out all the junk and getting rid of products that might make users a little too jittery, we were finally able to arrive at our top picks. Of the remaining contenders, we favored those with the highest quantity of effective ingredients and the lowest quantity of superfluous nonsense. If there’s one word to describe our top picks, it’s “well-rounded.” These supplements don’t just rely on one ingredient to get the job done; they pull in everything from creatine to citrulline and round out the package with a nice kick of caffeine (or a milder stimulant like yerba mate).
Amino acid supplements are usually based on either the full spectrum of the 9 essential amino acids, the branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s) or leucine on its own. Leucine is widely considered to be the key amino acid regarding muscle hypertrophy as without enough present, the other amino acids cannot bond to form the chains which go on to make up muscle tissue. Also very popular as a supplement are BCAA’s, of which leucine is the major component. Research on BCAA’s which are comprised of leucine, iso-leucine and valine, has shown that they are anti-catabolic in that they can actually prevent muscle breakdown. This makes them of particular benefit when used whilst training to protect muscle tissue and start the recovery process before training has ceased. All 9 essential amino acids have also been found to be of benefit in supplemental form, particularly when taken with meals to boost the amino acid content of the food which allows the body to make better use of the whole protein that has been consumed.