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Home » Best BCAA Supplements for Endurance Athletes in 2023

Best BCAA Supplements for Endurance Athletes

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As an endurance athlete, you need a stable supply of energy to perform at a peak level for longer.

No matter if you’re a long-distance runner, cycler, swimmer, cross-country skier, or triathlon athlete, you don’t want to be having too many highs and lows. These energy swings are one of the worst enemies of an endurance athlete, and can make it difficult to see your goal through.

How can BCAAs help?

A BCAA supplement feeds your body with amino acids that are essential for energy metabolism and sustaining muscle function, as well as reducing cramps and other issues that can prevent you from reaching the finish line.

A high-quality BCAA supplement taken before a training session or a competition can enhance your performance, and give you an edge.

Here are our top picks for 2024!

Performance Lab® SPORT BCAA

  • 3g of Ajipure®  and Nutrigenesis®  fermented BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio per serving

  • Clean, innovative capsule-based BCAA supplement

  • Sustains energy levels and athletic endurance

  • Reduces muscle cramps

  • $39 per tub ($1.95 per daily serving)

  • Excellent deals on bulk purchases + free worldwide shipping

  • Made by UK specialist company, Opti-Nutra

Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine

  • Featuring glutamine, vitamin C and coconut water powder

  • Specializes in muscle recovery

  • Great reviews

  • No proprietary blends

  • Natural flavoring

  • $39 per tub (30 servings)

Why are BCAAs important?

Branched-chain amino acids or more commonly BCAAs are popular supplements and ergogenic aids amongst athletes and those looking to pack on muscle. Amino acids such as BCAAs are essential for creating protein, which is vital for performance and lean tissue growth.

BCAAs consist of three amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, valine. These help to speed up muscle healing after long and arduous exercise – providing your body with raw materials to lower inflammation for quicker recovery.

However, BCAAs aren’t for everyone! Those who don’t train hard may not need to supplement BCAAs at all. An average person gets enough BCAAs through meats and other rich food sources. This is part of the reason why BCAAs remain more of a niche supplement compared to your whey protein, even with their recent rise in popularity.

But, utilized by the right individual – such as an endurance athlete – BCAAs can provide massive benefits for your training and competitions.

Benefits of BCAAs for endurance athletes

As your body breaks down muscle amino acids and proteins – such as by exercising for extended periods of time – having a steady supply of BCAAs helps to maintain your physical and mental performance, and prevents muscle loss.

Taking BCAAs before and endurance exercise will help you;

  1. Sustain elevated muscle performance for longer
  2. Help repair and build more quickly, allowing for more frequent endurance training sessions
  3. Experience fewer symptoms during and after endurance training, including soreness, muscle cramps, and fatigue amongst others

A look at the science

Looking at the studies, what are some key endurance benefits you can expect from using BCAAs?

In a 2019 review, researchers found evidence that BCAAs help delay onset muscle soreness after training. Another 2017 review noted that using BCAAs long-term may help lower your overall muscle damage from exercise. This essentially means BCAA help to prolong your longevity in endurance sports.

Another 2019 review compiled evidence showing the muscle protein synthesis benefits of BCAAs, while also noting that other amino acids too are important for muscle building. In other words, you can’t expect BCAAs to do all the legwork for you – stacking them with a nutrient-dense diet will always bring you the best results!

How we rate BCAA supplements

Our top 3 athlete-approved BCAA supplements have been thoroughly researched.

We don’t trial these supplements ourselves; instead, we compare their ingredients to the current scientific literature to see if they are effective, safe, and correctly dosed. This gives us an accurate picture of how a supplement should work for you.

As an endurance athlete, here’s what you will want to look (out!) for in a BCAA supplement.

  • Testimonials – we only feature brands with excellent customer reviews and high authority in the industry.
  • Value for money – a good price for BCAA is around 12-16 cents per gram, although it can still make the list if the ingredients are top-notch quality!
  • Amino acid ratio – BCAAs should come in a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine to valine for optimal ergogenic effects. Cheaper products tend to skimp here.
  • Bioavailability – The best BCAA supplements use unique forms of BCAA such as fermented BCAAs. This helps your body recognize it as nature-identical.

The Top 3 Best BCAA Supplements We Recommend in 2024

Here are the year’s top choices in the BCAA category, specifically for endurance athletes.

1. Performance Lab SPORT BCAA

Performance Lab SPORT BCAA

Performance Lab SPORT BCAA is our number #1 pick because it has a clean, premium-quality formula with a unique twist – delivering NutriGenesis® BCAAs in the ideal research-backed ratio. Plus, it comes in capsules which makes it the most convenient BCAA supplement on this list.


Each serving of SPORT BCAA supplies you with:

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine), 2:1:1, 3000 mg

  • L-Leucine 1500 mg (Ajipure® 1450 mg + NutriGenesis® 50 mg)
  • L-Isoleucine 750 mg (Ajipure® 725 mg + NutriGenesis® 25 mg)
  • L-Valine 750 mg (Ajipure® 725 mg + NutriGenesis® 25 mg) 
Performance Lab SPORT BCAA ingredients label

This ingredient profile is completely different from any other BCAA supplement right now.

Ajipure is the golden standard, patented form of fermented BCAAs.

As for NutriGenesis®? It’s a nutrition technology developed by Opti-Nutra, the makers of Performance Lab BCAA. NutriGenesis® is the process Opti-Nutra uses to grow nutrients on probiotic yeast and bacteria – resulting in fermented, nature-identical BCAAs as they occur in foods.

Combined together, AjiPure® and NutriGenesis® represent the two most premium forms of BCAAs that are available on the market today, with superior absorption and sustained delivery. They reach your bloodstream quickly and provide impressive ergogenic benefits.

Key advantages of SPORT BCAA:

  1. Boosts growth, inhibits muscle breakdown
  2. Energizes and sustains athletic performance
  3. Improves endurance levels by blocking fatigue-inducing brain chemicals
  4. Reloads muscle nutrient stores for faster recovery
  5. Healthy for daily use – strengthens immunity against physical strain and supports athletic longevity

Performance Lab SPORT BCAA nutrient combination is especially effective for supporting prolonged physical exertion, such as endurance exercise.

Performance Lab BCAA’s ingredients are delivered in plant-based NutriCaps®. These capsules are made from 100% fermented tapioca (natural pullaulan), which makes them easy to digest. The sleek, ultra-modern bottle design adds to the overall positive impression.

One drawback of using this many high-quality ingredients is that the price goes up. But if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth giving Performance Lab BCAA a try.

While Performance Lab SPORT BCAA can be used alone, it is designed to be stacked with other Performance Lab formulas – leading to even greater performance improvements.

Pricing, Dosage Recommendations, and Final Thoughts

Bear in mind that SPORT BCAA is officially sold only on Performance Lab’s website, though potentially old batches can be found on Amazon (we don’t recommend buying these as you don’t know how long they’ve been sitting on the shelf). As annoying as this can be for bargain hunters, selling directly means you know you’re getting your product right from the source, and at a cheaper price (since there’s no middleman).

The price per bottle is $39, or $1.95 per daily serving.

When you buy 3 or more bottles of SPORT BCAA, you get 1 extra bottle for free (4 month’s worth of product in total), plus free tracked worldwide shipping. Breaking it further down, the 3+1 bottle deal will cost you only $29.25 per bottle. This makes the otherwise premium price a little less itchy!

As far as dosage recommendations go, here are the official instructions from Opti Nutra:

For best results take 2-4 BCAA NutriCaps® 45-60 mins pre-workout and 2-4 immediately post-workout. During intense training, you may take 2-4 additional NutriCaps® mid-way through your session.


  • Features BCAAs in their optimal ratio (2:1:1)
  • Sustains muscle nourishment, assists in post-exercise recovery
  • Conveniently delivered in prebiotic-infused capsules
  • Optimal ingredient doses in each serving (6 capsules)
  • Features Ajipure® and NutriGenesis®, two of the industry-leading nutrition patents
  • Cleanest quality – free of gluten, unnecessary fillers and dead weight, GMO ingredients, and additives


  • Pricey due to expensive manufacturing costs
  • Only available online, directly from the official website

Does Performance Lab Sport BCAA sound like it’s for you? Learn more on their official website:

>Visit PerformanceLab.com<

2. Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine

Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine

Unlike Performance Lab SPORT BCAA’s, Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine doesn’t come in capsules but in good old regular powder. The good news is, it’s naturally sweetened, vegan-friendly, and packed with good amounts of the key ingredients.

This particular BCAA also comes with some great additions like extra glutamine and coconut water powder. Coconut water is an excellent source of muscle nourishing electrolytes which can be of particular importance when you’re under prolonged physical stress.

Free of synthetics, effective doses of proven ingredients, and a trusted brand reputation, Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA will tick most of the essential boxes for endurance athletes.


Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine Ingredients Label

Each serving packs 8 grams of quality BCAAs, along with 5g of L-Glutamine. L-Glutamine is more beneficial for HIIT enthusiasts as it’s depleted the most during short but intense bursts of exercise, which endurance sport is not. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to see it included here!

As well as the BCAAs, coconut powder and glutamine, you’re also getting a hefty 1,535mg of vitamin C, which is great for reducing muscle inflammation and hastening your recovery, but it may not be the best for endurance athletes. One study found it may hamper physical performance.

Key Advantages of Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine;

  1. Provides high dose of quality vegan Branched-chain amino acids, along with other essential sports ergogenics
  2. Free of artificial flavors, preservatives, or filler ingredients.

Pricing, Dosage Recommendations, and Final Thoughts

Transparent Labs BCAA will cost you $39 per tub, which yields 30 servings. For us, this is a fair price considering the cleanliness and quality of the supplement.

This is not an overly complicated product, yet it will still appeal to many. CoreSeries BCAA gets a thumbs up from us for hitting the basics well and excelling in the recovery aspect.


  • Highly effective at lowering muscle inflammation from strenuous exercise, contributing to faster healing
  • Coconut powder and glutamine for superior nourishment and recovery
  • True to its name, it’s a completely transparent supplement, free of proprietary blends
  • No synthetic flavors or additives
  • Great company reputation


  • Uses vitamin C which, while boosting recovery, is shown to hamper physical performance

Interested in Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA? Get prices here:

>Visit TransparentLabs.com<

3. National Bodybuilding Co. BCAA

Pro Contest BCAA

National Bodybuilding Co. Pro Contest BCAA has been made to help you get the most from your exercise – no matter if you’re hitting the weights or the pavement.

A relatively new brand, National Bodybuilding Co. Pro-Contest BCAA has quickly made a name for itself thanks to its ever-growing positive feedback online.

Alongside BCAAs, this product features some of the best sports-enhancing ingredients on the market that will be especially attractive for endurance athletes.


National Bodybuilding Co. Pro Contest BCAA Ingredients

National Bodybuilding Co. BCAA has been meticulously dosed at 4,000mg per serving to ensure you get the ideal balance of performance-boosting amino acids Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine, along with L-Glutamine and vitamin B6 for energy metabolism.

The only downside to this product, compared to others on this list, is the inclusion of artificial sweeteners. It’s not the highest-quality product compared to others on this list, but it gets the job done, especially if you can’t afford the aforementioned two BCAA supplements.

Key Advantages of National Bodybuilding Co. BCAA;

  1. Maximizes exercise performance. Alongside muscle-nourishing BCAAs, it has vitamin B6 which helps your body efficiently convert food you eat into energy.
  2. Extends endurance. At the dosage levels that are found in this supplement, BCAAs are shown to positively influence ATP production in your mitochondria, which is the part of the cell that makes energy. This means that National Bodybuilding Co. BCAA works particularly well at extending time to fatigue.
  3. Boosts muscle growth. Although not the biggest concern for endurance athletes, higher lean muscle density often goes hand in hand with improved overall performance, which National Bodybuilding Co. Pro Contest BCAA certainly delivers.

Pricing, Dosage Recommendations, and Final Thoughts

One tub, which yields you 45 servings, cost $38. This makes National Bodybuilding Co. BCAA the most affordable option on this list. If you don’t mind the synthetic sweeteners, it might just be the one for you.

Taking 1/2 a scoop of this BCAA before prolonged physical activity will help you perform better for longer. Adding another 1/2 a scoop after your workout will help you get back on your feet faster the next day..

You can get Pro Contest BCAA in only one flavor – Fruit Punch. This is another minor drawback in my opinion.


  • All-around great BCAA supplement made for all types of athletes
  • Research-backed ingredient profile
  • Excellent serving sizes
  • The most affordable option on this list


  • Contains sucralose
  • Only 1 flavor option
  • Only sells from the National Bodybuilding Co.’s website

Sound like the one for you? Check Pro Contest BCAA over on their official website:

Visit Nationalbodybuildingco.com

How to use BCAAs as an endurance athlete?

As an endurance athlete, you will want to take BCAAs as you would do with any exercise regimen. Before and during the workout is the best time to take BCAAs. This will help keep your muscles topped up with the essential amino acids, which will help you squeeze a few extra minutes (or more) of high-level physical activity – including training and competitions.

The exact dosage varies from brand to brand, and obviously, the supplement’s serving size. Make sure to read the label of the product and never exceed the maximum allowed dosage!

BCAAs will work best for competitive endurance athletes, people on a calorie deficit, and those who don’t get enough essential amino acids from their diet alone.


That concludes our guide on the best BCAA for endurance athletes.

At the moment, Performance Lab SPORT BCAA is what we recommend if you want the best quality, clean and streamlined formula, and patented high-quality BCAA’s.

Transparent Lab CoreSeries BCAA is our favorite option for athletes who specifically want faster recovery from training and competitions. It features ingredients like coconut powder and vitamin C alongside branched-chain amino acids which work together to reduce post-exercise inflammation and promote healing.

Finally, National Bodybuilding Co. Pro Contest BCAA is the most affordable of the bunch, providing 45 servings per tub for only $38. Again, if you don’t mind the artificial sweetener sucralose, this one is good enough.

With all being said, there’s not a huge difference between these BCAA supplements and any other decent-quality BCAA supplement on the market. As long as you combine them with proper rest and a nutrient-dense diet, all of them can give you the endurance edge you’re looking for.

This article contains affiliate links. Learn more here.

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