Most people at some time or another have used branched-chain amino acids. How could you not? I mean it is probably one of the best selling bodybuilding supplements of all time. In addition it is probably the most marketed muscle building supplement of all time as well. Essentially back in the day you had protein, weight gainers and amino acid supplements. So we are talking about 30 years of selling BCAA supplements to the consumer. That’s a long time. But I do have a problem with BCAA’s that I want to tell you about. No, it is not going to be whether they are effective or not, whether they build muscle, enhance recovery, do not build muscle or do not enhance recovery, because that would be dumb and boring. Google BCAA’s and you’ll literally find 10 billion articles, research, commentary, opinions, and what not on BCAA supplements. Not only that but you’ll find every freakin supplement company selling BCAA’s supplements pushing it down your throat. So many that you’ll think the BCAA supplements are the next best thing since sliced bread. And this is the case too, because BCAA supplements are very, very popular. In addition you have different forms of BCAA’s. You have secret ratios supplement companies have designed to make you think they have found the secret recipe for muscle growth.
“Oh we have the ratio that is the equivalent to the muscle mapping theory muscle growth matrix system!”
What bullshit right?
What I want to talk about in this article is the quality of the BCAA supplement that you are using or want to use and how to get the best results from them. I’ll also point out which BCAA supplements are the best and what to look for. Like mentioned above I’m not going to debate whether BCAA’s are a useful supplement or not. It is just too debatable. I can find tons of research supporting to use and not to use. But what we can discuss is the trickery and sneakiness the supplement companies pull when it comes to BCAA supplements and things I can teach and show you to make sure that you are getting quality BCAA supplements. Whether you want to use them or not that is your choice…TEHO I SAY!! (to each his own), but if you do want to use them, then here is what you need to know.
I buy stuff from Amazon.com every once in a while. One time I needed a new pair of sunglasses. My previous pair got lost after my girlfriend tipped over our canoe because she steered us into a tree. Needless to say my Oakleys sank to the bottom of the creek. So I went to Amazon and looked for a pair of Oakley Gascans. Instead I found a much cheaper version. Instead of paying $120.00, I paid like $30 for a pair that looked just like it.
I ordered a pair and a week later a box came from China. China!! What the hell? I opened the box and there were my sunglasses. Wow they look just like Oakley Gas Cans! However after putting them on they were not Oakley’s. They were an obvious knock off pair.
China. Those guys make everything. From Iphones to amino acids. China makes a boatload of amino acids and ships them to the United States. They typically ship them in big drums of 25 kilos or big 1 ton totes. It is a huge business. And this is the first thing that concerns me when buying amino acids. That the amino acids you are buying are coming from China. I have been manufacturing supplements for almost 20 years and I have seen many, many companies that manufacturer amino acids in China try to sell them to me to put into my supplements. I would not buy from them. Let me show you a reason why.
Check this out when I Googled BCAA.
If you look it is a result from Alibaba. This is the place where you can buy all your Chinese products…even BCAA’s. I found the first one from a company called Eco-Healthcare…ohhhhh, sounds impressive! But then I noticed something…you see how I circled something in red? I circled iBCAA. Now being that I’m an expert I know that iBCAA is trademarked by high quality manufacturer of amino acids. So why was Eco-Healthcare using it? Are they authorized to sell iBCAA’s? I went to Eco-Healthcare website and noticed no selling or mentioning of iBCAA’s. However those sneaky bastards are using it in their ads on Alibaba to sell their BCAA’s. Or really to fool people into thinking they are actually using iBCAA. This my friends is the problem with China. I find that 99 out of 100 times the Chinese manufacturers will try to rip you off one way or another. Keep in mind I said “I FIND”. You might have a different opinion of Chinese manufacturing, but when it comes to making my supplements and putting supplements into MY body…I will not use anything from China.
Unfortunately the same thing cannot be said for the mass amount of amino acid supplements being sold today as muscle building supplements. Let me break it the down for you and why you should be concerned.
- A crooked Chinese company makes a BCAA powder
- They send over their sales reps here to the United States and markets their BCAA powder to contract packagers all throughout the US.
- A contract packager buys it because its really cheap.
- Some IFBB pro bodybuilder calls up this contract packager and pays them $20,000 to make his BCAA supplement.
- The contract packager uses his new BCAA powder from China.
- The contract packager uses a really cool looking label provided by the IFBB pro bodybuilder.
- The IFBB pro bodybuilder markets his new BCAA supplement with claims like, “High quality BCAA powder made in a GMP facility!”
- Consumers buy and consume this BCAA powder from China.
Did you see any quality control checks done by the IFBB pro bodybuilder? No you didn’t. And that my friends is the problem. Essentially the IFBB pro bodybuilder is ‘trusting” the Chinese to make a high quality BCAA powder. He does not care about quality control, he thinks it is not his responsibility, he knows nothing about following the FDA 111’s for manufacturing dietary supplements, and all he knows is that his contract packager TOLD HIM they are a GMP facility. This is dumb, really dumb, and is no way that anyone should be consuming bcaa supplements.
So what should you do to make sure that you are not consuming Chinese BCAA powder? Ask for a 3rd party lab analysis. Remember that BCAA’s have a high profit margin, especially if the supplement company is using a BCAA from China. So [clickToTweet tweet=”Before buying any BCAA supplement ask to see the 3rd party lab analysis.” quote=”Before buying any BCAA supplement ask to see the 3rd party lab analysis.”]# squats common tags on many social media websites like Instagram and Twitter, will be banned starting October 1st. NOT the certificate of analysis. There is a big difference. They are totally different. The certificate of analysis is a trick supplement companies will use to try to convince you that its the same thing as a 3rd party lab analysis!.
In my next article I am going to talk about how you can spot chinese amino acids.
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.