Gold Standard BCAA Train and Recover Review

By Kyle Milligan / March 9, 2017

I was complaining to my friend about how sore my back gets after deadlifts. He said, "you should get BCAAs." I told him I don't like putting weird chemicals and things I don't understand into my body. Pre workout is enough. He told me I was an idiot and that I should do my research before I broadly labeled all supplements as steroids. Basically, he was right.

BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids. These are actually three essential amino acids for your diet. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These guys are "essential" because you must eat them; your body can't make them. They get their nickname from their chemical structure, which resembles a branch. I learned all this cool stuff while doing my research.

Anyways, I scooped up some Gold Standard BCAA Train and Recover (Fruit Punch Flavor) and it is pretty awesome. 

  • Tastes Great
  • Mixes Well
  • Affordable
Gold Standard BCAA Train and Recover Powder

Because my favorite whey protein powder is Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Whey, I went with what I knew. I found Gold Standard BCAA on Amazon; made by Optimum Nutrition, so I was stoked.

When to Take BCAAs

I am the ideal BCAA user because I am cutting and fasted training. There are awesome benefits of taking BCAAs while on a cutting diet and fasted training. Primarily, they provide muscle fuel without breaking the fat burning effects of a fasted state.

When training fasted, your body will break down amino acids for fuel. By taking Gold Standard BCAA powder before my workout, I am giving my body additional fuel for my workouts, without busting my calorie limit. Also, BCAAs help prevent your body burning muscle for fuel.

Furthermore, the essential amino acids in BCAA powder are important for muscle growth and repair. By taking a scoop of BCAA powder before, during, or immediately after my workout, I can reduce muscle soreness, which is what I wanted all along. That also explains why it's called Gold Standard BCAA Train and Recover​.

Difference Makers

Gold Standard BCAA has 5g of BCAAs per serving, and a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine. This is the most common branched-chain ratio I have seen, and it is set up this way because leucine is so crucial to muscle development and growth. 

In addition, Optimum Nutrition includes in their formula:

  • 250mg Wellmune for Immunity Support
  • 200mg Rhodiola for Endurance Support
  • 220mg Electrolytes for Performance Support
  • Only 15 calories per serving

Wellmune is a natural ingredient that Optimum Nutrition added, and is said to increase energy as well as improve immune system function. I have seen articles reporting that over a dozen clinical studies have proven wellmune's effectiveness but I haven't read the actual studies.

Rhodiola is another natural ingredient found in Gold Standard BCAA. I had never heard of it so I looked it up. It's actually a pretty useful herb. This is what WebMD has to say about Rodiola:

Rhodiola is "...used for improving athletic performance, shortening recovery time after long workouts, improving sexual function; for depression; and for heart disorders such as irregular heartbeat and high cholesterol."

Source: WebMD

Electrolytes. We all know what these are. It's when you drink the Gatorade and your sweat turns colors, duh. Don't worry. That colorful sweat won't go to waste. Gold Standard BCAA is contains 220 mg of electrolytes to replenish what you sweat out.

Only 15 calories in a serving of Gold Standard BCAA powder. This is important for me because I'm cutting right now and don't want to consume too many calories!

Gold Standard BCAA powder Nutritional Facts

At only 15 calories, Gold Standard BCAA powder is super easy to use while cutting.

Taste 

I like the taste of Gold Standard BCAA fruit punch flavor. It tastes like Hawaiian Punch and is really easy to handle since I'm used to the extreme tartness of Legion's Pulse Pre Workout (also fruit punch flavored). 

Optimum Nutrition also offers watermelon, cranberry lemonade, and strawberry kiwi flavors. Based on what I've heard, cranberry lemonade is tart and the other two are more down the middle. For the specific brand of Gold Standard BCAA, I can only attest to the fruit punch flavor being delicious.  

Mixability

I had no problem mixing Gold Standard BCAA powder. There were itty bitty BB sized clumps but I think they evaporated on their own. I just put the powder in the bottom of my fuelshaker and let her rip when I'm on my way to the gym. 

I didn't try it with other fluids and I don't see any reason to mix BCAAs with anything other than water, so I have to give Gold Standard BCAA powder a 5/5 for water mixability.

Are BCAAs Worth It?

So the question on everyone's mind: Are BCAAs worth it? ​Let's start with the results. Do I have sustained energy during my workouts? Yup. Do I have less muscle soreness after my workouts? Yup. And that was the main reason I picked up the Gold Standard BCAA powder to begin with. 

Did I see any special strength gains? No. The BCAAs did not cause my working sets to jump up, but it did allow me to work harder, which will indirectly give my strength a boost in the long term. 

If you take a bunch of supplements, the costs can add up. That's one of the reasons I used to only take whey protein and pre workout powders. However, I really, really, really enjoy NOT having a sore back anymore so I will be adding BCAAs into my standard lineup.

I picked up my 1.32lb tub of Gold Standard BCAA powder on Amazon for $29.99. I was willing to pay a premium and go with Optimum Nutrition because they make the best whey protein I've ever had: Gold Standard Whey Protein.

I may try another brand at some point, just for giggles. But for the result, I'd happily pay $34.99 for Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard BCAAs. You can't put a price on comfort.

There are 28 servings per container, and I usually cut hard in 4 week intervals, lifting 5 days a week. That means that one 1.32lb tub of Gold Standard BCAA will last me an entire cut. That's awesome. All I have to do is make sure I have a full tub before I begin a cut.

Conclusion

In all, I'm loving Gold Standard BCAA Train and Recover (fruit punch flavor). Are BCAAs worth it? My answer is, yes. I'm going to keep using them. I like Optimum Nutrition and I love the way it's helped me out with my muscle soreness during my cut. I recommend anyone interested in BCAA powders give this one a try.

Pros

  • More Energy During Workouts
  • Less Soreness After Workouts
  • Tastes Great, Mixes Well with Water

Cons

  • Costs about $5 more than other brands.
  • Does Not Directly Influence Strength (not what I bought it for, so no big deal)

Let me know if you have a favorite BCCA brand you want to share - or anything you'd like to add - in the comments!

And thanks for reading!

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Gold Standard BCAA Train and Recover
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
About the author

Kyle Milligan

I'm Kyle Milligan. I really enjoy writing. I wrote a couple novels (The Hang-Ups and Hangovers series) and now I blog frequently on a bunch of different websites. I also enjoy lifting heavy things and and writing about it.

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