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MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 Powder Supplement Review

MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 Powder features a patent-pending 3:1:2 ratio of the branched-chain amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine. But what health and fitness benefits does this have over the more conventional 2:1:1 ratio?

Amino acid supplementation is a great way to promote muscle development and recovery, both in and out of the gym. But how do the ingredients found in MusclePharm BCAA compare to other bestselling amino products, such as the BCAA powder from Bulk Supplements?

In this review we provide an in-depth guide of what to expect from each ingredient, as well as the recommended dosage and best time of day to take it.

We’ll also compare the price to other top rated BCAA powders and pills, to guarantee you get the best value for money.

MusclePharm BCAA Ingredients

MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 Powder

Leucine (3000 mg)

L-Leucine is one of three branched-chain amino acids, as part of the essential amino acid group. Most of the benefits of BCAAs regarding muscle building and exercise are attributed to it, which is why it’s always present in larger doses.

Leucine is particularly active in humans during the growth stage, and in those who regularly exercise to build muscle. That’s because leucine activates a protein called mTor, which is responsible for synthesizing muscle.

When leucine is consumed, research shows that it works together with insulin to steadily and consistently promote muscle protein synthesis, commonly associated with muscle building. In addition, it helps to prevent the degradation of skeletal and cardiac muscle.

Leucine also helps to control blood sugar, contributes to growth hormone production, and promotes wound healing.

Requirements of Leucine for humans are at 14mg/kg, so for a person who weighs 90 kg would require 1,260 mg. Not including the amount of leucine consumed through other foods, the requirement is more than doubled with one serving of BCAA 3:1:2.

Isoleucine (1000 mg)

Isoleucine is the second of three BCAAs. Like leucine, isoleucine helps to promote muscle synthesis. It has a special role, however, in helping to regulate blood sugar.

The minimum requirement of isoleucine is 16 mg/kg, meaning that a person weighing 90 kg would need 1,440 mg. This means roughly 70% of your daily isoleucine requirement is met with this supplement. The rest is easily met by consuming foods like eggs, milk and cheese.

Valine (2000 mg)

Valine is the third BCAA. Along with Leucine and Isoleucine, Valine also helps to promote protein synthesis, and prevent muscle breakdown. This is done by giving muscles the extra glucose they need to keep from breaking down as a secondary energy source.

MusclePharm BCAA powder has a special characteristic, in that the ratio is unlike previously-established ratios of a BCAAs. The popular proportion of Leucine: Isoleucine: Valine is 2:1:1, but researchers at MusclePharm have a patent-pending tweak to this ratio.

With this powder, and MusclePharm BCAA Energy, valine has been increased and isoleucine reduced to achieve a 3:1:2 ratio, which is designed to allow optimal development of muscles mass.

A 90 kg person needs 1,080 mg of valine per day. This supplement more than doubles the minimum daily requirements of BCAAs.

MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 Powder

MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 – Product Summary

  • Patent pending 3:1:2 BCAA ratio
  • 3 g Leucine, 1 g isoleucine, 2 g valine per serving
  • Supports lean muscle growth
  • Reduces muscle breakdown

Who is it designed for?

Like most BCAA supplements, MusclePharm BCAA is beneficial for people who carry out muscle-building or endurance exercise, where there is a risk of muscle degradation. Weightlifters, long-distance runners, and cyclers may all benefit from BCAA 3:1:2.

When is the best time to take it?

Because of their ability to promote muscle development as well as muscle recovery, you can take BCAA supplements before, during, or after your workout. It is also possible to take a serving between meals on non-workout days, to curb your appetite and promote healthy glucose levels.

BCAA 3:1:2 vs. Dymatize BCAA 2200

Dymatize Nutrition BCAA Complex 2200 provides the same branched-chain amino acids as MusclePharm BCAA. However, the ratio of amino acids differs. Dymatize has the traditional 2:1:1 BCAA ratio, which is the ratio that most supplements have.

Dymatize BCAA Complex 2200 also has a couple of additions to the formula that MusclePharm doesn’t. It contains vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B6, and vitamin C. The B vitamins help to promote absorption and metabolism of the BCAA, as well as supporting your metabolism, concentration, mood, attention and sleep.

The other key difference is that the Dymatize supplement is delivered in capsule form instead of powder. While this doesn’t necessarily affect absorption, it usually indicates a higher cost per serving.

What flavors and sizes are available?

MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 is a powder supplement must be consumed with other liquids. The flavors available are:

  • Unflavored
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Lemon lime
  • Watermelon

Save money with Amazon

If you’re looking to save money on your monthly supplement order, you might want to consider the Amazon Subscribe & Save program.

Subscribe & Save allows you to unlock savings of up to 15% on a wide range of sports nutrition products, including MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 Powder.

You can save 5% with a subscription to 1 product, or save the full 15% by subscribing to 5 products, provided they’re all delivered to the same address. The delivery schedule can be set from monthly, up to once every 6 months.

Although 5 products might sound a lot, if you already supplement with a protein powder, multivitamin, creatine, BCAA, and glutamine, the savings can soon add up.

Who are MusclePharm?

MusclePharm currently produces some of the bestselling sports nutrition products in the world, with brand ambassadors that include over 100 professional MMA fighters, as well as wrestlers, bodybuilders, and American football players.

Despite being relatively new to the industry (founded 2010), MusclePharm has already been nominated for dozens of awards, including fourteen supplement awards from BodyBuilding.com. In 2011 alone they won Breakout Brand of the Year, Best Packaging of the Year, and New Supplement of the Year for their Assault pre-workout supplement.

MusclePharm supplements have been designed to improve your strength and recovery, assist with weight control, promote health and wellness, and help increase your protein intake.

To find out more about their protein powders, bars, BCAAs, glutamine, pre-workout supplements, creatine, multivitamins, and weight loss products, we recommend our MusclePharm supplement guide. This includes a summary of the health benefits you can expect from each product, which sizes and flavors are available, and dosages for the main ingredients.

BCAA Buying Guide
MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 Powder features a patent-pending 3:1:2 ratio of the branched-chain amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine. But what health and fitness benefits does this have over the more conventional 2:1:1 ratio? Amino acid supplementation is a great way to promote muscle development and recovery, both in and out of the gym. But how do the ingredients found in MusclePharm BCAA compare to other bestselling amino products, such as the BCAA powder from Bulk Supplements? In this review we provide an in-depth guide of what to expect from each ingredient, as well as the recommended dosage and best time…

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4.5 / 5

MusclePharm currently have 3 amino supplements available; Amino 1, BCAA 3:1:2, and BCAA 3:1:2 Energy (added 200 mg of Energy Complex).

Amino 1 is very much an all-round amino supplement, with half the dose of leucine, isoleucine, and valine compared to their pure BCAA products. It’s also more expensive, which is why if you’re only looking for BCAAs, we recommend sticking with 3:1:2.

In addition to being one of the top BCAA supplements on Labdoor’s Quality Rank, BCAA 3:1:2 also represents good value for money. You’re getting 6 g of BCAAs per serving, which is 20% more than most supplements (Optimum Nutrition BCAA Powder, NOW Foods, Gaspari Nutrition AminoLast, etc.).

However, at the time of writing this review, Nutricost had a BCAA powder that also contains 6 g of BCAAs, but for less than half the price of MusclePharm. At just $0.24 per serving, Nutricost has one of the cheapest BCAA powders on the market.

In summary, we’re yet to see any compelling evidence that MusclePharm’s patent-pending 3:1:2 ratio is any more effective than 2:1:1. The levels of BCAAs are very impressive (6 g per serving), but you can get the same dose for less than half the price with Nutricost (similar choice of flavors).

Alternatively, you can get 1 g more BCAAs, together with 1000 mg citrulline for roughly $0.15 more per serving by taking Scivation Xtend.