NOW® Sports BCAA Big 6
Disclaimer: I received a set of NOW® Sports BCAA supplements to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (Ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews.
Before getting to my experience and opinion about this product, here is a bit of background information on BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids):
BCAAs are essential amino acids that serve as the building blocks of protein, which helps to fuel your muscles during workouts and can also help support muscle recovery post-workout.
They’re called "essential" because the body doesn’t make them on its own; you need to supplement or get from them from your diet. Within the essential amino acids, there are 3 that fall within the BCAA subcategory: Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. A couple of the functions of BCAAs are VITAL to everyone, but in particular athletes, since they allow the body to synthesize muscle protein and repair muscle damage. So that’s the basic explanation of what BCAAs are and their function. To help us understand and learn more about this topic, NOW® Foods published the following concise and easy-to-follow Guide to Amino Acids: https://www.nowfoods.com/sites/default/files/aminoacidbrochure.pdf
My first exposure to BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) supplements came approximately a year ago when I was working with a coach who was promoting them through a different brand (*Not* NOW® Sports). He indicated that he took them every day, even on rest days, and felt that they made a difference in his recovery and overall condition, and recommended for me to take them as well. So I purchased and sent for the smallest container of that brand to test and try out. As soon as it arrived I began using it, right away I disliked the taste. It was described as “Natural Orange Flavor”, but honestly, it not only didn’t taste much like orange to me, it also had an unpleasant taste to it. So much so that I began adding other liquids to the mix such as orange or apple juice in order to make it easier to consume. But that is something that I really didn’t want to do, having to add sugars and other components that are not part of the equation in what I’m trying to accomplish, so I didn’t order any more of that product after finishing off the first container. If I don't like the taste of a product, it doesn't really matter how it helps me; I simply won't take it.
Enter the NOW® Sports BCAA Big 6 which I opted-in to test and review in both the Watermelon and Grape flavors. Right off, the NOW® Sports label gave me confidence in trying it because I have been using some of their other products for a while now such as the Calcium, Magnesium, and B-50 vitamins and have come to trust the brand.
If you do the research, you’ll learn that NOW® Sports is a clean, highly-tested brand. It conducts more than 16,000 tests each month for identity, purity, strength, and composition to ensure that what’s on the label is in the bottle. It is also third-party certified via Informed-Sport for added product purity assurance. The Informed-Sport program certifies that their products have been tested for more than 200 banned substances by their world-class sports anti-doping lab.
The BCAA Big 6 supplements come in 600 gram containers with a powder mix sufficient for approximately 32 servings. Each serving is of one level scoop of approximately 19 grams each, that is to be mixed with 14-16 ounces of water.
Right away with my first use, I immediately liked both flavors, but with the Grape getting the edge over the Watermelon. These flavors are somewhat challenging to describe; the closest thing I can think of is that of a Jolly Rancher candy, but obviously on a liquid form, if you can imagine that. That being said, I don’t feel the taste is overly sweet. There’s a good balance to it that I definitely like. I did find myself adding only 14 ounces of water to my mix as I prefer the taste a little bit stronger and more concentrated rather than more diluted.
In conclusion, I find that the BCAA Big 6 supplement is a quality product that is very easy to drink for me and satisfies both my thirst and nutritional needs, to the point that it has become my post-run/workout recovery drink of choice.
The BCAA Big 6 currently retails for $34.66 on Amazon, but for the time being until November 15th, 2016 you can use discount code 20NOWBCAA for a 20% off this supplement. The code is limited to one-time use only. *** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. ***