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Gold Standard BCAA Review

Posted on May 31, 2016

Gold Standard BCAA ReviewDividerimage

Updated 10th September 2019


Gold Standard BCAA is an intra-workout product from Optimum Nutrition. The Gold Standard range has become a massive success globally, offering a range of whey proteins, casein, pre-workouts and more.



Most manufacturers now have a BCAA product, however the Gold Standard BCAA is different, in a good way. It has a few added ingredients, such as Wellmune and Rhodiola.


The Gold Standard BCAA by Optimum Nutrition has a fairly standard 2:1:1 ratio of amino acids. This ratio is two parts of leucine to one part of isoleucine and one part Valine.


Of the three BCAA's or branch chain amino acids leucine is significantly the most anabolic and has the broadest span of benefits. People lift weights in order to damage their muscles.


By using BCAA’s with Leucine being the dominant amino acid you are supporting protein synthesis and the repair of muscle tissue which leads to muscle growth. A 2:1:1 ratio as provided by Gold Standard BCAA’s induces an anabolic effect and is better at providing fuel for damaged muscles.


What is Gold Standard BCAA?

The Gold Standard BCAA's contain 5 g of BCAA's, 200mg of Rhodiola , 250mg of  Wellmune and 260mg of electrolytes with 4 g of carbohydrates.


Gold Standard BCAA Flavours?

All Gold Standard flavours taste really food, which is to be expected from a leading sports nutrition company. Optimum Nutrition are widely regarded as having some of the best flavoured products in the industry.


The Gold Standard BCAA's mix easily in water and taste very much what you would expect from a Gatorade or a drink of that nature. It mixes very well and doesn’t float up to the top of the water like some BCAA’s can.




How to Use Gold Standard BCAA

Gold Standard BCAA offers the perfect combination of ingredients for anybody wanting to recover better from weight training and provide their muscles with fuel to regrow.


Most people doing any sort of intense exercise could use Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA's to significantly reduce their muscle soreness and increase muscle growth. The addition of the Rhodiola extract is quite significant, because these days most people are using stimulated pre-workouts and this is quite harsh on the adrenal glands.


Rhodiola is a herb that reduces adrenaline output and works as an adaptogen to help restore your adrenal function. A higher production of adrenaline then increases the production of cortisol which destroys muscle tissue and is catabolic. Having anabolic amino acids like BCAA's and Rhodiola together give you a double delivery of muscle building nutrients.


Optimum-Nutrition-Smart-Shaker-together.jpgThe Wellmune has been added to this product as many people have a significant reduction in immune function post workout. Most people don't realise that every time you train, your immune function can drop by as much as 50% for a short time after your workout.


By recovering properly and giving your muscles the fuel they need to recover you’re reducing the drop in immune function that happens post workout, and the addition of a product like Wellmune, which supports and stabilises the immune system can make a significant impact on immune function.


This impact can be quite considerable given every time you fall sick during constant training it takes you out of the game for up to 2 weeks. Taking a product with the addition of Wellmune can significantly reduce this effect.


Last but not least Optimum Nutrition have added a good serve of electrolytes to the Gold Standard BCAA's product. A lot of people don't realise how significant rehydration and the benefits of electrolytes are after exercise.


Studies have shown from as far back as 1985 that dehydration of only 2% can significantly affect performance, and when somebody is as dehydrated as 5% of their body weight their work capacity can reduce by as much as 30% and this was proven by Armstrong et. al 1985. The addition of electrolytes to this formula are sufficient to ensure proper rehydration both during and after exercise.


Final Verdict!

Overall Optimum Nutrition has done a very good job of the Gold standard BCAA's. This product is leucine dominant in the amino acids, which is terrific.


It tastes awesome, mixes great, it's very good value for money and comes in a good range of flavours attractive to most palates. With the addition of the Wellmune and Rhodiola extract it really is quite a well-rounded BCAA product.


Given this product is called Gold Standard BCAA, Optimum Nutrition can be forgiven for not adding in any of the other eight essential amino acids however, I think this would be a great new addition to the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard range.