There are two products on the market known as CoreSeries BCAA. One of them comes from Transparent Labs and contains Glutamine. The other is a MusclePharm supplement.
We will look at them both because each is a drink powder for use in a similar context by the same types of consumers.
One Small Difference
The minor difference is that Transparent Labs makes their BCAA drink mix with glutamine which is the most plentiful amino acid already in your muscles.
With BCAAs, this substance acts as a muscle-building catalyst to utilize protein and direct the energy from food to your muscles. Glutamine is thought to improve immunity, energy, and repair to muscles as well.
Some doctors and health food companies promote glutamine supplements to prevent heart disease and to support recovery from cardiac illness.
Transparent Labs suggests using their powder during fasted training to encourage fat loss. Their blend contains a 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs which are Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine for a total of 8,000 mg on top of 5,000 mg of glutamine and 1,000 mg of coconut water powder to enhance hydration. Flavors include green apple and blue raspberry.
The MusclePharm blend does not contain Glutamine or coconut water powder. It’s a simple BCAA mixture at a different ratio from that you see above. Their ratio is 3:1:2, heavy on Leucine, followed by Isoleucine, then Valine.
Musclepharm also provides several flavor options. You can buy a canister of unflavored Core Series BCAAs or a flavor such as watermelon or blue raspberry.
Using Powdered BCAAs
Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are not made by your body the way Glutamine is. You have to obtain them from foods high in protein, but the body doesn’t always absorb Branched Chain Amino Acids as easily from food as they do when these substances are taken as a drink.
Powdered BCAA drink mixes which don’t contain flavor should be blended into a smoothie or mixed with fruit juice because they don’t taste very nice, but the flavored ones are sufficient on their own. You don’t need a blender or any electricity. Buy a good quality shaker cup with a secure lid.
Add your scoops of powder with cold fluid and mix vigorously. The powder will dissolve to form a solution that’s easy to drink. Take either one of these drink mixes before you work out, halfway through a long and strenuous session, or after the workout.
You can also take it if you are feeling fatigued at some point during exercise, before you had planned to consume anything. You will feel instantly hydrated, especially with the Transparent Labs version featuring coconut water powder.
Water would also hydrate your muscles but without the instant uptake of amino acids that ensure your efforts build muscle and don’t just make you sweat or burn fat. Although you want to be lean, this wouldn’t be body building if all you did was shed fat.
Buy a Canister
Transparent Labs’ canisters are distinctively simple: mostly white with bright blue lettering. A canister weighing more than 500 grams costs $39 directly from their company. MusclePharm’s version weighs less than half that amount but costs more than half at around $28 from MusclePharm directly.