Review BCAA Nutrition

Cellucor BCAA Sport Review (2024)

BCAAs are a popular supplement choice for their purported benefits on muscle growth and recovery. They are often used before, during, and after different exercise modes as a stand-alone powder or added to other supplements.

We’ve done a detailed Cellucor BCAA Sport review below to see how it compares to the competition. We’ve reviewed the main factors to show you whether it’s worth spending your hard-earned money on.

Cellucor BCAA Sport Review

Cellucor BCAA Sport Review Quick Summary

Cellucor BCAA Sport Hydration Powder

Cellucor BCAA Sport Hydration Powder
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • BCAAs per Serving: 4 grams 
  • Servings per Container: 30 servings 
  • Serving Size: 11 grams 
  • Additional Ingredients: Electrolytes, Artificial colors and flavors 
  • Price per Serving: $0.77
  • Company Founded: 2009
  • Recommended by Athletes: Demi Bagby, Scott Mathison, Justin Fields 

Cellucor was founded in 2009 with a vision to deliver high-quality products using effective doses that tasted great to all athletes. By making effective products, the company wants to be a small part of your journey of evolution and improvement.

The Cellucor BCAA Sport Hydration Powder contains 4 grams of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 blend. Other noticeable ingredients include 2.25 grams of a different amino acid blend and 2 grams of glutamine. Alongside this, four electrolytes are included in small amounts. 

Nutrition BCAA Cellucor Review

The BCAA Sport Powder contains zero calories, sugar, and carbohydrates. Additionally, it’s vegan-friendly and NSF-Certified for Sport meaning it’s been tested for quality and safety. 

In terms of flavor and tub size options, the Cellucor BCAA Sport Hydration Powder comes in a cherry limeade flavor in a 30-serving tub giving you a one month supply. Cellucor offers a subscribe and save option, which means you get 30% off each tub alongside free shipping.

37.5 EXPERT SCORE

Cellucor’s BCAA Sport Hydration Powder delivers a potent blend of BCAAs, amino acids, and glutamine in a refreshing cherry limeade flavor, certified vegan-friendly and NSF-Certified for Sport.


Components Breakdown:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Value for Money:0

Who and What is Cellucor BCAA Sport for?

Before we explain the possible applications of the Cellucor BCAA Sport powder, let’s remind ourselves of the main ingredients:

  1. 4 grams of BCAAs (2:1:1 ratio)
  2. 2 grams of Glutamine
  3. Small amounts of electrolytes

Out of the 20 amino acids present in our body, 11 can be synthesized in adequate amounts which leaves 9 that need to be obtained through dietary intake. Of these 9, three are known as branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).

BCAAs make up approximately 35% of essential amino acids in humans and are metabolized directly in skeletal muscle. For these reasons, they are seen as an important fuel source for muscle growth and recovery. 

The purported benefits of BCAA intake include as a muscle fuel for improved growth and recovery and improving body composition by improving muscle protein synthesis. It's important to note this whilst BCAAs do have a notable role in MPS, the consumption of complete proteins such as whey is far more important.

Nutrition BCAA Cellucor Powder - Near Bottle

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body, accounting for approximately 50-60% of all amino acids present in muscle tissue. Whilst glutamine has little to no scientific evidence showing improvements in exercise performance and muscle growth with supplementation, beneficial effects relating to intestinal health and improved immune function are much more promising throughout scientific research.

In reality, our daily BCAA and glutamine targets can be easily hit via dietary intake which would make BCCA and glutamine supplementation via the Cellucor BCAA Sport powder only useful in the specific situations below:

  • Vegan and vegetarian athletes who struggle to hit their daily protein intake targets from diet alone 
  • Athletes of any level who perform multiple bouts of exercise or long duration events and need a convenient, easy to consume source of BCAAs
  • Those looking to reduce DOMS following high-intensity, long-duration exercise where dietary protein intake is inadequate
  • Those looking to improve intestinal health by reinforcing the gut barrier, preventing harmful toxins from passing through when added extra glutamine. This is still a debatable effect. 
  • Endurance athletes in long-duration training or competition looking to reduce DOMS
  • People suffering from diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and infectious enterocolitis 

The correct use of the Cellucor BCAA Sport Powder comes down to habitual dietary protein intake, lifestyle choices, and possible underlying conditions affecting intestinal and immune health. Consider the points above when deciding if supplementation is worth it.

Nutrition BCAA Cellucor Supplemental Facts

Cellucor BCAA Sport Hydration Powder Review

The points below represent the main things to consider when choosing between different BCAA products. We’ve tested the Cellucor BCAA powder with the help of our in-house experts to give you a detailed overview of what to expect.

1. Component Breakdown

The Cellucor BCAA Sport powder contains 4 grams of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio, 2.25 grams of amino acids, 2 grams of Glutamine, and added electrolytes in smaller amounts. 

The 2:1:1 BCAA ratio is in line with the suggested optimal amounts used in research. Whilst the 4 grams of BCAAs is on the lower side compared to other brands, the Cellucor Sport hydration powder is more of an all-in-one supplement formulated with several added ingredients.

The powder can be used to help hit the suggested daily intake target of 20 grams when split into even doses or used alongside normal dietary intake if protein intake is insufficient.

The 2 grams of glutamine and added electrolytes are dosed on the smaller side but should be used to supplement normal dietary intake where needed. If electrolytes are needed, a high-strength electrolyte supplement should be considered with the help of a sports nutritionist.

The Cellucor BCAA Sport powder also contains both natural and artificial flavors which is something to bare in mind when purchasing. 

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2. Nutrition Label Transparency

Cellucor offers excellent nutrition label transparency on all its products, with a detailed table on the back of each BCAA sport tub showing the amount and form of each ingredient per serving. Underneath the table, any additional ingredients are listed including any artificial flavors. 

The front of the Cellucor BCAA Sport tub bares the NSF-Certified for Sport logo which is a huge positive if you’re a tested performance athlete. This ensures each ingredient has been tested for purity and is free from any banned substances. In terms of third-party testing, NSF is one of the most widely recognized organizations. 

3. Taste

Whilst the Cellucor BCAA Sport powder is well formulated with excellent third-party testing, taste and mixability are two areas where future formulations could be slightly improved.

When added to water, the BCAA powder does mix okay but often clumps up at the bottom of the glass or shaker bottle. The cherry limeade flavor forms a bright pink color that smells okay but has a sweet, medicine-like taste. 

This is something to bare in mind when deciding if the Cellucor BCAA powder is for you. Over time, the medicine-like taste tends to get weaker as you get used to it.

Nutrition BCAA Cellucor Powder Near Bottle

4. Value for Money

At the time of writing this review, each 11-gram serving costs $0.77 if purchasing the Cellucor powder using the normal option. When using the subscribe and save option, this gives you 30% off and free shipping which lowers the price per serving to just $0.54.

Both price points offer excellent value for money when you consider the amount of different ingredients present. Whilst the doses may be on the lower end, the Cellucor powder can be used to supplement a good diet rather than replace it. 

5. Overall Opinion 

In our opinion, the Cellucor BCAA Sport powder is worth purchasing if you’re using it alongside good dietary intake. It should be used as a supplement to top up daily intake targets as a convenient source of BCAAs, amino acids, and glutamine rather than as the sole dietary intake.

Future formulations should focus on improving the mixability and aftertaste or offer more flavor choices without a medicine-like taste or an unflavored version.

Nutrition BCAA Cellucor: Mixing with Water

How do you use the Cellucor BCAA Sport Powder?

If you’re someone who falls into any of the listed categories above or you simply want to take the Cellucor BCAA Sport Powder to ensure adequate intake of the main listed ingredients, follow our recommended dosing schedule below.

The timing of BCAA intake doesn’t matter. More emphasis should be placed on consistent daily intake using the dosing recommendation stated:

  • Consume 20 grams of combined BCCAs at a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine
  • Split the daily amount into 4x 5 gram doses spread evenly throughout the day if possible

Remember that supplementing with BCAAs and Glutamine is only necessary in the absence of adequate daily protein intake or for the reasons stated above. Focus should be placed on consuming whole foods from a variety of dietary sources, with supplement powders viewed as the ‘icing on the cake’ when it comes to nutrition.

For younger and older populations wanting to consume the Cellucor BCAA Sport powder, consult with a relevant healthcare professional first to assess individual suitability.

Cellucor BCAA Sport Alternatives

1. Cellucor BCAA Sport vs Kaged

Kaged BCAA Powder

Kaged BCAA Powder
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • BCAA's per Serving: 5,000mg
  • Servings per Container: 72
  • Serving Size: 5.5g
  • Additional Ingredients: N/A
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.42
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Andrea SomerColt NicholsKris Gethin 

Like the Cellucor BCAA Sport Powder, the Kaged BCAA Powder uses a 2:1:1 BCAA formulation but contains 5 grams of BCAAs compared to 4 grams in Cellucor. The Kaged powder also contains 100% plant-based fermented BCAAs whereas the Cellucor Powder doesn’t specify the exact source. 

Where the Cellucor product mainly differs is in the added ingredients. Cellucor has included 2 grams of glutamine and added electrolytes where whereas the Kaged powder is more of a pure BCAA product. The Cellucor powder is also NSF-Certified for Sport whereas the Kaged powder doesn’t specify their testing organization.

Kaged BCAA Powder Review

Both supplements are good BCAA options, with the Kaged one more of a pure BCAA supplement without added ingredients. 

2. Cellucor BCAA Sport vs Transparent Labs

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine powder

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine Powder
  • Flavor: Sour Green Apple, Tropical Punch, Strawberry Lemonade, Blue Raspberry
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (19,6g)
  • Glutamine per serving: 5g
  • Other ingredients: BCAA, Coconut water powder
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.3
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor Bjornsson, Paul Sklar, Sean Harris

The Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine powder contains 8 grams of fermented Vegan BCAAs with 5 grams of L-glutamine and 1 gram of coconut water powder. Compared to the Celliucor powder, these are given in much larger amounts but at a much higher price point.

Transparent Labs prides itself on transparent labelling with all of its ingredients undergoing third-party testing which makes both products suitable for tested performance athletes. The Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine powder contains 10 calories and 2 grams of carbs whilst the Cellucor powder is free from calories and carbs. 

Both products represent great BCAA supplement options but come at very different price points due to the ingredient dosages.

FAQ

What Does Cellucor Bcaa Sport Do?

The Cellucor BCAA Sport contains a 2:1:1 blend of BCAAs which are purported to improve muscle growth and recovery. The 2 grams of added glutamine may also help to improve immunity and maintain the integrity of the gut barrier. The added electrolytes may help to improve hydration even though they are included in small amounts.

The Celliuor BCAA Sport powder provides a convenient source of the compounds mentioned above which may have these beneficial effects when normal dietary intake is inadequate or not feasible in certain situations.

Do BCAAs Actually Work?

The importance of BCAAs stems from their role in muscle tissue and as a workout fuel. They make up approximately 35% of the essential amino acids in mammals and are metabolized directly in skeletal muscle which is why they’re seen as an important fuel source. 

In reality, BCAA powders provide a convenient source of essential amino acids but in most cases are not needed when total daily protein intake is sufficient.

Conclusion

The Cellucor BCAA Sport powder has been formulated using smaller doses of several ingredients to offer an all-in-one performance and hydration powder that is best used to supplement normal dietary intake. It comes at an excellent price point which makes it a well-worth investment when used correctly and during the situations described above.

The NSF-Certified for Sport logo is a huge plus, making it a great choice for tested athletes. Future products should focus on more flavor choices, including adding an unflavored option for those who don’t want the medicine-like aftertaste.

What do you think of our C4 BCAA review? When do you use the Cellucor BCAA Sport powder and why? Let me know in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1. Michael Neinast, Danielle Murashige, Zoltan Arany, “Branched Chain Amino Acids,” Annual Review in Physiology (2019):139-164. doi:10.1146/annurev-physiol-020518-114455
  2. Alexandre Fouré, David Bendahan, “Is Branched-Chain Amino Acids Supplementation an Efficient Nutritional Strategy to Alleviate Skeletal Muscle Damage? A Systematic Review,” Nutrients 9, no.10 (2017):1047. doi:10.3390/nu9101047
  3. Vinicius Cruzat, Marcelo Macedo Rogero, Kevin Noel Keane, Rui Curi, Philip Newsholme, “Glutamine: Metabolism and Immune Function, Supplementation and Clinical Translation,” Nutrients 10, no.11 (2018):1564.. doi:10.3390/nu10111564
  4. Radhakrishna Rao, Geetha Samak, “Role of Glutamine in Protection of Intestinal Epithelial Tight Junctions,” Journal of Epithelial Biological Pharmacology 5, no.1 (2012):47-54. doi:10.2174/1875044301205010047
  5. Kurtis Frank, Kathrine Nguyen, “Branched-Chain Amino Acids benefits, dosage, and side effects. Examine.com. https://examine.com/supplements /branched-chain-amino-acids/#dosage-information (Accessed February 4, 2024)
  6. Photo by Transparent Labs BCAA transparentlabs.com, Cellucor BCAA Sport cellucor.com

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Nutrition and Sport Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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