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Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), celebrated for their muscle-building properties among the essential amino acids (EAAs), ignite debate and prompt the question, “Are BCAAs worth it?

Like many nutrition questions, the answer varies. And like most dietitians encourage, you should prioritize whole foods first. Yet, if you struggle to consume enough protein, exploring a BCAA supplement could be beneficial. 

Now to wonder, should 1st Phorm BCAA be your first pick? In this 1st Phorm BCAA Review, join me, a dietitian, as I delve into the product’s specifics and share insights from GGR’s Senior Director of Content Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1. Let’s get into it!

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

20+ BCAAs Tested By Fitness Industry Leaders 

GGR’s expert testing team—comprising seasoned personal trainers, nutritionists, dietitians, CrossFit Level 1 trainers, and weightlifting coaches—takes supplement reviews seriously so we can offer transparent insights. That’s why we’ve rigorously tested over 20 BCAA products, rating each from 1 to 5 using our GGR supplement testing methodology across various factors:

  • Price per serving
  • Formulation
  • Taste
  • Solubility
  • Side effects
  • Third-party testing
  • Customer service
  • Customer reviews

1st Phorm BCAA

1st Phorm BCAAs

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Available in 7 different flavors
  • Each serving costs $1.07
  • No added sugar but reviewers report great-tasting flavors
  • Has research-backed doses of all branched-chain amino acids
  • Can subscribe for monthly delivery to save money

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 7 great-tasting flavors
  • Research-backed doses
  • Can put on a subscription to save money
  • 40 servings per container

Cons

  • Uses a proprietary blend of amino acids and electrolytes
  • May not be able to be stacked with other supplements

Bottom Line

Great-tasting BCAA supplement with research-backed doses.

A Quick Look at 1st Phorm BCAA

Calling St. Louis home (We’re from the Lou, and we’re proud! #IYKYK…), 1st Phorm prides itself on its Midwest values and work ethic. These Midwest manners build customer loyalty, and their products support everyone’s goals at any time—be it with a pre-workout supplement, the Phormula-1 whey protein powder for post-workout recovery, or its BCAAs, touted as an intra-workout formula but also for daily use.

1st Phorm BCAA is designed to enhance muscle protein synthesis and growth while reducing muscle fatigue, soreness, and recovery time. Packed with a robust dose of BCAAs and various amino acids, electrolytes, and B vitamins, we have much to unpack in the formulation and the 1st Phorm experience. Ope, let’s waste no time!

Before You Buy

  • Important allergen info: The BCAAs are manufactured on equipment that processes milk, egg, soy, and wheat, posing a risk of cross-contamination with these allergens.
  • Savings tip: While 1st Phorm doesn’t have a standard subscribe-and-save program, it offers free shipping for orders over $75. Hitting this threshold can be a smart way to save on shipping costs when restocking your supplements.

Is 1st Phorm BCAA Worth It?

1st Phorm BCAA costs about $1.12 per serving, positioning it in the mid-range among the best BCAA supplements. The prices range from $0.35 to $1.63 per serving, mainly depending on added ingredients other than BCAAs. While 1st Phorm BCAA is popular among many, it may not suit everyone’s needs.

Great for:

  • Those who may need added protein support, such as active individuals and plant-based dieters
  • Individuals seeking a flavorful BCAA supplement
  • Consumers desiring a formula that extends beyond BCAAs

Not recommended for:

  • Those avoiding artificial ingredients
  • Individuals requiring a supplement certified by a trusted third party as free from banned substances, particularly athletes
  • Anyone who already uses protein powder before or after training, which is rich in BCAAs

1st Phorm BCAA Specs

Price per serving$1.12
FlavorsBerry Lemonade, Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Lemonade, Pineapple Mango, Strawberry Candy
BCAAs per serving7.5 g
L-Leucine dosage3.5 g
L-Isoleucine dosage2 g
L-Valine dosage2 g
Other key ingredientsAmino Blend, Electrolyte & Mineral Blend, B Vitamins
Calories per serving35 
SweetenersSucralose, Acesulfame Potassium
Third-party tested?Yes

Experience Using 1st Phorm BCAA

GGR Senior Director of Content Kate Meier tried 1st Phorm BCAA and raved about the flavor—see “Taste and Solubility” below for these details.

Price Per Serving

A 40-serving container of 1st Phorm BCAAs costs $44.99, equating to $1.12 per serving before tax. This pricing positions it near the median compared to other high-quality BCAAs, earning it a 4-out-of-5-star rating for price value.

Formulation

We rated 1st Phorm BCAA 3.5 out of 5 not because it’s a “bad” formula, but primarily because it contains proprietary blends and artificial ingredients. Proprietary blends obscure ingredient amounts, hindering our ability to assess their clinical effectiveness, leading us to favor fully transparent formulas.

1st Phorm BCAAS on countertop

Key Ingredients

1st Phorm’s standout feature is its 7.5 grams of BCAAs, yet it includes other key ingredients:

  • BCAAs (7.5 g): Includes leucine (3.5 g), isoleucine (2 g), and valine (2 g) in a 1.75:1:1 ratio to support muscle growth, aid recovery, and preserve lean muscle tissue during weight loss. Although research supports 2:1:1 as the best ratio for BCAAs, the 7.5-gram dosage significantly exceeds the recommended minimum of 5 grams. Moreover, the leucine content surpasses the 2.5-gram dosage to initiate muscle protein synthesis1.
  • Amino blend (1.7 g): Supplies a proprietary blend of various amino acids, including taurine, tyrosine, glutamine, citrulline, and agmatine sulfate (a metabolite of the amino acid arginine) to support muscle endurance, growth, and recovery. 
  • Electrolyte and mineral blend (475 mg): Provides 56 milligrams of sodium and 94 milligrams of potassium to promote hydration and optimize athletic performance2
  • B vitamins: Contains high doses of a few B vitamins3—specifically niacin (313% DV), vitamin B6 (588% DV), and vitamin B12 (500% DV)—to support energy metabolism and improve energy levels during exercise. 

Other Ingredients 

1st Phorm BCAA includes additional ingredients that vary by flavor, comprising:

  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Citric acid
  • Malic acid
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Beta carotene
  • Beetroot powder 
  • FD&C Yellow #5 and Blue #5

These components improve solubility, texture, flavor, sweetness, and color.

Taste and Solubility 

Kate’s experience with 1st Phorm BCAAs speaks volumes, as she rates it a perfect 5 for taste and solubility. She notes, “1st Phorm BCAA perfectly dissolves; I never had any granules or clumps when mixing it. I used the Blue Raspberry flavor, and it almost tastes like Blue Kool-Aid. It’s delicious.”

1st Phorm BCAAS on countertop

Side Effects

Kate didn’t report any negative side effects, so we awarded 1st Phorm BCAA a 5 out of 5 in this category. However, it’s worth noting high doses of niacin4 may cause skin flushing, itching, and tingling.

Third-Party Testing 

Although 1st Phorm supplements are produced in facilities that undergo third-party testing, they are not certified by a major agency such as NSF, Informed Choice, or Informed Sport. As a result, they receive a rating of 3 out of 5 in this category.

1st Phorm BCAA vs Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

Transparent Labs BCAAs

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Available in 5 flavors, BCAA Glutamine supports post-workout recovery and a reduction of muscle breakdwon
  • No artificial colors, sweeteners, or coloring
  • Sweetened with Stevia
  • Each serving has 5 active ingredients designed to promote protein synthesis, reduce muscle fatigue, improve post-workout muscle growth, and enhance performance
  • Ingredients include vitamin C, fermented vegan BCAA 2:1:1 (L-leucine, L-valine, and L-isoleucine), and glutamine

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Transparent ingredient list
  • 5 flavor options
  • Uses fermented vegan BCAAs
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • No artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives
  • 60-day money-back assurance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Contains Stevia, which can cause digestive issues
  • Taste is not appreciated by all

Bottom Line

If Stevia does not cause you any stomach issues, Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine is a well-formulated supplement worth considering.

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine is a vegan-friendly branched-chain amino acid supplement with glutamine and electrolytes, yet it stands out from 1st Phorm’s product in several ways:

  • BCAA content and ratio: Provides 8 grams of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio.
  • Calories and carbohydrates: supplies 10 calories and 2 grams of carbs per serving, in contrast to 1st Phorm’s 35 calories. Although the difference is negligible, it may be significant for those counting macros.
  • Added nutrition: Contains a high dose of vitamin C instead of the B vitamins in 1st Phorm BCAA.
  • Formulation transparency: Discloses the amount of each ingredient, as opposed to 1st Phorm’s proprietary blends.
  • Ingredient quality: Free from artificial colors, sweeteners, and dyes.
  • Cost: About $0.20 more per serving, although subscribe and save with free shipping is available. 
  • Third-party testing: Undergoes third-party testing for purity and banned substances. 

For a detailed comparison, refer to the table below and our Transparent Labs BCAAs Review.

1st Phorm BCAATransparent Labs BCAA Glutamine
Price per serving$1.12$1.33
FlavorsBerry Lemonade, Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Lemonade, Pineapple Mango, Strawberry CandyBlue Raspberry, Sour Green Apple, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch
BCAAs per serving7.5 g8 g
L-Leucine dosage3.5 g4 g
L-Isoleucine dosage2 g2 g
L-Valine dosage2 g2 g
Other key ingredientsAmino Blend, Electrolyte & Mineral Blend, B VitaminsVitamin C, Glutamine, Coconut Water Powder
Calories per serving35 10 
SweetenersSucralose, Acesulfame PotassiumStevia
Third-party tested?YesYes

Customer Experience 

1st Phorm provides a robust “Help Center” section and highly accessible customer support. They also offer a 110% money-back guarantee, meaning you can return the unused portion for a 110% refund of your purchase price within 30 days, minus shipping costs (which likely help cover the extra 10%).

Scoop of 1st Phorm BCAAs going into a cup

Speaking of shipping, orders above $75 (energy drinks excluded) ship free, and fees for smaller orders depend on weight and distance. For example, shipping locally to St. Louis amounted to $11.20 via USPS Ground, while sending to Florida was $11.19…? *Shrugs*

Ordering 1st Phorm BCAA

Ordering 1st Phorm BCAA is exclusive to its website, 1stphorm.com, with a straightforward process: Simply add the product to your cart and follow the prompts to checkout. Their subscription model doesn’t offer a discount but ensures you always have BCAAs by allowing deliveries every two to six weeks.

Customer Reviews

1st Phorm BCAA boasts a 4.9-out-of-5-star rating from over 3,340 reviews at the time of this writing. Most reviews are overwhelmingly positive, hyping its taste, mixability, and muscle recovery effects. However, some lower ratings mostly warn about clumps and the Apple Juice flavor (which, no worries, as this is no longer available). 

We typically include Amazon reviews to reduce bias risk, but 1st Phorm is unavailable on the site.

Final Verdict of Our 1st Phorm BCAA Review

1st Phorm BCAA is a unique formula that’s collected thousands of positive reviews and a well-above-average rating. If you’re considering a BCAA supplement but are undecided about 1st Phorm’s offering, here are some final thoughts to ponder:

  • Provides a generous 7.5-gram dose of BCAAs, including 3.5 grams of leucine, which exceeds the evidence-based dosage for triggering muscle protein synthesis1. However, it does not adhere to the widely recommended 2:1:1 ratio.
  • Contains high doses of B vitamins, proprietary amino and electrolyte blends, and some artificial ingredients.
  • Undergoes third-party testing but is not certified as free of banned substances.
  • Comes with a 110% money-back guarantee if you’re not a happy customer. 

Full Rating

1st Phorm BCAA

Great-tasting BCAA supplement with research-backed doses.

Product Brand: 1st Phorm

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 44.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.3

1st Phorm BCAA Rating

Price per serving – 4
Formulation – 3.5
Taste – 5
Solubility – 5
Side effects – 5
Third-party testing – 3
Customer service – 4
Customer reviews – 4.9
Buy Now

1st Phorm BCAA: FAQs

What’s the best BCAA supplement?

What’s the best BCAA supplement?After testing more than 20 BCAAs, here’s our list of the best BCAA supplements:

-Best BCAA Supplement Overall: Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine
-Best BCAA Supplement With Carbs: XWERKS Motion
-Best BCAA Supplement for Endurance: Transparent Labs Intra Workout
-Best BCAA Supplement for Muscle-Building: Huge EAAs
-Best BCAA Supplement for Recovery: 1st Phorm BCAAs
-Best Tasting BCAAs: Alani Nu BCAA
-Best BCAA Pills: Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules
-Best Pre-Workout BCAAs: Evlution Nutrition BCAA Lean Energy 
-Best Budget BCAAs: XTEND Original BCAA Powder
-Best Vegan BCAA Supplement: Naked BCAAs
-Best Unflavored BCAA Supplement: Kaged Muscle BCAA

Is it OK to take BCAA every day?

In healthy individuals, taking BCAAs every day is generally safe in recommended doses and per product guidelines. 

Is BCAA better than creatine?

In our comparison of BCAA vs creatine, we shared that whether BCAAs are superior depends on individual needs. However, BCAAs are likely unnecessary if you consume adequate protein, and the International Society of Sports Nutrition5 (ISSN) endorses creatine use throughout life.

Is BCAA safe for kidneys?

Although not fully understood, developing evidence6 suggests that BCAAs do not negatively impact healthy kidneys but may harm individuals with chronic kidney disease.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. Phillips SM, Paddon-Jones D, Layman DK. Optimizing Adult Protein Intake During Catabolic Health Conditions. Adv Nutr. 2020 Jul 1;11(4):S1058-S1069. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmaa047. Erratum in: Adv Nutr. 2021 Mar 31;12(2):578. PMID: 32666115; PMCID: PMC7360447.
  2. Veniamakis E, Kaplanis G, Voulgaris P, et al. Effects of Sodium Intake on Health and Performance in Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Sports. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Mar 19;19(6):3651. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19063651. PMID: 35329337; PMCID: PMC8955583.
  3. Lee MC, Hsu YJ, Shen SY, et al. A functional evaluation of anti-fatigue and exercise performance improvement following vitamin B complex supplementation in healthy humans, a randomized double-blind trial. Int J Med Sci. 2023 Aug 15;20(10):1272-1281. doi: 10.7150/ijms.86738. PMID: 37786445; PMCID: PMC10542023.
  4. Kamanna VS, Ganji SH, Kashyap ML. The mechanism and mitigation of niacin-induced flushing. Int J Clin Pract. 2009 Sep;63(9):1369-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2009.02099.x. PMID: 19691622; PMCID: PMC2779993.
  5. Kreider RB, Kalman DS, Antonio J, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 13;14:18. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z. PMID: 28615996; PMCID: PMC5469049.
  6. Pillai SM, Herzog B, Seebeck P, et al. Differential Impact of Dietary Branched Chain and Aromatic Amino Acids on Chronic Kidney Disease Progression in Rats. Front Physiol. 2019 Dec 9;10:1460. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01460. PMID: 31920685; PMCID: PMC6913537.

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