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For this Kaged Muscle BCAA review, we recruited Erin Chancer, GGR senior editor and certified nutrition coach, to personally try the supplement and relay her feedback to us. What are BCAAs? BCAAs are the most concentrated amino acids in your muscle tissue, which is why there is so much hype around them in the fitness community. 

BCAAs are metabolized mostly in the muscles in the human body, whereas other amino acids are primarily processed in the liver1. It’s also thought that these amino acids need to be consumed in a certain ratio to be effective, and Kaged Muscle offers a BCAA supplement with that ratio, along with some other interesting features. Keep reading to find out what Erin found when she gave it a try. 

RELATED: Best BCAA Supplement

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.

Supplements for Pros Tested By the Pros

In order to provide an accurate and honest description of each nutritional supplement, we order, open, and test them ourselves as fitness professionals, dietitians, and personal trainers who personally use the products to fuel our own workouts and fitness goals. 

Our rating is based on our GGR supplement testing methodology. We give products a rating of 1 to 5 based on:

  • Quality of the formulation
  • Taste/solubility
  • Side effects
  • Third-party testing
  • Price/value
  • Customer reviews/service

Kaged BCAA

Kaged BCAA 2:1:1

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Kaged BCAA powder uses high-quality, fermented, and non-GMO BCAAs
  • Mixes easily with water 
  • Mix your own system allows you to stack this supplement with your favorite pre-workout drinks
  • Informed Sport-certified so safe for athletes
  • Each 5.5 grams serving contains 5,000 milligrams of ultra-pure BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio 
  • About 42 cents per serving

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Mixes well
  • Vegan
  • Informed Sport-certified

Cons

  • Taste

Bottom Line

With 5,000 milligrams of ultra-pure BCAAs per serving, Kaged offers a high-quality and fermented supplement that meets vegan criteria.

A Quick Look at Kaged BCAAs

Kaged Muscle manufactures high-quality, third-party-tested sports nutrition supplements made in the USA. They have an emphasis on wellness, which is why their sports nutrition supplements like creatine, protein powder, and BCAAs are non-GMO, plant-based, gluten-free, and as natural as possible.

RELATED: Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite Review

Before You Buy

  • Know that EAA and BCAAs are more optimally obtained from high-quality, whole-food sources.
  • The consensus of customer reviews is that the taste isn’t great despite being unflavored, so be prepared to hide it in your pre-workout or intra-workout hydration drink.

Are Kaged BCAAs Worth It?

The BCAAs from Kaged Muscle have a short ingredient list, which should come as good news to fitness buffs who value that sort of thing. It’s also made with fermented branched-chain amino acids, which means they are not sourced from human hair or bird feathers and are minimally processed. All in all, it has a minimal formulation at the ratio that’s typically recommended, with not a lot of cons to be had, although our testers were not fans of the taste or mixability. 

RELATED: EAA vs BCAA

Great for:

  • Those who value a minimalist formulation in their supplements
  • People who want a small serving size of BCAA powder
  • Anyone who typically mixes their BCAAs in other supplements

Not recommended for:

  • People who can only budget for the most essential dietary supplements
  • Those who want an all-in-one supplement for pre-workout or post-workout
  • Individuals who want a great-tasting or flavored BCAA powder

Kaged BCAA 2:1:1 Specs

Price per serving$0.42
FlavorsNatural Unflavored
BCAAs per serving5 g
L-Leucine dosage2.5 g
L-Isoleucine dosage1.25 g
L-Valine dosage1.25 g
Other key ingredients None
Calories per servingNone
SweetenersNone
Third-party testedYes, Informed Sport

Experience Using Kaged BCAA 2:1:1

Erin Chancer, GGR senior editor and certified nutrition coach, tested Kaged’s branched-chain amino acid supplement and was satisfied with it overall. The taste and mixability weren’t entirely satisfactory in her experience, but all in all, it’s a simple product that contains exactly what it advertises.  

clumps of Kaged BCAAs

RELATED: Do BCAAs Give You Energy?

Price Per Serving

We gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stars in this category. Kaged gives you more than a two-month supply of branched-chain amino acids with 72 servings per tub. At $29.99 per tub, this comes out to about $0.42 per serving, which is a more-than-decent price for BCAA powder. 

With the subscribe and save program, which delivers every 4, 6, or 8 weeks, you can save about $0.05 per serving since the servings end up costing $0.37 each thanks to the 10% discount at checkout.

Formulation

The formulation gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from us, mainly due to the content of the 5 grams of plant-based amino acids and the care put into the ratio of the amino acids that are included. It also includes sunflower lecithin, which is often added to dietary supplements as an emulsifier to help with mixability. 

RELATED: Are BCAAs Worth It?

What makes Kaged stand out is they offer fermented BCAAs which means they aren’t as heavily processed and aren’t derived from human hair or duck feathers, which are common sources of many other BCAA supplements on the market. 

Now let’s quickly talk about the amino acids in Kaged Muscle BCAA powder. The three branched-chain amino acids each have their roles in the body:

  1. L-Leucine: Activating a key metabolic pathway2 for muscle growth, leucine is a vital BCAA for muscle protein synthesis. This is why whey protein powder is so big in sports nutrition, due to the high concentration of l-leucine that can be consumed quickly post-workout to help support muscle recovery.
  2. L-Isoleucine: Enhances the efficiency of glucose transport from the blood to the muscles, which can lead to less fatigue3 while exercising.
  3. L-Valine: In addition to helping to regulate blood glucose, valine prevents the breakdown of lean mass and soreness. Though this doesn’t directly help you build muscle, it does result in net muscle growth by reducing catabolism. 

Now, for some hard news. The main reason BCAA supplements are so popular is to build muscle. According to a 2017 review of the research4, branched-chain amino acids do trigger muscle protein synthesis. In spite of this, no studies have been able to show that BCAA supplements produce a higher level of muscle growth than BCAAs found in whole foods or even whey protein.

Someone trying to get those clumps of Kaged Muscle BCAAs to dissolve with a spoon.

In fact, if you consume high-quality protein foods and sports nutrition supplements that contain intact protein and all EAAS (essential amino acids), such as lean protein and protein powder, respectively, you can build muscle mass more effectively5 than if you take BCAAs separately6.

RELATED: The Best Ratio For BCAAs

So, what’s the significance of the 2:1:1 ratio? A 2008 study7 has demonstrated that to reap any of the few benefits that BCAAs have to offer, they should be consumed at a ratio of 2:1:1—two parts leucine, one part isoleucine, and one part valine. 

Taste and Solubility 

We rated Kaged Muscle BCAA 4 out of 5 stars for taste. Although it’s unflavored, Erin was expecting it to truly not have a taste. However, she described the flavor as being “water, but not water” which was slightly offputting. However, she mentions that you can’t notice it when mixed with other sports nutrition supplements like pre-workout or whey protein powder. 

RELATED: When to Take BCAAs

Solubility of Kaged Muscle BCAAs compared between a stirred glass and a shaker cup.

We also gave it 4 out of 5 stars for solubility, as Erin reports it was clumpy with mixed in water with a spoon, and some chunks even floated to the top. However, using a shaker bottle does make a slight difference, according to Erin.  

Side Effects

We gave a score of 5 out of 5 here as no side effects, good or bad, were noted from Erin aside from it tasting a bit unpleasant in plain water.

Third-Party Testing 

Our rating is 5 out of 5 stars for third-party testing as Kaged fermented BCAAs are third-party tested by Informed Sport. Informed Sport requires supplements to undergo one of the most rigorous forms of testing for banned substances and other forms of adulteration that could make supplements unsafe for both athletes and other active individuals. 

Kaged Muscle BCAA vs Naked Nutrition BCAAs

Naked BCAAs

Naked Nutrition BCAAs

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Free from any artificial additives 
  • Formulated with pharmaceutical-grade BCAAs
  • Quickly dissolves and absorbed 
  • Vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO
  • Incredible price point at $0.35 a serving
  • Key ingredients are just pure BCAAs with a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Only ingredients are pure BCAAs
  • Vegan
  • Serving size is just one teaspoon
  • 100 servings per container
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Smells bad
  • Taste is bitter

Bottom Line

Naked Nutrition BCAAs are the highest-grade amino acids and free from any additives but the taste leaves much to be desired.

Naked Nutrition is known for its high-quality, non-GMO, and vegan-friendly supplements. So much in fact, their BCAAs have made our list for both the best BCAA for men and the best BCAA for women. Both Naked and Kaged BCAAs were made in the USA, are high-quality with minimal ingredients, and have the same ratio of amino acids. Both also have the same serving size per scoop. 

However, Naked is not third-party tested, which would make Kaged Muscle BCAAs a better choice for athletes. That said, Naked Nutrition is 7 cents cheaper per serving, but their supplement does contain calories, which may deter those who are strict about their calorie intake.

Kaged BCAANaked Nutrition BCAA
Price per serving$0.42$0.35
FlavorsNatural UnflavoredUnflavored, Cherry Lime
BCAAs per serving5 g5 g
L-Leucine dosage2.5 g2.5 g
L-Isoleucine dosage1.25 g1.25 g
L-Valine dosage1.25 g1.25 g
Other key ingredients NoneNone
Calories per servingNone20 
SweetenersNoneNone
Third-party testedYes, Informed SportNo

Customer Experience 

Supplements purchased from Kaged Muscle within 60 days can be returned for a refund, replacement, or store credit, but shipping is the customer’s responsibility. Generally, Amazon doesn’t accept returns on consumable products like creatine or BCAA supplements. Customer support is available via live chat on Kaged’s website, by phone at 844-445-2433, or by email at support@kaged.com

Customer Reviews

On the website for Kaged Muscle, the BCAAs have a rating of 5 out of 5 stars out of 437 customer reviews. Most people love that it helps with their muscle recovery and soreness, but the feedback is mixed on taste. 

On Amazon, the BCAAs from Kaged Muscle have a rating of 4.5 out of 5, but only 22 customers elected to write a review so far. Similarly, people’s opinions vary on the taste.

Final Verdict of Our Kaged Muscle BCAA Review

All in all, it should be known that consuming all essential amino acids is optimal to support muscle protein synthesis if that’s the reason you’re shopping around for a BCAA supplement. Though there are some BCAA benefits, the compounds are best obtained from whole foods. 

A mixed glass of Kaged Muscle BCAAs stands next to the container.

Also, in case you thought you missed it, you didn’t. BCAAs also don’t help with hydration because they are not electrolytes and don’t control the flow of fluids in the body. So, chugging them down intra-workout isn’t necessary. 

The bottom line is, if your goals do include consuming enough BCAAs, Kaged Muscle is a solid, no-frills choice. It’s cost-efficient, non-GMO, vegan friendly and it’s also pretty cool to know it’s not sourced from human hair. 

  • Third-party testing and a minimal formulation provide a lot of peace of mind
  • Missed the opportunity to include other helpful pre-workout ingredients like creatine or electrolytes

Full Rating

Kaged Muscle BCAA

With 5,000 milligrams of ultra-pure BCAAs per serving, Kaged offers a high-quality and fermented supplement that meets vegan criteria.

Product Brand: Kaged

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 29.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.5

Kaged Muscle BCAA Rating

Price per serving – 4.5
Formulation – 4.5
Taste – 4
Solubility – 4
Side effects – 5
Third-party testing – 5
Customer service – 4
Customer reviews – 4.8
Buy Now

Kaged Muscle BCAA: FAQs

Are BCAA really effective?

BCAAs are effective, but not at the capacity most give them credit for. Furthermore, most fitness goals that people seek to achieve through a BCAA supplement can also be obtained from consuming EAAs in the form of whole foods, like lean animal protein and dairy products. 

Is BCAA safe for kidneys?

For those with healthy kidney function, BCAAs are safe. You are not advised to take BCAAs if you have kidney issues. 

What are the pros and cons of BCAA?

Some pros of taking BCAAs are you never have to wonder if you’re getting enough of them from your diet, and some people just love the feeling it gives them in the gym. However, the big con is that you can get the same compounds from foods you are likely already eating

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. Shimomura Y, Yamamoto Y, Bajotto G, Sato J, Murakami T, Shimomura N, Kobayashi H, Mawatari K. Nutraceutical effects of branched-chain amino acids on skeletal muscle. J Nutr. 2006 Feb;136(2):529S-532S. doi: 10.1093/jn/136.2.529S. PMID: 16424141.
  2. Kimball SR, Jefferson LS. Signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms through which branched-chain amino acids mediate translational control of protein synthesis. J Nutr. 2006;136(1 Suppl):227S-31S. doi:10.1093/jn/136.1.227S
  3. Gualano AB, Bozza T, Lopes De Campos P, et al. Branched-chain amino acids supplementation enhances exercise capacity and lipid oxidation during endurance exercise after muscle glycogen depletion. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011;51(1):82-88.
  4. Wolfe RR. Branched-chain amino acids and muscle protein synthesis in humans: myth or reality?. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14:30. Published 2017 Aug 22. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0184-9
  5. Hulmi JJ, Lockwood CM, Stout JR. Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010;7:51. Published 2010 Jun 17. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-7-51
  6. Church DD, Hirsch KR, Park S, et al. Essential Amino Acids and Protein Synthesis: Insights into Maximizing the Muscle and Whole-Body Response to Feeding. Nutrients. 2020;12(12):3717. Published 2020 Dec 2. doi:10.3390/nu12123717
  7. La Bounty P, Campbell B, Oetken A, et al. The effects of oral BCAAs and leucine supplementation combined with an acute lower-body resistance exercise on mTOR and 4E-BP1 activation in humans: preliminary findings. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008;5(Suppl 1):P21. Published 2008 Sep 17. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-S1-P21

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