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BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are three of the nine essential amino acids often used to enhance recovery and build lean muscle mass while following a resistance training program. Many of the best BCAA supplements are designed to be mixed with water and consumed during your workout, but capsules offer a convenient option for those who don’t enjoy sipping on supplements, or anyone looking for the fastest way to take BCAAs without having to mix up a beverage.

In this Pure Encapsulations BCAA review, I’ll be taking a closer look at these BCAA capsules, breaking down the dosing, benefits, pros and cons, and letting you know what our tester thought of these convenient amino acid capsules. 

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.

Tested by Certified Nutrition Coaches

Every product we review is written based on hands-on testing from our team of expert testers, which includes registered dietitians, certified nutrition coaches, certified personal trainers, gym owners, and even an Olympian. 

We take testing very seriously, especially when it comes to dietary supplements, which is why each product is scored using our supplement testing methodology, which rates specific categories, including:

  • Price per serving
  • Formulation
  • Solubility
  • Side Effects

Each category is scored on a scale of 1 to 5 after extensive testing, and we use these scores to calculate our final rating. 

Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules

Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules

GGR Score: 4.36 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Provides 600 milligrams of free-form BCAAs per capsule
  • Vegetarian ingredients and hypoallergenic
  • Intended to promote lean muscle mass, performance, and recovery
  • To get maximum benefits, it is recommended to take 2 to 4 capsules a day in between meals
  • Key ingredients: L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No need to worry about taste
  • Convenient
  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Made with high-quality vegetarian ingredients

Cons

  • Not as potent as powder
  • Need to take more than one capsule to reap the benefits

Bottom Line

Pure Encapsulation BCAA Capsules are a good way to add BCAAs into your routine if you prefer capsules over powder form.

A Quick Look at Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules

Pure Encapsulations specializes in high-quality dietary supplements free from unnecessary additives. Most of its supplements deliver potent dosing, often in capsule form. While other companies rely on flashy labels and ad campaigns, Pure Encapsulations supplements are often sold by healthcare professionals, or directly to customers.

Many of its products are focused on health, rather than sports performance, including supplements like NAC, multivitamins, B-complex, various antioxidants, and more.

Person holding pure encapsulations bcaa capsules


Pure Encapsulations BCAA capsules are GMO-free, gluten-free, and hypoallergenic, free from common allergens like tree nuts, magnesium stearate, artificial colors, and more, making them a safe product for most people. This product is their free-form BCAA powder in capsule form, which allows for greater convenience, as well as an easy option for those who don’t enjoy drinking their supplements. 

BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are three of the nine essential amino acids, which are amino acids your body can’t produce and must be consumed through food or supplements. The three amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and while they’re found in complete protein sources like whey protein, many prefer to supplement them to enhance muscle function, boost energy levels, and improve recovery. 

RELATED: What Are BCAAs?

Before You Buy

  • These capsules contain unflavored amino acids, so while you can open them up to drink the powder, it doesn’t have any flavoring. 
  • Dosing is on the lower end, and you’ll likely need to consume more than the recommended 2-capsule serving to see the benefits.
  • The BCAAs are formulated in the recommended 2:1:1 ratio, with 600 mg of leucine, and 300 mg of both valine and isoleucine.

Are Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules Worth It?

While the price per serving is low at $0.60, each serving is a bit underdosed, so you’ll likely need to double your dose and finish the bottle faster. However, the tradeoff comes in the form of convenience and portability, which may be well worth it for many. 

Great for:

  • Those following a diet low in protein
  • Anyone who prefers capsules over beverages
  • People looking for the most convenient, portable option for BCAAs

Not recommended for:

  • Anyone on a high-protein diet
  • Those who enjoy sipping on BCAAs during a workout

Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules Specs

Price per serving$0.60-$0.62
FlavorsUnflavored
BCAAs per serving1,200 mg
L-Leucine dosage600 mg
L-Isoleucine dosage300 mg
L-Valine dosage300 mg
Other ingredientsVegetarian capsules (cellulose, water)
Third-party tested?Yes

Experience Using Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules

For this review, former GGR staff writer Amanda Capritto, an expert tester and certified nutrition coach tested the Pure Encapsulations BCAA capsules, which contain the pure BCAA powder that’s also available in scoop form. 

Not only did she keep an eye out for side effects, but she even cracked open a couple of capsules to test the flavor and solubility, as some users may decide to open their capsules or go with Pure Encapsulations BCAAs in powder form. 

RELATED: Are BCAAs Worth It?

Some capsules are spilled on a table in front of a bottle of Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules.
Some capsules are spilled on a table in front of a bottle of Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules.

Now, it’s hard to notice a difference from BCAA supplementation if you’re already consuming enough protein, which Amanda was as an expert protein powder tester. This means our review is based on taste, solubility, formulation, and pricing, and less on the effects that users expect to feel.

Of the three amino acids, leucine in particular is often associated with muscle growth, as it increases protein synthesis and may reduce protein breakdown1 during resistance training. 

However, research is mixed on the benefits of BCAAs2, especially for those consuming a diet that’s already high in protein and supplies adequate amino acids throughout the day. Those who struggle with their protein intake could benefit from supplementing with amino acids, especially those engaging in strenuous physical activity who are focused on building lean muscle. 

Price Per Serving

For the price per serving, we award the Pure Encapsulations BCAAs a 4-out-of-5-star rating, with one caveat—the dosing is pretty low. 

Most of the best BCAA supplements contain at least 5 grams of total BCAAs, while these capsules provide only 1.2 grams. It’s easy to simply take more than the recommended serving to reach 5 grams, but because the dosing is so low, which skews the price per serving a bit, we docked a point here.

Formulation

The formulation in each capsule uses the recommended 2:1:1 ratio, which means you’ll have twice as much leucine as isoleucine and valine. There are no additives, fillers, or unnecessary ingredients, and even though the recommended serving size is slightly underdosed, the formulation itself is great, earning a 5-out-of-5-star rating. 

Supplement Facts label on a bottle of Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules.

Many competitors add things like electrolytes, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or other amino acids like l-glutamine powder, but these only contain BCAAs.

The formula only contains the three BCAAs, not all nine essential amino acids (EAAs), but the ratio is exactly what we want to see in a BCAA product.

RELATED: EAA vs BCAA

Taste and Solubility 

Even though we tested the capsules, we know that many people do prefer the powdered form and may try Pure Encapsulations BCAA powder instead. 

So, Amanda decided to crack a few capsules open and mix them into Powerade to see how the BCAA flavors came through with a flavored liquid. She noted that while there was a slight chemical aftertaste, similar to most other unflavored BCAAs, it was much milder than other brands. 

For taste and solubility, Amanda gave this a 4.2-out-of-5-star rating. 

Side Effects

Our tester didn’t notice any side effects, and while I haven’t tried these capsules, I’ve also used BCAAs on and off over the years with no issues. Most user reviews are positive, and nobody seems to have any issues with side effects, so this scores a 5-out-of-5 rating. 

Third-Party Testing 

Third-party testing is important to make sure your supplement is free of banned ingredients and contains what’s on the label. 

As Pure Encapsulations allows health practitioners to sell its supplements, everything is rigorously tested, and the company claims to thoroughly test both the raw materials and final products. 

For third-party testing, Pure Encapsulations BCAA capsules earn a 5-out-of-5 rating. 

Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules vs Alani Nu BCAAs

Alani Nu BCAAs

Alani Nu BCAAs

GGR Score: 3.66 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Vegan BCAAs offered in a variety of 5 unique flavors
  • Intended to improve recovery, support muscle mass, and enhance performance
  • Key ingredients include sodium, potassium, L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine, and L-glutamine
  • Each serving costs about $1.39

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tasty flavors
  • Vegan BCAAs
  • Mixes well
  • Aids in hydration

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Made with artificial sweeteners including sucralose
  • Too sweet for some

Bottom Line

While Alani Nu BCAAs are one of the more costly BCAAs on the market, their flavor options reign supreme.

To highlight the differences between BCAA capsules and powder, let’s compare this to a popular BCAA powder supplement, Alani Nu BCAAs, which was awarded the title of “best tasting” in our guide to the best BCAA supplements. 

Overall, Alani Nu is pricier, but as you can see in the table below, the doses of the BCAAs are higher and you have plenty of flavors to choose from. Pure Encapsulations BCAAs are a better choice for those who want the convenience of pills, but if you prefer to drink your amino acids or want a higher dose, I’d recommend a powdered BCAA like Alani Nu.

To read more, check out our full Alani Nu BCAA review

Pure Encapsulations BCAAAlani Nu BCAAs
Price per serving$0.60-$0.62$1.33
FlavorsUnflavoredSour Gummies, Sour Peach Rings,
Hawaiian Shaved Ice
BCAAs per serving1.2 g5 g
L-Leucine dosage600 mg2.5 g
L-Isoleucine dosage300 mg1.25 g
L-Valine dosage300 mg1.25 g
Other ingredientsVegetarian capsules
(cellulose, water)
L-glutamine, citric acid, natural and
artificial flavors, sucralose,
beet root extract, acesulfame potassium
Third-party tested?YesNo

Customer Experience 

When it comes to the customer experience, it’s not great when you order directly from Pure Encapsulations. 

The company does offer a 30-day return policy, but only on unopened products. You also need to pay for your own return shipping and there will be a 15% restocking fee deducted. Customer service does have a phone number listed and a contact form, but there is no chat or email support. 

Overall, the customer experience earns a 3-out-of-5 rating. 

Ordering Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules

If you order directly from Pure Encapsulations, you’ll receive free shipping at checkout on orders over $100.

That said, many of its formulas are sold on Amazon with free shipping, and as many healthcare practitioners are permitted to sell Pure Encapsulations, you should be able to find a retailer that offers free shipping. 

Customer Reviews

Pure Encapsulations doesn’t have any reviews on its website, but on Amazon the BCAA Capsules have a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating with 270 reviews. 

Most users are happy with their results, though some do comment on the small serving size. 

Final Verdict of Our Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules Review

Overall, these capsules are a great choice for anyone looking for a convenient way to take in BCAAs without using a mixed beverage, but the dosing is a little low and you’ll probably end up taking more than the recommended two-capsule dose to get enough amino acids. 

If you’re OK with the tradeoff of a smaller amount of BCAAs per serving, this is a great product to consider to help you reach your wellness goals. However, if you’re looking for something that contains the standard 5 grams per serving, you may need to choose something else. 

  • The capsules offer a convenient way to enjoy BCAAs on the go 
  • The price per serving is low, but so is the amount of amino acids you’re getting
  • Each capsule is formulated with the recommended 2:1:1 ratio for BCAAs.

Full Rating

Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules

Pure Encapsulation BCAA Capsules are a good way to add BCAAs into your routine if you prefer capsules over powder form.

Product Brand: Pure Encapsulations

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 18.80

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.36

Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules Rating

Price per serving – 4
Formulation – 5
Taste – 4.2
Solubility – 4.2
Side effects – 5
Third-party testing – 5
Customer service – 3
Customer reviews – 4.5
Buy Now

Pure Encapsulations BCAA Capsules: FAQs

Is it OK to take BCAA every day?

Yes. BCAAs are naturally occurring amino acids found in most whole-food protein sources, and as they are similar to protein, you don’t need to cycle them or worry about developing a tolerance.

What’s the best brand of BCAA?

There are many brands of BCAAs on the market, so it’s hard to say which is best. We suggest looking for a product that uses a 2:1:1 ratio (2 parts leucine, 1 part isoleucine, 1 part valine), uses transparent labeling and third-party testing, and is priced to fit your budget. 

What is better, creatine or BCAA?

They are two different things, and both are beneficial. Creatine increases strength and power output, while BCAAs are typically used to support muscle recovery and growth. If you’re looking for better physical performance, creatine is the better option, and if you want to improve recovery, BCAAs may be better.

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. Garlick PJ. The role of leucine in the regulation of protein metabolism. J Nutr. 2005;135(6 Suppl):1553S-6S. doi:10.1093/jn/135.6.1553S
  2. Plotkin DL, Delcastillo K, Van Every DW, Tipton KD, Aragon AA, Schoenfeld BJ. Isolated Leucine and Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation for Enhancing Muscular Strength and Hypertrophy: A Narrative Review. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2021;31(3):292-301. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.2020-0356

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BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are three of the nine essential amino acids often used to enhance recovery and build lean muscle mass while following a resistance training program. Many of the best BCAA supplements are designed to be mixed with water and consumed during your workout, but capsules offer a convenient option for those who don’t enjoy sipping on supplements, or anyone looking for the fastest way to take BCAAs without having to mix up a beverage.  » Read more about: Pure Encapsulations BCAA Review (2024): A Convenient Solution for Those Who Dislike Powders    » Read more