Hey, for those of you haven’t seen me wandering around your local forest, my name is Buck — because all teams need a mascot, obviously. Today I wanted to share a recent thought I had on BCAAs.

Winter approaches. I have to “bulk” in preparation for the cold. It’s for survival. Not because I can’t resist the sweets or feasts of the holiday season, I swear. Come New Years, though, my resolution will be to get back in ruttin’ shape. And you best believe I plan to attack those goals with even more passion than I attack those delicious pumpkin spice lattes — who you calling basic?!

This conundrum has me all sorts of ponderous: when it comes to BCAAs, do I want to get RACKED out of my mind or join the OG (Original Gainzter) Hall of Fame? In other words, do I want to use RACKED or the Original Formula? And really, is there any difference? I mean, they’re both BCAAs. Aren’t all BCAAs pretty much the same? NO. As it turns out, the two formulas are very different. 

What Are Branch Chained Amino Acids?

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) are the building blocks of protein. Comprised of three essential amino acids — isoleucine, leucine, and valine — BCAAs play a critical role in aiding in the production of gains, PRs, and — if you’re drinking the right brand — feelings of bliss that host a dance party on your taste buds.

Some of the ways that BCAAs can aid in muscle growth: They help prevent muscle waste by filling the muscles with an abundant source of glycogen. (Keto folks, I know you run off ketones but that’s to do with daily energy and more related to the liver — Anaerobic workouts are different and still require muscle glycogen, even for you.) By filling the muscles with glycogen you supply them with their preferred energy source and decrease the chance that your workout will break down protein for energy — you’ll find out why that’s so important in a minute. Beyond that are muscle recovery and protein synthesis.

Fit girl BCAAs

Muscle Recovery

You’ve heard the term “muscle recovery” a thousand times by now, I’d imagine. But to understand why speeding up the process of muscle recovery is important you need to know what it really means. There are several ways to promote muscle growth, including muscle tension and metabolic stress, but the most tried and true is muscle damage. This process requires two simple yet complex steps: Tear, then repair.

Tear: Think of your body like a house you purchased with the intention of renovating. When you set out to make your 1500 square foot “cozy” home into a structure even Frank Lloyd Wright would thumbs up, you don’t start by building. You start with what’s called a “demo,” the phase where you break down the current structure to make building possible. Sledgehammers come out, rafters get sawed apart, drywall is torn down, etc. Lifting is that “demo” phase.

When you lift a weight until muscle failure — not to be confused with technique or power failure — you cause micro-traumas that tear the muscle fibers apart. 

Repair: This is when the actual building takes place; when your vision for an open layout or dining room with more natural lighting can start coming to fruition.

Once you’ve induced the necessary damage, your body repairs or replaces damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process where it fuses muscle fibers together to make new muscle protein fibers or strands, similar to weaving several strands together to form a thicker, stronger rope. These repaired muscle fibers increase in number and thickness, resulting in muscle hypertrophy (growth). In order for the muscles to repair, certain processes must occur, and be optimized. One of those is protein synthesis.

Protein Synthesis

Another term we’ve all heard, and that’s equally as important as muscle recovery is protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is actually a process that occurs in all organs. For our goals, we’re focused on muscle protein synthesis. Each muscle is a wall. Each protein is a brick. Muscle protein synthesis is the act of adding bricks to the wall (muscle). Easy enough, right? Just keep adding on bricks. Well….

Here’s the thing; while you’re building your dream home, some zealous HOA guy has decided your remodel doesn’t fit within the HOA guidelines — probably something stupid like zoning laws. This guy is Muscle Protein Breakdown. Every brick you put up he takes down. This is obviously a problem. There’s only one way to win the war and build your house (muscles). No, it’s not to take him to court or punch him out — that doesn’t fit with the metaphor. The only way to beat him is to put up bricks faster than he can take them down. 

To put it differently, muscle growth occurs whenever the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown.

As you can see, BCAAs can help you reach your goals through those mechanisms. When you provide an abundant amount of muscle glycogen to the cells, you can avoid tapping into protein stores for energy. Then by improving muscle protein synthesis, you are able to add proteins faster than muscle breakdown can tear them down, in turn, optimizing and accelerating the process of muscle recovery. 

Bucked Up BCAAs

Now that you know the basics about Branched-Chain Amino Acids, let’s talk about my favorite subject; Bucked Up Supplements. Specifically, our BCAA formulas. 

RACKED and OG both deliver the tried and true 2:1:1 ratio — two times the amount of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine. This ratio has been shown time and time again to be optimal for protein synthesis, muscle recovery, and growth. Both formulas are instantized so you get the BCAAs when you need them, not an hour later.

Each formula contains 200mg of Himalayan Sea Salt, which is full of trace minerals and even on its own packs several health benefits. The most pertinent to our goals are:

  • improved nutrient absorption: nutrients, like amino acids
  • electrolyte replenishment: I don’t know about you, but if I’m working out, I want to be as hydrated as possible — better endurance, better pump, better…well…everything

What Sets RACKED & The OG Apart

RACKED: 


The BCAA you can feel, RACKED is the high-energy, charismatic friend who refuses to be ignored, and only wants what’s best for you — ultimate fat loss.

Primarily used for fat-burning, RACKED is formulated with ingredients to help you burn more fat throughout your workout. WARNING: You might sweat more than you’re accustomed to, and experience a slight chill.

No, really. RACKED is no joke. Best used for intra-workout. If you take it before bed, you might sweat through your sheets.

The Original BCAA 2:1:1: 


Subtle yet sleek, the OG is the strong silent type. As old school as they come, this veteran’s picked up some skills over the years. He’s not just the guide you need through even your most grueling workouts. He’s also the guide you deserve.

Unlike most BCAA products, the OG is formulated for ultimate hydration and nutrient absorption. Although it doesn’t hit as hard as its counterpart, it delivers more BCAAs per serving, and its blend of vitamins and minerals pack a serious — yet understated — punch for helping you train harder, and recover faster.

Can be used anytime for hydration, recovery, and if you ever feel like sipping on pure bliss.

BCAA dosage:

Leucine: 2,000mg

Isoleucine: 1,000mg

Valine: 1,000mg

BCAA dosage:

Leucine: 3,000mg

Isoleucine: 1,500mg

Valine: 1,500mg

Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR): 1,000mg

Pushes your metabolism toward fat burning, specifically while in a fasted state (due to ALCAR being more effective when insulin levels are low)

Sodium: 80mg

Contrary to the archaic beliefs leftover the 90’s, Sodium plays a key role in helping your body run at optimal levels. Hydration, and, believe it or not, better pumps.

L-Carnitine: 1,000mg

Helps shuttle fatty acids into your cells to be burned for energy (aka improved fat burning)

Calcium (as Di-Calcium Phosphate): 75mg

Since Calcium and Phosphorus (Phosphate) are both electrolytes, they help prevent dehydration. By now, I don’t need to tell you again how important hydration is.

L-Taurine: 1,000mg

Shown to promote healthy glucose levels, focus, and cardiovascular levels. As an antioxidant it also helps combat inflammation. 

Potassium (as Potassium Citrate): 66mg

Potassium, a mineral and electrolyte, regulates the balance of fluids in the body. In its citric acid form, it plays roles in nerve function, muscle control — avoid those nasty muscle spasms– and blood pressure. 

L-Tyrosine: 500mg

Promotes healthy mental function. It can also improve mood by stimulating certain “feel good” neurotransmitters.

Magnesium (as Di-Magnesium Phosphate): 40mg: 

Magnesium has only recently gained popularity. But now that it’s here, it’s been stealing the spotlight. Required for several roles in the body, including protein and fat synthesis, muscle contraction, and cardiac activity, Magnesium is key to achieving your goals.

Gamma Butryobetaine Ethyl Ester HCI: 15mg: Potentiates the natural production of carnitine in the body (see above for carnitine benefits)

Coconut Water: 500mg:

Tired of hearing about the importance of hydration yet? Fine — but it does help with hydration. Coconut water also helps maintain blood pressure level, promotes glowing healthy skin, delivers vitamin C and antioxidants, and oh so much more.

Himalayan Rock Salt: 200mg:

Rich in 84 trace minerals. Nutrient absorption, hydration

Himalayan Rock Salt: 200mg:

Rich in 84 trace minerals. Nutrient absorption, hydration

Bioperine (Black Pepper Extract)(95% Piperine): 5mg

Due to an effect known as “bioenhancement,” Bioperine has been shown to increase nutrient absorption, leading to higher bioavailability in supplements

N/A

Chromium Picolinate: 500mcg

Optimize mitochondria. Mitochondria is considered the powerhouse of the cell. Better energy production.

N/A

When it comes right down to it, you really can’t go wrong with either of our BCAAs. But both shine brighter when applied to specific goals. 

RACKED is ideal for anyone who wants to shred fat faster than a politician shreds paper trails, while also preserving lean muscle mass. And The Original BCAA 2:1:1 is best for those who value muscle recovery and hydration the way Monsanto lobbyists value those same politicians. 

The most effective way to choose, if I’m being honest, is to go by flavors. Doesn’t make it that much easier since all the flavors are fantastic, but since taste is largely subjective, it’s a solid metric to go by.

FLAVORS

BCAA Flavors

The Original

RACKED

White Razz

Peach Ring

Strawberry Mojito

Apple Jacked

Watermelon

Peach Mango

Blood Razz

Pina Colada

Grape

Hope this helps. Get RACKED. Be Original. The choice is yours. Click here.

Either way, you’re okay in my book, kid.

IG: loganlpeterson

Logan Peterson

Logan Peterson is an avid writer and an unprofessional, non-competitive bodybuilder. Logan has several degrees, all of which he made up to sound more credible (for obvious reasons, Legal said he can’t list them). In truth, he simply has an insatiable curiosity. After eleven years of obsessive research, he knows too much about fitness, nutrition, and supplementation for his own good. Despite all appearances, he’s fiercely nerdy. Outside of fitness, his passions are reading and writing; his genre interests run the gamut from litrpg to satire. Due to ADHD, he’s currently working on several novels, and will likely publish all of them at once. And yes, he wrote his own bio...in third person.

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