Reviews

BPI Sports Best BCAA Shredded: An Evidence-Based Review

Best BCAA Shredded is BCAA-based Amino Acid supplement by BPI Sports, the brand behind the original “Best BCAA” and various other supplements such as 1.M.R. Vortex.

Unlike the original Best BCAA (not really the “best”, but clever name BPI) Best BCAA Shredded contains one ingredient, Paradoxine, which adds a potential fat-burning aspect to the formula…

BPI Sports Best BCAA Shredded

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Claims/Benefits

Well…the name pretty much says it all as claims go.  BPI feels they’ve struck gold with this one.  They claim Best BCAA Shredded “may”:

  • Promote Lean Muscle Building
  • Optimize Recovery
  • Burn Fat
  • Improve Performance
  • Support Nitric Oxide Production

We’re used to brands telling us their BCAA supplement is “the best” but never have we seen one  that is actaully callled Best BCAA!

Seems like an SEO manipulaton tactic that would have worked 10 years ago for sure, but now a name like that is going to draw some scrutiny (from folks like us) who would rather just evaluate the ingredients and their doses to determine if BPI’s Best BCAA even comes close to living up to the name…

Best BCAA Shredded Ingredients

Like the original Best BCAA, BPI has utilize what they refer to as as Oligopeptide Enzymatic Technology to enhance the bioavailability of the amino acids presen in the formula.

The only hole we’ll poke in that sales pitch is that every ingredint in Best BCAA Shredded is already very well absorbed in it’s free form, so it’s not clear whther it’s worth paying a premium for some proprietary technology that kind of just sounds made up.

We would also note that BPI doen’t even attempt to explain how this technology works.  That’s usually a red flag and a pretty strong indication that it’s nonsense.  Just a way to under-dose without people realizing…

Glycyl-Ananyl-Lysine-L-Leucine

Leucine is king when it comes to stimulating muscle protein synthesis (MPS) via stimulation of mTOR.  It is without a doubt the most potent amino acid in this regard and Leucine deficiency (which would likely happen with protein deficiency in general) is a guaranteed way to sabotage gains.

It has mostly been studied in certain disease states characterized by loss of muscle where it has been shown to preserve muscle mass, but studies in healthy individuals and athletes remain scarce.

That said, the underlying notion that Leucine is necessary for muscle building serves as  the basis for it’s use as a bodybuilding supplement.  It has been shown to preserve muscle mass in instances of caloric/protein deficit, and from this evidence we can draw some pretty basic conclusions about Leucine.

It’s useful for:

  • Fasted Training (when plasma amino acid levels are low and muscle breakdown is acclerated)
  • Dieting (when you’re not getting as much protein as you should be to support your fitness goals)

Now, the only real reason to do either of these things is because you want to lose weight, so Leucine is actually quite useful for people looking to cut fat while maintaining muscle.  It doesn’t have any inherent fat-burning properties but if you’re preserving muscle and burning fat, the result will be a more muscular, defined physique.

Leucine definitely has it’s uses, but does Best BCAA Shredded contain enough to really matter?  2.5g/serving isn’t exactly what can be considered “clinical” territory, but it’s something…

Glycyl-Ananyl-Lysine-L-Isoleucine

Isoleucine, unlike Leucine, has a minimal impact on Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS), but research indicates it can induce glucose uptake into muscle tissue.  While this is certainly a pro-anabolic mechanism (think Insulin), but again the issue pertains to the dosing…

There’s only 1.25g of Isoleucine in Best BCAA Shredded.  Not that Isoleucine is particularly important, but this definitely isn’t the type of dose that will induce glucose uptake into muscle tissue to any discernible degree.

Glycyl-Ananyl-Lysine-L-Valine

Valine is considered by many to be the “least important” of the three BCAAs.  It has no impact on MPS nor any effect on muscle glucose uptake.  So what is it good for?  Well, preliminary research indicates that Valine may competitively inhibit the transport of Tryptophan to the brain.

Since Trypotophan is converted eventually into Serotonin, a fatigue-causing neurotransmitter, Valine may play a role in delaying mental fatigue during long-duration exercise.

It’s important to understand that this is still just a theory.  It hasn’t been proven.

Best BCAA Shredded contains 1.25g of Valine per serving.

Glycyl-Ananyl-Lysine-L-Citrulline

Citrulline is serves as both a precursor to Arginine (used for Nitric Oxide production) and a participant in the Urea Cycle, the cycle by which toxic Ammonia is converted into harmless Urea and excreted (in the form of urine).

These roles give Citrulline multiple ways by which is may enhance performance and studies have confirmed that it can effectively delay fatigue, and enhance muscular endurance.

However, with only 1g of Citrulline present in each serving of Best BCAA Shredded, you would need about five servings to yield an effective dose.

L-Carnitine (Tartrate, Free Form, Glycin Propionyl L-Carintine HCL)

L-Carnitine is an amino acid with anti-oxidant properties which give it a wide variety of potential health benefits.

In the body, Carnitine is required for the proper transport of Fatty Acids into the Mitochondria of the cell where they are burned (oxidized) for energy.

This is why it is often included in fat-loss supplements.  Unfortunately, Carnitine has failed to influence fat oxidation and bodyweight in mulitple studies and is NOT a reliable fat-burner at all (unless you’re deficient).

That said, Carnitine is absolutely an effective recovery supplement, and Best BCAA Shredded contains 2g (of various forms), so it’s actaully useful in this case, just not for weight-loss.

Paradoxin (Grains of Paradise Extract)

Gains of Paradise is a pungent herb which is usually standardized for Paradoxin, the active component underlying its weight-loss implications.

Grains of Paradise (containing Paradoxine) has been to shown to increase metabolic rate in response to a physiological stressor (in this case cold exposure) via activation of Brown Adipose Tissue.

It’s potential for weight-loss is discussed in this article.

It’s probably not miracle weight-loss supplement and there isn’t too much in the way of solid research so far, but there does appear to be something to it so it makes for an interesting ingredient to BPI’s Best BCAA Shredded.

Best BCAA Shredded Ingredient Takeaway

The BCAA aspect of Best BCAA Shredded is kind of disappointing, but that’s to be expected with BPI.  You’re not going to see 10g of BCAAs or clinical doses of Leucine.  This is a commercial brand that spends more time designing the packaging than creating the formulas.

Still, if you double-dose, you’e got yourself a pretty solid BCAA/Recovery supplement with maybe a tiny hint of weight-loss…

Dosing

As stated above, this is one you’re going to need to double-dose most likely. 2.5g of Leucine isn’t going to cut it if you’re really in need of a BCAA supplement and would like to receive the maximum benefits that Leucine has to offer.

Oligopeptide Enzymatic Technology: Is It Real?

Eh, it’s probably just marketing nonsense.  BPI doesn’t really offer much in the way of an explanation when it comes to this “proprietary technology” of theirs.

Seems made up…

Is Best Shredded Safe?

Yes, absolutely.  Best BCAA Shredded contains no active ingredients that could be considered harmful in any way.  It’s just a BCAA supplement!

Where To Buy

BPI is a MAJOR brand so you can expect to find Best BCAA Shredded just about anywhere including:

If you know of any other retailers, or you are a retailer and would like to be added to the list, let us know in the comments below!

Do You Really Need A BCAA Supplement?

There’s no doubt that BCAA Supplements have become so popular that there are a ton of people using them that don’t really need them.  The honest truth is that if you eat enough protein, don’t train fasted, and don’t take steroids/prohormones, you may not benefit much from taking a BCAA supplements.

If you’re still not sure, check out this article.  We break down the whole scenario around BCAAs.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a BCAA supplement that will also help you lose weight, you should just stop…Go to our Best BCAA/Amino Acid Supplements list and our Best Fat-Burners list and just get two different supplements that actually do the job.

No disrespect to BPI, but Best BCAA Shredded has only one ingredients that MIGHT put a dent in stored fat, but probably won’t do much.  Sorry guys…

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