Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA

ON Gold Standard BCAA

Optimum Nutrition has further expanded its Gold Standard line of products with the additon of a BCAA product aimed to help boost recovery and immunity.

Optimum Nutrition is well known around the industry as the Gold Standard for Protein Powder. Walk into any big box health food store and you’ll see the walls plastered with rows and rows of ON’s Whey protein.

However, as the protein market is becoming more saturated with other additional competitors bringing superior flavoring and texture, ON’s American dominance has begun to twindle. To counteract this, they’ve started to expand their Gold Standard line of products to include the usual batch of pre workouts, energy aminos, and now a standard BCAA drink.

Gold Standard BCAA brings the benefits of branched-chain amino acids along with some other interesting players. However, we’re not sure what this means for ON’s Pro BCAA, another similar supplement that comes in a smaller container and has received far less fanfare.

The new label is just below, but before we get there, make sure to take a second to check the best deal and sign up for PricePlow alerts:

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Gold Standard BCAA Ingredients

ON’s latest product is all about helping you training harder and recovering faster. The ingredient list is small, but the hope is that the effectiveness is BIG.

  • BCAAs (5g)

    Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA Ingredients

    Gold Standard BCAA adds some unique ingredients in the form of Baker’s Yeast and Rhodiola to boost your immune system following a workout.

    What good is a BCAA product if it doesn’t include a healthy serving of Branched-Chain Amino Acids? BCAAs are the three amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) responsible for stimulating muscle protein synthesis in the body.[1,2]

    Aside from helping pack on slabs of new muscle BCAAs also help you recover faster as well as delay the onset of muscle soreness, a.k.a. DOMS.[3,4] Usually, we prefer to see the BCAAs in a ratio of 2:1:1 (Leucine:Valine:Isoleucine). However, one thing we don’t know is what ratio Optimum is using here.

  • Wellmune (250mg)

    Never heard of Wellmune before? Don’t feel bad, this is a rather novel addition to the world of BCAA products that we haven’t seen before.

    Wellmune is a particular strain of yeast (beta 1,3/1,6 glucan) derived from the cell wall of a proprietary strain of bacteria, a.k.a. Yeast.[5]

    Why is yeast in my BCAA drink?!

    No, we’re not going to be making BCAA cupcakes. Wellmune is included in Gold Standard BCAA because it helps the body recover from intense exercise. Basically, when we exercise, we are breaking down our bodies and temporarily making them weaker.

    In this weakened state, you may be more susceptible to illness, injury, and infection. Clinical studies done on Wellmune have shown that consuming the bacteria post exercise not only helps improve recovery, but also bolsters the immune system and improves your mental well-being.[6,7]

  • Rhodiola Rosea Extract (200mg)

    ON Gold Standard BCAA Flavors

    ON’s latest product comes in four flavors, but we’re most interested in Cranberry Lemonade and Strawberry Kiwi.

    Rhodiola is the incredibly popular adaptogenic herb that’s frequently used for improving symptoms of stress and anxiety. Physical, emotional, and psychological stressors can wreak havoc on the body (and mind) and can leave you feeling weak and unmotivated.. Adaptogens like rhodiola increase alertness while reducing mental fatigue from stressful situations.[8]

    Rhodiola also improves memory and cognitive functioning due to its actions on the neurotransmitter systems for dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and norepinephrine production.[9]

Flavors Available

    ON’s flavoring with their protein is hit or miss depending on which flavor you go with, hopefully that’s not the case with this product.

    ON Pro BCAA

    But what’s ON going to do with this product? Did they even need another BCAA, or should they have just lowered prices and marketed Pro BCAA more?

    Since they’re able to release completely new SKUs here, they should be using the latest and greatest flavoring systems — something they can’t do with their older proteins that are in legacy mode and selling quite well overseas (non-Americans enjoy less sweeteners than Americans).


    It may have been a long time in the making, but ON’s entry into the flavored BCAA / intra workout market is finally here. We’re not sure what happened with Pro BCAA, but Gold Standard BCAA brings some new additions to the standard amino acid product with the inclusion of Wellmune and rhodiola that will sure garner it some attention.

    But, in an already saturated market, are these ingredients enough to really turn ON’s BCAA product into the gold standard it is for protein?

    Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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    Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

    Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

    About the Author: Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

    Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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    1. Norton LE, Layman DK. Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Feb;136(2):533S-537S.
    2. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R; Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S
    3. Howatson G, Hoad M, Goodall S, Tallent J, Bell PG, French DN. Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jul 12;9:20.
    4. Sharp CP, Pearson DR. Amino acid supplements and recovery from high-intensity resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1125-30.
    5. https://www.wellmune.com/what-is-wellmune_immune-boosting-ingredient/
    6. https://www.wellmune.com/blog/2011/07/11/the-effects-of-yeast-%CE%B2-glucan-supplementation-on-monocyte-and-cytokine-response-to-exercise/
    7. https://www.wellmune.com/blog/2009/12/16/effect-of-beta-1316-glucan-on-upper-respiratory-tract-infection-symptoms-and-mood-state-in-marathon-athletes/
    8. Khanum F., et. al.; Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety; “Rhodiola rosea: A versatile Adaptogen;” 2005
    9. Shevtsov VA, et al; Phytomedicine; “A randomized trial of two different doses of Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work;” 2003

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