Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are one of the most popular muscle building products on the market. They have a wealth of scientific literature backing their use and showing just how important they are when it comes to building muscle. BCAAs, in particular leucine, are one of the most important factors in stimulating new muscle growth. This is why it has become such a popular and well researched supplement. Check out our earlier article on BCAAs (https://www.cardiffsportsnutrition.co.uk/blog/what-are-branched-chain-amino-acids-bcaas/) if you are unfamiliar with them, how they work and why you should be incorporating them in to your stack.
MAN Sports Iso-Aminos are one of the newest intra-workout BCAA supplements on the market. MAN Sports have decided to go back to the old school and use only pure isolated BCAAs, without any under-dosed proprietary blends, or added marketing fluff. MAN Sports have gone for a formula that is totally committed to performance over marketability. Iso-Amino contains 5g of pure BCAAs in the most tried and tested ratio of 2:1:1. Studies have shown that there is little or no benefit to having the higher leucine ratios of 10:1:1 or 8:1:1 that many other brands use. The 2:1:1 ratio is the ratio closest to how they are found in nature, which is why MAN Sports have stuck to only what works and not what will increase their marketability.
MAN Sports have also implemented a process that most other big companies do not. Iso-Amino is strictly micro-batched, meaning that every batch made is of limited quantities to ensure the product remains at the highest quality. By not using mass-production facilities during the manufacturing process, MAN Sports have complete control over the quality of their products. Obviously this kind of manufacturing process takes longer, is more laborious and more expensive, but this only goes to show just how committed MAN Sports are to providing additional quality of their products over extra financial gain.
It is difficult to truly to review the effectiveness of product like this without have access to an advanced lab to directly measure protein synthesis. However, I’m a big believer in using BCAAs intra-workout for a number of reasons. Firstly they prevent muscle protein breakdown, meaning that your muscles aren’t broken down as a result of the stresses of intense training. Secondly, I definitely feel that my muscular endurance is improved, and my workout intensity is maintained for far longer. Thirdly, BCAAs stimulate muscle protein synthesis, i.e. the growth of new muscle cells. All of these points are supported by the scientific research, and I genuinely feel these benefits when using MAN Iso-Aminos. One thing that you should notice as a sign of a good BCAA product is a reduced feeling of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), this shows that the promotion of muscle protein synthesis by the BCAAs is enhancing your muscle’s ability to recovery effectively. This was definitely the case with MAN Iso-Amino where DOMS was kept well under control, even on leg day! Each serving of MAN Iso-Amino provides a solid 5g of BCAAs, which is more than enough to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. It also helped to maintain intensity through both intense hypertrophy based and workouts and power and strength styles workouts.
Taste and Mixability
Technically, taste hasn’t got anything to do with how well a product is absorbed or works. However, in a way I feel it kind of does. Nobody wants to spend their hard earned cash on product that tastes so awful they will never use it again, rendering it worse than useless. So, the taste of the product is important indeed, and this is an area where Iso-Amino really succeeds. The range includes the flavours Dorks, Fruit Smash, Sour Batch Kids and Starblaze. You would be forgiven for recognising these flavours without being able to fully put your finger on it. Think child-hood sweets, Nerds, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids etc. These flavours taste incredible (my personal favourite is the Dorks flavour) and is a welcomed change from some of the more regular flavours we see being repeated over and over again by rival brands. MAN Iso-Aminos taste so good, I could happily sip on a large bottle all day long, easily satisfying any sweet tooth with their classic style sweets flavours.
As with all intra-workout products mixability is an important factor. Nobody likes the grittiness found at the bottom of your shaker, or the super light powder floating at the surface. Unfortunately, BCAAS and particularly leucine generally have a very poor mixability, but Iso-Amino has really nailed this. Iso-Amino mixes instantly with no powder clumps or grittiness so you can enjoy from the top of your bottle right to the very end.
Each tub of MAN Iso-Amino provides 30 servings with a solid 5g of BCAAs per serving. At time of writing Iso-Amino cost an incredibly low £19.95 per tub, making each serving a super cheap 67p. If like me you train for on average 5 times a week, that gives 6 weeks of muscle building BCAAs for less than £20.
MAN Sports Iso-Amino makes a great addition to anyone’s gym bag, whether looking to build or maintain muscle mass. If you aren’t using BCAAs and your goals include the above, then you definitely should be. BCAAs are one of the most important nutrients when concerning muscle growth, maintenance and strength. MAN Iso-Amino is a stripped down and bare BCAA product that utilises the most tried and tested formula to provide exactly what you need, with none of the marketing fluff. With a range of incredible flavours like this, you will be doing your taste buds and your physique a disservice if you don not pick one of these today.
BSc Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition