Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) have always been thought of as a supplement for male weightlifters. However, this narrative is changing as more and more women discover the magic these supplements bring to their workouts.
Regardless of your fitness level, BCAAs can offer tremendous benefits to your body. The problem is that the market abounds with different products. How then do you pick the right one that suits your needs? We have outlined a guide to help you with that.
Keep reading below to learn how to choose the best BCAAs for women!
What are BCAAs?
In simple terms, BCAAs contain three of the nine essential amino acids that are used to build the structures of the body. These include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These supplements have been formulated to help your body recover quickly after a tough exercise session. BCAAs also increase muscle mass, maximize weight loss, and give your immune system a major boost.
According to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,
“Ingestion of a supplement containing BCAAs while following an 8-week resistance training program resulted in a greater decrease in percent body fat, an increase in lean mass, and 10-RM strength gains on the bench press and squat vs. ingestion of a whey supplement or a sports drink.”
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best BCAAs for Women
What you put on your plate largely determines the necessity of BCAA supplements for your workouts. Ideally, women should consume a total of 9 grams of these amino acids on a daily basis for the best results.
If your diet is protein-rich (with plenty of eggs, dairy, fish, lean meat, chicken, soy proteins, beans, and beef) you may want to consume smaller amounts of BCAA. However, if you do a lot of endurance training, you will need more than 9 grams per day.
Time of Digestion
Like any other food item, the body needs to digest and absorb a BCAA supplement to derive its benefits. Most people take their BCAAs either pre or post-workout. Whichever method you choose, remember that your body needs enough time to fully process it.
While you are at it, choose the one that is manufactured by a reputable manufacturer. This way, you are sure that the BCAA will be fully absorbed by your body rather than passed out.
Unsweetened BCAA supplements contain zero calories from carbohydrates and can help you reduce body fat. However, current brands on the market add sugar or artificial sweeteners to make them taste better. If you aim to lose weight, definitely go for unflavored BCAA supplements. Otherwise, there are plenty of flavors to choose from out there.
Like flavorings, enhancers can be added to BCAAs to achieve different purposes. When choosing your supplements, you need to know the end goal so that you can establish whether you want one with enhancers or not.
Essentially, there are energy and weight loss enhancers found in BCAAs.
One of the first things you’ll see on a BCCA supplement container is the grams/milligrams per serving. Each amino acid has a different dosage.
The average serving for leucine ranges from 2-10grams, while that of isoleucine is 48-72mg. Ultimately, your body weight determines the actual dosage that is right for you. Before purchasing a BCCA, read the label carefully and calculate the appropriate serving based on your body weight.
The ratio of the three BCAAs is also a huge factor considered when choosing a supplement. For the highest amount of protein synthesis, a 2:1:1 ratio (leucine: isoleucine: valine) is recommended.
Again, the label should indicate these proportions. Find this supplement here.
Your Health Condition
Apart from the above factors, your current health condition is important when buying a BCAA supplement. If you have diabetes, stay away from added sugar for obvious reasons. This includes protein powders with a high carbohydrate content because these increase the amount of sugar in the body.
If you suffer from kidney disease, you might want to reduce your protein intake considerably. Finally, choose supplements that do not have lactose sugars if you have bowel syndrome and go gluten-free if you are allergic to gluten.
See Also: Scivation Xtend BCAA Review
Concluding Thoughts – The Best BCAAs for Women
There’s no doubt that BCAAs are a crucial part of any exercise regimen. However, the trick is in getting your hands on the right one. Follow this guide to the letter and begin your journey to better gym sessions and overall health.
Most importantly, to get the most out of your BCAAs, ensure that you buy the supplements from reputable dealers. One of the best ways of establishing whether a dealer is worth your time is by checking past clients’ reviews.
Buy BCAAs from dealers or shops with a lot of positive reviews.