Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) have traditionally been thought of as a supplement for male bodybuilders, however, this narrative truly does not make any sense. BCAA supplements are one of the best supplements for weight loss and muscle building regardless of whether you are a male or female, and they simply are powdered amino acids that are easily digestible.
In fact, the best BCAA supplements for women are nearly identical to the ones I would choose for men.
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. The benefit of using BCAA supplements is that they are an easily digestible form of amino acids that can help increase muscle mass, maximize weight loss, and provide additional energy for your body.
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.”
Keep reading below to learn how to choose the best BCAAs for women as well as see my opinion on the 5 best BCAA supplements for females.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best BCAAs for Women
Here are a few key factors to consider when choosing the best BCAAs for women:
When you are deciding which BCAA supplement you want to buy, it is important to consider the foods you are eating and your diet strategy overall.
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can opt for vegan BCAAs. If you are doing a Ketogenic Diet, you can choose a BCAA supplement that doesn’t contain any additional carbohydrates or sugars.
One of the most important factors to consider is whether or not you are intaking a wide range of amino acids from your diet. If you are consuming BCAA supplements often, you also need to make sure you are getting enough of the other amino acids from your daily diet.
If you do not think that you are consuming enough total amino acids from your diet, you would be better off skipping the BCAA supplements and choosing a vegan protein powder or an Essential Amino Acid (EAA) supplement instead.
Flavor or Unflavored
Unsweetened BCAA powder contains zero calories from carbohydrates, zero sweeteners, and is the cleanest form of BCAA supplement. However, there are a variety of different flavored BCAA supplements to choose from, that contain both natural and artificial flavors and sweeteners.
It is important to choose whether you are concerned with artificial ingredients or not.
Personally, I suggest choosing only naturally flavored or sweetened BCAA supplements.
Like flavorings, there are a variety of additional enhancers that can be added to BCAA supplements to achieve different purposes. When choosing your supplements, you need to know your end goal so that you can establish whether you want one with enhancers or not.
Whether you want additional enhancers in your supplement depends on whether your primary goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply improve your body composition.
One of the first things you’ll see on a BCCA supplement container is the grams/milligrams per serving. The amount of BCAA you want per serving will depend on your size and desired calorie intake per day.
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.
There are a variety of other ratios ranging to 8:1:1 as well, but I always suggest 2:1:1.
What is the Best BCAA Supplement for Women?
Here is my list of the 5 best BCAA supplements for women:
If you are a woman looking for a simple and effective BCAA supplement, my suggestion is Scivation Xtend. Scivation Xtend has been one of the most popular BCAA supplements for years because it has provided consistent results.
The original Scivation Xtend formula does include artificial flavorings and sweeteners, but the brand Scivation produces more natural options as well.
Scivation Xtend is a 2:1:1 ratio BCAA supplement, and overall I believe it is the best BCAA supplement for females.
If you would like a BCAA supplement that will help you burn more calories while also providing additional energy for your workouts, I suggest RSP Nutrition Amino Lean.
Amino Lean is actually an EAA supplement because it provides all of the essential amino acids, but it provides more of the three BCAAs. This is a great example of a supplement that contains weight loss enhancers because it contains additional ingredients like:
- Green Tea Extract
- Green Coffee Bean Extract
Specifically, I think Vegan Amino Lean is a great BCAA supplement for women:
A less-famous but still outstanding BCAA supplement for women is The Genius Brand BCAA. This is a great supplement that contains only natural ingredients, along with a bit of caffeine which makes it perfect to drink before a workout.
Additional ingredients in The Genius Brand BCAAs include:
- 3g L-Glutamine
- 1g Citrulline Malate
- 1g L-Tyrosine
- 1g Taurine
This is another vegan BCAA supplement as well.
4.) Type Zero Amino Slim
Type Zero Amino Slim is similar to RSP Nutrition Amino Lean and one of the best BCAA supplements for females who are looking to lose weight.
Type Zero Amino Slim contains a total of 6 grams of vegan BCAAs, an electrolyte complex that helps with hydration, as well as:
- 500mg L-Arginine
- 300mg L-Carnitine
- 75mg Natural Caffeine
5.) K Nutri BCAA + Collagen Powder
K Nutri BCAA + Collagen Powder is both one of the best BCAA supplements for women and a beneficial collagen supplement. K Nutri BCAA + Collagen Powder contains 5 grams of BCAAs as well as 2 grams of collagen peptides.
This is a great BCAA supplement for women because it also will assist with maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails, along with promoting muscle recovery and muscle gain.
Concluding Thoughts – Choosing the Best BCAAs for Women
Choosing the best BCAA supplement for women doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a variety of good BCAA supplements for females, and most BCAA supplements can be used by both men and women.
Find this supplement here to see another option of a great BCAA for women.