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February 17, 2023
Branched-Chain Amino Acids are an essential part of the workout recovery and muscle-building process. By supplementing with BCAAs, women can potentially improve their athletic performance and achieve their fitness goals. BCAAs can also help promote muscle protein synthesis and reduce the risk of injury. In addition, BCAAs play a role in neurotransmitter production and can help to regulate mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
It would be an understatement to say that the BCAA supplement market is saturated. That makes finding the right product to meet your needs a real challenge. To make the process much easier, we've done heavy research to identify the seven best BCAAs for women on the current market.
In this article, we bring you complete reviews of the best BCAA for women supplements separated by category. We also reveal the science-backed benefits of taking a BCAA supplement and provide a comprehensive buyer's guide to buying branched-chain amino acids.
**There may be affiliate links in this post where we might receive a small commission on purchases you make. We only recommend products we think you will find valuable.**
Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine combines branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) with the amino acid L-glutamine. L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid involved in many physiological processes, including immune function and gut health. Therefore, combining BCAAs with glutamine can help to enhance the overall benefits of each supplement and promote optimal athletic performance.
You get 8 grams of BCAAs in the ideal ratio of 2:1:1 with every 19-gram serving. There are also 5 grams of L-Glutamine and 1 gram of coconut water. The total calorie count is ten, with 2 grams of carbs and 1,500 of Vitamin C. There are 30 scoops in each container, providing you with a month's supply.
Transparent Labs uses fermented BCAAs for greater potency. Standard BCAAs are made through a synthetic process that involves chemical reactions to produce the three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are commonly available in most supplement stores and used by fitness enthusiasts and athletes.
Fermented BCAAs, on the other hand, are made through a natural fermentation process that involves using microorganisms to produce the three essential amino acids. This process is thought to produce a higher-quality product that is purer, easier to digest, and contains fewer impurities compared to standard BCAAs.
Some proponents of fermented BCAAs also claim that they have greater benefits for athletic performance and recovery than standard BCAAs.
Transparent Labs BCAAs Glutamine is available in the following flavors:
Sour Green Apple
There are no artificial flavors, fillers, or sweeteners, with natural stevia leaf extract providing the sweetness. It is also gluten-free and non-GMO. A 60-day money-back guarantee covers your purchase.
Klean Athlete BCAAs provides you with 4 grams of BCAAs in the 2:1:1 ratio with every serve. In addition, you also get 400 mg of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP is a molecule that serves as the primary energy source for cells and is involved in several key metabolic processes, such as muscle contraction and energy transfer.
By combining BCAAs with ATP, the supplement can help to:
Enhance energy production: ATP provides the energy needed for cells to function, including muscle cells, and combining it with BCAAs can help to support energy production and enhance athletic performance.
Improve recovery: BCAAs help to support muscle growth and repair, while ATP can help to reduce muscle damage and improve recovery after exercise.
Boost endurance: ATP is involved in energy transfer, and combining it with BCAAs can help to support endurance during physical activity.
Klean Supplements has built its reputation on providing pure, natural supplements, and, as they say, 'gunk free.' Their BCAA supplement is NSF certified as well as being 3rd party tested for banned substances. It's GMO-free and doesn't contain any artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavorings. Stevia leaf extract is used to sweeten the flavor.
Swolverine BCAA 2:1:1 is designed to be taken as an intra-workout. That means that you drink it while you're training. It includes an electrolyte and hydration formula to replace the minerals that you lose during sweat.
Replacing electrolytes during a workout can help to maintain optimal fluid balance and support athletic performance. Electrolyte imbalances can lead to muscle cramping, which can be painful and disruptive to exercise. So, taking an electrolyte drink during a workout can help to reduce the risk of muscle cramping.
Along with the electrolytes sodium and potassium, Swolverine BCAA 2:1:1 also provides you with 4 grams of BCAAs (2:1:1 ratio), 1 gram of glutamine, and 2 mg of Vitamin B6 in every serving.
Glutamine is involved in immune system function, and adding it to a BCAA supplement can help to support immune function during periods of intense physical activity. It also helps to support protein synthesis, which can enhance muscle growth and recovery after exercise.
Vitamin B6 helps to support protein metabolism, and adding it to a BCAA supplement can help to maximize the benefits of the BCAAs for muscle growth and repair.
B6 is involved in the building of neurotransmitters, and adding it to a BCAA supplement can help to support brain function and improve mood.
There are 60 servings in every container of Swolverine BCAA 2:1:1. It's only available in a lemon-lime flavor. Most reviewers consider the taste to be pleasant, with quite a few mentioning that the powder mixes very well. It should also be noted that this product uses the artificial sweetener sucralose.
While they are still the most common form of BCAA supplement, powders are not that user-friendly. If you don't want to worry about the hassle of mixing powders, carrying around a shaker bottle, or dealing with unpleasant tastes, you may be better off with a capsule form BCAA supplement.
Life Extension BCAA Capsules contain two grams of BCAAs with each four-capsule serving. That is considerably lower than you get with most competing products, so you should only take this supplement if your whole-food diet already provides you with a good supply of essential amino acids.
You get 1200 mg of leucine, with 600 mg each of valine and isoleucine in every serving. That equates to the ideal BCAA ratio of 2:1:1 for maximum efficiency. The only other ingredient is the vegetable cellulose capsule, so this product is about as pure as you can get.
Naked Nutrition BCAAs is, as the name suggests, a pure, unadulterated form of branched-chain amino acids. You get 5 grams of BCAAs in the 2:1:1 ratio in powder form.
You won't find any artificial flavors or fillers here. One consequence of that is that the product is unflavored. That is an advantage if you want to add your BCAA powder to your pre-workout without affecting the flavor.
The lack of any flavoring also results in a pretty strong odor. If you can handle the smell, you'll be getting a pretty effective dose of BCAAs with this product.
You get 100 servings of Naked Nutrition BCAAs in every container. The cost breaks down to about 7 cents per gram of BCAAs. That represents excellent value, with the average cost per gram being about 11 cents.
Naked Nutrition BCAAs is a vegan-friendly product.
Cellucor is a Texas-based supplement company that specializes in pre-workouts. BCAA Sport is an all-day hydration and recovery product that combines 4 grams of BCAAs with a number of other compounds to cover all the bases. Here's what is included in every serving:
4 grams BCAAs
A 2250 mg amino acid blend consisting of taurine, l-alanine, l-lysine HCL, l-phenylalanine, l-tyrosine
2 grams l-glutamine
14 mg phosphorous
172 mg chloride
110 mg sodium
35 mg potassium
Cellucor BCAA Sport is NSF-Certified for Sport for quality, safety, and purity. There are 30 servings in every container, with a serving size of 11 grams. It is currently available in just one flavor - Cherry Limeade. It should also be noted that Cellucor uses sucralose as a sweetener in this product.
Kaged In-Kaged Intra Workout is another intra-workout designed to boost energy, focus, and muscular contractions during your workout. This product is made of three key blends, as follows:
To supercharge your workout energy, you get 3 grams of citrulline, 1.6 grams of beta-alanine, and 0.5 grams of coconut water powder.
Citrulline is an amino acid that is involved in the production of nitric oxide, which can help to improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles during exercise. This can help to enhance workout energy by providing the muscles with the nutrients and oxygen they need to perform at their best.
Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is involved in the production of carnosine, a compound that helps to regulate muscle acidity levels during exercise. By increasing carnosine levels, Beta-Alanine can help to delay the onset of muscle fatigue, which can enhance workout energy and performance.
Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-rich drink that is loaded with potassium, magnesium, and other essential minerals. These minerals help to regulate fluid balance and support muscle function during exercise. Additionally, Coconut Water is also a source of natural sugars, which can provide a quick source of energy during a workout.
This matrix combines 1 gram of taurine with half a gram of l-tyrosine and 124 milligrams of caffeine sourced from green coffee beans.
Taurine is a non-essential amino acid that is involved in several key metabolic processes, including electrolyte balance and hydration. During intense exercise, taurine can help to improve muscle function and reduce the risk of muscle damage, which can enhance workout performance.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that is involved in the production of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. By boosting neurotransmitter production, Tyrosine can help to enhance focus and concentration during a workout, which can lead to improved performance.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that is commonly used to enhance athletic performance. During a workout, caffeine can help to boost energy levels, increase alertness, and delay the onset of fatigue, which can enhance performance and improve endurance.
This matrix consists of 5 grams BCAAs in the ideal 2:1:1 ratio. These BCAAs are fermented. They are produced through the process of fermentation, which involves the use of bacteria or yeast to break down the amino acids into their component parts. This process can improve the absorption and utilization of the BCAA,
A container of Kaged In-Kaged Intra Workout provides you with twenty servings. The cost breakdown is about 26 cents per gram of BCAAs. That's more than double the market average, making this a pretty expensive option.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) consist of three (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) out of the nine essential amino acids. They are called essential because they cannot be manufactured by the body and must come from external sources. 35% of all of the essential amino acids found in muscle proteins are BCAAs. The unique thing about BCAAs is that they can be oxidized in skeletal muscle, whereas the other essential amino acids are mainly catabolized.
The BCAAs are prime stimulators of protein synthesis (muscle building) while also preventing muscle breakdown. Their ability to be oxidized in muscle tissue means that they can also be used for fuel. This makes them a great source of endurance and energy while exercising. This is especially beneficial for long-distance athletes such as endurance cyclists and marathon runners.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids have been well-studied regarding their muscle-building and recovery benefits. Here are six science-baed benefits of taking a BCAA supplement.
BCAAs play a role in muscle protein synthesis and can help support muscle growth and repair. BCAAs, particularly leucine, activate the pathway that stimulates muscle protein synthesis, which is the process that the body builds new muscle fibers.
Consuming BCAAs before or after exercise can help provide the body with the necessary amino acids to support muscle growth and recovery. However, it is important to note that adequate protein intake from a balanced diet should be the primary focus for muscle building, and BCAAs should be used to supplement a healthy diet, not replace it.
Several studies have investigated the effects of BCAA supplementation on being able to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and increasing recovery. While the results have been mixed, many studies have found that BCAA supplementation can help support muscle growth and recovery, particularly in certain populations such as athletes and older adults.¹
The exact mechanism by which BCAA supplementation can reduce muscle soreness is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve several factors. One theory is that BCAAs can help reduce inflammation in the muscles, which is a key contributor to muscle soreness.
Additionally, BCAAs are involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters that can help reduce pain perception.
Another theory is that by providing the body with the necessary amino acids to support muscle protein synthesis, BCAA supplementation can help support muscle growth and repair, which can reduce muscle soreness.
However, it is important to note that the results of studies on BCAA supplementation and muscle soreness have been mixed, and more research is needed to fully understand the effects of BCAA supplementation on muscle soreness.
Several studies have investigated the effects of BCAA supplementation on delayed onset muscle soreness, and the results have been mixed. Some studies have found that BCAA supplementation can reduce muscle soreness after exercise, while others have found no significant difference between BCAA supplementation and a placebo.
A study published in the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" found that BCAA supplementation reduced muscle soreness and improved muscle recovery through eccentric exercise.²
However, other studies have found no significant differences in muscle soreness between BCAA supplementation and a placebo. It is important to bear in mind that the effects of BCAA supplementation on muscle soreness may vary depending on the intensity and type of exercise as well as the individual.
More research is needed to fully understand the effects of BCAA supplementation on post-workout muscle soreness.
BCAAs are able to positively affect exercise performance due to their ability to be oxidized and used as fuel by the muscle cell. As a result, many endurance athletes supplement with BCAAs before and during their events. The most important BCAA when it comes to promoting endurance and offsetting fatigue is valine.³
When we exercise, there is a greatly increased uptake of tryptophan in the brain. The brain converts the tryptophan to serotonin, which induces a feeling of exhaustion. However, valine competes with tryptophan for entry to the brain. The result is that less tryptophan gets into the brain, and we feel less fatigued during our workout or event.
When it comes to fat loss, iso-leucine appears to have the ability to activate receptors that enhance fat burning and slow down fat storage. A 2010 Japanese study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that mice who were given iso-leucine while on a high-fat diet gained less body fat than mice who were not given the supplement. It was seen that iso-leucine switched on the receptor PPAR, which promotes the release of fat-burning genes while diminishing the activity of fat-storing genes.⁴
BCAAs play an important role in the preserving of muscle tissue during exercise. This occurs on a two-front basis; it regulates protein synthesis while also preventing protein breakdown. When taken prior to exercise, it can be used to offset the catabolic effects of exercise. When used as a post-workout supplement, it is useful in supporting muscle repair and growth. The key BCAA involved in protein sparing is leucine.
There have been a number of studies to confirm the ability of BCAAs to prevent muscle breakdown during exercise while also reducing protein breakdown. A 2011 study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that leucine-enriched essential amino acid supplementation during moderate steady-state exercise enhances post-exercise muscle protein synthesis.⁵
Another study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2014, shows that leucine supplementation of a low-protein mixed macronutrient beverage amplifies myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men. Myofibrillar protein is responsible for increasing skeletal muscle, which makes up 30-40% of your entire body mass.
As these studies indicate, leucine plays a key role in promoting protein synthesis. Leucine gets the ball rolling before the other two essential amino acids, valine and isoleucine, lend a hand in the protein-sparing and energy-producing processes. For this reason, you should take a BCAA blend that has a ratio of the three amino acids in favor of leucine. There are all sorts of ratios in BCAA products in favor of leucine on the market, ranging from 1:1:1 to 10:1:1. However, the ideal ratio appears to be 2:1:1.
A 2008 study that was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition divided college-aged men into three groups. One group was given just leucine, another all three BCAAs in the 2:1:1 radio, and the third group was given a placebo. Over a 1-week period, the men were given the supplements after a leg workout. The greatest protein synthesis was achieved by the 2:1:1 ratio group.⁶
We'll start off by saying there is no direct scientific evidence to support the claim that BCAAs improve liver function yet.
However, some studies have suggested that BCAA supplementation may be beneficial for individuals with liver disease by reducing muscle wasting and preserving muscle mass, which can help improve overall health and well-being.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of BCAA supplementation in individuals with liver disease, and it is important to consult a healthcare professional before adding any new supplements to your regimen.⁷
With so many BCAA supplement options on the market, finding the right product for you can be quite overwhelming. Here are six factors to take into account to make sure you're getting the best BCAA supplement to meet your needs.
When looking for a BCAA (branched-chain amino acid) supplement, there are several key ingredients to consider:
Leucine: This is the most important of the three BCAAs and is responsible for promoting muscle protein synthesis.
Isoleucine: This BCAA helps regulate blood sugar levels and helps in muscle tissue repair and growth.
Valine: This BCAA is important for muscle metabolism and energy production during exercise. As mentioned in the previous section, the ideal BCAA ratio is 2:1:1 in terms of leucine: isoleucine: valine.
Glutamine: Glutamine plays a role in supporting the immune system, making it a valuable addition to a BCAA supplement. Glutamine has also been shown to improve muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness after intense exercise, making it a useful addition to a BCAA supplement for athletes and bodybuilders. In addition, glutamine is important for maintaining the health of the intestinal lining, making it a useful addition to a BCAA supplement for individuals with digestion.
Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, and magnesium are important electrolytes that can help replace what is lost through sweating during intense exercise.
Vitamin B6: This vitamin helps the body absorb and use BCAA's more efficiently.
Natural sweeteners: Some BCAA supplements contain natural sweeteners, such as stevia, to improve the taste.
On the other side of the coin, here are five things to avoid when checking the ingredient list on your BCAA supplement:
Artificial sweeteners: Some amino acid supplements contain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, which have been linked to potential health risks.
Artificial colors: Some BCAA supplements contain artificial colors, which may cause adverse reactions in some people.
Fillers: Some BCAA supplements contain fillers, such as maltodextrin, that add bulk to the product but offer little nutritional value.
Allergens: Some BCAA supplements may contain allergens, such as soy, gluten, or dairy, which can cause reactions in individuals with allergies.
Proprietary blends: Some BCAA supplements contain proprietary blends, which do not disclose the exact amounts of each ingredient. This makes it difficult to determine the effectiveness and safety of the product.
If your BCAA supplement is underdosed, it is not going to give you the results you want. Here are the recommended dosages for the key BCAA ingredients:
Leucine: Typically, 2-5 grams of leucine per serving is recommended for optimal effects.
Isoleucine: The recommended dosage of isoleucine is typically 1-2 grams per serving.
Valine: The recommended dosage of valine is typically 1-2 grams per serving.
Glutamine: The recommended daily dose of glutamine depends on factors such as age, sex, and weight. It ranges between 5-20 grams.
Vitamin B6: The recommended dosage of Vitamin B6 is 1.6 grams per serving.
The most common BCAA ratio found in supplements is 2:1:1, which means that for every two parts of leucine, there is one part each of isoleucine and valine. This ratio has been shown in research to be effective in promoting muscle protein synthesis and recovery from exercise.
However, some BCAA supplements may contain different ratios, such as 4:1:1 or 8:1:1, which have more leucine and less of the other two BCAAs.
These ratios may provide additional benefits for muscle growth and recovery, but the optimal ratio for a specific individual will depend on their individual needs and goals.
By using a BCAA supplement from a company that uses third-party testing, you can have more confidence in the quality, purity, and safety of the product, which can help you to achieve your desired results and minimize any potential risks.
Here are three specific reasons to look for the 3rd party tested sticker on the product label:
Quality control: Third-party testing helps to ensure the quality and purity of the BCAA supplement, which can help to minimize the risk of contamination or adulteration.
Accuracy of ingredients: Third-party testing helps to verify that the BCAA supplement contains the listed ingredients in the correct amounts, which is important for achieving the desired benefits.
Consumer protection: Third-party testing helps to ensure that the BCAA supplement is safe for consumption and that it complies with established standards and regulations, providing added protection for the consumer.
In terms of transparency, you should avoid BCAA supplements that use proprietary blends on the label. Proprietary blends are mixtures of ingredients that are not disclosed in full, which can make it difficult for consumers to know the exact amount of each ingredient in the blend.
This lack of clarity can make it difficult to determine the optimal dose for each ingredient and assess the potential risks or side effects.
Proprietary blends can sometimes contain less of the active ingredient than is claimed on the label, or they may contain ingredients that are not listed. This can make it difficult to determine the effectiveness and safety of the product.
It is always best to opt for BCAA supplements that list the exact amount of each ingredient on the label, as this provides greater transparency.
The cost of women's BCAA supplements can vary widely depending on several factors, including the brand, the form of the supplement (e.g., powder, capsule, tablet), and the quality of the ingredients used.
On average, the cost of BCAA supplements can range from $10 to $50 or more per bottle, which can last for several weeks or months, depending on the recommended daily dose.
Checking online reviews when buying women's BCAA supplements can be beneficial for several reasons, including:
Understanding effectiveness: Online reviews can provide insights into the effectiveness of the BCAA supplement, including any reported benefits, such as improved athletic performance, recovery time, and muscle building.
Identifying any side effects: Online reviews can also provide information on any side effects that have been reported by other users, which can help you to determine whether the BCAA supplement may be safe for you.
Evaluating product quality: Reviews can also give you a sense of the quality of the product, including the taste and consistency of the product, as well as any issues with the packaging or delivery.
Comparing different options: Online reviews can also help you to compare different BCAA supplements and make an informed decision based on the experiences of other users.
It is important to keep in mind that online reviews are subjective and may not reflect the experiences of all users. It is also important to consider the credibility of the source of the reviews and to read a variety of reviews to get a well-rounded understanding of the supplement.
BCAAs can be beneficial for women, as they play a role in muscle protein synthesis and recovery from exercise. They may also provide a source of energy and help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue during intense exercise.
Women may choose to take BCAAs to:
Support muscle recovery and growth: BCAAs play a role in muscle protein synthesis and can help support muscle recovery and growth, especially after exercise.
Reduce muscle soreness and fatigue: BCAAs may help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue during and after intense exercise.
Provide energy: BCAAs can be used as an energy source during exercise, especially during longer or high-intensity workouts.
Improve athletic performance: BCAAs may help improve athletic performance by reducing muscle damage, improving muscle endurance, and increasing overall energy levels.
BCAAs do not appear to have a direct effect on hormones in women. However, excessive consumption of BCAAs can lead to an imbalance in the amino acid profile, which may have indirect effects on hormone levels.
It's also worth noting that BCAAs can stimulate insulin secretion, which can have a moderate effect on blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. This may be particularly relevant for women with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or type 2 diabetes, who need to carefully manage their blood glucose levels.
The frequency of BCAA supplementation for women can depend on several factors, including exercise intensity and duration, individual goals, and dietary habits. Here are some general guidelines for BCAA supplementation:
Pre-workout: Some people take BCAAs before exercise to help provide a source of energy and support muscle recovery during the workout.
During the workout: BCAAs can also be consumed during exercise, especially during long or intense workouts, to help maintain muscle mass and reduce fatigue.
Post-workout: Taking BCAAs after exercise can help support muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
Between meals: BCAAs can also be taken between meals to help support muscle protein synthesis and provide a source of energy throughout the day.
While BCAAs are generally considered safe for healthy individuals, excessive consumption of BCAAs may have potentially negative effects on women, including:
Imbalance in amino acid profile: BCAAs can lead to an imbalance in the amino acid profile, potentially affecting overall protein metabolism and disrupting the delicate balance of other essential amino acids.
Increased insulin secretion: BCAAs can stimulate insulin secretion, which can have a moderate effect on blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. This may be particularly relevant for women with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or type 2 diabetes, who need to carefully manage their blood glucose levels.
Stomach discomfort: Some individuals may experience stomach discomfort, such as bloating, gas, or cramping, after consuming BCAAs.
BCAAs have a number of benefits for women who work out. They are essential for muscle protein synthesis, which is crucial for muscle growth and recovery after intense workouts. BCAAs have been shown to improve endurance during exercise and delay fatigue, allowing for longer and more intense workouts. They can also help preserve lean muscle mass while promoting fat loss, making them a useful supplement for weight management.
The best BCAA supplement for women on the market right now is Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine which combines fermented BCAAs with glutamine for an enhanced muscle growth and recovery effect.
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