The best branched-chain amino acids contain three of the nine essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) supplements may improve muscle protein while also reducing muscle damage from exercise.
I remember the first time I added BCAA supplements to my diet, and I noticed an immediate difference in energy and endurance in my workouts. I’m still impressed by its ability to keep me from getting sore no matter how hard I work in the gym. My female friends are a little hesitant to try it because they worry that there aren’t any BCAAs for women.
Essential amino acids are vital to your health though, and adding BCAA supplements will not only help you exercise but also improve your overall health. Here are the best BCAAs for women.
Our Top Women's BCAAs (2019 Updated)
HIGHLIGHTS & BENEFITS
OUR #1 RATED
1. Performance Lab BCAA
2. Jacked Factory
3. Cellucor Alpha
4. Transparent Labs
5. Xtend Elite
1. Best Overall: Performance Lab BCAA
While this isn’t a product specifically marketed for women, I did look into the ingredients and amounts on the label with my dietitian.
And the good news is that it’s a formulation that is suitable for women.
One of the claims Performance Lab makes is that it can “stimulate IGF-1 growth hormone,” which would be positive for muscle growth.
The good news is that I found a supporting study of this claim, which is very positive.
The only real downside I found is that I have to remember to take two capsules before exercising and two after. It has happened a few times that I forgot them after training, but now I just set a reminder.
2. Jacked Factory Intra Surge
Intra Surge contains heavy doses of fermented vegan BCAAs, pure L-Citrulline, natural caffeine from coffee bean, and patented Astragin. These ingredients make it the most elite intra-workout supplement for women. The fermented BCAAs is top-of-the-line quality, and the added supplements only make this product even more powerful.
I like how this was an intra-workout drink which means that it was meant to consume during your workout. I make it with one scoop with water and enjoyed how the powder mixed with the water and didn’t separate after a few minutes.
It gave me an energy boost to get through my workout, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the fruit punch flavor.
3. Cellucor Alpha Amino Ultimate
A fellow trainer introduced this to me and said it was women’s best BCAA supplement. She spoke highly of her significant gains with training. I was immediately interested when I learned about their unique formulas for their powder.
They have a different ingredient profile that combines the benefits of the best BCAAs with dietary supplements like HMB and creatine HCl to help you build a more lean body. They also have an electrolyte blend added in which helps keep you hydrated during your training.
It helped me power through a tough workout and ensure that I didn’t get any muscle soreness afterward.
It's improved my workouts significantly. I feel less and less exhausted and am able to sustain my endurance for a longer period of time!
It was a great feeling to do another workout the next day and not worry that my body would be too exhausted to do it. I felt like the muscle protein was doing its job, and I believe it has the best BCAAs to take.
It’s more expensive, but I believe that you get what you pay for in this case. If you sign up for a subscription, then you can save 20% and also receive free shipping.
4. Transparent Labs BCAA + Glutamine
What makes this different from other BCAAs is that they use fermented BCAAs. Fermented BCAAs have higher quality amino acids and were made without the use of harsh chemicals. It also has the added benefit of being vegan.
I had a hard time mixing this with my drink, and I had to shake it for a while to get a good blend. On the bright side, I like how it had coconut water powder that is meant to help prevent dehydration and add electrohydrates to your body. I had a good energy boost to get through my workout, and I was satisfied with the recovery.
If you buy in bulk, then you can receive a big discount of up to 30%. It’s a reasonable price when you factor in the quality of the ingredients.
5. Xtend Elite Fruit Punch Fusion
This BCAA supplement comes highly recommended in the fitness world.
It contains other ingredients besides BCAAs to maximize your sports nutrition. The unique formulas like Peak O2 help with maximizing power output and support oxygen uptake and Sensoril® Ashwagandha is a natural stimulant-free energy boost.
They have five flavors, but I became a fan of the Island Punch Fusion. This BCAA supplement was meant for intense trainings, and I definitely saw a difference in my workouts. I could lift more weight and I didn’t struggle to get through my cardio routine.
BCAAs are such an important part of my daily routine because it replenishes electrolytes and supports muscle growth. I sip on XTEND BCAAs literally throughout the entire day - before, during & after training.
They also have a subscribe and save option. You can save about 20% if you get the subscription version. It’s a great deal if this supplement ends up being your one true love for BCAA.
6. EVLution BCAA5000
I was surprised to read the label and see that one serving size is 8 capsules which seems excessive and hard to incorporate into an everyday routine.
If you choose this one, then I would suggest breaking it up into several different points of your day like between meals, 30-45 minutes before working out, and then immediately after working out. You may prefer this if you want to extend the amino acids throughout your day.
When I tried this, I liked how they didn’t hurt my stomach, and I didn’t get as sore after my workouts. The recovery was pretty quick for me.
I also like that they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so there isn’t much to lose if you try this out.
7. Optimum Nutrition BCAA
Oh, the joys of having a small stature. If you are petite, then you know that it’s hard to find supplements that don’t take over your body.
Optimum was recommended to me by someone with a petite build who immediately noticed a difference in energy and muscle soreness prevention. She only takes 1 pill despite the recommended amount of 2 pills per day. The pills are also easy to swallow and don’t leave a bad aftertaste.
I was impressed by how quickly these pills worked for me.
I felt like I was stronger and could do more while I was exercising. I did notice sore muscles after a hard workout though.
8. Battle Ready Fuel
Most BCAA supplements have a 2:1:1 ratio (Leucine, Valine, and Iso-Leucine), but this has a 4:1:1 ratio which they claim is the muscle protein you need to develop more muscles. If you haven’t been satisfied with your gains, then trying a different amino acid ratio that is in Battle Ready Fuel may be the answer that you are looking to incorporate into your routine.
I was disappointed that they only had one flavor (cherry burst), but I was happy with the taste. I think the muscle recovery went very well as I was able to complete two hard fitness routines in 48 hours and not have to take a rest day in between.
There’s a lot of value in each container. It may seem expensive at first, but I did the math and one serving will cost you about .50 cents. They also have 67-day money back guarantee, so if you are not noticing results, then you can send it back to them.
What Are The Benefits Of BCAA For Women?
The benefits of BCAA for women include decreased physical and mental fatigue, reduced muscle soreness, increased muscle mass, and they help to maintain normal blood sugar levels. (1)
Regardless of gender, BCAA is beneficial for those looking to boost muscle growth and improve fitness performance. BCAA can also help lengthen your lifespan by giving you the necessary amino acids that you need to function.
It’s a great nutritional supplement for women from those who only do moderate exercise all the way to professional endurance athletes.
What Are The Side Effects Of BCAA?
There are basically no side effects of BCAA. The most common issue that you might run into is the potential for interference with your sleep. BCAA may decrease serotonin production which is critical to help you sleep. I would recommend not taking BCAA later in the day to prevent this from happening.
Learn more about the side effects of BCAA in this video:
Is The Purpose Of BCAA For Women Weight Loss?
BCAA contains essential amino acids that are necessary for weight loss for women. One goal of BCAA is to minimize muscle loss while also maximizing fat loss.
BCAAs may help you get rid of unwanted body fat or prevent weight gain, especially when combined with a diet with limited calories and regular activity. There isn’t enough research to prove that BCAAs help you lose weight, but it does help your overall health.
What To Consider When Choosing The Right BCAA For You
One of the things that you need to consider when choosing the right BCAA for is how much BCAA you need to add to your diet. For women, you need to have a minimum of 9 grams of BCAA every day.
This number could be higher if you are active or do a lot of resistance training. If you already have protein-rich foods in your diet, then you may not need to take BCAA supplements.
You should look into the ingredient list and note any additives or sugars that you don’t want to consume.
My #1 Recommended BCAA For Women Is...
I had a friend come up to me and say that they felt like she needed a boost in the gym. She wanted something that could support muscle growth but also help with the dreaded fatigue and sore muscles she felt the day after a tough workout.
I highly recommended the Performance Lab BCAA to her because I believe it is the best BCAA for women. It has the proteins needed to build more lean muscle while making you feel energized.
She used it and said it helped her not feel so tired after her strength training, and she thinks it’s the best BCAA for weight loss.
We have both become quite reliant on these little pills, especially on high-intensity workout days.
Performance Lab BCAA
BEST BCAA FOR WOMEN