Best BCAAs for Women: Conserve Lean Muscle Mass While Dieting

​Women can train as hard as men, lift as much weight as men can but their bodies requirements are different from men’s. That means that the formulation of the best BCAA for women could also vary greatly.



What are BCAAs?

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are building blocks that the body can use in building lean muscles. These are found in food and supplements. Natural sources include meat, yogurt, milk, nuts and legumes. These can also be found in protein supplements.

​There are many BCAA supplements on the market but most of these are formulated for men. The good news is, if you want to train and build lean muscle and a slim strong body, you don't have to settle for muscle protein supplements that are primarily designed for men since they won't always work as efficiently for you.

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A Quick Look at the Best BCAA for Women

Here are some of the best post workout supplements that specifically cater to women’s unique needs.

SHREDZ® BCAA + Glutamine Made for Women

This is a better alternative to sports drinks that keep you hydrated during workouts. This BCAA bodybuilding supplement also helps boost your energy for longer training sessions.

Scivmtion Xtend BCAAs

This supplement gives a large serving of BCAAs - 7.5 grams in the 2:1:1 ratio of the 3 main BCAAs. This ratio of BCAAs has been tested to prevent muscle breakdown during intense exercise sessions or dieting.

Fit Miss BCAA 3:1:2

This supplement contains a blend that not only helps in building muscle but helps with body fat loss as well. This ratio of BCAAs are especially formulated to meet resistance training needs of women.

NLA for Her Her Aminos

This blend is specially created for women. This is not some watered down version of men’s BCAA from GNC. Her Aminos builds lean muscle and improves endurance during training.

IdealLean BCAAs For Women

This supplement gives a large concentration of BCAAs that works well for women who have serious fitness goals. The formula also promotes fat loss along with lean gains.

Optimum Nutrition Pro BCAA Drink Mix

With its 13 grams of BCAAs per serving, Optimum Nutrition promotes greater lean muscle growth from your training. It also has a large amount of equally beneficial L-glutamine and vitamin C. Vitamin C is the antioxidant present in many fruits and has many health and beautifying effects.



Reviews Of The Best BCAA for Women

Picture

Product

Brand

Ingredients

Rating

coolimagecoolimagecoolimageSHREDZ® BCAA + Glutamine Made for Women

SHREDZ

  • Electrolyte Blend
  • ​L-Leucine
  • L-Glutamine
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Valine
  • Proprietary Amino Acid Blend
coolimagecoolimagecoolimageScivationXtendBCAAs

Scivation

  • Vitamin B6
  • L-Leucine
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Valine
  • L-Glutamine
  • L-Citrulline
  • Electrolyte Blend
coolimagecoolimagecoolimageFit Miss BCAA 3:1:2

FitMiss

  • ​L-Leucine
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Valine
coolimagecoolimagecoolimageNLA For Her HerAminos

NLA for Her

  • ​L-Leucine
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Valine
  • Taurine
  • L-Lysine
  • Beta Alanine
  • L-Glutamine
  • L-Citrulline
coolimagecoolimagecoolimageIdealLeanBCAAs For Women

IdealFit

  • ​L-Leucine
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Valine
  • CLA Fatty Acids
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Coconut Powder (Electrolytes)
  • L-Glutamine
  • L-Citrulline
coolimagecoolimagecoolimageOptimum Nutrition Pro BCAA Drink Mix

Optimum Nutrition

  • L-Leucine
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Valine
  • L-Glutamine
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Red Wine Extract
  • Vitamin C
  • Electrolyte Blend

This contains the standard blend of L-Glutamine, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine and L-Leucine along with a proprietary blend of other amino acids.

It’s a better alternative to sports drinks. Sports drinks generally contain a lot of sugar and calories. SHREDZ contains branch chain amino acid that boost your endurance and improve your performance, without any sugars inside.

coolimagecoolimagecoolimage SHREDZ® BCAA + Glutamine Made for Women

Active Ingredients:​

  • Sodium​
    This helps maintain water and electrolyte balance in the body. This also helps improve blood flow to the muscle tissues.
  • Potassium
    This electrolyte works hand in hand with sodium, vital for muscle contractions.
  • L-Leucine
  • L-Glutamine
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Valine
  • Proprietary Amino Acids Blend

How to take:

On workout days, mix 1 scoop of SHREDZ and 10-12 oz. water. Drink during or after a workout.

On non-workout days, mix 1 scoop with 10-12 oz. water and drink any time.​

Things We Liked

  • Easily dissolves in water
  • Quick boost

Things We Didn't Like

  • Pricey
  • A little too sweet for most people (artificial sweetener)
coolimagecoolimagecoolimageScivationXtendBCAAs

This supplement contains a 2:1:1 ratio of the important BCAAs. Each serving contains 7.5 g amino acid BCAA, specifically:

  • 3.5 g L-Leucine
  • 2.5 g L-Glutamine
  • 1 g Citrulline Malate

Also included in each serving are electrolytes that support hydration. This is a carbohydrate-free, sugar-free, zero-calorie drink mix. Perfect for low carb diets or ketogenic diets.

This BCAA supplementation drink cuts down recovery time significantly. It works by stimulating optimal muscle protein synthesis in the skeletal muscle tissues and balancing energy use within the cells.

Benefits Include:

  • Body Fat burning
  • Faster recovery
  • Muscle building
  • Catalyst agent during workouts

How to Use:

Mix 1 serving with 10 ounces of water in a re-sealable bottle. Shake well until combined.

On training days, drink 1 serving during workout.

On non-training days, you may drink it throughout the day.​

Active Ingredients:

  • Sodium
    In addition to maintaining electrolyte balance, this acts as vasodilator that promotes more blood flow to the muscle tissues. This aids in powerful muscle contractions.
  • Potassium
    Plays a key role in muscle contractions and provides energy.
  • Vitamin B6
    This vitamin helps in fine-tuning vital bodily processes that promote well-being and strength.
  • L-Leucine
    This is the most potent BCAA and should be in the highest amount in BCAA formulas. The minimum effective dosage is 2500 mg. In Scivation XTEND, each serving contains 3500 mg.
  • L-Isoleucine
    It functions in the same manner as L-Glutamine. It also helps promote healing and recovery from muscle damage. The daily minimum effective  dosage is 1250 mg. each serving of Scivation XTEND contains  1750 mg.
  • L-Valine
    Valine helps maintain good nitrogen balance and preserve glucose use. The recommended minimum effective daily dosage is 1250 mg and Scivation XTEND gives you 1750 mg.
  • L-Glutamine
  • L-Citrulline Malate (helps increase blood flow and pump)
  • Electrolyte blend

Things We Liked

  • Provides the ideal 2:1:1 ratio of the vital BCAAs
  • Comes in many flavors

Things We Didn't Like

  • Too sweet for some (artificial sweeteners) - But is also available in an unsweetened (RAW) version
  • Price

This pre-workout supplement provides a well-formulated combination of BCAAs that work towards increasing lean body mass in women. This blend can also help with fat loss.

This protein powder has no fillers or any potentially unsafe ingredients. Each serving provides a  specifically  formulated ratio of BCAAs for women (3:1:2) needed for muscle building and refueling.

coolimagecoolimagecoolimageFit Miss BCAA 3 1 2

Benefits Include:

  • Support growth of lean muscle
  • Reduces breakdown of muscle
  • Formulated for women’s unique needs

How to Use:

Mix 1 scoop with 6-8 ounces of water. Drink 1-3 times per day.

Optimal results can be achieved if taken 30-45 minutes before training, during training or immediately after training.

Things We Liked

  • Excellent taste
  • Formulated to suit women's unique needs

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not as much research backing this ratio of BCAAs
coolimagecoolimagecoolimageNLA For Her HerAminos

This supplement contains a comprehensive blend of amino acids and assisting nutrients  designed to suit women’s unique needs. This is not a watered down version of similar men’s BCAA supplements. NLA For Her specifically caters to women’s unique body chemistry.

Benefits Include:

  • Improves intra-workout muscle endurance
  • Encourages lean muscle mass
  • Improves muscle recovery rate in between workouts
  • Limits muscle wasting (anti-catabolism action)
  • Improve resistance to muscle fatigue

How to use:

This supplement is designed to be taken any time. However, optimal time to consume would be during workouts.

Things We Liked

  • Sugar-free
  • Gluten-free

Things We Didn't Like

  • Taste is not for everyone

Get 5,000 mg of BCAAs per serving with IdealLean BCAAs for women. That’s a large amount well suited for women with some  serious fitness goals. The high quality BCAAs in this product comes in the ideal ratio of 2:1:1.

It also contains the IdealLean Fat Loss blend that allows women to lose fat while also building lean muscle for a toned, sexy body.

coolimagecoolimagecoolimage IdealLeanBCAAs For Women

Benefits Include:

  • Amplified weight loss with added ingredients such as Tonalin CLA and Green Tea Extract with 50% EGCG
  • Improved hydration with coconut powder

Standout ingredients aside from the ideal 2:1:1 BCAAs are:

  • CLA and Green Tea Extract
    Green tea extracts have been demonstrated in several studies to be effective in enhancing fat burning processes and improve physical performance.

    The omega-6 fatty acid CLA has a positive impact on body composition. It has shown supportive effects on weight loss.
  • Coconut Powder
    This added ingredient is to promote better hydration - one thing you must adequately address whenever you train regularly.
  • L-Glutamine and L-Citrulline
    These amino acids further increase benefits such as enhancing performance and increasing lean muscle mass.

Things We Liked

  • No calories
  • No sugar
  • 4 different flavors to choose from

Things We Didn't Like

  • Some people can  experience unpleasant  after taste
coolimagecoolimagecoolimageOptimum Nutrition Pro BCAA Drink Mix

This supplement contains 13 grams of amino acids per serving, which includes 8 grams of BCAA with added 5 grams of Glutamine. Electrolytes are also thrown in for further support muscle function, hydration and recovery.

The ratio of the important BCAAs Isoleucine, Valine and Leucine are in the ideal 2:1:1 ratio. The anti-catabolic and anabolic effects of Optimum Nutrition Pro BCAA are optimized when taken before and during endurance training.

Aside from the high concentrations of BCAAs and L-Glutamine, Optimum Nutrition Pro BCAA also has 230 mg of Vitamin C and Grape/Red Wine extracts. This helps in strengthening the immune system and also  provide beautifying effects on skin.

Things We Liked

  • Caffeine-free
  • Low in calories (5 calories per serving)

Things We Didn't Like

  • Contains dyes and artificial flavors

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What to Look for in a BCAA Product

BCAAs are only effective if taken in the right amounts before, directly after or during workouts. They contribute to how fast the muscles recover after intense workouts and prevent breakdown. Muscle recovery is an important process - just as important as the training itself and what you eat for recovery. The time after workouts is when existing muscles rebuild themselves to become stronger for the next training session.

The best BCAA supplements all contains the 3 main amino acids that will really help you with your fitness goals. These are L-Isoleucine, L-Leucine and L-Valine.

  • L-Leucine
    This BCAA essential amino acid is directly involved in the development of muscle tissue, according to numerous studies. This is important in order to maximise lean muscle gains from workouts.
  • L-Isoleucine
    This branch chain amino acid primarily works to boost energy levels. This can help you have more energy to perform more intense workouts, supporting faster muscle recovery.
  • L-Valine
    This amino acid supplies extra energy to the muscle tissues, allowing for better endurance and enhanced performance.

Aside from these top 3 amino acids in BCAA powders, there is a 4th equally important ingredient. This one is called L-Glutamine. Glutamine is naturally found in muscle tissues. It gets depleted during training sessions.

Taking BCAA supplements with added L-Glutamine replenishes muscle stores, providing better recovery, stamina and strength.

The best BCAAs comes with added electrolytes, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and vitamin B6. These strengthen other processes that do not directly act on the muscles but can contribute to better performance and health.

For example, vitamin C strengthens immunity, which commonly decreases during long hours of intense training. Serious athletes and bodybuilders tax their system a lot, including their immune systems.

To protect muscle tissues and provide recovery after intense endurance exercise will  involve immune cells. If you do not get enough vitamin C, you are more prone to get sick.

Vitamin B6 promotes natural energy production within the cells, which can help the body to train for longer hours at a time.

The main benefits of BCAA for women are:

  • Lean muscle building
  • Faster recovery from muscle soreness common after training
  • Better endurance
  • Improved performance

Conclusion

All products we reviewed here would all be great BCAA supplement choices. Your choice would ultimately depend on your preference in taste as well as any additional compounds, vitamins and minerals you might need. All depending on the level of exercise you tend to engage in.

The most common issue among users of BCAAs is their taste. Truth is, BCAAs are isolated and concentrated amino acids so they don’t really taste great. The flavoured BCAA powders are bearable but they aren’t anything you can look forward to consuming. For those who do not want to endure the taste, an alternative is to get protein intake BCAA pills. Whatever supplement you do end up choosing, just keep in mind that the best results are brought by a combination of proper diet, training, and the use of the best BCAA for women.


Image credits: Amazon.com





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