There are thousands of women all around the world that would love to be able to lose weight, get into shape, and improve their overall health. Unfortunately, putting a plan into action and actually achieving this goal is undoubtedly easier said than done. A singular setback could very well set off a chain of events and leave you feeling hopeless. Sometimes, extra assistance is just what is needed to give you a helping hand and ensure you begin to see results. This is why the popularity of BCAA for women has grown so rapidly and has become a hot topic among women around the world. What is BCAA? How does it help women? Continue reading to find out!
What Is BCAA?
Women should always put in a substantial amount of time and effort to research the chemicals they put into their bodies. There are many products on the market that claim to offer outstanding benefits, yet come with an abundance of health risks. BCAA, or branched-chain amino acids, are different. This is the case, because everyone consumes BCAAs on a daily basis. Even if you do not physically consume a BCAA supplement, you’ll still acquire these amino acids through the foods you consume.
These essential nutrients are acquired from proteins found within various foods, especially legumes, dairy products, and meats. The three amino acids, which make up BCAAs, are leucine, valine and isoleucine. BCAAs have become very popular amongst fitness enthusiasts and are commonly used for therapeutic purposes.
As you begin to search through the ingredients of BCAAs, you are most likely going to stumble across L-Valine. You will learn that L-Valine can play an important role in your body when it comes to weight loss and body building. This is why it is important to understand everything you possibly can about this chemical. L-Valine is an essential branched amino acid. However, this is something that the body cannot produce, so it must be acquired through dieting or supplements. If you do a little research, you will find that L-Valine can be found in foods such as mushrooms, cottage cheese, peanuts, meats, and soy proteins. Whenever L-Valine is taken in the supplement form, it is imperative to make sure it is combined with L-isoleucine and L-leucine.
When all is said and done, the main purpose of L-Valine is to supply energy to the muscles. This amino acid not only enhances the energy that is supplied to your muscles, but it can also increase endurance and help with muscle tissue recovery. Basically, this means that taking take L-Valine before or after a workout will ensure your muscles build more rapidly and recover faster.
Most leucine is obtained through a dietary source. Foods such as dairy products, fish, nuts, poultry, meat, and fish contain a high content of amino acids. Of course, it is not always possible to get the recommended daily allowance of leucine from the daily diet. Many professional athletes receive a large portion of their leucine intake from dietary sources, but turn to BCAA supplements for the remainder.
The best way to figure out your leucine RDA total is by multiplying 42 milligrams times your body weight in kilograms. The 42-milligram dosage is what most experts classify as a necessity for average adults. For instance, a female weighing 142 pounds will need to consume 2,688 milligrams of leucine daily. Although, many individuals think it is totally safe to consume a high dose of leucine daily, there are some harmful side effects that are very concerning.
Isoleucine is another very important essential BCAA. The body does not produce isoleucine, so it must be obtained through a dietary source. The reason why this particular amino acid is so important to bodybuilders and other professional athletes is because it aids in muscle recovery. BCAA powders are often used as a post-workout, because they can prevent muscle soreness and damage. Of course, this does not mean that they would not be useful as a pre-workout, because they very well can boost mental focus and delay-onset fatigue.
Isoleucine rich foods include seaweed, chicken, dairy products, fish, eggs, turkey, and soy protein. If you have difficulty trying to devise a healthy diet plan, you should consider consulting with a dietician.
Whey Protein VS BCAA
Many people speculate about BCAA supplements, while others firmly believe that they work very effectively. A 2011 study sponsored by Maastricht University Medical Center revealed that taking a single BCAA, such as leucine alone is unbeneficial, with no alterations in protein kinetics. However, taking a BCAA, while exercising can be very beneficial in reducing the catabolic effect that exercising (running) has muscle protein metabolism. This study involved BCAA mixtures, with or without carbs, but not BCAA rich meals.
Who Uses BCAA Supplements?
In order to gain more insight into BCAA supplements and their uses, it is a good idea to look at the people, who currently utilize these products. The truth of the matter is that these supplements are used by a large assortment of individuals with great diversity. Individuals suffering from ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease and use BCAA for treatment. These supplements are also used for tardive dyskinesia. Of course, it is not necessary to be ill, in order to benefit from BCAAs.
All kinds of athletes use branched-chain amino acids to enhance their performance, while also diminishing protein and muscle loss during extreme exercises. Others use BCAAs to reduce and prevent fatigue and also improve concentration. Suffice to say, it is possible for all kinds of people to benefit from the use of BCAA supplements. People of all backgrounds, and genders can receive benefits from consuming these supplements regularly.
How Do BCAAs Work?
A surprising amount of research has been conducted on branched-chain amino acids and their functionality. It is believed that these chemicals can enhance the body’s ability to build protein within the muscles. This can help dramatically reduce the loss of muscle during intense workouts and even periods of layoff. These chemicals are also capable of stopping irregular messages from being sent to the brain cells. This makes BCAAs incredibly beneficial for those suffering from advanced liver disease, tardive dyskinesia, mania, and anorexia.
Potential Side Effects Before consuming any type of supplement, it is essential to breakdown and analyze each and every one of the ingredients found within. With BCAA supplements, manufacturers often add a handful of other ingredients to the BCAAs, in order to enhance the effects and elevate the delivered benefits. This may increase the potential risks to some degree. However, when looking at BCAAs only, you will find that the potential side effects are slim to none.
When injected and when taken by mouth, branched-chain amino acids are considered to be safe. Some minor side effects may present themselves. These include decreased coordination and fatigue. And, some precautions should be taken, before consuming BCAAs. Since very little research has been conducted regarding the impact of BCAA on pregnant and breast-feeding women, it is best to avoid use, if you fall into this category. Also, it is important to put a halt to BCAA use approximately two weeks before an upcoming surgery.
Otherwise, BCAA is considered to be safe and most users will experience no notable side effects.
There are several other medications, which can interact with BCAAs. Although the risks are small, it is a good idea to avoid mixing BCAA supplements with other medications, if an interaction is known. First and foremost, Levodopa has been known to interact with BCAAs. The BCAA is capable of decreasing the amount of levodopa the body is capable of absorbing, while also decreasing its effectiveness. With this in mind, the two chemicals should never be used in correlation.
Also, it is a good idea to avoid mixing BCAAs with diabetes medications. Both are capable of lowing blood sugar. Using the drugs in conjunction may decrease the blood sugar to unsafe levels. Be sure to speak with your doctor, before consuming BCAAs, if you are prescribed any type of diabetes medication.
Different Types Of BCAA Supplements
When attempting to find the best BCAA for women, you’ll have a complicated task ahead. Unfortunately, there are numerous BCAA products on the market and the differentials are enormous. Of course, the most impactful may very well be the consistency of the product. Although there may be a few rarities out there, the mass majority of BCAA supplements are available in powder or pill form. Both can undoubtedly provide you with the BCAA content needed, but only one will be suitable for your specific situation and your unique preferences. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the pros and cons associated with both.
- Powder – Powder can be beneficial for those that have a difficult time attempting to swallow pills. Unfortunately, it will not be suitable for everyone. There are some negatives associated with powder. First and foremost, attempting to mix the powder can be a little messy and slightly time consuming. Some individuals will not have the time to perform this task, before hitting the gym or heading to work. Also, the taste can be hideous, but this will depend on the specific product in question.
- Pills – Pills are undoubtedly convenient and can be consumed much easier than the powder. It is also possible to take BCAA pills with you and consume them pretty much anywhere. Unfortunately, a lot of people will have difficulty swallow oversized pills. If you fit into this category, the powder might be a better choice.
Regardless of the specific form you choose, it is pertinent to look a little deeper and make sure the product in question contains the right ratio and quantity of BCAAs. Also, be sure to look out for additional ingredients, such as caffeine. Some women will want to avoid caffeine based supplements.
Exploring The Benefits Of BCAA For Women
Now that you’ve learned a great deal about BCAA, it is time to familiarize yourself with the benefits of consuming a BCAA supplement. What can you achieve by consuming one of these products regularly? The most notable benefits will be examined in greater depth below.
- Energizes Muscle Protein Synthesis – BCAAs have grown in popularity, because they’re capable of triggering and stimulating protein synthesis. When combined with a strenuous workout, the body’s ability to convert protein into muscle is pushed to the maximum. This will lead to more rapid and more dramatic muscle growth.
- Maintain Muscle – Taking time off due to an injury will usually lead to muscle loss. This can be a truly devastating setback and may make it difficult to get back on the wagon and try again. The good news is that BCAA can help to prevent this from happening. During periods of layoff, it is possible to substantially diminish muscle loss, by increasing your daily BCAA intake. Even without exercise, BCAA will promote protein synthesis and help your body preserve muscle.
- Helps With Weight Loss – Thousands of individuals all around the world consistently seek ways to lose weight. There are definitely solutions out there, but no miracle cure. BCAA is certainly a good choice for women. Various studies have been conducted regarding the impact on BCAA and weight loss. It has been concluded that those, who consume larger quantities of BCAA, tend to have more muscle and less body fat. It is believed that leucine is the key to remaining lean and mixing the ingredient with the remaining BCAAs enhances its effectiveness.
- Stabilizes Hormones – Hormones are immensely important for giving the athlete the ability to adapt to extreme workouts. Studies have shown those, who have higher levels of BCAA, will also have more substantial levels of testosterone, but lower cortisol. This can help the athlete recover much more rapidly after an intense exercise. It may also help to decrease inflammation associated with strenuous workouts.
- Improves Endurance – The most notable benefit associated with BCAAs is the enhanced endurance. During clinical trials for BCAAs, it was shown that athletes using such supplements were able to improve their endurance, while experiencing reduced fatigue. During an extensive workout, the body will actually burn the BCAAs, while maintaining your body’s supply of ATP energy. This will give you the ability to workout longer, without feeling winded and exhausted.
- Diminishes Muscle Soreness – It is nearly impossible to workout extensively and not feel a little bit of soreness, once the session has concluded. However, there are a few things you can do to diminish the muscle soreness to some degree. Consuming BCAAs is definitely a wise choice. Consumption of BCAAs will give you the ability to recover much more rapidly, while also keeping muscle soreness at bay.
- Reduces Risk Of Diabetes – Diabetes is undoubtedly a scary disease, which can negatively impact the rest of your life. There are numerous ways to lower your blood sugar levels and consuming BCAAs is a good choice. The three branched-chain amino acids are capable of improving glucose tolerance, while decreasing blood sugar levels. Using BCAAs as a preventative measure is recommended. Don’t try to use BCAAs to combat diabetes, since diabetics suffering from an irregular BCAA metabolism will actually experience a blood sugar increase, when using BCAAS.
- Reduces Muscle Loss Related To Aging – As the body begins to get older, it will begin to lose its ability to build and maintain muscle mass. This is something that is unavoidable. However, it is possible to reduce the effects to some degree, by consuming BCAAs. Older individuals should consume branched-chain amino acids to stimulate their metabolism and decrease muscle mass loss.
Thanks to their enormous benefits and the overall safeness of BCAAs, these supplements are ideal for almost everyone.
Prevents Catabolic Crisis
Dieting can be detrimental to one’s body, especially the musculoskeletal system. When you combine dieting with a daily strenuous workout, the damage only becomes more extensive. Many dieters do not understand the importance of getting the proper amount of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. If your diet is lacking in these very important elements, you will be putting your body at risk of injury, fatigue, and poor health. The adequate dietary intake is a necessity for vitality, which is why it is so important to become educated on the term, “Daily Recommended Intake”.
The fact is the leaner your body becomes, the more likely that you will experience muscle breakdown. Leucine, one of the most important branched-chain amino acids can actually boost protein synthesis. This in turn can slow down the protein breakdown process, while increasing protein synthesis. BCAAs will definitely offer positive results, even more than whey protein.
Unlike whey protein, BCAAs are not associated with digestive problems. In fact, BCAAs bypass the digestion process and rapidly absorb into the bloodstream. The rapid effects are boundless, leaving nothing to be desired. Almost immediately after consuming a dose of BCAA, your blood amino acid will spike to the peak level. The protein synthesis will immediately be impacted, leaving you feeling exhilarated and ready to power through your workout. Many professional athletes believe that since BCAAs bypass the liver and the gastrointestinal tract, the maximum benefits are received soon after consumption.
No Replacement For Real Foods
Almost everyone can benefit from using a BCAA supplement, but these supplements should not be used to replace real foods. Supplements and nothing else will ever be able to replace your diet and the nutrients you acquire from the foods you consume each and every day. However, BCAA supplements will give you the ability to optimize your body composition, lose weight, and increase muscle mass development. Also, those suffering from a BCAA deficiency will definitely want to consider adding a BCAA supplement to their daily diet, in order to rectify this problem.
Properly Taking BCAA (When & dosages)
When it comes to taking any kind of supplement to try and enhance your results, you always have to make sure that you are taking the proper amounts at the correct times. You would be surprised at how much of an effect misuse of a supplement could have on your diet or workout plan. As mentioned above, BCAA supplements are available in powder and capsule forms. You should know that the dosages vary depending on the form that you are using.
The capsule form of the supplement can vary. For instance, the best brands usually contains 2,5g per capsule and can be taken 2 to 3 times a day (or more if the training is really intense and long). However, the dosage can vary from person to person and will depending on certain factors and guidelines. This is why it is imperative to read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you follow them strictly.
The Top 5 BCAA on the market
What To Look For In The Best BCAA For Women
When taking the time to scour through the market’s offering of BCAAs, you will most likely become overwhelmed by the enormous numbers of options available. This can undoubtedly make the purchase much more complicated and will require you to put in an extensive amount of work, in order to find the best product for your precise needs. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of some of the most pertinent factors to consider, when making your decision.
- Cost, Servings, And Contents – When it comes down to it, a lot of consumers will focus on the price and nothing else. This could prove to be a costly mistake. Although cost is important, you should also consider the package contents and serving size. By examining these factors, you’ll be able to figure out precisely how long a single bottle will last. Remember that the serving size for each product will vary to some degree, so be sure to read the label carefully.
- Flavoring – Another thing to take into consideration is the taste of the supplement. Most brands will offer two or three different flavors, which will give you options. Unfortunately, flavor names can be somewhat deceiving. Watermelon won’t always taste like watermelon. In order to find a flavor that you can tolerate and potentially even enjoy, you’ll want to experiment with several different brands and flavors.
- Additional Ingredients – Although these products are based around branched-chain amino acids, they usually contain an array of other ingredients. Depending on the additional ingredients, you may be able to obtain more benefits from these specific products than you would with just BCAA only. Some of these products will also contain agmatine, creatine, or CLA. Depending on the ingredients, the supplement may also deliver a pre-workout boost.
- BCAA Ratio – There is a lot of debate regarding BCAA ratio. It is possible to find an array of ratios ranging from 10:1:1 to 2:1:1 and everything in between. The truth of the matter is that leucine is the most important factor in the mix. Leucine is responsible for igniting the fire and promoting muscle protein synthesis. So, if you’re intent on building muscle, you’ll want to make sure your supplement contains a sufficient amount of leucine. A BCAA supplement, which has a leucine ratio of 2:1:1, will suffice and will be less costly than one with a 10:1:1 ratio.
- Caffeine Content – There are numerous BCAA supplements on the market that also contain a substantial amount of caffeine. Although there are some benefits associated with caffeine, it isn’t right for everyone. Caffeine can lead to jitters and an assortment of other negative side effects. If you want to diminish the potential risks, while still benefiting from BCAA, it is generally best to opt for a caffeine-free BCAA supplement. Thankfully, finding one shouldn’t be very difficult.
- Types – As mentioned above, there are two main types of BCAA supplements. The most common are powders and pills. Be sure to select the right one for your particular preferences. Both can be beneficial, but only one will be best for your individualistic desires. So, you’ll need to make this decision based on your own personal preferences.
- Banned Substance Free Guarantee – There are numerous supplement manufacturers in the world and not all of them are regulated. In order to keep yourself safe and out of harm’s way, it is pertinent to make sure you select a reputable brand, which guarantees that their products are free of banned substances. Sticking with a product, which has been manufactured in the United States, is recommended and will provide you with additional peace of mind.
- Money Back Guarantee – Some supplement manufacturers will offer a money-back guarantee on their BCAA supplements. Although this isn’t a necessity, the money-back guarantee is definitely a good addition and will help to ensure that your money is wasted.
At the end of the day, there are numerous BCAA supplements on the market and not all of them are equal. Each will provide you with some benefits. However, only a specific selection of supplements will be able to optimize your results, without any unwanted side effects. Take your time and examine your options, before making your choice to avoid wasting your money and to prevent unwanted side effects.