If you have been into fitness for any amount of time, you know being active and eating healthy are two of the most important things you can do to achieve your goals.
For those of us who are athletes, strength trainers, or even just fitness enthusiasts, our dietary needs are well above the average individual.
If you work out regularly, your body will crave additional nutrients you aren’t getting through your diet.
What Are BCAAs?
We all know we need more protein in our diet when we start lifting. BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids, are a building block of protein. These organic compounds combine and form proteins, which is essential for muscle growth.
BCAAs are vital for many of our bodily functions and very important for anyone who is serious about weightlifting. Amino acids help build muscle, repair muscle tissue, and are useful in other areas of our body.
BCAAs are made from essential amino acids. This means your body needs them to function, but cannot produce them on its own.
They are naturally found in protein-rich foods like meats, beans, nuts and some grains. The three amino acids in BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
These supplements generally come in a powder or capsule form. Another benefit of BCAAs is that most of them are really tasty.
Benefits of BCAAs
While you can find these BCAAs in food, the supplement uses a free-form amino acid, which means that your body will absorb it faster and easier.
BCAAs do not contain gender-specific ingredients, so any woman over 18 who is active will benefit from adding a BCAA supplement to their diet.
Here are some of the other benefits:
- Prepares body for muscle growth
- Increases muscle tone
- Speeds up your recovery
- Promotes protein synthesis
- Helps shed fat
- Prevents muscle breakdown
- Increases muscle endurance
What To Look For In a BCAA
Now that you see how important a BCAA supplement is, lets see what we need to look for in a supplement. Since there are so many different kinds out there, lets go over some of the top things you should look for when choosing your supplement.
Proprietary blends are a way for companies to hide exactly what they are giving you. Look for a BCAA that have specific doses of: leucine, valine, and isoleucine.
The most expensive product does not mean you are getting the best value. Look for a BCAA that will cost you about $0.50 to $1.50 per serving. Depending on the brand and reviews, this will be a great bang-for-your-buck supplement.
Do you currently have a brand that you like another supplement of? Check it out and see if they have a BCAA.
Finding a well-known and trusted company that uses quality ingredients isn’t hard to find if you do your due diligence.
Are you able to take this without it being a problem? Do you get pills, capsules, or powder? If it’s a powder, how’s the flavor? Ask yourself these things when you are about to buy – there are different kinds for different reasons. Get one that makes it easy for you to take.
10 Best BCAA’s For Women
Check out our top 10 BCAAs for women and find a supplement that fits your needs.
BPI Sports BCAA Powder
This delicious BCAA from BPI Sports is a great value and has an outstanding grape flavor. Enjoy knowing exactly how much of each amino you are getting, as well as a proprietary blend of other beneficial ingredients.
Rich Piana 5% Nutrition BCAA
5% Nutrition is a great brand that knows what they are doing. Enjoy a great tasting BCAA that is packed with other beneficial ingredients. While 5% uses a proprietary blend on the 3 main ingredients, their supporting ingredients are great, and quality is top notch.
Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules – 400 Count
Optimum Nutrition has been around forever, and consistently has quality supplements. Enjoy an optimal 2:1:1 leucine to isoleucine and valine combination. Take the two capsules and be on your way.
Scivation Xtend BCAA
If you’re looking for a really tasty BCAA, you’ve found it. Scivation has had great flavors of BCAAs for years now. Enjoy a healthy dose of the three main ingredients as well as glutamine, citruline malate, and an electrolyte blend.
Natureganics Mega BCAA Supplement
Natureganics scoured the internet to find the best BCAA and they were unhappy with the quality of product out on the market. Try Natureganics solid BCAA today.
Cellucor Alpha BCAA Performance Aminos
Enjoy Cellucor’s BCAA that tastes great and has a lot of great ingredients. Most of the ingredients in this BCAA are in proprietary blends, but the ingredient selection is great. Cellucor has been known to use quality ingredients in their supplements.
Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Powder
Enjoy the high quality ingredients that Optimum Nutrition uses, but in powder form. ON has created an instantized BCAA which means your body will process this BCAA much faster than others. Similar to micronized protein, this instantized BCAA will deliver.
Muscle Pharm BCAA
Muscle Pharm’s BCAA is crafted with a patent-pending 3:1:2 Leucine:Isoleucine:Valine ratio and uses only the best ingredients possible. Enjoy a subtle, yet tasty BCAA from Muscle Pharm.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA
Another ON creation, the Gold Standard BCAA has 5 grams of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio. In addition to this, they’ve added 250mg of wellmune for immunity support, 200mg rhodiola for endurance support, and 220mg electrolytes for performance support.
Bulk Supplements BCAA Powder – 1kg
Enjoy the basic packaging, high quality choice of ingredients, and a no-frills pure BCAA. All of bulk supplements’ supplements are lab tested and ensures purity to exceed your expectations.
Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Your BCAA
Spending your hard earned money on supplements can be scary. Check out our tips on getting the most out of your BCAA so you know you are getting the best deal possible.
- Tighten up your diet – You cannot out exercise a crappy diet. Eating a variety of healthy and fresh foods will allow your body to perform optimally.
- Take it consistently – BCAAs have many immediate effects as well as some great long-term effects. Enjoy the full benefit from BCAAs and take it consistently according to the label.
- Lift heavy – Enjoy the benefits of a speedier recovery and really hit the gym hard. Your body will thank you.
Of all of the supplements out there, BCAAs are ranked pretty high on the “get it” list. BCAAs are great for recovery, they taste great, and you are able to notice some great strength and endurance gains with them.
Don’t buy into the marketing ploys that some companies use to lure unsuspecting buyers in. Come prepared with the knowledge and tips we’ve given you so that you can buy the right BCAA for you.