Many people believe that branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are only beneficial for males, but this is not the case. In fact, BCAAs are beneficial for both men and women and can help with a variety of health issues.
Like, of course, BCAAs are just amino acids helping you build strength, improving your workout performance, and building your muscles.
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What Are BCAA’s And How Do They Work?’
BCAAs(Branched Chain Amino Acids) refers to a group of three essential amino acids, i.e., Isoleucine, Valine and Leucine. These are essential as our body doesn’t make them on its own and we need to obtain these from our diet.
Whole-food sources like fish, milk, beans and chicken can provide you with these or you can always go for BCAA supplements.
Your skeletal muscles use majority of the BCAAs for protien synthesis, energy production and multiple metabolic processes. As is the current scenario, researchers are more interested in leucine for its role in prominent muscle protein synthesis.
By adding some BCAAs in your regular diet, you can reap greater benefits and potential results from your workout.
Is BCAA Good For Females?
Yes, BCAAs can be very beneficial for women. BCAAs impact your weight loss, build muscle, support healthy pregnancies, reduce hunger, and balance your hormones.
In general, BCAA supplementation is safe and effective for both males and females. However, there is some evidence that BCAA supplementation may be especially beneficial for female athletes.
A recent study found that BCAA supplementation increased muscle mass and strength in female athletes, and also helped to reduce muscle damage after exercise.
Another study published in the journal Research in Sports Medicine found that BCAA supplementation was able to improve running performance and reduce muscle damage in female runners.(1)
How Do BCAAS Benefit Women?
Anyone can have BCAAs and experience its goodness. However, there are some specific benefits offered by BCAAs for women. Let’s look at everything that women can have if they prioritize BCAA supplements.
1. Increased Fat Loss and Lean Muscle
Your body composition changes when there are differences between the amount of energy you consume and the amount you expend. It’s very simple to understand that high energy intake and low expenditure will lead to weight gain, whereas, high expenditure and low intake can lead to weight loss.
Weight gain or weight loss also depends upon the type of your energy source. Many research papers conclude that BCAAs help better in reducing fat and improving lean muscle mass than whey protein.
Also, BCAAs are low in carbohydrates, calories(only 20), and fat per serving than 100 calories in one serving of whey protein. So, if you are looking forward to consume less calories then, BCAAs can be a better option.
Many people tend to increase their cardio for more energy expenditure, but they also fear losing their muscle mass. That’s where BCAA comes as it helps preserving the mass even in an energy deficit.
2. Increase in Strength
A person normally tends to feel an increase in their strength when they are hitting the gym regularly. Taking BCAAs can provide you with extra energy to help you lift more weight.
Also, consuming BCAAs before a workout provides you with additional nutrients which decreases the severeness of the muscle soreness(DOMS) or muscle damage that you may incur.
3. Helps Improve Endurance
Many people believe that protein supplements only help in increasing strength or muscle gains, while they also improve your endurance. It means that you would be able to train for longer periods of time, burn extra calories and getting fitter without much exhaustion.
BCAAs also help reduce the production of serotonin hormone, but isn’t serotonin the happy hormone? Yes, it is. But it also induces sleep and high serotonin levels can be a cause of early fatigue. So, BCAAs could be worth trying if you want to run fast and far.
4. Could Benefit Your Immune System
There is a connection between long-distance hard core exercise and weakening of immune system. This is the same reason why your body takes it longer to recover from an event like marathon.
On the other hand, BCAA supplementation reduces chemical release which ultimately reduces inflammation, and increases release of substances which protects the body from bacteria or pathogens, improving your immunity.
Do Women Need BCAA?
Women didn’t used to engage in strength-building activities earlier, but now, the tides are changing. Females are having an increasing interest in building muscles and strength. Now, women do focus on building lean muscle mass and extra fat loss.
BCAAs are essential amino acids that play a key role in protein synthesis and muscle growth. They are especially important for female athletes, who often have a higher rate of muscle breakdown than men.
BCAAs can help reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, and promote muscle growth and recovery. For optimal results, women should aim to consume approximately 15-20 grams of BCAAs per day.
This can be achieved by incorporating BCAAs into your pre- and post-workout shakes, or by taking a BCAA supplement.
Why Should Women Use BCAAs?
As a woman, you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and look your best. You work hard in the gym and eat right, but you may be missing an important piece of the puzzle: branched-chain amino acids, or BCAA.
Here are four reasons why you should add BCAA supplements to your routine: BCAA help you burn fat and build muscle. BCAAs help you recover after a workout and improve your performance in the gym.
How To Take BCAA?
BCAA supplements are available in market in two forms- tablets/capsules and BCAA powder. You can mix your BCAA powder with water or a sports drink while doing your workout.
BCAA Dosage For Women
A study that was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition(2) in 2016 found that women who took 6 grams of BCAA supplements per day saw significant improvements in muscle soreness, muscle strength, and body composition.
Based on this research, it would seem that women do need a higher dosage of BCAA supplements than the standard 3 grams per day. However, more research is needed in this area before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.
Again, It’s upto you whether you prefer to go with BCAA tablets or powder. Doctors recommend to take upto 5 grams of BCAA every day. That’s upto you whether you want to divide your 5 grams of BCAAs in two servings or three
The powder can be mixed with water and you can drink it as a sports juice during your workout. On the other hand, you can simply take BCAA tablets and swallow them with water. Most people prefer BCAA powder supplements.
When To Take BCAAs
For extracting the best results, it’s always good to take BCAAs before or after workout. Also, if you are the one looking forward to build muscle mass, you can add BCAAs in your breakfast or a pre-bed snack.
What Is The Best Time To Take BCAAs For Females?
There is no one definitive answer to the best time for females to take BCAAs. Depending on your specific goals, there are a few things you should consider when deciding what time to take them.
For example, if you are looking to increase muscle mass, then taking BCAAs before and after your workout is recommended. However, if you are looking to lose weight, taking them before your workout may be more beneficial, as they can help to prevent muscle breakdown.
Ultimately, it is important to listen to your body and experiment to see what works best for you.
Will BCAAs Turn Me Into She-Hulk?
No, BCAAs won’t turn you into a she-hulk. Both males and females have abilities to build muscle mass, while males are compatible of getting much bigger because of their characteristic testosterone. Consuming more than recommended BCAAs won’t help change the fact.
Do I Need To Take BCAAs With Food?
No, you can take your BCAAs on empty stomach. It also helps your body to absorb the nutrients better. However, if you face any gastrointestinal issues(could be nausea or cramps), it will be better to take it along food.
Can I Take BCAAs On Rest Days?
Yes, you can. You need to understand that these are essential amino acids. Even if you take them on rest days, it will help you meet your daily requirements and help in recovery.
Do I Need BCAAs For Cardio?
Not really. But taking BCAAs during your cardio sessions can help you preserve your lean muscle mass and help reduce muscle protein breakdown to a greater extent.
BCAAs for women should be promoted as they provide immense benefits to the females. If you have an active lifestyle, adding BCAAs to your diet will do wonders.
Even if you aren’t very active, they will help you fulfil your regular amino acids requirements.