There has never been a better time to take charge of your health and tighten up your nutrition game. If you are new to the world of serious working out and the meal plans and supplements that go along with that healthy lifestyle, then the sheer number of options and things to learn can be daunting. We totally get it and we are here to help you take the mystery out of the process to get to the best, most essential supplements you need.
You don’t have to jump on every bandwagon, but there are a few staples that are useful for just about everybody who is serious about fitness. One of those staples is BCAAs. They help you have more energy during your workout and help your muscles recover afterward.
Not all BCAA supplements are created equal. In this article, we’ll help you understand what to look for and exactly where to find it.
Now, on to the best BCAAs for women!
Best BCAAs for Women in 2020
We’ve taken the guesswork out of finding a good BCAA supplement for you. Below are our top 5 picks for women’s best BCAA formulas. You always want to look for a BCAA that has a 2:1:1 ratio of 2 grams L-leucine for every 1 gram of L-valine and L-isoleucine. Mix it up and take it about 15 minutes prior to your workout for maximum benefits. Some people also like to sip during a workout, and that’s OK, too.
Without further ado, here are the champions in the best BCAA for women category for 2020.
1. Core Series BCAA Glutamine by Transparent Labs
This formulation is loved for its clean ingredients and great taste. It comes in a bunch of different flavors so there’s sure to be one you like. Another plus about this formula is that it is sweetened with stevia. Since stevia is a natural calorie-free sweetener it doesn’t have that synthetic after taste that sucralose and aspartame often do.
In addition to great taste and a natural sweetener, this formula also delivers plenty of Vitamin C. If you didn’t know, in addition to Vitamin C’s immune-boosting powers it is known to help support the growth and development of tissues like muscles!
One serving delivers 4,000 mg of L-leucine and 2,000 mg each of L-valine and L-isoleucine. This hits the magic 2:1:1 ratio and delivers a powerful BCAA punch that will meet your daily needs.
Fans of this product report that you will “definitely feel the difference during your workout,” and have experienced a “decrease in muscle pain and discomfort after a hard work out.”
To use this add 1 scoop to water and drink it within the 30 minutes before you work out, during your workout, or after your workout for best results.
- Great flavors
- High potency
- Natural zero-calorie sweetener
- Contains Vitamin C
2. Performance Lab Sport BCAA
Performance Lab Sport BCAA is carefully formulated with a potent, high-quality 3,000 mg 2:1:1 blend of L-leucine, L-valine, and L-isoleucine in capsule form. This technologically advanced BCAA supplement comes in supplement form. Although they come in a small package, they pack a major punch.
First off, the BCAAs in this vegan-friendly formula is derived from gluten-free, non-GMO vegetables using a unique process called Ajipure®. The result is a clean, plant-based BCAA with an eco-friendly production process.
Performance Lab Sport BCAAs also makes use of a proprietary process called NutriGenesis®. This helps make the BCAAs more bio-available, meaning they can be more easily absorbed. To top it all off, the external NutriCaps® is infused with prebiotics made from fermented tapioca to help prepare your system to receive and process the supplement contents.
Their process also infuses each capsule with four “absorption-enhancing natural cofactors”: probiotics, dietary fiber, digestive enzymes, and antioxidants. All of this is designed to help your body absorb the BCAAs and use them to their greatest effect.
A final added benefit of taking your BCAAs in capsule form is that they don’t have any sweeteners, flavors, or colors. You also don’t have to drink them up. Just take them at your preferred time – either before and after a workout, in the morning, or during the day – to get the benefits. And, boy, are there benefits! This product has 5-star reviews from enthusiastic users who report noticeable differences in energy levels and recovery times.
- Vegan plant-based formulation
- Contains probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fiber for digestion
- Contains antioxidants for cellular health
- Specially made to heighten bio-availability
3. Kaged Muscle BCAA 2:1:1
Let your lean, toned, gorgeous muscles break free with Kaged Muscle BCAA 2:1:1 (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun). That golden 2:1:1 ratio of L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine are right there in the title. Check that off the list!
Unlike most BCAAs, this formula is unflavored. That means it doesn’t contain any sweeteners or other flavorings. It doesn’t contain any coloring either. If you are sensitive to food coloring, dislike strong flavors, or try to avoid artificial sweeteners, then that is definitely an added bonus and unique feature of this product.
The BCAAs in this formula is derived from fermented non-GMO plant sources. That unique feature makes this a great option for vegans and vegetarians alike.
The way this product dissolves is like a magic trick. No joke. It mixes right into a glass of cold water without any grittiness. The way the plant-based BCAAs are fermented prevents any weird or bitter taste. Sometimes “unflavored” products come with a funky aftertaste. That is not the case with this BCAA supplement.
Kaged Muscle BCAA 2:1:1 is great on its own to just drink plain in your water bottle. It’s also awesome for combining with other supplements so you don’t have a mish-mash of flavors. For example, if you like to combine your BCAAs with a protein powder or other pre-workout supplement, then this is perfect because it will blend right in with the other products.
The BCAA powder alone mixed into your water is also awesome for sipping throughout your workout as it’s just like drinking plain water. The versatility of this is probably our favorite thing about it. That and the fact that it’s awesome at supporting muscle health.
- No flavors or sweeteners
- No food coloring
- Vegan, non-GMO plant-based formula
- BCAAs derived from a fermentation process
4. Nutricost BCAA 500mg Capsules
For some of us, sipping on a sweet drink mid-sweat session is less than ideal. In fact, some people find that it can be a little sickening to do that.
Not a fan of sports drinks? No problem! You can take your BCAAs in a capsule form instead. A capsule form BCAA is a great alternative if that sounds familiar. There’s nothing to sip and no water bottle to carry around with you. Just take a couple of supplements before you begin your workout and you’re good to go.
Nutricost BCAA capsules have the 2:1:1 ratio of amino acids in the form of a small capsule. One serving is 2 capsules and contains 500 mg of L-Leucine and 250 mg each of L-Isoleucine and L-Valine. This is a lower dose than some people will want for muscle development. Because of that, you may have to double up on the dosage to get to the optimal amount of BCAA intake. You can take the full dosage before your workout or split it up and take it before and after your workout.
Also, because this is formulated in a capsule there are very few additional ingredients. There are no sweeteners, flavors, or colors. Just your BCAAs and the capsules they come in.
- Capsule form
- Easy and fast to take
- No sweeteners, colors or flavors
- Lower dose than some other BCAA supplements
5. Alani Nu BCAA
The Alani Nu BCAA supplement is a total treat. It has that golden 2:1:1 ratio of L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine plus some added bonus ingredients. Each serving contains 500 mg of L-glutamine and a small amount of sodium and potassium.
L-glutamine is another amino acid that helps support muscle development. It’s been proven to help reduce soreness and help muscles bounce back after an intense workout. Sodium and potassium are lost when you sweat, so this puts a little bit back to restore your body’s electrolyte balance.
People love the way this BCAA drink tastes. It comes in several tasty flavors that are like candy. If you have a sweet tooth, then this will definitely satisfy it. It is sweetened with sucralose (that is the technical name for Splenda). That may be the one drawback of this formula. If you don’t like the taste of Splenda, then this may not work as well for you.
Alani Nu is known for creating their formulas without fillers. It doesn’t contain a bunch of mystery ingredients. Just about all of the added ingredients above and beyond the BCAAs provide some form of nutritional value. Best of all, it works! Users report reduced soreness the day after hard workouts.
The manufacturer recommends using this in 8-10 ounces of cold water and sipping it throughout your workout or between meals.
- Lots of yummy flavors
- 2:1:1 BCAA ratio
- L-glutamine to support muscle recovery
- Sodium and potassium restore electrolytes lost during a workout
But wait, what exactly are BCAAs?
BCAA is short for branched-chain amino acids. Let’s go back to biology class for a quick refresher.
Amino acids are often referred to as the “building blocks of protein”. There are 21 “essential” amino acids that humans need to survive. These essential amino acids cannot be produced within the body. Therefore, we have to get them from food and supplements.
Of those 21 essential amino acids, there are 3 which qualify as BCAAs. Those are L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine. They’re called “branched-chain amino acids” because of their unique molecular structure.
Those 3 branched-chain amino acids follow through on a few clutch assignments for your active body. First, they help prevent your muscles from breaking down while you exercise. That helps with endurance during your workout and reducing muscle fatigue (a.k.a hitting the wall). The result is that they help you go harder longer at the gym. BCAAs also promote recovery after your workout. They help your muscles rebuild faster and decrease lactate production. You may recognize lactate from lactic acid which is what builds up in muscles after a hard workout and causes them to get sore.
Taking BCAAs also supports fat loss and can help regulate your blood sugar levels. Studies have found that supplementing with BCAAs can contribute to greater fat loss with all other factors being equal.
So, whether you’re lifting weights, spinning your heart out, or going for distance runs, BCAAs deserve a place in your arsenal. You can take BCAAs as a pre-workout supplement, an intra-workout supplement (during your workout), or as a post-workout supplement. As this one focuses on best amino acids for women, we also made an article about the other best amino acids and also what is the right and best BCAAs for men.
Have you ever used BCAAs? How have the changed your workout intensity and muscle recovery? Which BCAA supplement is your favorite and which are you excited to try next?