Branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs are known as the “building blocks of protein”. The word “branched-chain” refers to the chemical structure and BCAAs are necessary for building muscle tissue. (1)
So, it makes sense to supplement with BCAAs since they are essential for creating protein in our muscles.
But, it can be a daunting task finding a good supplement (As with any supplements) so we’ve put together an easy list for you choose from…
What Are BCAAs?
BCAAs (Branched-chain amino acids) make up three of the nine essential amino acids (Leucine, valine, and isoleucine) found in protein-rich foods and sports supplements. Our bodies cannot produce them so nutritional supplementation and a good diet are necessary.
BCAAs build the protein for our muscles and may prevent catabolism (Muscle breakdown). And leucine more specifically, has shown to increase protein synthesis which is vital for muscle hypertrophy; especially in combination with whey protein. (2)
Foods which contain BCAAs include:
But, red meat and dairy contain the highest amounts of BCAAs. (3)
And most people get enough through diet which is 25–65 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight according to the University of Michigan. But, for additional benefits (Especially for the active people) supplementation is very beneficial…
What Are The Benefits of Taking BCAAs?
Like mentioned previously, BCAAs are the building blocks of protein. But, a study showed a post-workout BCAA drink to increase protein synthesis by 22%. (4)
BCAAs has shown to also be beneficial for decreasing exercise-induced muscle damage and possibly treating muscle wasting/catabolism. (5)
And there are some potential benefits for liver health as well. (6)
What Are The Best BCAA’s for Women?
Best Overall – Nutricost BCAA for Women
Nutricost is a reputable brand and we chose their product as the best overall. It’s a clinically researched product and customer satisfaction is high, especially for the cheap price.
With a 2:1:1 ratio (Leucine, Isoleucine, and valine), you get a good serving of BCAAs but you also get 125% of vitamin D3, 100% folic acid, and 10% calcium. Vitamin D3 is crucial for development, bone health, immune function, and cell health. (7)
Price: $18 for 30 servings
Best Capsules – Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules
Ranked number 1 on Labdoor, “Do vitamins” BCAA capsules is a quality product. With a 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs, the capsules give you everything you need. And it’s so much easier to swallow capsules for a lot of people which makes them very convenient.
But it’s also a vegan product which contains no fillers, artificial colors/flavors or harmful chemicals.
Plus, you get a 30-day guarantee if unsatisfied with the supplement.
Price: $25 for 90 capsules
Best for Building Muscle – Maxler BCAA Powder
A simple, quality BCAA product is all you need for your muscle-building endeavors. When training, you don’t want a bunch of ingredients which will make you feel sick and so you can take Maxler BCAA powder, pre, intra-, and post workout for maximum results.
Price: $21 for 60 servings
Best for Endurance Training – LIV Body Plant-Based Hydrating Aminos
When you’re on the run (Literally) or have an intense training session ahead, it’s imperative that you remain hydrated. But, BCAAs aren’t enough and that’s why LIV Body plant-based Hydrating Aminos has coconut water powder (Lots of electrolytes) and potassium to keep your cells hydrated. (10)
Plus, you get all nine amino acids, calcium, niacin, and vitamin B6. Niacin is important for your nervous system, digestive system, and health. While B6 is essential for cognitive development, immune function, and healthy blood cell formation. (11, 12)
So, besides the hydrating properties, you have some pretty good ingredients for health and performance.
Price: $38 for 25 servings
Best For Recovery – FoxyFit BCAA for Her
The main goal of many women when it comes to fitness is to be lean and mean! So, FoxyFit Bcaas contain a combination of L-Carnitine, CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and green tea extract for fat-burning. (13, 14)
Plus, there’s a blend of L-Glutamine for recovery, and coconut water powder for sufficient hydration and a 10:1:1 ratio of BCAAs. (15)
So, you should have sufficient energy to get through your intense training sessions.
Price: $24 for 20 servings
Best All Natural – Pure BCAA Boost Vegan
Pure BCAA boost is a clean product minus all the added junk in a lot of products.
This BCAA supplement provides natural energy from coffeeberry. Plus, there are phytonutrients and antioxidants which are important for cell health and many functions of the human body. They play the role of “protector” for your body’s cells. (16)
Price: $35 for 30 servings
Best on a Budget – BPI Health BCAA’s
You know we always have to include a budget pick for the people who really love saving… (As we all do)!
BPI Health BCAAs comes in capsules which may not be ideal for everyone but they’re a great budget option. And this product is a simple Bcaa capsule which contains only the three essential EAAs (Essential amino acids) at a 2:1:1 ratio.
But, it’ll get the job done and when you’re on a budget, that’s the most important thing.
Our Criteria for Best BCAA Picks
The ideal BCAA supplement provides results, is palatable (Acceptable taste), is made from quality ingredients, and is affordable.
Having a combination of these qualities is not exactly rare but it takes a little digging to find ones which meet the criteria. Customer satisfaction is a big factor, and some products are just better overall according to the majority of users.
Get yourself a good quality BCAA supplement to ensure you’re getting the most from your training. We’ve listed some pretty good picks and there’s surely something for everyone here. And even better is that you don’t have to break the bank.
BCAAs can aid your progress and studies show them to be effective. So, use every advantage you can when it comes to working toward your fitness goals.
But remember, there are no miracle supplements out there as they will only aid your hard work or provide your body with additional nutrients.