I don’t know about you, but delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is real for me. This is because muscles often get damaged, and although our bodies are pretty amazing, they sometimes need help to repair themselves. This is where BCAAs come in, but it hasn’t always been easy to find a BCAA supplement for women because many BCAA supplements are marketed towards bodybuilders and women fear they’ll become too bulky taking them.
However, BCAA supplementation primarily aides muscle recovery – not size – and brands have begun to cater more to women who are interested in minimizing downtime and soreness, without putting on size and looking too ‘masculine.’
What Is a BCAA Supplement?
BCAA is an abbreviation for branched-chain amino acids. These include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The supplement often comes in a powder or pill blend to fuel your workout needs. But why are they necessary?
Well, repairing your muscles after working out is important. Your body is pretty good at doing this itself, but sometimes it needs the added push to get that protein synthesis going, and this is where the BCAAs come in.
Protein synthesis—sounds pretty complicated, right? Well, it is, to be honest, but I’ll simplify it for you.
Your body takes in the protein that you consume and breaks it up into its primary building blocks: amino acids.
These amino acids are then pieced back together again to form the proteins your body needs the most. Still don’t get it? This video should clear it up for you:
After working out, your body will need proteins to grow and repair your muscles. This is where the best BCAA supplements designed specifically for women will come in handy.
What to Look for in the Best BCAA Supplement for Women
Here’s what you should look for in the best BCAA supplement for women.
What does this mean? Well, the three BCAAs that work best are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Scientists have shown that this ratio of the three is the most effective way for protein synthesis to take hold.
Pills vs Powder
This is a classic debate, but it’s a pretty simple one to answer. Yes, supplement pills are transportable and easy to consume, which make them a busy person’s best friend. That said, we want something that’s fast-acting, versatile, and packed with nutrients.
This is where powders come in, as they absorb into the bloodstream fast and can be consumed in smoothies, shakes, and on food. They also contain much more nutrition than pills, as they aren’t restricted in terms of space.
The best BCAA supplement for women will ideally be something that you might like to mix with another supplement blend—powders make this easy work!
This may seem superfluous, but the flavor really does make all the difference. I personally can’t stomach an awful-tasting powder. We all want to enjoy what we’re drinking, even if it is while we’re working out.
The Five Best BCAA Supplements for Women
Now that we’ve made the choice between powders and pills for the best BCAA supplement for women, let’s see which ones I found (with a little help from a friend).
Want to tone up your body while losing weight, ensuring you remain healthy and strong? Then Amino Slim might be the BCAA for you.
This vegan blend of 2:1:1 leucine:isoleucine:valine, alongside the addition of glutamine, gives you an all-natural boost to your day. It’s designed to maintain muscle mass while reducing fat levels, so you can be the leanest version of yourself.
By also improving your mood, your stress levels will decrease. This inherently leads to an improved metabolism. Your body can’t function healthily when it’s stressed.
Without the usual caffeine that you’d see in some other workout supplements, your energy levels may not be as sky-high as you’d expect. That said, this makes it the best BCAA supplement for women to take for an evening workout—it won’t keep you buzzing throughout the night.
Want to know the real kicker? The addition of saffron extract means that your appetite is actually suppressed! This is a great way to reap the maximum benefits of this supplement if you are looking to lose weight.
- Promotes weight loss
- Suppresses appetite
- Reduces stress
- Boosts mood
- 2:1:1 ratio, alongside other great, all-natural ingredients
- Caffeine-free, so great for evening workouts
- Without caffeine, we wonder whether energy levels would be sustained
- No choice of flavors
Scivation Xtend does what we’d expect, providing the usual 2:1:1 amino acid ratio to ensure your muscles keep growing and repairing after working out.
So what makes this product stand out? The addition of citrulline malate, for one, especially if you’re tired before your morning workout, as it helps fight off fatigue. Also, the inclusion of glutamine is important to keep the inner workings of your body ticking.
Brooke Wells and Mat Fraser stand by Scivation for its recovery ability—pre-, during, or postworkout. With three delicious flavors, you have the pick of the litter. And with thousands of online reviews, can you go wrong?
- 2:1:1 ratio
- Keeps you awake and energized
- Includes other great ingredients
- Three tasty flavors
- Endorsed by fitness lovers and experts
- Helps facilitate fat loss
- Includes a proprietary blend of some ingredients
The Supreme Alpha Pro is a little different to the usual. It’s specifically designed to be taken postworkout. This makes sense, especially as the protein synthesis, assisted by BCAAs, helps to repair muscles after damage.
The 2:1:1 BCAA ratio makes for a scientifically proven formula that works to repair muscles effectively. The addition of glutamine also keeps your intestines running smoothly, so your bodily functions remain fit.
The aim is to take this supplement immediately after your workout—the quicker, the better. This will not only help to rebuild those muscles but also rehydrate you, so you can continue your healthy streak.
Supreme prides itself on the use of nonproprietary blends—these are often something I like to steer clear of. Why? Well, you just can’t be sure exactly what ingredients you’re consuming, and whether they’ll be safe or effective.
- 2:1:1 ratio
- Has glutamine in the mix
- No proprietary blends
- Repairs muscle effectively
- Rehydrates you
- Doesn’t give energy in the gym, so you may have to take another supplement preworkout
- Not focused entirely on BCAAs
- Includes carbs, so not great for anyone trying to lose weight
- No flavor choice
NLA prides itself on making a mark in the women’s supplement world. These days, working out and gaining muscle is becoming a lot more popular for women. That’s why women need a middle-ground supplement, which is not too weak but not too strong.
With some strange-sounding but great-tasting flavors, this product will provide everything that the usual BCAA supplement products provide.
That said, you want to know what I like most about this one? NLA “branches” out from the usual chains of amino acids and gives you something different. Not only does this supplement have the usual 2:1:1 ratio we’ve discussed before, but there are also a number of other great ingredients.
So not only will you maintain muscle mass and stay lean, your body’s inner workings will keep ticking away as they should.
- Some tasty flavor options
- Contains nutrients to improve your general health and well-being
- Energy and exercise performance enhancing
- Maintains muscle mass
- Keeps you lean
- Reduces muscle fatigue
- Fast absorption
- Aims to support women’s bodies
- Unquantified BCAA ratio
The FitMiss women’s BCAA powder is a little different to most on the market. This 3:1:2 formula claims to provide the optimal amount of proteins that your body needs. This seems strange, considering the popularity of the 2:1:1 formula.
That said, the product is certified by Informed-Choice, making it clear that the ingredients used are safe for consumption. Moreover, the results speak for themselves, and customers seem to love it.
The product aids muscle recovery and reduces the risk of aches and pains after working out. This can often be a challenge we all face, especially as we get older, so FitMiss supports your body.
- Supported by Informed-Choice
- Zero calories
- Zero sugar
- Supports protein synthesis to aid muscle repair
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Safe for consumption
- Not a 2:1:1 ratio
- No additional ingredients
My Choice for Best BCAA Supplement for Women
I’m just a man, so I’ve personally not tried any of these myself. That said, a friend of mine vouches for Amino Slim to do the trick, and it is her choice as the best BCAA supplement for women.
This product is particularly special, as not only does it help you synthesize those proteins—as a BCAA supplement should—but it has a number of other benefits. These include additional nutrients to ensure your body remains healthy.
It also includes the use of appetite suppression, so you can get the best from your workout goals. Also, without the surge of energy that we’d usually expect from a gym supplement, this one keeps you relaxed and stress-free.
Yes, it boosts your mood, so you stay positive in the gym, but it doesn’t give you jitters or too much energy during the night. This makes for a great, all-day-long supplement, which can even be taken before bed.
So if you’re a woman who’s looking to lose weight, maintain muscle mass, and exercise any time of day, I would suggest that this is the best choice for you