BCAAs are scientifically proven sports supplements that are used by both sexes. Do gender differences exist in terms of BCAA consumption by males and females? What are the best BCAAs for women and men?
BCAA Benefits and Role in the Human Body
BCAAs belong to the group of essential amino acids, i.e. they can be obtained only with protein products or specialized supplements, the body is unable to synthesize them independently.
Using supplements with BCAAs immediately before and after training plays a crucial role in preventing the destruction and repair of muscles. Studies have shown that L-leucine has the highest anabolic effect. It’s responsible for the activation of protein synthesis and, consequently, for muscle growth. There are also other BCAA pros, such as improvement of fat burning and an increase in energy levels.
BCAA Use—Gender Differences
There is a stereotype in sports that BCAAs are exclusively for males. Partly this situation is caused by the behavior of companies producing it, which have always been focused on a large group of men as their target consumers. However, BCAAs for women is also extremely useful.
There are characteristics of its usage by girls and women associated with the hormonal makeup of female bodies. Essential nutrients are perhaps even more necessary for a woman than for a man since they’re important to maintain a normal level of leucine and isoleucine (acids with branched chains) in the blood for complete synthesis of estrogen (read estradiol vs estrogen comparison). This fact determines not only the possibility but also the need to take this remedy for women’s health while training.
It’s not always possible to eat a full meal before and after exercising. Thus, periodic supplementation intended for maintaining a reserve of BCAA can greatly enhance the nutritional value of the diet. However, there is no remarkable distinction in the application of BCAA by the representatives of both sexes. It may differ only in terms of dosages. The average doses are:
- Moderately or hardly trained women weighing 50–65 kg: 5–7 grams
- For men weighing 70–85 kg and ladies who have relentless trainings: 7–12 grams
- Men who weigh 90+ kg and practicing a rigorous training regimen: 12–20 grams
Best BCAAs for Women—the List of Products
For the development of impressive musculature, it’s necessary to have additional nutrients and elements, especially because modern diets may not contain the requirable amount. This especially applies to girls whose bodies aren’t originally predisposed to sculpture muscles, so to achieve significant physical performance, they should use proper additives.
BCAA for women features plenty of beneficial effects, including:
- Enlargement of muscle fibers
- Acceleration of tissue regeneration
- Maintenance of glucose homeostasis
- Speeding up protein synthesis
- Promotion of nitrogen balance
- Facilitating the absorption of other amino acids
- Stimulation of leptin production and dulling of hunger, which helps to lose excess weight
- Inhibition of catabolism
Here are some popular examples:
BCAA 4000 Extreme Shot: this is a complex recipe of amino acids with branched chains (L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine in the ratio 2:1:1), which is manufactured by Polish company Olimp Sport Nutrition. It’s supplied with a matrix for increasing the absorption of amino acids called the Nitro Loader System and is available in innovative liquid form. It prevents catabolic states and also has an anabolic impact. Its influence is enhanced by a powerful dosage of glutamine. The product is characterized by its maximum ease of use, a small ampoule is convenient to take with you. You can use it anytime and anywhere and you don’t have to swallow numerous caps or tabs. It’s of pharmaceutical quality and the remarkable taste doesn’t leave feelings of thirst or dryness in the mouth. How to use these BCAAs? Take 1 ampoule (60 milliliters) one or two times a day—before breakfast and before workout sessions. Shake vigorously before drinking.
KFD Nutrition Premium Instant Plus: this is the mix of BCAAs in an instantly dissolving form. It’s enriched with citrulline, accelerates recovery, and combats fatigue and pain. It also promotes the formation of nitric oxide, dilates vessels, and improves blood flow, thereby contributing to muscle pump. BCAA instant plus is produced by Polish corporation KFD Nutrition, which relies on 100% openness of its work and transparency of its products’ content. It has no preservatives and other useless fillers, such taurine. Why is it an excellent solution for women? It has a pleasant taste, so the gentler sex will like it. How to consume it? Mix one 10-gram portion of BCAA (2 serving spoons) with 150-200 milliliters of water and stir or shake well. Use according to your personal needs, but no more than three times daily, for example, before workouts and/or after breakfast. Drink the BCAA beverage directly after preparation.
VPLab BCAA Ultra Pure: this is an effective capsuled supplement. A classical ratio (2:1:1) is presented here. Thanks to these capsules, you can better your athletic endurance, support muscles tone, and boost the overall appearance. Use four capsules (one serving) 30–60 minutes before training and 30 minutes after.
Girly brands as Nutricost, PrettyFit, Her Aminos, FitGirl, FitMiss, BulkSupplements, RedLeaf, RSP, SHREDZ, and IdealLean, all offer BCAAs for women.
What Are the Best BCAAs for Men?
The regular consumption of BCAA is an indispensable element in preparing male athletes who need to have an optimal physique. When training and taking BCAAs, it’s always recommended to adhere to a healthy lifestyle and eat wholesome food.
Amino acids are safe for male sexual health (and may even be healthy for it) if the man takes them in strict accordance with the instructions, has a sufficient level of physical activity, and adheres to the principles of a properly balanced diet.
Here are some of the best BCAAs for men:
Ronnie Coleman Amino Tone: this is a great product from the eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman. It elevates energy potential and the fat removing process. Signature series doesn’t cease to amaze with its new developments. It contains BCAAs in 2:1:1 ratio, taurine, and alanine. It also includes electrolytes, which should be replenished during training to avoid dehydration. Ketones, forskolin, and inositol are good for metabolism.
Universal Nutrition BCAA 2000: this one’s designed to raise stamina and strength. It’s involved in anabolic reactions and is engaged in the release of insulin, which precludes the splitting of the protein. In addition, it saturates the body with B6, B2, and C vitamins, which facilitate the absorption of amino acids. It was developed specifically for athletes who work hard in a gym. Taking it, you receive an additional source of energy helping to perform long and do debilitating exercises. How to use it? The recommended daily dose is four capsules. To observe the best results, two caps should be taken one hour before training. The remaining two should be used within 30 minutes after.
Ostrovit BCAA 2-1-1 1000: this is a complex of BCAAs in tablet form. It’s made by Ostrovit company (Poland) under the requirements for the food products adopted in the EU. How to use it? On training days, swallow two servings of BCAAs: the first one immediately upon waking or before training, and the second one right after. On resting days, take only one portion immediately after awakening.
Weider BCAA + Glutamine: a combination of essential amino acids and glutamine is the best way to keep your physique in a good form. In muscles, protein synthesis and regenerative processes are constantly occurring. Each athlete knows how important amino acids are, as many of them are not synthesized on their own. BCAA and Glutamine is a superb assistant in the fight against catabolism. Glutamine is also a key element because, with bigger physical exertion, its quantity in muscles lowers. This can affect the work of the immune system. It not only supports muscles but also cares about the general health, because intense loads can lead to immunity deterioration. Instructions: take six capsules of the supplement per day. Also, take three capsules after training to recover quickly.
Tips on How to Take BCAAs
There are some useful tips on how to take BCAA wisely:
- To maximize cutting, take 5 grams of BCAAs and 1-2 grams of L-carnitine 30 min before cardio.
- Powder is the best option, which acts almost immediately, and it’s good in decreasing musculature soreness during and after sessions.
- You may also use BCAA supplements before bed or on an empty stomach after getting up. This will give a strong anticatabolic action similar to PCT steroids, which are used to avert the rollback phenomenon after an anabolic steroid cycle.