You may have heard of BCAAs, but you probably don’t know that every woman can benefit from including them in her wellness routine.
Keeping reading if you’re interested in learning:
- What BCAAs are
- How they can benefit women
- What forms of BCAAs we recommend
What Are BCAAs?
The term BCAAs stands for branched-chain amino acids.
There are 20 amino acids in the human body. The human body uses amino acids to make proteins to help the body break down food, repair tissue, grow, and perform numerous other body functions.
Of the 20, nine are considered essential amino acids. This means that they cannot be made by your body. Instead, they must be obtained through your diet.
Three of the nine essential amino acids are the branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs. These are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
BCAAs are found in protein-rich foods such as fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products. But if you don’t consume enough of these foods in your diet, you may want to try to get your BCAAs through a BCAA supplement such as BCAA powder.
How Can BCAAs Benefit Women
The top three benefits of BCAAs are increased muscle growth, increased strength, and reduced exercise-induced fatigue. But we’re going to break down how these effects benefit women in particular and why every woman should include BCAAs in her wellness routine.
1. Increased Muscle Growth
The BCAA leucine activates a pathway in the body that stimulates muscle protein synthesis, or, the process of making muscle.
But keep in mind that you need all of the essential amino acids in order to build muscle. BCAAs can increase muscle protein synthesis, but not without the other essential amino acids.
Building muscle doesn’t mean “getting big,” which is something women are sometimes afraid of when they begin weightlifting. BCAAs increase muscle growth, but in the form of lean muscle mass.
In a 2009 study reported in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers found that BCAAs contribute to an increase in lean muscle mass and decrease in body fat in women when taken alongside resistance training.
An increase in lean muscle mass does not only benefit women in terms of how they look and how confident they feel in their bodies, it also improves their energy, lifting strength and bone strength, and cardiovascular health.
2. Increased Strength
In a similar vein to building muscle, women sometimes fear the concept of increasing their strength because they believe it will make them appear manly and bulky. But increased strength does not do these things - it will actually help women feel good all-around.
According to the same 2009 study conducted by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, adding BCAAs to your normal diet, while following a resistance training program, can help boost you up a weight level. This means that you can lift heavier and feel stronger.
3. Reduced Exercise-Induced Fatigue
Being a woman is tiring enough as it is, and the added fatigue from working out only makes us that much more tired. Every woman, at some point, experiences fatigue from exercise. How quickly or how often one experiences this depends on factors such as intensity, duration, and fitness level. But that’s where another benefit of BCAAs comes in. BCAAs can reduce exercise-induced fatigue.
BCAAs contribute to the increase in levels of the essential amino acid tryptophan in your brain. Tryptophan is then converted to serotonin, which is the chemical in your brain that is thought to contribute to the development of fatigue during exercise.
Forms of BCAAs We Recommend
You can get BCAAs from a diet full of protein-rich food like chicken, eggs, salmon, beef, whey or soy protein powder, canned tuna, and greek yogurt. You’re actually better off getting BCAAs from complete protein sources such as these because they contain all the essential amino acids and provide you with other important nutrients that BCAA supplements lack.
However, if you don’t get enough BCAAs from your diet, which may be the case if you are a vegan or a vegetarian, you may want to look into a BCAA supplement such as BCAA powder so your body can still get all of the benefits of BCAAs.
One BCAA supplement we recommend is Dr. Emil’s Women’s BCAA. We like it because it is vegan friendly, keto friendly, non-GMO, gluten free, sugar free, hormone free, and additive free.
BCAAs possess an extremely bitter taste profile, leucine, which is considered to be the most effective of the three BCAAs at stimulating muscle protein synthesis, being the most bitter. As a result, the higher the concentration of leucine, the more bitter the BCAA powder. So another reason we like Dr. Emil’s Women’s BCAA is because it’s fruit punch flavored, which masks the bitter taste of BCAAs.
In addition, through Dr. Emil Nutrition’s partnership with Vitamin Angels, for every bottle of Dr. Emil Nutrition product you buy, a child in need gets a 6-month dose of essential vitamins. So buying from Dr. Emil Nutrition doesn’t only benefit you - it benefits others as well.
Take Home Message
If you’re a woman wondering if you should include BCAAs in your wellness routine, our answer for you is yes if you want these benefits:
- Increased muscle growth
- Increased strength
- Decreased exercise-induced fatigue
If you’re now wondering where to start incorporating BCAAs into your diet, try eating a diet consisting of protein-rich foods such as fish, meat, and eggs. If you can’t incorporate these foods into your diet for whatever reason, try a BCAA supplement.
In conclusion, every woman should include BCAAs in her wellness routine because every woman deserves the benefits of BCAAs.