Do Women Need Branched Chain Amino Acids, if so what are the benefits?
If you perform some kind of physical activity or lift weights, you may be at the point where you would like to feel more energetic and improve the appearance of your body. Branched Chain amino acids also referred to as BCAA’s are just as important for women as they are for men, Question is, do women need BCAA’s? In this article, I will discuss some of the benefits of BCAA’s and why you may want to consider taking them.
What are BCAA’s?
BCAA’s are a common name in the bodybuilding and fitness world, many of the full-service gyms are loaded with many different kinds of supplements and among those are branched chain amino acids. They started off as a trendy thing but have now become mainstream. Branched chain amino acids are helpful at maintaining lean muscle mass, this can be important especially women who are trying to burn fat or lose weight.
Branched chain amino acids are essential and something your body does not produce!
Branched chain amino acids are the building block of protein. essential BCAA’s include Isoleucine, valine, and leucine. These three amino acids are essential because your body cannot produce them. You need to get them the food you eat. The best way is through quality foods and supplements.
Essential BCAA’s include:
- Isoleucine is responsible for muscle repair and helps improve endurance when you train.
- Valine has a stimulant effect on the body, it is important for muscle metabolism and helps regulate nitrogen balance within the muscle which is important for protein synthesis. It is also used by the muscle as an energy source.
- Leucine helps increase protein synthesis which helps build and maintain lean muscle. Leucine is helpful for women who are dieting and want to maintain lean muscle mass while eliminating fat.
Foods contain that high amounts of BCAA’s include:
- Dairy products
If you do any kind of physical training BCAA’s should be included in your diet, especially they can help before, during and after training. They can help boost energy and ensure your muscles are getting the right nutrients which are important, especially when training with weights.
BCAA’s help reduce appetite
Recent studies have shown that certain Branched Chain Amino Acids can make you feel full by increasing the sensitivity to the hunger hormone leptin. The main BCCA responsible for curbing appetite is Leucine. It has seemed to be very effective at burning fat and regulating blood sugar levels.
When you should take BCAA’s
There is the best time for everything and taking BCAA’s is no exception. You will get the most benefit from taking a BCAA when training with weights. When you train with weights you are creating tiny tears in the muscle which then repair themselves, this is how your muscles grow stronger. BCAA’s are essential for muscle recovery and repair. BCAA’s might not be important for your daily cardio but if you train with weights they are essential especially on days when you train major muscle groups like back, legs, and chest.
Why women should take BCAA’s
Women who train hard are trying to achieve several things which include:
- Increase lean and toned muscle
- Eliminate fat
- Increase strength
Training can take a lot out of you, especially when you train specific muscle groups, squats, deadlifts, lunges, rack pulls and any other heavy lifting can cause the muscle to fatigue quickly. Taking BCAA’s before you train will ensure your muscles are getting the right nutrients to help reduce fatigue and boost energy during your training session.
Whats the best BCAA supplement?
This can be a difficult choice for women, most BCAA supplements are made for men and are usually loaded with additional ingredients that women do not need so it’s important to find a quality BCAA supplement made for women.
Some BCAA supplements come in the form of a pre-workout powder, others include BCAA stacks which are my personal favorite because they offer both a pre, intra and post workout formula to help ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs. Branched chain amino acids are just as important before you train as they are after.
After you have completed your training session your body needs to restore glycogen levels a good post workout supplement will not only help maintain healthy glycogen levels it will also make sure you have plenty of energy throughout the day.
BCAA’s are essential for performance but you will get the most out of them when you perform any kind of strength training, it is not really necessary to take them if you are doing light cardio on a treadmill or elliptical. BCAA’s are meant to supercharge your muscles when you train hard and heavy.