Branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, have long been the secret weapon of high-performance athletes to get the most out of their recovery phases.
These days, BCAA supplement is no longer just available for top athletes, but it can be challenging to pick the right one in a market full of poor-quality products.
When it comes to choosing the best BCAA supplements for women, you have to focus on quality over quantity, and that’s what I have spent the last nine months doing.
After researching online reviews, speaking with nutritionists and dieticians, and working directly with some of our team members and my wife, I have come up with a list that will make your decision-making easier.
If you stick with one of these, you’ll most likely see excellent results, such as muscle growth.
Our Top Best BCAAs for Women (2022)
1 - Transparent Labs (Editor's Choice)
When it comes to choosing the best BCAA supplements, quality should always be top of your list and always trump quantity.
Transparent Labs CoreSeries have managed to become a leading name when it comes to the quality of the ingredients, which means you get better results from the same amount of BCAA.
The combination of glutamine and 3 different BCAAs in this Glutamine BCAA supplement helps to speed up your body’s ability to process glucose, stimulate muscle protein synthesis, and create various BCAAs needed for building and repairing muscles [1,2].
After speaking to lots of users online and at the gym, this is one supplement that stands out from the rest.
- Selected BCAA ingredients have all been clinically proven to help repair and recover muscle tissue
- Speed up muscle recovery time
- Helps speed up glucose metabolism for increased energy
- Free from artificial additives for flavor and color
- Not available in an unflavored option
The best BCAA supplements are absorbed fast, and you will notice that the effects of the burn are gone within just a few hours.
2 - Cellucor C4 BCAA Sport
Cellucor C4 BCAA Sport provides the essential nutrients and amino acids you need to get the most from your workouts.
Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body, so you need to obtain them from outside sources.
The problem is, most of us don't get all the BCAA supplements we actually need to build lean, strong muscles just from our diet.
Check out other Cellucor C4 products here.
- Solid doses of caffeine, creatine nitrate, and beta-alanine
- Helps improve blood flow and endurance to support your workout and muscle growth
- Vitamin C may have an antioxidant effect
- Contains artificial flavor and sweeteners
That's where Cellucor C4 BCAA Sport BCAA powder comes in. It provides all 3 of the key BCAAs and also tosses in beta-alanine as well, which the body uses to provide energy and stamina during physical exertion.
3 - BPI Sports Best BCAA
BCAA supplements should not come wrapped in carbs or sugar or other calories.
Ideally, they're provided in as close to their natural state as possible, so there is nothing interfering with your ability to enjoy the BCAA supplements benefits. And that’s what BPI Sports Best BCAA provides.
This BCAA powder contains enough branched-chain amino acids to help your recover faster from exhausting workouts and build the muscles you want.
- 5 grams of BCAAs per serving
- Better than average taste
- Shortens recovery and minimizes post-workout soreness to support muscle growth
- Contains artificial flavors
BPI Sports Best BCAA is available in a variety of different flavors and sporting zero carbs or calories.
4 - Amino Slim
The makers of Amino Slim are serious about providing you with a BCAA powder shake that is both effective and delicious.
It is a BCAA powder for women that enables you to create larger, leaner muscle mass and recover from your workouts and tastes good enough to enjoy as the days stretch into months.
And, since it is free of caffeine and other stimulants, you don't have to worry about upset stomachs or insomnia.
- Contains all the important amino acid nutrients
- Helps promote rapid recovery and prevents muscle breakdown after workouts
- Ashwagandha enables relaxing sleep
- 100% caffeine-free
- Only available online
5 - Evlution Nutrition BCAA5000
Each recommended 5-gram dose of Evlutoin Nutrition BCAA5000 contains all the essential BCAAs your body requires to help you achieve the results you want from your workouts.
There are three amino acids namely leucine valine and isoleucine, in every scoop which are the most important in muscle protein synthesis to build strong, durable muscles.
You can also watch this video review to learn more about Evlution Nutrition BCAA5000 powder.
- Helps avoid muscle soreness and muscle breakdown
- Enables fast recovery for better muscle growth
- Increases stamina, so you get more from your workouts
- Contains sucralose and artificial coloring
There are no gimmicks or hidden caffeine that could come back later and disrupt your sleep with this product.
6 - NLA for Her - Her Aminos
As women’s bodies are by nature less bulky than those of guys, they don’t require the same BCAA dosages, and the best BCAA supplement for women takes this reality into account.
NLA for Her doesn't overload you with BCAAs your body won't absorb. Instead, it provides the correct amount along with other, non-BCAAs that are still vital to muscle performance.
With NLA for Her, you'll see generous pumps and you won't wake up the day after so sore you can barely move.
- Eases your experience between workouts
- Helps build larger, leaner muscles
- Anti-catabolic properties offset muscle wasting
- No caffeine
- Contains sucralose
The branched chain amino acid formula here is specially designed to minimize tissue damage and prevent lean muscle mass wasting that sometimes occurs during strenuous workouts.
7 - FitMiss Women's BCAA
FitMiss understands most women don't want to look like a 30-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger.
FitMiss also understands that women want to look lean and fit and always have extra reserves of strength on hand.
FitMiss BCAA supplement for women powder supports rapid workout recovery and the building of strong, lean muscle mass that provide the stamina you need whenever you are working out.
- No carbs, sugar or calories
- A full 6 grams of essential BCAAs per serving
- Noticeably better results from your workouts
- No banned substances
- Contains some artificial ingredients
In FitMiss BCAA, three amino acids namely isoleucine, valine, and leucine join forces for the betterment of your overall health.
8 - IdealLean BCAAs for Women
The ideal BCAA supplementation is two parts leucine, 1 part isoleucine, and 1 part valine, and that's precisely what you get with IdealLean BCAAs for Women.
This branched chain amino acid mixture ensures you'll recover quickly and hit the gym stronger next time.
Green tea extract also promotes stamina and other amino acid nutrients to help promote blood flow and oxygen distribution when your workouts are at their most strenuous.
- Contains all the BCAAs your body needs
- Promotes increased blood flow
- You’ll feel stronger and more alert
- Proprietary blend hides ingredient amounts
If there's a downside here, it's the proprietary blend they invoke with regard to some of these other ingredients. We believe in transparency when it comes to important supplements.
9 - Performance Lab BCAA
Performance Lab vegan BCAA supplement has become quite popular among athletes and personal trainers, and the brand has a good range of products that are designed to be stacked.
One of the main claims about the Performance Lab vegan BCAA supplement is that it will “protect existing muscle and support new muscle growth.”
This is supported by a study conducted in the UK by the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, where results showed a 22% increase in muscle protein synthesis .
- Good dose and blend of branched-chain amino acids for maximum effect
- Natural ingredients are suitable for daily use
- Claims to speed up recovery
- Vegan-friendly and free from allergens
- You need to take 4 capsules for the full dose
I personally like this branched chain amino acid product because it’s based on completely natural and plant-based ingredients with no fillers or unnecessary additives. That makes it safe to take, even for performance athletes, daily.
What Are BCAAs and What Do They Do?
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential amino acids that play a vital role in muscle building and repair. They may also enhance exercise performance, aid weight loss, and reduce exercise fatigue.
The body produces nearly 2 dozen different alpha amino acids and nutritionists put them into 2 categories: essential and non-essential.
"Essential" in this case refers to whether the body can synthesize them or whether you need to obtain them through dietary means, which would make them "essential" to your diet (1).
These alpha amino acids, however, play a key role in the production of strong, resilient muscles and without an adequate supply, your workout efforts are bound to yield unsatisfactory results.
Why Should Women Take BCAAs?
Women should take BCAAs to support their overall muscle health. We explain it in more detail below.
1. To maintain health as you age - As we've said, you can't build new, lean, strong muscles unless you are getting sufficient quantities of BCAAs either in the food you eat or through supplementation.
Staying strong as we age is fundamental to our quality of life and women who workout and use a BCAA supplement have stronger, leaner bodies compared to those who don't.
2. Reduced muscle soreness - If there is one thing all people who engage in strenuous exercise have in common, it's soreness the next day. BCAAs provide your muscles with the proteins they need to rebuild rapidly and stave off that day-after soreness. (2)
3. Greater endurance - Another thing many women who engage in strenuous workouts have in common is hitting the performance wall where your body simply refuses to push any further. Breaking through these barriers is crucial to building the leaner, stronger body you're after and the highest quality BCAA for women supplements will help you do just that.
4. More stable blood sugar levels - The best BCAAs for women also help you stabilize blood glucose levels by improving and stabilizing your metabolic rate. A slightly faster, more stable metabolism is one that makes more effective use of blood glucose and prevents dips and spikes in blood sugar.
5. A longer life - It sounds like quite a statement to make, but it's true. The leaner you are, the better your chances to live to your lifespan potential. Think about it. How many people in their 70s and 80s have you seen obese?
What are the Potential BCAA Side Effects?
otential side effects of BCAAs are uncommon, but there are some reports of:
- Fatigue - When this happens, it’s usually because women get over-enthusiastic seeing their BCAA results and push themselves too hard. There’s nothing wrong with tough workouts. Just be sure to let yourself recover from one before performing another.
- Lower insulin resistance - The essential amino acids can be converted to glucose. And they likely will be if they are not put to some sort of productive use. Therefore using BCAA supplements on days, you aren’t working out is probably not a good idea.
- Stomachaches - Consuming too much of just about anything creates the possibility of upsetting your stomach and BCAAs are no exception. Use only as directed.
- Blood ammonia surge - Excessive amounts of leucine can cause blood ammonia concentrations to surge. Again, use only as much of your BCAA supplement as is recommended. (3)
When to Take BCAAs?
BCAAs should be taken before a workout. You can expect the level of BCAAs in your blood to peak half an hour after using one of the above best BCAA supplements.
This, however, is not necessarily a reliable indicator of what constitutes the best time to take them.
Some research suggests that you have about an hour to take advantage of the BCAAs once they peak while other research suggests they may linger in your blood in a useful state for up to 5 hours.
Since everyone's physiology, including their metabolism, is slightly different the best advice is to try different times and see which one provides optimal benefits of BCAAs for you.
How Much BCAAs Should I Take?
You should take 3 to 5 grams of BCAAs on your light to moderate workout days. But if you engage in a rigorous weight training regime, you may want to take up to 10 or even 12 grams of BCAAs each workout day.
If you must take higher doses, you can divide your intake into 3 or 4 shakes spread out over the day.
As we mentioned earlier, however, taking a BCAA supplement for women on non-workout days is likely to be counterproductive.
Is BCAA supplement for women worth it?
Yes, a BCAA supplement for women is worth it. Using this product will support many metabolic and muscle recovery functions, help improve endurance and strength, and speed up your recovery.
Which is better for women: creatine or BCAA?
BCAA is better for women unless you’re specifically trying to bulk up some added muscle mass. BCAAs will support some additional endurance during your training and help your muscles recover faster from a high-intensity workout. Creatine, on the other hand, will only promote more muscle growth.
Should women take creatine with BCAA?
Women should take creatine with BCAA if they are in a bulking phase of their workout routine. The two products will complement each other by improving strength, endurance, recovery time, and the creation of new muscle tissue.
Does BCAA supplement for women make you gain weight?
No, BCAA supplement for women does not make you gain weight as their main function is to support increased energy levels and faster recovery times. Unless you’re in a bulking phase where your body is replacing stored body fat with heavier muscle fibers, you shouldn’t see a weight increase due to BCAA consumption.
Should women drink BCAA every day?
No, women should not drink BCAA every day unless they are in a very high-intensity training phase and work out every day. Less intense recovery or simple cardio days don't require a BCAA boost as your body won’t be as reliant on these amino acids.
Which BCAA Supplement for Women Should You Take?
Of all the above products, there is one that has come to stand out the most.
Both my wife and Tracy (our content editor) have spent about 2 months taking Performance Lab BCAA after every single workout.
They both reported that the initial soreness after high-intensity training is gone very quickly. As my wife usually goes to the gym in the morning, this means that she doesn’t feel as stiff at work, which is a good thing.
Give this product a try and remember to post your results on our social pages.
Enjoyed this article? See our recommended BCAAs for men here.