What do I Look for in a BCAA?
Not all BCAA's are created equal. For women, your choice is slightly different from a man's choice.
You probably remember from your high school science class, that Amino Acids are the building blocks of muscle. There are 20 in total, nine are considered essential because your body does not make them, so, you must get them from food or supplements.
Any athlete will benefit from BCAA's because they preserve lean body mass. For Women looking to lose body fat and improve body composition , BCAA's can be very helpful. BCAA's prevent muscle breakdown, therefore, maintaining muscle, which increases metabolism, burning more calories during exercise and rest.
In my previous blog, I discussed the benefits for women taking BCAA's in detail
Increased lean body mass
BCAA's are recommended for both Men and Woman. But, what to look for in a BCAA for women is slightly different -
Consider Amino Acid ratio: 2:1:1 - Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Leucine alone is not recommended for Women.
- This ratio represent twice as much leucine for muscle building (protein synthesis) (2)
- Valine helps to reduce levels of tryptophan in the brain so less conversion to serotonin takes place. This gives you more energy and helps you to push through your training. (1)
- Isoleucine helps to control blood sugar, boost energy, and endurance. It's also said to help heal injured muscles and reduce muscle soreness after training. (1)
When considering a product, be sure this ratio between the three BCAA's is present.
Serving size - more is not better - 7 grams is sufficient for most people -
3.5 leucine, 1.7 Isoleucine, 1.7 Valine - check the label before adding "morning, pre, and present scoops" throughout the day.
Ingredients: Does it contain other Amino Acids like Tryptophan or Threonine? Does it contain electrolytes to help with hydration? What is used to sweeten it or add flavor? Is it made with sugar or gluten?
Testing: It's best to stick with companies that use "third party testing." There's not a lot of regulation in this industry and there are companies putting out dangerous products with misleading labels.
Look for a supplement that goes the extra mile to test and be safe and of high quality - ProSupps® HydroBCAA® +Essentials, for example, is Informed Choice® Certified and Banned Substance-Tested
Hope this answers your questions regarding purchasing the right product for you. Please feel free to reach out and let me know your experience!