With the diverse range of supplements available, it’s hard to know exactly what to take to help move you towards your fitness goals. If you’re looking to build lean muscle, whey protein is one of the most important considerations in your dietary supplement stack alongside creatine. But there are numerous benefits of BCAAs for women looking to build muscle and recover from workouts.
Here we look at the benefits of BCAA supplements, and highlight some of the best BCAAs for women.
WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS(BCAAS)?
BCAAs contain three proteinogenic amino acids that are essential for growing muscle. They are known as isoleucine, leucine and valine. They are found in the protein that we consume, with leucine being the amino acid that actually helps muscle growth through protein synthesis. While they are often present in whey protein, many people opt to supplement this intake with BCAA.
Scientific statistics show that the aforementioned essential amino acids make up 35 percent of the human body mass. To further understand exactly what BCAAs are we have delved into the components that protein is made of.
Simply put, the protein we ingest has within it twenty amino acids. Of the twenty, nine of them are essential amino acids and eleven of them are non essential amino acids. In our essential category is where we find those three branched chain amino acids that are imperative for lean muscle building and development.
THE THREE BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
Leucine is the most important of the three BCAAs. The reason for this is because leucine is what actually signals muscle growth during your workout session.
What leucine does within your body is activate what is known as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway with increases protein synthesis and signals muscle growth.
Isoleucine is the BCAA that plays a part in giving you that increase in energy and endurance. It is also the there to help heal and repair muscle tissue after a workout.
Valine, last on the list of our BCAAs. It plays a role in regulating the absorption of other amino acids Of course, like the last two amino acids, valine cannot be synthesised by the body and must be obtain through consumptions of food or supplements high in protein. Some examples of the types of food containing valine are: Whole milk, goats cheese, cottage cheese, lamb, salmon, sunflower seed and almonds.
BCAAS AND MUSCLE GROWTH
Branched chain amino acids really give you that much needed energy boost to help women add muscle mass. Since they help trigger protein synthesis, supply your muscles with energy and preserve lean mass they are no doubt an important part in successful muscle growth. When you workout, the exercise that you perform rapidly decreases your muscles amino acids and that is why it is so important to supplement with BCAAs.
WHEN SHOULD WOMEN TAKE BCAAS?
The best time to take them is when you know you will be putting your body under stress. This is, for example just before going to the gym to do an intense workout, typically weight training workouts designed to develop lean muscle tissue. You can even have it as a part of your breakfast just to get those essential branched chain amino acids into your body. You could even just take regular sips of your BCAA throughout your cool down session of your workout.
HOW MUCH BCAA SHOULD WOMEN TAKE?
The amount of BCAA you should take all comes down to your body size and weight. If you are a female with average body size then it is advised to take 3 to 5 grams. If you are bigger than average then aim for a couple of grams more, if you are smaller than average than take less than 3 grams. Each brand will have different recommendations, so refer to the packaging for accurate dosage instructions.
DO YOU NEED TO TAKE BCAAs?
There are numerous benefits to regular supplementation with BCAAs, particularly if your goal is to build lean muscle mass. While those who take whey protein supplements on a regular basis may be getting enough BCAA to make the progress they want in their workouts, many people in the bodybuilding world strongly support the use of BCAAs.