BCAA for Women
Just like whey protein, women often wonder if they should be taking a BCAA supplement when they workout. A lot of this has to do with the negative rap that both of these sports nutrition products get from the commonly held belief that taking protein and BCAA supplements will make a women “bulky” or “buff’. While that may be the case if you are using heavy weight workout programs AND taking massive quantities of protein and BCAA, it is overall misleading. BCAA is actually very good for women, especially those who are physically active.
Three Amino Acids in BCAA
BCAA is short for “Branch Chain Amino Acids” and is composed of Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine. These three essential amino acids account for over a third of the essential amino acids the body needs, and are incredibly important for muscle development of the female body (just like the male body needs them). The primary way that a BCAA can help women is through a process known as “muscle protein synthesis”.
What Does BCAA Do?
What protein synthesis does is convert protein into food for muscle fibers that help build up the fibers in your muscles to make them stronger and have better endurance. This is very important for women, especially physically active women who are looking to improve their physical abilities in athletics, bodybuilding, yoga, or any other exercise genre out there. BCAA can help build a woman’s muscles while at the same time keep them lean, toned, and strong. It will also help them with their muscle recovery after a workout, and help rehabilitate the muscle fibers that were broken down. Just to clarify again, BCAA will not make a woman “huge” or “buff” on its own. As mentioned earlier, that can only happen if the woman is consuming large amounts of protein, while at the same time performing regular exercises that emphasize heavy weight lifting. So if you’re a woman who is concerned about the possibility of developing really large and defined muscles, you just need to watch how much protein you consume on a daily basis (paying attention to how much meat and dairy is in your diet). So long as you are not taking excessive amounts of protein, you will be fine.
Benefits of BCAA
BCAA as a supplement also can help women develop healthier blood and make sure nutrients are being delivered in the blood stream with better chemical signals coming from the brain. This helps a woman’s body regulate her insulin levels better and provides them more energy, especially if taken before a workout. That way, they can get their metabolism to start processing foods faster out of their stomach, and send those nutrients and energy with it to their muscles and other organs of the body.
BCAA During Pregnancy
The biggest area where women would want to be careful taking a BCAA is if they are pregnant or nursing. The reason for this is because high levels of BCAA in children under the age of 12 have been shown to sometimes cause retardation and mental damage. An unborn fetus or nursing child can inadvertently consume extra levels of BCAA through any kind of nutrition passed from the mother to the child during the pregnancy or nursing stages. This is why it has become a general rule for medical professionals to recommend that women who are pregnant or nursing not take any kind of BCAA supplement. Differences Between Men and Woman Taking BCAA With a few exceptions, BCAA is just as beneficial for women as it is for men, and should be a supplement that women (who are active) should consider taking to help their muscle development. The only difference between men and women on a BCAA supplement should be the recommended daily dosage. Men typically should take 10 grams a day, while women may want to do about half that (5 grams every day). Typically, that dosage has been found to be the most beneficial for the majority of women.
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