Tracy Thompson
Published by Tracy Thompson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: December 7, 2020

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 supplements are no longer just available for top athletes, but in a market full of poor quality products, it can be difficult to pick the right one.

When it comes to choosing the best BCAA for women, you have to focus on quality over quantity, and that’s what I have spent the last 9 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 some excellent results.

Our Top Best BCAAs for Women (2021)

1 - Performance Lab BCAA (Editor's Choice)

Performance Lab thumb

Performance Lab 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 company’s main claims about this 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 protein synthesis.

Pros
  • Good dose and blend of BCAA for maximum effect
  • Natural ingredients are suitable for daily use
  • Claims to speed up protein synthesis for faster muscle recovery
  • Vegan-friendly and free from allergens
Cons
  • You need to take 4 capsules for the full dose

What I personally like about this product is that 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 on a daily basis.

2 - Transparent Labs

Transparent Labs BCAA powder thumb

When it comes to choosing the right supplement, quality should always be top of your list and always trump quantity.

Transparent Labs 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 helps to speed up your body’s ability to process glucose and create various chains of amino acids needed for building and repairing muscles.

After speaking to lots of users online and at the gym, this is one supplement that stands out from the rest.

Pros
  • Selected BCAA ingredients have all been clinically proven to help repair and recover muscle
  • Stimulates protein synthesis to speed up muscle recovery time
  • Helps speed up glucose metabolism for increased energy
  • Free from artificial additives for flavor and color
Cons
  • Not available in an unflavored option

It’s absorbed fast, and you will notice that the effects of the burn are gone within just a few hours.

3 - Cellucor C4 Pre-workout

Cellucor C4 ripped with branched chain amino acids thumb

Cellucor C4 Pre-workout for women supplement provides the essential 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 BCAAs we actually need to build lean, strong muscles just from our diet.

Pros
  • Keeps muscle soreness at bay.
  • Increases stamina, so you get more from your workouts.
  • Enables fast recovery
Cons
  • Might cause a mild upset stomach.

That's where Cellucor BCAA for women 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.

Check out other Cellucor C4 products here.

4 - BPI Sports Best BCAA Powder

BPI branched chain amino acids (BCAA) powderthumb

Branched-chain amino acids 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 benefits. And that’s what BPI Sports Best BCAA  for women provides.

This product contains enough BCAAs to help your recover faster from exhausting workouts and build the muscles you want.

Pros
  • 5 grams of BCAAs per serving.
  • Better than average taste
  • Shortens recovery and minimizes post-workout soreness
Cons
  • Contains artificial flavors.

BPI is available in a variety of different flavors and sporting zero carbs or calories.

5 - Amino Slim

Amino Slim branched brain amino acidsthumb

The makers of Amino Slim are serious about providing you with a BCAA powder shake that is both effective and delicious.

This is a BCAA supplement that not only enables you to create larger, leaner muscles and to recover from your workouts; it also 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.

Pros
  • Contains all the essential amino acids.
  • Helps promote rapid recovery after workouts.
  • Ashwagandha enables relaxing sleep.
  • 100% caffeine free.
Cons
  • Only available online.

In fact, because Amino Slim also includes ashwagandha in its formulation, you'll feel a great sense of relaxation wash over you that will help you get the recuperative sleep you need.

6 - Evlution Nutrition BCAA5000

Evlution Nutrition thumb

Each recommended 5-gram dose of Evlutoin Nutrition BCAA5000 contains all the essential blocked chain amino acids your body requires to help you achieve the results you want from your workouts.

There's leucine, valine, and isoleucine in every scoop which are the most important in synthesizing protein and building strong, durable muscles.

You can also watch this video review to learn more about Evlution Nutrition BCAA powder.

Pros
  • Helps keep muscle soreness at bay.
  • Enables fast recovery.
  • Increases stamina, so you get more from your workouts.
Cons
  • Contains Sucralose and artificial coloring.

There are no gimmicks or hidden caffeine that could come back later and disrupt your sleep with this product. If you’re looking for a decent tasting protein shake base with the right amounts of BCAAs, this should be included on your list.

7 - NLA for Her - Her Aminos

NLA for Her thumb

As women’s bodies are by nature less bulky than those of guys, they don’t require the same size BCAA dosages, the most recommended BCAA for women reflect this reality.

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.

Pros
  • Eases your experience between workouts.
  • Helps build larger, leaner muscles.
  • Anti-catabolic properties offset muscle wasting.
  • No caffeine.
Cons
  • Contains Sucralose.

That's because the formula here is specially designed to minimize tissue damage and to prevent muscle wasting that sometimes occurs during strenuous workouts.

8 - FitMiss Women's BCAA Powder

FitMiss BCAA powder thumb

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 for women powder supports rapid workout recovery and the building of strong, lean muscles that provide the stamina you need whenever you are working out.

Pros
  • No carbs, sugar or calories.
  • A full 6 grams of essential BCAAs per serving.
  • Noticeably better results from your workouts.
  • No banned substances.
Cons
  • Contains some artificial ingredients.

In FitMiss BCAA Powder isoleucine, valine and leucine join forces for the betterment of your overall health.

9 - IdealLean BCAA for Women

IdealLean BCAA powder thumb

The ideal BCAA formulation is 2 parts leucine, 1 part isoleucine and 1 part valine and that’s exactly what you get with IdealLean BCAA for Women.

This mixture ensures you'll recover quickly and hit the gym stronger next time.

But the benefits don't stop there. There's also green tea extract to promote stamina and other amino acids to help promote blood flow and oxygen distribution when your workouts are at their most strenuous.

Pros
  • All the amino acids your body needs.
  • Promotes increased blood flow.
  • You’ll feel stronger and more alert.
Cons
  • 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.

Related Article:

What are BCAAs and What do They do?

fit woman preparing bcaa shake

The body produces nearly 2 dozen different amino acids. 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)

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential amino acids because the body cannot produce them on its own.

These 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.

The above BCAA supplements for women provide the BCAAs you need to ensure you get the most from your workouts.

You can also watch this 60-sec video below to learn more about BCAAs.

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Why Should Women take BCAAs?

chatting women with tumblers

There are lots of reasons why you may want to take BCAA for women supplements. Here are 5 of the most popular and important:

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 BCAA supplements have stronger, leaner bodies than 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 muscle 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: that point in the workout 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.

sugar-test-blood-sample

4. More stable blood sugar levels - The best BCAA supplements 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 who are obese?

Being fit not only helps you live longer but live better. You won't be huffing and puffing up the stairs or relying on others to perform physical tasks for you.

What are the Potential BCAA Side Effects?

Because their effects on the body are typically beneficial BCAAs, don't usually produce side effects. But nothing is perfect, and in some instances, BCAA for women supplements may cause:

lady tired from workout
  • 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)

Combat these potential side effects by ensuring adequate multivitamins intake for women.

When to Take BCAAs?

drinking supplement after workout

You can expect the level of BCAAs in your blood to peak half an hour after using one of the above 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 BCAA Should I Take?

If you follow a fairly predictable exercise schedule, it is suggested you use 3 to 5 grams of BCAAs on your workout days.

As we mentioned earlier, however, taking BCAA powder for women on non-workout days is likely to be counterproductive.

In addition, if you are engaged in a rigorous weight training regime, you may want to take up to 10 or even 12 grams of BCAA for women each workout day. In such cases you can divide your intake up into 3 or 4 shakes spread out over the day.

FAQ

Are BCAA for women worth it?

Yes, BCAA for women are worth it, as they will support many metabolic and muscle recovery functions. Taking this supplement before and after a training session can help to improve endurance and strength, while at the same time speeding up your recovery. Basically, you can work harder and more often.

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 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. You can buy some supplements that contain both which can help you save on costs.

Do BCAA supplements for women make you gain weight?

No, BCAA supplements for women do 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 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 with workouts every day. For the less intense recovery or simple cardio days, there is no need to get a BCAA boost, as your body won’t be as reliant on these amino acids.

How much BCAA should women take daily?

The average woman should take about 9 grams of BCAA daily, or more specifically, on those days with hard workouts. A good reference point is to aim for 80 mg per 1 pound of body weight. The further away you are from average body weight, the more important this calculation will be.

Recommended post:

Which BCAA Supplement Should You take As A Woman?

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 after every single workout.

And the results that they have reported are positive.

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.

Performance Lab thumb

Performance Lab BCAA

Our #1 BCAA for Women

  • Good dose and blend of BCAA for maximum effect
  • Natural ingredients are suitable for daily use
  • Claims to speed up protein synthesis for faster muscle recovery
  • Vegan-friendly and free from allergens
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of January
Click For Best Price
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Enjoyed this article? See our recommended BCAAs for men here.

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About the author

  • I’ve tried your #1 and #3 recommendation and I liked PhenQ more because I lost more weight. These pills are definitely the best thermogenic fat burner for men (not sure for the ladies tho)

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