Sind BCAA sinnvoll?

Are BCAAs useful for women and what should you consider when buying them?

When it comes to the subject of BCAA, opinions differ - in several respects. While some swear by amino acid supplements , others consider them to be expensive placebos. And then there are those who claim that supplements are only for men. But are BCAAs useful?

We asked around for you what BCAA's can really do and whether supplementation also makes sense for women .

What exactly are BCAAs?

BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids . Specifically, this is a combination of L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine, all of which have a branched side chain.

All three are essential amino acids . This means that they must be supplied through food as the body cannot produce them itself.

L-leucine can improve protein metabolism in the muscles and at the same time counteracts the breakdown of muscle tissue . Furthermore, it promotes healing processes and promotes the release of somatropin and insulin. The former facilitates the absorption of other amino acids into the cells of muscle tissue. The latter is responsible for fat loss and muscle building .

L-Isoleucine is an important muscle protein building block that is found in large quantities in proteins. Involved in gluconeogenesis, the new formation of glucose, it acts as an important energy supplier during heavy physical exertion and/or diet-related energy deficiency. It also improves the absorption of glucose into the blood.

With regard to strength and muscle training, L-isoleucine has an anti-catabolic and regeneration-promoting effect. The amino acid also influences insulin and hormone production.

L-Valine supports the same processes and functions as L-Leucine and L-Isoleucine. If there is a carbohydrate deficiency, it provides energy-rich glucose and therefore acts as an energy supplier. It promotes amino acid absorption and improves somatropin and insulin release.

The central nervous system needs L-valine as a precursor for various messenger substances. Among other things, the body processes it into glutamate, the most important stimulating neurotransmitter in the human organism.

Together , L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine play an indispensable role in muscle protein synthesis. This process serves to repair and replace damaged muscle tissue.

BCAAs sinnvoll für Frauen?

Who Should Take Branched-Chain Amino Acids?

L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine are indispensable for metabolism and muscle maintenance and are therefore vital for every human being. Supplementation can be useful . A varied diet supports adequate supply.

Examples of natural foods high in BCAA include:

  • Chicken breast,
  • Tuna,
  • Beefsteak and
  • Wild salmon

Vegetarians and vegans can, for example, meet their needs through legumes such as soybeans, peas, beans and lentils.

Strength and endurance athletes can benefit from an extra portion. An additional intake is also recommended in cases of severe psychological stress. When stress persists, the body has difficulty processing amino acids . The result : muscle loss. Amino acids effectively counteract this through their anti-catabolic effect.

What do BCAAs do for strength training?

If you want to lose weight and build muscle , you often find that muscle mass is decreasing instead of fat. The reason for this is that as soon as the body reaches a calorie deficit, it relies on muscle fibers instead of fat fibers to generate energy.

If the blood contains L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine in sufficient quantities, the body can use them as energy sources. This preserves muscle mass . Branched-chain amino acids also protect against muscle breakdown during long, intensive training sessions.

BCAA's are therefore useful for everyone who wants to train their muscles and endurance, but cannot ensure a sufficient intake of amino acids through their diet alone.

Several studies have already proven that the supplements work. L-Isoleucine in particular plays a key role after training. As an energy supplier, this amino acid supports the body in catabolic phases and is essential for the targeted building of muscle tissue.

Basically , Branched-Chain Amino Acids should always be available to the organism to support muscle growth.

Are BCAAs useful for women?

For women, L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine have some specific benefits. Read on here to learn why BCAAs are useful .

1. Acceleration of metabolism

BCAA products can boost women's metabolism, helping the body burn more calories during exercise. The metabolic increase leads to improved fat loss while counteracting unwanted muscle loss.

2. Reduction of appetite and cravings

A blood sugar level that is too low leads to an increased appetite for sweet, high-calorie treats. Branched-chain amino acids, primarily L-leucine, help the body regulate glucose and insulin and can thus counteract undesirable drops in blood sugar and the resulting food cravings .

3. Support in building muscle

Compared to men , women build muscle more slowly. Amino acids promote protein synthesis and can therefore prove to be a useful companion on the way to the desired figure.

The more muscle mass the body has, the more calories it burns to function and move. This makes it easier to lose body fat.

4. Support hormonal balance

The lower the testosterone value, the lower the metabolic rate is usually. Women who have low testosterone in their blood are more likely to gain weight. At the same time, low testosterone levels inhibit muscle growth.

Supplements containing L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine can help boost testosterone production and negate the adverse effects of low levels.

5. Support a healthy pregnancy

Branched-chain amino acids play an important role in infant development. They can help build and strengthen the fetus' organs, skin, and other body tissues.

Taking Branched-Chain Amino Acids can be an important step in providing the expectant mother with sufficient nutrients for herself and the baby. However, the doctor should always have the final say in this regard.

6. Diet support

During a diet, large muscles are ballast for the body. They use a lot of energy, which the body doesn't get enough of anyway. In order to match energy consumption to energy intake , he tries to get rid of muscle mass.

In addition to regular training, BCAA's can help the body lose as little muscle as possible during the diet.

Wie sinnvoll sind BCAAs für Frauen?

7. Improve endurance performance

Branched-Chain Amino Acids can reduce the amount of serotonin the body produces in response to exercise. This helps prevent premature fatigue .

8. Immune system support

L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine help reduce the release of inflammation-causing substances in the body. At the same time, they promote the release of substances that ward off harmful bacteria and other pathogens .

BCAA makes sense: What intake recommendations apply to women?

For most women, strength training is about burning excess body fat and defining muscles . This goal cannot be achieved by taking L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine alone.

As a complement to targeted training, supplementation can help you reach your desired goal more quickly.

During hard training sessions, tiny “ injuries ” occur to the muscles, which the body then has to repair. It initiates a healing process that is promoted by the supply of branched-chain amino acids.

Taken before resistance training, the combination of L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine can reduce the degree of muscle damage. This also reduces muscle soreness.

According to research, the recommended daily dose for women is an average of 9 grams. This amount is sufficient to achieve desirable effects while side effects are relatively safely avoided.

The actual dose required depends on body mass, activity level and food intake. The more of these amino acids you consume in your diet , the fewer supplements you need.

You can achieve the best results if you take the amino acids directly before or after training. If your primary goal is to build muscle mass, we recommend a few additional grams with breakfast or before going to bed.

What side effects can amino acids cause?

Significant side effects are not yet known when taking L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine.

However, before you decide on supplementation, you should consider the following aspects:

1. Can BCAA's have a sleep-disrupting effect?

As described above, branched-chain amino acids suppress serotonin release. Since this hormone is involved in sleep regulation, taking appropriate dietary supplements late in the evening can make it difficult to fall asleep.

2. Can amino acids affect insulin levels?

Controlling blood sugar levels is not only important for people with diabetes, but e.g. B. also before and after operations. In general, you should stop taking it at least two weeks before a planned surgical procedure.

If you are diabetic , it is therefore advisable to discuss nutritional supplements with your doctor. The same applies if your blood pressure is permanently too low, you recently had a heart attack or suffer from asthma.

Positive effects of supplementation only become apparent if there is insufficient dietary protein intake

If you already adequately cover your needs for L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine through your diet, taking additional dietary supplements usually has no benefit.

Supplementation makes sense if your goal is to lose weight and you want to consume fewer calories and therefore less protein.

What should you consider when buying amino acids?

One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a female supplement is the ratio of L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine.

A mixing ratio of 2:1:1 is ideal . On the one hand, this relationship also exists in the human muscles. On the other hand, the body needs a larger amount of L-leucine because this amino acid plays the most important role in muscle protein synthesis.

It is interesting to know that the combination of L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine appears to be more effective than L-leucine alone. One of the reasons for this is that L-isoleucine is important for burning fat.

There are also products with a mixing ratio of 4:1:1, 8:1:1 or 12:1:1, which the respective manufacturers claim to have an even better effect. There are currently no reliable studies on this. It therefore remains questionable whether this is a sensible composition or a marketing strategy.

In the worst case scenario, the imbalance of the amino acids supplied can lead to an imbalance in the amino acid ratio in your body. With a 2:1:1 product you are best advised in this regard.

Are BCAAs useful? Our conclusion

Corresponding supplements are available in the form of:

The powders, which are available in a variety of flavors, are dissolved in water and drunk. They usually come with a measuring spoon with which a sensible portion size can be easily and safely measured.

Simply take capsules and tablets with enough liquid. The shell of the capsules consists predominantly of gelatin. For vegetarians and vegans, there are also products with purely plant-based coatings. Since tablets do not have a shell, a bitter aftertaste may occur after taking them. However, they offer the advantage that they can be easily divided if you have swallowing problems.

Amino acids are mostly well tolerated by allergy sufferers. However, some of them contain components of soybeans, milk, gluten, eggs, nuts, shellfish and/or fish oil. If you suffer from a food allergy, it makes sense to take a closer look at the ingredients when buying BCAA .

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