We dont see enough supplements for women. When you check out the fitness supplement section in your local grocery store, health food store, or even corner drug store, what do you normally see on the label? Ripped dudes with shredded abs and massive muscles.
That’s all fine and good for the guys out there, but what about supplements for the women? In most cases, what works for the guys will also work for you.
Of course, you don’t want to just start tossing supplements into the shopping cart to see what works and what doesn’t. This is where we come in.
We’ll help you navigate your way through some of these supplements and help point out what’s worth taking based on your fitness goals.
We might as well start right here. Sure, there’s nothing super sexy about the multi-vitamin.
A multi-vitamin is one of the most important supplements for women in terms of overall health.
Most of us struggle to consume all the vitamins and minerals we should be, and trying to keep track of what is in your food every single day is more than just a headache. That’s why a multi-vitamin is so great.
With a multi-vitamin you’ll knock off many of the most important nutrients your body needs. It also helps get you off on the right foot with other minerals and vitamins.
Make sure to do your research on the multivitamin before you buy it.
They’re not many rules for supplements so you want to make sure you are getting what the bottle says is in there.
If you’re looking for a multivitamin I highly recommend trying the mulit-vitaminSupport by Gym Junkies. Since I manufacture it, I know every ingredient in there and it definitely won’t disappoint.
Don’t worry, we’ll get into the workout supplements for women in a minute.
Before that, you absolutely must be taking a calcium supplement. As a woman it’s more important for you than the guys (and the guys should be doing this as well).
According toHealthline (2016),women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis, bone breakage and other bone density issues.
Once your bones start to wear out there’s not a ton you can do about it. So whether you’re 25 or 55, add a calcium supplement to your diet.
If you’re 50 or younger you should shoot for consuming around 1,000 mg of calciumper day. If you’re over 50, push this up to 1,200 mg per day.
Just don’t go overboard with the calcium. Too much calcium isn’t going to super fortify your bones, and it can increase other health risks.
If you’re not eating a good amount of calcium during the day, make sure you’re taking a supplement containing it.
Creatine is something your body naturally produces. It is one of the best supplements for womenwho are tryng to gain muscle.
It gives your muscles energy to perform explosive movements. The thing is, you burn through the natural creatine quickly, which can leave your workout performance a bit lacking.
By adding creatine, you’ll get more out of your workouts than you ever have before, especially if you’re working with weights.
Now, women often fall into two categories when they hit the gym.
They want to drop fat and tighten their body while not bulking up, or they want to bulk up certain areas of the body (such as building a bigger booty).
Creatine isn’t going to cause you to bulk up. It will help you squeeze out a few more reps. This opens you up to possibly growing larger muscles, but only with the muscle groups you push.
If you want to keep your upper body definition more or less the same while at the same time increase the size of your gluteus, then creatine is for you!
The increase in muscle size has to do with how you lift more then anything else. So if you want to maintain your upper body, you should shoot for 15-20 reps of light weight that doesn’t lead to muscle failure.
If you want to grow your lower body, you should shoot for heavy weight and lift until failure(usually between 8 and 12 reps.
You won’t be pushing yourself with the upper body, so the creatine won’t alter your performance, but with your lower body it will help you squeeze out extra reps (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2007).
Essentially, while how you lift is up to you, creatine will assist you if you’re trying to increase the size of muscles in your body.
You don’t need to be attempting to bulk up to use protein powder.
When it comes to calories per gram, protein gives you more energy and fewer calories packed into a single gram. This makes it a great fuel source for your workout.
Now, your muscles are made up of protein, so in order to repair the damage you do when working out you need to take protein.
Even if you don’t want to bulk up it is still a good idea to increase your protein intake simply because it helps your body recover after tearing the muscle fibers down.
If you’re looking to build muscle and size you’ll want to shoot for around .75 to 1 gram of protein per pound you weight.
However, if you’re just looking to recover from a workout or to give your body the energy it needs to perform during a workout consider consuming 20 grams of protein powder prior to your workout and another 15 to 20 after.
This way, you can go lighter on your protein throughout the rest of the day (but make sure to include some during every meal as this will help keep you full and cut down on the calories you consume) (Penn State University, 2015).
If you’re looking at building your muscle size and you like the feeling you get after working out with weights and the pump it provides, an NO booster is the way to go.
Short for nitric oxide booster, this helps increase the amount of oxygen flowing through your bloodstream.
The reason your veins seem to “pop” after a workout is because you heart is beating more oxygen and blood through your body.
Now, pumping more blood through your body does more than just offer a cosmetic appearance. More blood means more nutrients are being delivered to your muscles.
The additional oxygen helps with this as well. With the additional nutrients your body’s muscles will receive more protein (as long as you’re consuming enough).
It also helps speed up the repair and recovery process. This means you’ll be able to get back in the gym sooner.
NO Booster isn’t the one of the typical supplements for women. It definitely isn’t the kind of supplement you should consider if you don’t like the “veiny” look, or if you’re not trying to build more muscle.
But, if you are, NO Boosters are the way to go and you should consider adding these supplements to your daily routine.
Here is another great supplement for women. You should be taking on a regular basis.
Fish oil is great for your heart. There are other options out there as well that deliver the essential omega-3 fatty acids, but when looking for the biggest bang for your buck, nothing else out there can compare with fish oil.
Fish oil does more than improve your heart health though. Fish oil helps fight inflammation in the muscles.
This is beneficial following a heavy workout.i
With fish oil, inflammation is reduced, which means your body can repair itself faster. This, in turn, allows you to get back to full strength faster than without the fish oil supplement (Harvard Medical School, 2018).
Nothing helps boost your performance while working out like caffeine.
Now, there are a few ways you can obtain your caffeine prior to the workout (you don’t want to consume it several hours ahead of time, otherwise you might run into the dreaded caffeine crash).
You can always go the way of coffee. This is one of the easiest and least expensive options out there.
Just make sure you go with black coffee and not something with a bunch of fat and sugar in it. Otherwise you’ll end up spending your entire workout burning off the calories you consumed just to improve your workout.
There are other options as well. You can go with an energy drink if you’d like, although these come with a number of additional ingredients that aren’t the greatest options for a healthy diet.
Carbonated beverages are not always the best option when it comes to a healthy diet, so if you can, look for non-carbinated options.
There are also pre-workout supplements you should consider. A pre-workout supplement often comes with a number of benefits, one of which is caffeine.
This option is relatively cost effective as well. Just don’t double-up on the pre-workout supplement and other caffeinated beverages. Otherwise, you might elevate your heart rate beyond a healthy level.
If you’re at the gym on a regular basis and putting in the work, there’s a good chance you have reduced levels of B vitamins in your body.
This is a natural occurrence for anyone who works out a considerable amount.
B vitamins help give you energy, so when you’re using up your energy during a workout you’ll end up draining your B vitamin surplus. Vitamin B is one of the best supplements for women who need that extra little energy.
B vitamins help deliver oxygen to your muscles. There’s a reason why people who constantly feel tired go into the doctor to get a B-12 shot (or why George Costanza feels invigorated after eating a few slices of mango).
B vitamins are critical to improving your overall performance in the gym while helping you avoid an energy crash.
Because there are so many helpful B vitamins out there the best option for you is to pick up a B Complex. This comes with a number of B vitamins that will aid in your workout.
The B1 vitamin is thiamin, B2 is riboflavin, B3 is niacin, B5 is panthothenic acid, B6 is pyridoxine, folic acid is B9, biotin is B7 and cobalamin is B12.
Naturally trying to pick up a dozen or so different B vitamin supplements just doesn’t make much sense. Instead, go with a B complex supplement to do the work for you (University of Michigan Medicine, 2015).
If you want to put on even a little bit of muscle, you’ll want to add BCAA’s onto your list of supplements for women. You can take them before, during, or even after your workout routine.
These branch chain amino acids are made up of isoleucine, valine, and leucine. They help take the protein your body consumes and deliver it to the muscles.
This way, your muscles have the necessary fuel to repair and recover.
Without BCAAs your body will still receive the protein but not as effectively, which means you may lose some of the protein in the process.
One of the reasons why body builders tend to consume meat-based protein is because most meats contain these amino acids.
The majority of plant based proteins do not contain these amino acids, which means while you might be consuming the same amount of protein, it all won’t end up in your muscles, which makes it inferior for this reason.
Some protein powders do include BCAAs, which is nice, but you should still consider picking up a seperate BCAA.
You should add in 5 to 10 BCAAs prior to the workout and 5 to 10 during the post workout as well (Healthline, 2018).
No matter what kind of workout you’re looking to get in and what kind of physical condition you want to propell yourself to, supplements for women are here to help.
It is important to remember that supplements are exactly that: they supplement your workout.
These are not magic pills or powders that mean you don’t need to put in the work at the gym.
All of these supplements for women will help, but you still need to remain focused and do what you can to achieve your health and fitness goals.