Women’s health has always been a matter of concern, but with emerging modernisation and wellness approach there has been a positive shift in the health status of women.
The days are long gone when women portrayed a vulnerable state of health, women of the 21st century are well acquainted with look after their health and health goals. They are successful athletes, fitness freaks, gym instructors, bodybuilders and what not!
With growing fitness trends supplements are widely used, they are consumed by women of all age groups ranging from a young fitness enthusiast to a house maker or an adult elite athlete!
This descriptive piece of writing is exclusively meant for all superwomen so that they are able to uplift their health by understanding what are the best available supplements that would help them attain their health goals?
Best Supplements for Women
In a survey when women were asked what their health goal is, 9 out of 10 addressed weight loss followed by fat loss.
To attain such an ambition, an active workout regime powered by healthy sports supplements is important but to choose the right supplement that syncs with the health goal is even more important.
With peculiar availability in the market, there is a lot more chaos regarding which supplement to choose? which is the best? and which is the worst?
To get a clear picture on Sports Supplements let’s understand each available option, their purpose and compatibility with health goals:
Protein Supplements: Powders and Bars
For women who are attempting to reduce weight and stay fit, protein is the most significant macronutrient as its thermogenic in nature (i.e. fat burning protein) and is loaded with amino acids.
To complement the protein intake, protein powders and bars are available in a rapidly absorbed and readily digestible form in almost all delicious flavours. Protein powders are usually blended with plain water or milk while protein bars are ready to eat.
Protein supplements are most often consumed as post-workout, however, they are also popular as pre-workouts.
In a nutshell, protein supplements as a pre-workout provide the much-needed strength and stamina for an active workout while as a post-workout it helps to fuel muscles with amino acids quickly after a workout for recovery.
How to take it? To fuel and boost muscle toning, it is best advised to consume protein supplements 30-45 minutes prior to workout and within 30 minutes as a post-workout supplement.
Women who have an extremely erratic schedule and run short of time can opt for protein bars prior/post-workout as the best available option.
Other than this, there are women who are allergic to milk protein and should be completely avoiding all kinds of milk-based protein supplement/bars, For such women, there is an opportunity to opt purely pea-based protein supplement.
After protein supplements, it is creatine that has gained a lot more attention in the fitness world.
However, when it comes to women and their creatine consumption, a paradox statement that creatine is unsafe for women has gained a lot of hype. However no credible study has proven it so far, you can check out our blog on the most common creatine myths to understand creatine supplement better.
Creatine is frequently consumed by Fitness experts with the cast to produce more energy in the muscles during heavy lifting and intense workout.
However, many women bypass creatine intake and continue to face a lack of strength and energy during their workout sessions.
One fine research showed that Creatine supplementation in women results in increased strength and fat-free mass, leading to more desirable body composition.
Till date, none of the research has proven the fallacy that creatine supplementation is unsafe for women and that they should avoid it rather what research claims is that creatine supplementation can enable women to hold their training sessions a little longer by producing more ATP’s and that it is absolutely safe for women when consumed under proper supervision.
In a nutshell, Creatine supplementation boosts a stored form of energy in the cells known as phosphocreatine which in turn leads to an increase in ATP’s (body’s energy reserve). Availability of more ATP’s results in an improved workout performance i.e increased strength, stamina and muscle mass.
How to take it? When it comes to weight lifting and training, research shows that it is best to consume creatine supplement before/after a workout. On your off days, it is best to take creatine as per its suitability which may be an early morning dose or a late evening dose.
Creatine dosage may vary from person to person depending upon the type of workout regime. However, most would suggest a safe dosage of 3gm/day.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
Amino’s and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) is another most beloved sports supplement. For women aiming muscle toning and weight, loss BCAA is a must-to-have supplement.
BCAA’s is composed of 3 essential amino acids namely isoleucine, leucine and valine. The unique property of BCAA that makes it absolutely indispensable for women is that it directly fuels and build muscle, reduce fatigue, improve metabolism and combat stress hormone.
The presence of LEUCINE makes BCAA’s as one of the best workout supplement for women as leucine increases protein synthesis considerably which leads to muscle growth and muscle healing after an active workout.
In a nutshell, Women who are bodybuilders or who want to build muscle should ensure that their body’s rate of protein breakdown is lower than the protein synthesis rate. If you’re unable to do so, muscle loss occurs.
This is why taking BCAAs as a pre-workout is so effective. This ensures that the body is in an anabolic state and building muscle even after a workout.
How to take it? for more energy and better results, It is best to take BCAAs within 30 mins before or after the training session! Apart from these, there are various supplements such as carnitine, caffeine, citrulline, sodium carbonate which are equally good for women.
Herbal Supplements for Women
To boost the action of sports supplement it is imperative for women to supplement some herbal add on’s:
Green Tea has gained a lot of acceptance and is mostly consumed by women worldwide. Surprisingly, for many, green tea is a show-off trend rather than a fitness mantra!
However, studies prove that green tea has a positive effect on weight reduction, Let’s understand this how?
In a nutshell, Polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate, commonly known as polyphenol(antioxidant) is present in green tea.
Polyphenol is an antioxidant helps to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body which in turn helps to boost metabolism and encourage fat burning & healthy weight loss.
How to take it? Research supports that it is absolutely safe for women to have green tea twice a day: warm or cold is completely a personalised opinion of choice but it is best advised to drink warm green tea.
Multi-Vitamin and Minerals
A well-balanced diet is a rich source of fat and water-soluble vitamins and minerals which are crucial to maintaining a healthy life. However, when on a fat/ weight loss journey, It is mostly observed that most of the women cut upon their diet drastically.
Here, it is important to understand that diet should be tailored in a wise and wholesome manner, An abruptly altered diet lacks crucial nutrients, in particular vitamins and minerals which are necessarily required to strengthen immunity shield.
In a nutshell, A multivitamin and mineral supplement serves as an ‘ insurance policy ‘ that envelops your vitamin requirement, particularly for water-soluble B group vitamins.
Various studies prove that vitamin D, Vitamin C, B vitamins, Magnesium and various other vitamins and minerals have a significant role to play at boosting metabolism and speeding weight loss.
How to take it? It’s easy to take a single dosage of vitamin and mineral supplement each day. One can include vitamins and minerals to their daily diet with other protein supplements, it has no side-effects whatsoever.
Dietary Fiber which is not actually a nutrient yet something that should be added to the diet on a regular basis when aiming to reduce weight. Fibre provides the required roughage which facilitates satiety and promotes a healthy GUT.
For this reason, most of the weight loss supplements are now fortified with fibre. However, when targeting a healthy weight loss, it is necessary to eat a well balanced wholesome diet which is naturally enriched with dietary fibre.
Apart from these, there are various other herbal supplements that are absolutely safe for women and can help to boost metabolism and reduce weight, some of which are: Ginseng, Green coffee bean and Garcinia.
As every woman have a distinct health goal, the choice of the supplement will differ. To choose a supplement that best suits your body, it is best to make your own analysis.
Follow these steps and find the best workout supplement for your body:
- Analyze your body’s nutritional need/ health goal.
- Choose a supplement that most syncs with your body’s nutritional need/ health goal.
- Analyze your body’s response against your chosen supplement.
As each body is different, reaction and response against a particular supplement may differ from person to person.