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supplements for women

Pre Workout Supplements for Women

Equality is a beautiful thing, but not when it comes to pre-workout supplements. When it comes to working out, men and women are very different and their bodies have very different needs. Women don’t usually want something that is going to increase their hair growth, drop their voice, or shrink their bust, which are precisely what some supplements will do. For women there are a range of better pre-workout supplement options that are ideal.

1. Whey Protein

Whey protein is important for everyone, but it is especially useful for a woman’s body pre-workout. It will help increase blood flow and supply unbonded proteins that can be used to build lean muscle.

For a woman’s body, whey protein often takes the place of mass-building supplements like creatine. Creatine can cause severe water-retention as well as bloating, which no woman enjoys, while whey protein just improves energy levels for longer workouts rather than strenuous ones that add bulk.

2. EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) and Caffeine

These two items should be used in conjunction for those that are looking to burn fat. EGCG comes from green tea extract and is one of the best things a woman can put into her body. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that it helps with fat oxidization so as you move you are shedding more weight.

EGCG to Combat the Jitters

The reason to combine EGCG with caffeine is to reduce the amount of caffeine you put in your body without sacrificing energy. When you combine approximately 300mg of EGCG with 200mg of caffeine you get a fat-burning energy boost that doesn’t have the same crash as taking caffeine alone. It also removes the caffeine jitters, so you won’t suddenly find your hands shaking halfway through a set.

3. Beta-Alanine

As you exercise your body produces hydrogen ions which raise the acidity in your muscles. The more acidic they become, the more tired and sore they are later. Taking Beta-Alanine can fight off these hydrogen ions.

The way Beta-Alanine works is through helping the body create more carnosine in your blood stream. Carnosine helps clean out hydrogen ions so by making more of it, your muscles won’t tire as quickly and won’t be nearly as sore down the line. This means longer workouts with higher intensity and less recovery time. Check out the video below for more information.

4. Calcium

Women suffer greatly from exercise-induced calcium loss. The harder you train, the worse this can become, which means taking a calcium supplement is of dire importance both in the short and long terms.

By taking it immediately before a workout your body has more calcium to help rebuild your bones as some is being used to keep your body in action. This will improve your overall bone density so that even over time you won’t suffer nearly as much calcium loss.

The true benefits of this will come up much later in life when the dreaded menopause beast looms large on the horizon and your risk of osteoporosis increases.

5. Iron

iron supplementsThe University of Texas did a study of some of the most impressive female athletes in the world. What they discovered that was even though these women were otherwise in peak physical condition, they were iron deficient.

Iron is imperative in moving oxygen to the muscles and to the brain. Anyone that doesn’t have sufficient iron will suffer from lethargy, moodiness, increased injuries, lower cognitive function, and loss of interest in exercise. These become especially pronounced in women who typically consume less meat and therefore less iron than men.

A study done by the U.S. Army found that female recruits who took iron supplements not only performed better athletically, they also had more energy and improved test scores showing it makes you stronger and smarter. You can’t lose.

What to Avoid

The biggest thing to avoid for most women is creatine. The reason for this is creatine builds muscle by working with testosterone. Since women don’t produce as much testosterone as men, they don’t get nearly as many benefits from creatine. Oh, but they do get almost all of the side effects, so there’s that bonus.

Women should also avoid D-Aspartic Acid, Tribulus Terristris, and anything else that claims it will help increase your testosterone levels. Even if your intent is to gain muscle mass, the effects on mood and hormonal composition can be dangerous.

Word to the Wise

Before you take any supplement or pre-workout protein drink, check the label. Even if they claim to be “correctly balanced for a woman” the company has often just slapped a pink label on a supplement meant for a man.

DIY energy drink

DIY Energy Drink

When you think of energy drinks you probably think of Red Bull. However, those are packed with calories, sugar, and will cost you a ton of money over time. But what can you do when you need an inexpensive energy boost? Make your own DIY energy drink.

DIY Energy Drink Supplements

DIY Energy Drink Supplies

To make this drink, you will need caffeine powder, theanine supplement, and some kind of sweetener such as sugar or stevia as well as a flavoring of some kind (lime powder mix, citric powder, etc).

The batch we are going to make includes 16 cups of energy drink and costs less than $0.25 per gallon. That’s significantly cheaper than your average energy drink.

Caffeine is an obvious choice, but why is theanine included? More often than not, individuals choose to take energy drinks because they need to clear their head and focus on the task at hand.

Unfortunately, caffeine often comes with the jitters. This is why theanine is an excellent addition. The two supplements work together synergistically to boost your energy and focus without the jitters to provide clean and smooth concentration.

How to Make the Drink

To make the drink, you will need to heat up your water. This is to more easily dissolve the supplements. While the water is heating go ahead and measure out your supplements using a milligram scale.

You will need 450mg of caffeine (this will give you around 30mg of caffeine per cup). Most individuals choose to supplement theanine and caffeine in a 2:1 ratio, calling for 900mg of theanine. However, if you find that makes you too relaxed, you can do a 1:1 ratio of 450mg caffeine and 450mg theanine.

For a sweeter energy drink, use 800mg of stevia. However, if you aren’t a big sugar fan start with 600mg and increase from there. As for the flavoring you chose, just follow the instructions on the package to make 1 gallon.

Once your water is done heating up, add all of the powders and stir until the supplements are completely dissolved. Then, simply pour it into a pitcher, and you’re done. You now have an energy drink for less than $0.25 per gallon!

Watch a Video Demonstration

The video transcript is available below.

How to Carbonate Your Own Water

Some people really like that carbonated feel a lot of energy drinks have. If this is the case, you can also carbonate your own water!

To do this you will need a bottle, a tire valve, cold tap or filtered water, and a way to pressurize the bottle with CO2 (most often a CO2 tank).

You can easily drill a hole in your bottle cap and insert the tire valve. Next you will want to fill the bottle with water but leave some room for air. Squeeze the bottle until the water reaches the rim and screw on the cap with the tire valve in it.

Attach the CO2 tank to the valve and fill the empty space you squeezed to fully inflate the bottle. Do not over do it, or it might explode. Now shake the bottle (still attached to the tank) to mix and dissolve the CO2. Now you can remove the cap, and you have carbonated water. You can watch this youtube video for further instruction

How to make Concentrated Caffeine Water

coffee-beansWhat if you want concentrated caffeine water on hand to be able to easily measure a dose of caffeine? Or what if you wanted to caffeinate some of your favorite foods and products? Caffeinated alternatives are always much more expensive than their original counterparts. However, caffeine powder is incredibly inexpensive, so you can make your own caffeinated brownies if you so desired.

You will need a scale accurage to 1g, preferably to 1mg; bulk caffeine powder; a 500ml-1L bottle; a funnel; and warm or hot water (filtered or distilled is preferred).

Caffeine is incredibly potent in bulk form, so be careful when dosing. A standard serving size is 50mg; however, some individuals take up to 200mg at a time. The easiest way to accurately measure out caffeine is to dilute it in water. The following method will result in a concentration of 10mg per mL. This translates to 50mg per teaspoon.

Secure your scale to your bottle and begin filling it with water (1mL is equal to 1g) until you hit your desired 100g increment (500g, 600g, etc). Make sure to leave some space to add the caffeine. When adding the caffeine, divide your water weight by 100 to determine the proper caffeine dosage. So 500g of water will need 5g of caffeine.

Now you will need to screw on the lid to your bottle and shake it. This may take some time as caffeine does not dissolve easily. To speed up this process, you could leave your bottle out in the sun, near a hot water heater, or run it under hot water to heat up the water inside. Continue shaking every few minutes until dissolved.

Unfortunately, caffeine has a very distinct and bitter taste. If you are mixing it with a flavored powder and sugar of some kind as we suggest above you will not notice the bitterness.

Now you have an easy to measure caffeine mixture. If you want to use 50mg of caffeine, measure out a teaspoon; 150mg of caffeine is equivalent to a tablespoon. Your standard cup of coffee has around 85-125mg of caffeine, so start low until you find the dosage that works best for you. Be careful though as it is possible to overdose on caffeine.

Video Transcript

Let’s make our own energy drink. It’s not carbonated, you can make about 16 cups in less than 5 minutes, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than buying pre-made energy drinks like Red Bull. To do this, you’ll need caffeine powder, L-Theanine, and some kind of sweetener like Stevia or sugar. I use Stevia. And also you’re going to need some kind of flavoring.I’m just using Great Value brand lime powder mix from Walmart and also food coloring. Now if you buy bulk powders, this equates to less than $0.25 for a whole gallon. I’ll put the links to where you can buy these bulk powders in the video description. First, we’ll heat up some water in the microwave for about a minute and a half.

We want to really get the water hot so that the powder’s dissolve. Then while that’s heating up, let’s go ahead and measure up the caffeine and theanine. I like to use about 450 milligrams of caffeine, that equates to about 30 milligrams per cup. I forget to turn it on here. You can adjust it accordingly.

Let’s see. And as for the ratio between caffeine and theanine, I like to use a one to one ratio. Some people like to use a two to one between theanine and caffeine, but I find that that makes me a little tired, whereas theanine is just supposed to, I’ll make this about 900 total, whereas theanine is just supposed to take the nervous edge off caffeine.

All right, close enough. Okay. We’re going to measure out for a sweetener using Stevia. I like to use about an 800 grams per gallon. You can adjust that as well. You can always add more later, maybe start with 600 and then increase it from there, it really depends upon your preference. I like mine a little sweeter.

All right. Okay. Water’s done heating up. We’re going to add our flavoring and our food coloring. Just stir until everything is completely dissolved. Then add it to the pitcher. And now you have a gallon energy drink for less than 25 cents.

pre workout supplements for beginners

Pre-Workout Supplements for Beginners

If you’re not using pre workout supplements, you’re cheating yourself in the gym. The addition of pre workout supplements can make your time in the gym more efficient and more effective, meaning you will build more muscle and lose more fat in a shorter amount of time. Just like you make sure your car has all the proper fluids and fuel it needs before going on a road trip, there are pre workout supplements that will help your body run at its optimal levels while you exercise. Basically, pre workout supplements will give you the boost you need and get the right nutrients into your muscles so you can get bigger and stronger. There are a variety of pre workout supplements available, but for the beginner, there are a few basics you should keep on hand.

Why Use Pre Workout Supplements?

Anyone can benefit from proper pre workout nutrition. Whether you’re a weekend warrior trying to lose some belly fat or a professional athlete, the advantages of proper pre workout supplementation are solid.

  • • Energy and focus: When you enter the gym with pep in your step and laser focus on the workout ahead of you, you’re much more likely to give it your all and enjoy your time there. Having the same levels of energy for the last exercise as you did for your first will be crucial in a well balanced physique and training regimen.
  • • Build more strength: Pre workout supplements can help you move more volume while training, which results in more muscle fiber growth and stronger muscles. Even if your initial goal isn’t to build strength, being stronger definitely won’t hurt.
  • • Get bigger, faster: Between getting the right nutrients in your muscles, getting the right pump and having the energy to move more weight, pre workout supplements will help increase hypertrophy.
  • • Lose fat: The right pre workout supplementation will increase lipolysis, or fatty acid mobilization, and your body will burn more fat for fuel. There’s a common misconception that having supplements before a workout may decrease fat loss, but if done right, it can only help. A lot.
  • • Faster recovery: Soreness after a hard workout can be annoying and can get in the way of your next training session. Correct supplementation can speed up the recovery process and get you ready for your next workout faster.

Recommended Pre Workout Supplements for Beginners

If you’re a newcomer to pre workout nutrition, here are some good pre workout supplements that will serve as a solid foundation to your regimen.

Caffeine Benefits: Taking caffeine in your pre workout stack can serve multiple purposes. First, as you’re well aware, it will give you energy and focus. Second, it will help ramp up your metabolism and increase fat loss. Dosage can vary based on caffeine tolerance, so start low if you’re not used to caffeine. A good starting dose is 100mg (about the caffeine in a cup of coffee.

Creatine Benefits: Overall work capacity is crucial in the gym. Creatine increases ATP energy, giving your muscles more fuel for the extra reps or the extra lap. And when you’re done working out, creatine will help you recover faster and prevent soreness.

Arginine Benefits: By boosting nitric oxide levels, arginine helps improve blood flow into the muscles so more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your muscles during your workout. This is a great synergistic addition since it works well on its own to reduce fatigue, but helps other supplements become more effective.

Pre workout supplements can play a huge role in muscle gains

How to Make Your Own Pre Workout Supplement

When it comes to pre-workout supplements, there are plenty of pre-existing, ready to consume workout stacks that come in many different varieties based on multiple types of routines. Despite this, many individuals are opting to create their own unique combinations of supplements that are tailored exactly to their personal goals and their bodies’ needs.

Why Would I Want to Make My Own Pre-Workout Supplement?

Different factors can play a role in the decision of what supplements to include. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • What are my long term goals concerning my weight, muscle gains, and overall health?
  • Am I creating an exercise and supplement regimen to address serious health concerns, to maintain a healthier state of being, or to improve my athletic abilities? Depending on which situation you happen to find yourself in, the right combination of supplements can boost your workouts’ potential benefits.
  • What has worked for me in the past and was I happy with the results? Likewise, what supplement has not worked for my body?
  • What types of beneficial compounds are found in my diet already? Are there high levels of proteins, vitamins, or other beneficial compounds like antioxidants? Some supplements are only beneficial in adequate amounts as our bodies can only absorb a set amount.
  • How difficult is, and how often do I plan on participating in, my training program? Depending on the duration and intensity of your regimen, different supplements can boost the body’s ability to build muscle, maintain muscle gains, promote weight loss, increase our stamina, and provide sources of energy.
  • What are the short term and long term effects of this supplement on my body? Are there any reported negative side effects.

Of course, these are not the be-all, end-all guidelines for creating your own combination of supplements, as there is no one right answer. Hopefully these questions do give you some idea of what you’re looking for in  your personal stack and possibly help you think of some of your own that will help you decide.

Make Your Own Pre-Workout Supplement:

Out of the hundreds of supplements available on the market, the lists below cite just a few of the beneficial compounds to consider for inclusion in your pre-workout supplement.

 Muscle Growth and Energy Supplements

Make your own preworkout for less
Too many options on the shelves? Check out our suggestions to narrow your search.
  1. Increase and maintain muscle gains with Creatine supplement and Protein. Both help the body to reduce recovery time and generate essential energy. [2,3]
  2. Citrulline Malate can assist in weight maintenance as well as maintaining muscle gains by warding off bacterial toxins in the body. Citrulline Malate powder also appears to have the ability to fight fatigue caused by acidosis from lactic acid. [7]
  3. Glutamine is an amino acid that will increase plasma growth hormone levels and stimulate the pituitary gland during workouts. [4]
  4. Tyrosine can help to improve nerve cell function in the body during exercise as well as produce different stress controlling compounds like dopamine. [6]
  5. To help improve circulation and oxygen delivery during physical activity, the supplement Vinpocetine works to widen the blood vessels to decrease blood pressure and ultimately increase workout performance. [5] 
  6. Caffeine is a popular energy booster that is often combined with various other supplements, but the synergy that it has with L-theanine makes it an ideal pre-workout energy booster. Taken in conjunction, the theanine will help calm the feelings of unease and crash often caused by caffeine alone. [8]

Post-Workout Cool Down and Relaxation Supplements

  1. For enhanced post workout recovery assistance, consider Pure Green Tea Extract and Beta-Alanine Supplement. These supplements can contribute to the decrease of fatigue and recovery time. An additional benefit of Green Tea Extract is it also contains a high number of antioxidants which can fight off free radicals brought on by oxidative stress. [1,2,4]
  2. L-theanine can be taken independent of caffeine to calm the nerves after a particularly heavy workout, though it can also be found naturally occurring in teas, albeit in smaller doses.
  3. For particularly stressful sessions Valerian Root, a stress relieveing herb, can provide strong calming effects and Melatonin, a hormon produced in the pineal gland, can help provide more restful sleep. [9,10]

Remember to Learn and Acknowledge Your Limits

The most important thing to keep in mind when creating your own pre-workout supplement is to not overdo it. Some people may be able to take many items from this list at once while others may only be able to take a few. Start slowly while mixing and matching and research the individual supplements that you find appealing as well to see which ones tend to work the best together and how to use them effectively. There are a lot of different pre-workout supplements out there and there’s no better way to find the ones that are right for you but experiencing them first hand.

Sources

  1. www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm
  2. www.livestrong.com/article/441502-best-pre-workout-supplements/
  3. www.livestrong.com/article/479263-safest-pre-workout-supplements/
  4. http://examine.com/supplements/Beta-Alanine/
  5. www.vinpocetine.com/index.html
  6. www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/tyrosine-000329.htm
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386132
  8. http://examine.com/supplements/Theanine/
  9. http://examine.com/supplements/Valeriana+officinalis/
  10. http://examine.com/supplements/Melatonin/

Pre-Workout Supplements as Energy Boosters Rather than for Strength

energy boostersMany people know about strength enhancing supplements, but tend to forget about energy boosters. There are supplements that will help heal, tone, and grow your muscles, but there are also those that will wake you up, and help you function better than you would on your average day.

A great example of an energy booster is caffeine supplements. Caffeine is found in many of the beverages we consume every day. Tea, coffee, and the majority of soft drinks all include caffeine. There are also caffeine based supplements, such as Caffeine Anhydrous. This supplement is a special form of caffeine that has been found to be much more effective at providing your body with energy than your everyday caffeine.

Caffeine Anhydrous powder is quickly absorbed into your system and it helps you increase alertness, as well as reduce fatigue. This supplement can be beneficial for athletes as well as college students studying for their finals. This supplement has been reported to make you feel awake, even after a sleepless night. Caffeine Anhydrous powder is highly soluble and will take effect in roughly 15 minutes after digesting it; however, it only reaches its full energy potential after about 45 minutes.

Another lesser known great energy booster is Inositol supplement. Inositol is found in some fruits and beans. Inositol supplement helps you feel more energetic, and also acts as a mood enhancer, making you feel happier and energized. One of the great things about it is that it helps you feel focused while avoiding side effects as much as possible.

Above are just the supplements that will help you stay energized and focused; however, they will not have a significant effect on your work-outs at the gym. DS Craze, a pre-workout supplement will help you increase your energy levels, as well as push you beyond your limits at the gym. This supplement increases the amount of Creatine that your skeletal muscles hold.  Besides an intense boost at the gym, DS Craze pre workout supplement will also provide a great energy boost as it contains a significant amount of caffeine.

Additional Energy Boosters

There are also a ton of commercially available Vitamin supplements that will help you stay awake and alert. A great vitamin-like compound is Coenzyme Q10. It is naturally occurring, and it is responsible for energy production in your body; it also produces ATP. ATP is directly correlated to energizing muscles. Besides helping you stay alert, Coenzyme Q10 act as an anti-aging supplement as it is a powerful antioxidant. Another vitamin which aids with energy production is the well-known vitamin B. Vitamin B plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein as well as fat. It converts ingested food into energy and helps you live your life as you should; full of energy.

Listed above are only some of the more popular of the countless energy and pre-workout supplements, most of which you can find at powdercity.com/. Remember that there are always options for you, and you are not limited at the gym by pre-workout supplements; you can keep yourself healthy and energetic from the comfort of your own home.

Sources: