The Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Women

pre-workout supplements for women

Step into any gym, especially the weight room, and you’re likely to see a scene dominated by men. Online resources are heavily geared toward men as well, with dozens of large sites, forums, and stores focused on providing men with what they need to succeed in the gym. What about the other half though? Should women be relegated to slow-paced elliptical workouts and measly salads to achieve fitness goals?

No, absolutely not! Women can benefit from weight training just as much as men. Sure, you may not want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger when you walk out of the gym (and your natural biology would make sure this change doesn’t happen), but who doesn’t want to be stronger, leaner, and more toned?

So suppose you’re already lifting weights or ready to make the jump, you will want to make sure you are getting the most out of your time in the gym. Pre-workout supplements can do just that. While they’re often associated with muscle-bound guys screaming during squats, pre-workout supplements can offer many benefits to women.

Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplementation

For a long time, supplementation was viewed from a post-workout perspective. Empty the fuel tank, refill the fuel tank. Over recent years, however, it’s become increasingly obvious that by filling your tank with the right kind of fuel before you workout, you can make sure the right nutrients are ready to go right when you need them.

Pre-workout supplements can help you maximize:

*Strength – Any time you workout, you have to overload your muscles to get results. Pre-workout supplements can help you lift more weight and for a longer duration while training and ensure your muscles have the energy to perform.

*Recovery – DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can be a thorn in the side of any athlete. The right supplements can reduce muscle soreness so you’ll be ready for the next session faster.

*Fat Loss – By taking supplements that help your body use its own fat as fuel, you can improve body composition by burning fat while you build muscle. Lean muscle is also referred to as “metabolic currency” meaning the more lean muscle you have, the better you are at burning fat!

Which Supplements Should I Take?

Now that you’re well aware of the benefits of pre-workout supplementation, you’re probably wondering which supplements you should be taking and you may be a little confused. This confusion is understandable as there are many effective pre-workout supplements on the market. Fear not! Below are the essentials of pre-workout supplements for women. These will help you achieve the benefits listed above and get the most out of your gym time.

Magnesium Creatine Chelate

Creatine is one of the most widely-used supplements and a staple in many athlete’s stacks. Creatine helps support performance while training and improved recovery post-workout. There is a downside to some forms of creatine, however. Some users report bloating when taking basic forms of creatine, mainly creatine monohydrate. So, what’s the best creatine for women that don’t want to walk around feeling bloated?

Magnesium creatine chelate is a relatively new form of creatine that helps you get performance and recovery benefits of creatine without feeling like you swallowed a balloon. One study even showed that magnesium creatine chelate was 6-8% more effective than creatine monohydrate alone. Higher performance with no bloating worries make this the best pre-workout creatine for women.

Whey Protein

As you exercise, muscle tissue is broken down and then repaired afterward by building blocks of protein called amino acids. Whey protein, another staple in the supplement world, helps repair muscles faster by delivering amino acids to muscles quickly. When you repair muscles quicker two main things happen. First, you experience less soreness so you’re ready to get back in the gym faster. Second, and perhaps the more important of the two, you build muscle and see results faster. Whey protein is normally sold in powdered form and in a variety of flavors so you can mix it with other supplements in a pre-workout shake.

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate is a complementary supplement to magnesium creatine chelate. By reducing muscle fatigue and improving strength, citrulline malate makes you more efficient in the gym and helps you work harder. Citrulline malate works in two main ways. First, it increases blood flow to the muscles, removing toxins, and delivering nutrients. Second, it increases ATP energy in muscles, giving you that extra boost to work harder. The icing on the cake with citrulline malate is the recovery benefit. Research shows that citrulline malate not only improves performance during a workout, but can reduce soreness by up to 50%!

Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide (sometimes shown as the acronym NO) is a fantastic supplement with multiple benefits. First, it increases blood flow to the muscles during workout. It delivers more nutrients and oxygen to the muscles, enabling you to workout harder and longer in both strength and endurance exercises. The increased flow of nutrients to muscles also boosts recovery. Additionally, it helps the body use existing energy more efficiently and improve lypolysis. Meaning, glucose in your bloodstream and stored fat can be broken down and used even faster as fuel during a workout!

There you have it, four high-quality pre-workout supplements that come highly recommended for women! As you can tell, these all have incredibly synergistic effects. Whether it is whey protein providing amino acids or nitric oxide moving them to muscles while burning off fat for energy, these supplements are sure to help you get the results you want in the gym.

Magnesium Creatine Chelate: Energy, Benefits, and Dosage

Creatine magnesium chelate provides for energy pre workout

Magnesium Creatine Chelate is one of the most common and effective supplements used by body-builders and health enthusiasts on the market today. This is a unique combination because users will get benefits of both Creatine and Magnesium.

Magnesium Creatine Chelate Defined

This is actually a combination of two compounds-Magnesium and Creatine. Magnesium is a mineral that is found in large amounts in our bodies and is extremely important for the body to function properly. Supplementation for Magnesium can be found in foods like vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. Magnesium is also used by athletes to increase energy and endurance. [2]

Creatine on the other hand is found in the muscles in the body in particular that is produced by the body and can also be derived from food like fish and meat.  Commonly used for improving performance during exercise and increasing muscle mass, creatine supplement is generally used to improve athletic performance during high intensity activity. [3]

Magnesium Creatine chelate is different from the traditional creatine because it is bonded to Magnesium instead of water. This makes the supplement more easily absorbed by the body and less converted into a waste product. [1] This creatine supplement provides protection from breakdown in the digestive tract which will allow creatine to be more available in the muscles.

According to a study that compared a dosage of 2.5g daily of magnesium creatine chelate found that supplementing with magnesium gave better creatine loading effects in the muscle due to the multiple pathways that creatine was absorbed more readily by the body. [4]

Magnesium Creatine Chelate Benefits

Some of the typical benefits of Magnesium creatine chelate include:

  • Improved Endurance & Reduction of Muscular Fatigue: On a study performed on thirty one weight trained men who were assigned a specific supplement (either magnesium creatine chelate or Creatine), it was observed that after ten days, the group that took Magnesium creatine chelate had larger increases in work when compared with the other group. This suggests that the creatine supplement can indeed improve endurance during work out.[5]
  • Increased energy: By incorporating magnesium, this creatine supplement is able to hydrolyze ATP (Adenosine triphosphate, coenzyme used as an energy carrier in the cells of all known organisms) to ADP (Adenosine diphosphate an important organic compound in metabolism and a requirement to the flow of energy in living cells)   which contributes to the sufficient release of energy.

Although Creatine has been shown to be effective alone, by creating a creatine-magnesium chelate supplement, creatine can be protected by the acid in the stomach while chelate can help prevent its breakdown. This also helps increase the rate of absorption of creatine and decreases the stomach discomfort that users commonly experience according to creatine reviews.  [6]

Magnesium Creatine Chelate Dosage

This supplement is solely for adults and is not recommended for use. As a dietary supplement, the dosages is 3 capsules twice a day and on work-out days, take the servings 45 minutes prior to working out and the second serving between eight to twelve hours apart.  This dosage will depend on the body weight of the user and the ratio is 1g of the supplement per 40lbs of bodyweight per day.[7]

The use of magnesium creatine chelate for energy during workouts is backed up by scientific studies as well as consumer reviews. There has been no significant negative feedback about the supplement.

Sources

  1. www.mindandmuscle.net/articles/magnesium-creatine-chelate/
  2. www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-998-MAGNESIUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=998&activeIngredientName=MAGNESIUM
  3. www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-873-CREATINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=873&activeIngredientName=CREATINE
  4. www.mindandmuscle.net/articles/magnesium-creatine-chelate/
  5. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15142029
  6. www.muscleandstrength.com
  7. www.priceplow.com

What is the best creatine for women?

Creatine allows for various muscle gains in both men and women

Creatine supplements have been popular among athletes since the nineties, and they have gradually become popular among bodybuilders and frequent gym goers. However given its muscle building nature, many women are afraid to approach this supplement in fear that it will make them gain weight. Even more troubling is the fact that there’s more than one type of Creatine supplement out there, making it hard to choose one.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an organic acid that is found only on vertebrates; it provides energy to all cells in the body, mainly to muscles. Most of it is not naturally generated so it must come with the food we eat; particularly in meats and fish such as beef, salmon, and tuna (vegetarians often show lesser levels of creatine but these can be balanced through supplements[1]). As with many supplements, there have been various types of creatines formulated and sold over the years, each with distinct benefits.

What’s the Difference?

The most commonly used form is Creatine Monohydrate powder. Usually mixed with water and swallowed, creatine monohydrate travels through the bloodstream to the muscle cells, absorbing water into them to increase the visible size of muscles. Creatine Monohydrate also serves to fill the body with energy so that users are capable of doing more repetitions of an exercise, thus hardening the muscle faster.

During the first week or so of use many report rapid weight gain, usually about 5 lbs or so of water weight, but this usually doesn’t last too long and lean muscle follows soon after. For men, it usually has no side effects other than possible dehydration; however, some women have reported to have a swollen belly right after the first intake alongside reported dehydration.[2] Fortunately there is no reported risk of permanent damage to the renal system due to the sudden bloating.[3]

A possible alternative to creatine monohydrate is creatine ethyl ester powder (CEE creatine), which allegedly prevents the bloating by attaching an “ester,” an organic compound used to increase the amount of creatine absorbed, reducing the bloating and dehydration that are sometimes attributed to the supplement.

CEE Creatine was developed as an alternative form of creatine as the body has trouble absorbing creatine monohydrate which means you generally need to take a larger amount to notice the effect. This is due to the semi-lipopholic nature of ester-less creatine which means that it uses fat inefficiently as a transport mechanism and causes the side effects of bloating and dehydration.[4] Unfortunately there haven’t been any concrete studies which can prove or disprove this theory and as such it may depend on how each individual’s body reacts to the creatine.

A third type of creatine supplement has been recently gaining popularity is magnesium creatine chelate or MCC. This type is absorbed through a different pathway than monohydrate and ethyl ester; this way it should make the absorption faster and ensure that most of it is used and not discarded as waste by the body.[5] Again, there have not been any conclusive studies that can prove that MCC is more effective than creatine monohydrate, though the different absorption method may be preferable to some.

One last alternative is Creatine HCL, one of the newest forms of the supplement. This form of creatine is highly concentrated, much like CEE which means there is no “loading period” required and smaller amounts remain as effective as larger amounts of creatine monohydrate. In addition, creatine HCL is water soluble which make for quicker absorption which helps reduce the possible bloating and dehydration issues.

Dosage Info

To receive the best results out of creatine monohydrate, a “loading phase” of five to seven days is recommended in which you must take 20 g per day and then 5g per day for the rest of the cycle, usually another 5-7 days. A more precise approach to determining your ideal dose is to calculate the intake according to mass. This is calculated by dividing 0.3 grams over your body weight for the loading phase and 0.03 over your body weight afterwards.[6] If you want the science behind enhancing your athleticism and strength, studies used 20 gram dose per day for 4-7 days. Other methods required a daily maintenance dose of 2-5 grams or 0.3 mg/kg of body weight.[7] As for CEE and HCL creatines, only about 3-6 grams of CEE or 750mg of HCL are necessary for comparable results and no loading phase is needed.[4]

Best Creatine for Women: Decisions, Decisions

So what is the best creatine for women? The answer is not entirely cut and dry. While CEE and MCC creatine claim to almost completely eliminate the bloating and dehydration issues, there is not a lot of research to prove that is the case. As with many supplements the best supplement may depend on a person to person basis. That said, basic creatine monohydrate is the most popular. It’s the cheapest variety and while it’s necessary to take a higher dose, it provides more bang for your buck. However, if you would prefer to take a smaller dose before your workout and find that you have issues with bloating, creatine HCL may be a better alternative.


Sources

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14600563
  2. http://www.thegreatfitnessexperiment.com/2010/12/creatine-supplementing-for-women-good.html
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18652082
  4. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/supplements/ingredients/creatine-ethyl-ester.html
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15142029
  6. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/likness2.htm
  7. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/creatine/NS_patient-creatine/DSECTION=dosing

Why Non Lifters Can Benefit from Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are most known for being used by bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts. This however does not mean that this is all pre-workout supplements can be used for. You don’t have to be a regular gym-goer to benefit from the positive effects of pre-workout supplements.

There are all sorts of great supplements that can be used to enhance performance of all types of athletes. Basketball, football, volleyball players, runners, gymnasts and others can benefit from pre-workout supplements, even if they do not plan to hit the gym and lift weights.  Besides athletes, every day people can also benefit from these supplements.

Below you can see a short list that will emphasize and outline how some of the most popular pre-workout supplements can benefit athletes, and regular consumers alike.

Magnesium Creatine Chelate:

You don’t have to go to the gym to feel the effects of this supplement. This however will be more beneficial to athletes rather than average people. Magnesium Creatine Chelate will increase energy and stamina for endurance sports that include running, swimming and many team sports.  Also when participating in highly demanding physical activities, Creatine will help decrease muscle fatigue, thus helping you feel better next morning.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is another supplement that most people have heard off. It is one of the most researched, and safest commercially available supplements. Whey protein can be used by both athletes and just average, everyday people. Whey can repair previously damaged muscle tissue, and even out blood sugar levels. Besides fixing small problems your body might be having, whey also increases the feeling of fullness. By feeling fuller than you actually are, you can cut down on your meal size without feeling hungry. This may eventually lead to weight loss in some consumers.

Glutamine Supplement

L-glutamine is one of the 20 amino acids encoded in the genetic code. The majority of your body’s glutamine is produced in the muscle mass. L-glutamine helps decrease muscle break down, and increase muscle recovery time. Besides helping you keep your muscle in tip-top shape, glutamine benefits the immune system, protein synthesis, as well as nitrogen retention; making it a perfect natural supplement for everyone, including your average person. You can buy glutamine online in bulk.

Vitamin C Supplements

Everyone reading this has definitely heard about the importance of Vitamin C, so I will not go too in depth on it. There are all sorts of supplements that include large concentrations of Vitamin C. Such supplements are used to repair tissue cells, help relieve stress from compromised immune systems. Vitamin C also has some cosmetic benefits, certain supplements will help make your skin look healthier.

Beta Ecdysterone

Beta Ecdysterone is found more than 150 plants. It is extracted from herbs like Cyanotis vaga and Leuzeae.  The Beta-Ecdysterone supplements works by increasing nitrogen retention as well as protein synthesis. Ecdysterone helps with weight loss, improves your nerve function, and lovers you LDL cholesterol.

Above are only some of the more popular supplements that are mostly directed at as “pre-workout” for body-builders and gym-goers, however and average person can also benefit from these supplements. Remember that this article only covers a few, there are a ton more that will help you stay in shape and maintain your body healthy.

Sources:

http://circlepad.com/Hooptrition/Non_Weightlifters_Guide_to_Supplementation
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ctgblue2.htm

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-choose-the-best-anabolic-supplements.htm