Assault Pre Workout & ON Whey Protein

Musclepharm Assault

The abundance of workout supplements on the market makes it difficult to decide which supplements are the best to take. There are supplements for energy, recovery, stress, relaxation, and so on, and in some instances these supplements are marketed as having benefits in multiple categories.

In order to avoid taking too much or too little of any particular supplement, it is important to know what you are ingesting! This point may seem simple, but you would be amazed at the number of people who blindly take supplements without first doing a little research.

So, in the pursuit of research and bettering your knowledge of workout supplements, I’ve constructed a barebones guide to two of the most popular workout supplements on the market: MusclePharm Assault and Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein, a pre-workout supplement and a post-workout supplement respectively. By using this stack of supplements, you’ll see a marked improvement in many facets of your fitness.

MusclePharm Assault Pre Workout

MusclePharm Assault
MP Assault Pre Workout Ingredient Label

You may have heard of MusclePharm Assault at some point because the brand sponsors many UFC fighters. Assault is a heavily-marketed supplement, but that does not mean that it is lacking in solid ingredients. However, taking a glance at the ingredients label, you may have noticed that there are MANY ingredients—so many ingredients that you may feel overwhelmed.

So here’s a breakdown of what I believe are the most-important ingredients included and what they can do for you as a pre-workout booster:

Muscle Pharm Assault’s Most Effective Ingredients

  • Beta-Alanine supplement: Improves carnosine levels and reduces fatigue
  • Citrulline Malate supplement: Reduces lactic acid build-up
  • Rhodiola Rosea powder: Reduces stress and improves muscular recovery time
  • Creatine monohydrate or HCL: Improves water retention and muscle growth
  • Caffeine anhydrous: Boosts energy levels and improves focus
  • L-Tyrosine: Increases dopamine levels
  • Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): Improves muscular growth and recovery
  • L-Arginine powder: Improves protein synthesis and libido
  • L-Glutamine supplement: Assists in building muscle mass

While Assault also features other ingredients, I chose to highlight the supplements that I believe are the most useful and important when it comes to a pre-workout supplement. In combination, these supplements will give you an explosive and impressive workout.

And once you’ve completed a grueling workout session courtesy of Assault, you’ll want a high-quality recovery supplement to allow for muscle growth and repair. That’s where Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein comes into play.

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein

ON Gold-Standard Whey Protein
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey


Post-workout recovery supplements are integral to your success as an athlete. Your muscles need protein in order to repair themselves after the beating that you give them during a workout. In my opinion, the best post-workout supplement by far is Whey Protein. And I’ll give my word that Optimum Nutrition makes some of the best Whey Protein that I have ever consumed.

Taking a look at the nutrition label, you can see that this protein is very barebones. And that is a great thing! In a post-workout shake, the less ingredients the better. You don’t want a lot of filler or other crap that is bad for you: you want to actually benefit from the exercise you just completed.

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Ingredients

ON Whey ingredients list
ON Whey ingredients list

Optimum Nutrition Whey Ingredients include: Whey isolate, whey concentrate, and whey peptides (plus other ingredients depending on which flavor you choose to purchase).

The blend of different types of whey is a great feature because each type digests slightly differently and at a slightly different pace, thus feeding your muscles over a longer period of time. In addition, some people digest different types of whey better than other types, so having a variety ensures that you are actually receiving the protein that you need.

Using Musclepharm Assault and Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein to get the Most Out of Your Workout

This stack is not only useful, but it is easy to use as the blends are pre-mixed for you. While the price may be higher to buy these pre-made supplements than to buy bulk powders and create your own, the convenience and ease of use makes this pre-workout/post-workout combination a surefire hit in my book.

Best Choline Supplements and Sources

peanut butter is an excellent choline sourceAmong all the nootropics out there, choline supplementation might be the most crucial. Choline is an essential nutrient — a nutrient needed by the body but not produced by it. While it can be found in everyday food items (eggs, peanut butter), most people don’t get nearly enough.

In fact, 90% of the adult population is deficient in choline intake. The obvious route here is to supplement, but it’s not that cut and dry. There are several choline sources, all with their particular ups and downs. With such variable options, can you decide what the best choline supplement is? How is a spoonful of alpha gpc powder better than a plateful of eggs? Why stock up on CDP choline powder when you could just buy a few jars at peanut butter? Here’s an exploration your options to help you figure out what the best choline sources are for you.

Choline Bitartrate

eggs are a choline source
Eggs are a useful source of choline

Choline bitartrate powder is one of simplest and least expensive sources of choline. It’s made by combining choline with the salt bitartrate. On the plus side, it’s very cheap; the downside being that it doesn’t have as much choline in at (some forms being as low as 20%).

It’s not a bad choice if you’re looking to supplement which choline to make up for deficiencies or just as an all-around dietary supplement. However, it might not be ideal if you’re looking for something to pair up with a racetam (most of which burn through choline).

Choline Bitartrate Dosage

In higher doses, it can both cause stomachaches and give your sweat an odd odor. Recommended daily dose is 500 – 1000 mg.


Phosphatidylcholine powder is the second weakest form of choline – not to mention the type that turns up in foods. As such, it’s a “base” form of choline. Most other sources will convert to phosphatidylcholine in the body where it can be converted to acetylcholine or used to repair selves. In its supplement form it tends to caps out at around 13% choline. It’s a subtle, mild way to integrate additional choline into your diet. It’s effective at 800 – 2400 mg per day.

Soy Lecithin

Soy is another source of choline

As the name suggests, soy lecithin is derived from soybeans, and is a nice all-around health supplement. It gives the body choline in the form of phosphatidylcholine, but also seems to benefit the body in few other was: for example, mice dosed with soy lecithin had a slightly better 12 month survival rate than the control group. On the downside, it similar side effects to bitartrate. If you decide to supplement with it, shoot for 400 – 800 mg per day.

CDP Choline

One of the two forms usually touted as the best choline supplement, CDP choline powder (or citicholine) is a viable nootropic in its own right. This is thanks to a few neurological benefits you’ll get from the supplement even outside of boosted choline levels.

CDP choline powder is a precursor to phosphatidylcholine, but that’s not all. It also delivers a dose of cytidine, which converts to uridine, a substance with cognitive enhancing properties.

CDP choline is also unique in choline supplements in that it appears to boost dopamine receptor density – a neurotransmitter crucial to pleasure and reward systems. A nice side effect of this? A reduction of addictive behaviors.

In addition to this, CDP choline provides the usual slew of choline-related benefits: boosted memory, increased focus, even improved mood. It’s also performed particularly wells in studies attempting to slow cognitive decline, an area where other choline sources have failed to perform. If you’re looking for all the benefits of a regular choline source plus a few enhanced cognitive benefits, it’s a great choice. Go with 500 mg per day if you supplement with CDP choline powder.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is frequently hailed as the best choline supplement. It makes sense, since it’s on par with CDP choline in terms of clinically-established effectiveness, even outperforming it in some areas. Like, say, increased physical power output after acute dosing, making it alpha GPC powder a go-to supplement for athletes. It also functions slightly differently. While CDP choline is a precursor to phosphatidylcholine, alpha GPC is a byproduct — it’s further along in the metabolic chain. This makes it particularly effective at helping cellular membranes stay healthy and strong.

Alpha GPC can help keep cell membranes strong

It’s also a viable nootropic even on its own. Studies have shown it to both increase rate of learning and prevent memory loss. And in trials directly comparing it to CDP Choline, it outperformed it cognitive-improvement areas. If you’re measuring the effectiveness of your choline supplement by raw cognitive enhancement levels, alpha GPC is probably your best choice. Alpha GPC powder works best at daily doses in the 300 – 1200 mg range.

What is the Best Choline Supplement?

So which is the best choline supplement out there? The answer ends up being that there is no answer, at least not a hard and fast one. If you’re looking for light boost to choline-levels only, the occasional dose of choline bitartrate wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you’re in the market for cognitive enhancement, it makes more sense to grab a bottle of CDP choline or alpha GPC powder. Just make sure to try out both – since they work differently, there isn’t a clear “winner” so much as there are two alternatives. Happy supplementing!

Protect and Enhance your Memory via Racetams with Antioxidant Properties

Racetams with antioxidant properties help protect the brain
Rust is a commonly-seen form of oxidation

Racetams are one of the most popular nootropic supplements available on the market today. Since the discovery of the prototypical racetam, piracetam powder, in the 1960’s, racetams have become well-known for their cognitive-enhancement abilities. However, many of them provide additional antioxidant benefits, making them even more useful.

So why would you want a supplement that boosts your brain power as well as provides antioxidant advantages? While it may seem like a strange combination, antioxidants protect cells, including those within the brain. If your brain cells suffer damage from oxidation, reason stands that your memory could be similarly affected.

Adding a memory enhancer on top of an antioxidant might just be the smartest move you could make. So what are the racetams, how do they work, and which ones will provide you with a double dose of neuroprotection?

How Racetams Work

While the mechanism of action behind racetams isn’t completely understood, it is believed that they work by encouraging the formation of new synapses and enhancing synaptic plasticity, two factors that are critical in memory formation and learning.

Acetylcholine is a common neurotransmitter
Acetylcholine is a common neurotransmitter

These actions are accomplished by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine within the brain; acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter primarily responsible for learning. Thus, by maintaining high levels of acetylcholine, cognitive enhancement is greatly increased.

Benefits of Racetams

Racetams are able to improve long and short-term memory and have been found to have logic, speech, and sensory-enhancement properties. Additional benefits include improved athletic performance and focus which makes them a favorite among fitness enthusiasts.

Racetams with Antioxidant Properties

Some racetams such as Piracetam have some antioxidant properties. Let’s first discuss a little bit about the process of oxidation and the role of antioxidants in our bodies.

Oxidation is defined as the interaction between oxygen molecules and all the other substances they may meet. The result of such a process in the body is chain reactions that can damage cells.

Examples of oxidation include the browning of an apple when cut open, and the rusting of metals. Simply put, antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Antioxidants are widely used in dietary supplements. Free-radical theory states that the effects of aging are a result of the body’s inability to counteract oxidative damage.

Racetams have been tested on rats as well as humans
Racetams have been tested on rats as well as humans

These facts bring us to racetams and their anti-oxidation properties. Piracetam is one of the racetams that seems to posses such properties. In a study performed to assess Piracetam’s antioxidant effects on a rat brain, it was determined that Piracetam had the potential to scavenge free radicals. Free radicals cause the body to age more quickly and contribute to cellular damage, including within the brain, so preventing this damage improves longevity as well as memory.

In human experiments conducted to measure the effects of one dose of Piracetam on 12 healthy volunteers, it was determined that this single dosage affected the natural electrical activity that occurs on the scalp.

How about the other racetams like Pramiracetam, Oxiracetam, and Aniracetam? Although there hasn’t been ample research done on the antioxidant properties of these other racetams, considering the fact that they have very similar mechanisms of action with Piracetam, it is possible that they too posses antioxidant properties.

Where to Buy Phenibut after Amazon Shut Down Sales

Where Can I Get a Reliable and Trusted Source of Phenibut?

In late 2012, Amazon decided to terminate their sales of Phenibut powder. By summer of 2013, the Phenibut shutdown went into full effect, raising concerns of an FDA crack down on all Nootropics as well as a noticeable disturbance among users of the highly controversial yet widely consumed and praised supplement.

Though Phenibut continues to be available to the public through several online sources, buyers beware; not all Phenibut is created equal. If you have come to rely on this supplement, now more than ever it is important to find a reputable supplier you can put your trust in for quality and reliability at a competitive price.

What is Phenibut and How Does it Work?

Phenibut is a derivative of the naturally-occurring inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA. Its additional phenyl ring allows Phenibut to cross the blood brain barrier and stimulate the GABA receptors in the brain much like other anti-anxiety substances.

Many people argue that Phenibut does not react in the brain like pharmaceuticals, yet science concludes that despite which receptors they bind to, they are all classified as anxiolytics that react in the body in similar ways.

Phenibut is widely utilized for its anti-anxiety, sedative, and muscle relaxation effects as well as being used by weight lifters to boost growth hormone levels. However beneficial Phenibut is for a person seeking relief from anxiety, looking to add a boost to their workout routine, or just aiding in relaxation, this powerful nootropic also comes with its own risks and it is not a supplement to be abused.

Phenibut Side Effects

While there are no documented side effects for phenibut other than minor drowsiness, many users do develop a tolerance after extended and heavy use.

Furthermore, there are numerous reports on internet forums of some pretty serious withdrawal symptoms, but these symptoms are due to misuse of the supplement. When adhering to proper dosing and cycling, users should experience all of the benefits without the withdrawal issues.

Other concerns include how phenibut has the potential to change how some MAO inhibitors work. If you are currently taking an MAO inhibitor, you should talk with your doctor about potential side effects before taking Phenibut.

Where to Buy Phenibut Now

As mentioned before, now that Amazon no longer carries Phenibut, a multitude of sellers have cropped up; some are reputable, others not so much. Once you’ve established a list of safe vendors, however, you then have to look at price. Supply and demand plays a fairly large role when it comes to finding Phenibut.

So where can you get quality Phenibut at a competitive price? You have a few options.

Smart Powders is a long-established supplier of quality phenibut. Their prices tend to be slightly higher as they package their supplements in plastic bottles vs. foil pouches. This packaging raises their costs, which carries over to you, the buyer.

Another Phenibut supplier is Hard Rhino, a bulk supplement site that has been around for awhile and proven reliable.

A third option is Powder City. They’re also a long-established online supplement vendor with fairly competitive prices. They offer Phenibut in both foil pouches and in tub containers for an additional dollar.

Here is the price breakdown:

100 grams

Smart Powders $24.99
Hard Rhino $29.99 (125g; breaks down to $23.99 for 100g)

While all three of these sites have been vetted by online forums such as Reddit, only two of them clearly display a certificate of analysis proving the quality of their product: Smart Powders and Powder City.

How does Resveratrol affect Testosterone and what other Benefits does Resveratrol Produce?

resveratrol can help fight the effects of aging

What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a compound found in the skins of red grapes, berries, and other fruits. It is thought to act as a powerful antioxidant with a strong potential for fighting the effects of aging. These effects are largely due to the fact that this supplement helps to promote the increased production of something known as sirtuins. Sirtuins are enzymes involved in the aging process that are thought to increase the activity of the cells’ mitochondria. There are also additional research studies which indicate that resveratrol supplements may act as a neuroprotective substance by helping to protect against memory loss. There is even new research suggesting that resveratrol may help to increase testosterone levels.

How does Resveratrol affect Health?

Many people are interested in using a resveratrol supplement because it seems to be able to increase overall health. Because it functions as an antioxidant, resveratrol serves to make almost every major organ in the body run better. The elimination of free radicals is also quite important as the removal helps to reduce inflammation.

Another important benefit associated with resveratrol is its fighting of the effects of aging. Resveratrol covers just about everything from helping to protect the heart to making it easier to lose weight. One of the ways in which these benefits occur is by the activation of so-called anti-aging genes like the master gene, P53. There have been a number of experiments conducted on bacteria, fish, worms, and mice that have shown positive increases on lifespan based on activation of P53 by resveratrol. In some cases, this supplement has been able to extend lifespan up to twice the normal length. Of course, while there are huge differences between humans and mice or worms, in many cases we do have very similar genes. This similarity is giving research scientists hope that many of these health benefits can transfer over, especially in the area of longevity.

How does Resveratrol affect Testosterone?

There is some exciting new research into the effects of resveratrol on testosterone. Recent studies do seem to support that resveratrol affects testosterone, although more studies are needed. The researchers seem to think the reasons for this effect are two-fold. First, resveratrol inhibits aromatase, which is the main enzyme responsible for the production of estrogen. Second, resveratrol also seems to inhibit the body’s estrogen receptor.

As the body’s level of estrogen production is limited, resveratrol will help to balance out hormone levels and in the process increase testosterone. This increase is beneficial on a number of different levels. Not only will this hormone help sexual function, but it also helps to regulate red blood cell production, bone density, and even muscle mass. There may even be a role for this supplement to play in producing better emotional states, especially in those who are already experiencing lowered levels of testosterone.

What do Studies say about Resveratrol and Testosterone?

A 2008 Korean study examined the effects of Resveratrol supplementation on the New Zealand white rabbit, corpus cavernosum. The researchers were looking to measure ex-vivo penile erection and in-vivo sperm counts and quality. The in-vivo study measured the reproductive organ weights, blood testosterone levels, testicular histopathology, and sperm counts. It also examined and measured the epididymal sperm motility and deformity.

For the in-vivo study, mice were given a dose of resveratrol at 50 mg/kg for 28 days. The ultimate results were interesting, showing no increases in body weight, reproductive organ weight, or testicular microscopic findings. But, they did show increases in blood testosterone concentration of 51.6 percent, testicular sperm counts of 15.8 percent, and epididymal sperm motility by 23.3 percent. Incidentally, all of these effects were achieved without any significant influence on sperm deformity.

How does Resveratrol Work?

A 2012 National Institutes of Health study into the effects of resveratrol seems to have helped cast a bit of light into how this supplement might work. The supplement works not only as an anti-inflammatory compound (which testing had pretty much proven at this point anyway), but also as a genetic manipulator through both direct and indirect chemical pathways. It also helps to block the action of a muscle enzyme known as PDE4 that causes cell degradation. This supplement also appears to bind to many different types of proteins, which shows that there may be the potential for new help for heart disease, diabetes, memory loss, and more.

What is a Helpful Dose of Resveratrol?

In order to really have most of the desired effects, not only an increase in testosterone, you should be taking resveratrol every day. The recommended dosage level for resveratrol is 1000 mg per day or more depending on if there is a specific condition you are trying to find support for or protect against. Typical sources for your resveratrol supplements include Japanese knotwood or red grapes, with the Japanese blend being superiors (if you can find it).

Resveratrol supplement is also available in a powdered form, which can be taken with meals. The idea with your supplement schedule here is to use resveratrol every day with meals. It might take a little time before noticing results such as regulating and increasing testosterone levels and improving mood.

What else does Resveratrol do?

Resveratrol is also considered to help protect the heart against all types of damage. Part of this protection is immediately tied to resveratrol’s ability to work as an antioxidant supplement, helping to remove free radicals from the body and lowering the levels of inflammation. Inflammation can be stressful and detrimental to the overall cardiovascular system.

You will also note that a lot of the existing research into this supplement is still centered on the fight against cancer. There may actually be a role for some of these anti-cancer effects through the estrogen response systems, as discussed above.

Rhodiola Increases Physical and Mental Endurance

rhodiola can increase endurance

Endurance athletes are always looking for an edge. Whether it’s a new training protocol or a new mindset, being able to push yourself to work just a little bit harder and longer can make the difference between first and second place. Proper implementation of the right pre-workout supplements is key in training endurance athletes and thanks to a study performed in Belgium, there’s another supplement to add to the mix. When taken before training, rhodiola rosea supplements were found to improve performance in endurance athletes, even with no previous use.

Belgian researchers studied 24 healthy endurance athlete students. First, a baseline for an endurance activity was established with each athlete. Then, a few days later, the students were either given rhodiola or a placebo an hour before performing the same endurance activity. After another week, they came back and performed the same training session, but the rhodiola group was given placebo and vice versa. The results proved to be significant. Rhodiola improved the work capacity of the athletes by an average of 3% and in one case, the student was able to extend the time by 9.7%. Another conclusion from the study, aside from the improvement in performance for doses one hour before training, is the finding that when the athletes consumed rhodiola consistently over a four week basis, there was no additional benefit like those found in other supplements that may require a “loading period.” This means there appears to be an acute effect when used for endurance training. It’s important to note that this fact doesn’t imply there are no outside benefits to taking rhodiola on a consistent basis, but that it’s just not effective at building up in your system.

What is Rhodiola Rosea?

Let’s look at the supplement as a whole. Rhodiola rosea is a plant found in the cooler climates of the world, particularly in the Arctic or other mountainous regions of the northern hemisphere. The plant and its roots have been used for hundreds of years by ancient civilizations such as the Vikings as a supplement to increase stamina and strength. Rhodiola use today is more widespread and is consumed via tea or, for those not living in areas where it grows naturally, in a convenient supplement form. Rhodiola contains many different polyphenols and antioxidants including rosavins, rosarin, rosin, and salidroside. These compounds, at the most simple level, help provide balance to stressors in the body and the environment. From a physiological perspective, rhodiola is said to reduce free radicals that can damage cells and cause inflammation. Psychologically, rhodiola helps reduce mental stress by optimizing the levels of “feel good” chemicals in the brain.

In general, rhodiola rosea benefits include:

  • Reduced physical fatigue
  • Improved mood
  • Lowered Stress

How Rhodiola Rosea Can Help Endurance Athletes

When the mechanisms of action in rhodiola are considered, it’s easy to see how it is an ideal supplement for endurance athletes. Preventing physical fatigue allows for more energy output in a race or during training. However, there may be a mental aspect to the supplementation as well. Improved mood and lower mental stress could help athletes overcome potential mental fatigue they may face, enabling them to crush previous records and crash through mental barriers that can hold perceived limitations of what the athlete’s abilities truly are.


For improvements in endurance sports, a dosage the same as the dose mentioned above, a 200mg capsule one hour before training, is recommended. In fact, since the experiment was relatively basic, you can try to replicate it on your own to see the exact effects rhodiola has on you!

Third-Party Dietary Supplement Testing: Why it Matters

third-party dietary supplement testingAll dietary supplements are not created equal, even if they have the same name on the label. Do third parties test the supplements you are taking for purity and safety?

Maybe, or maybe not.

Unfortunately for consumers, third party testing is not mandated. However, companies interested in your health encourage third-party testing and provide this assurance to their consumers.

Why is Third Party Dietary Supplement Testing So Important to Your Health?

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers dietary supplements as a special type of food category. As such, dietary supplements are automatically deemed safe by the FDA and do not require approval prior to being sold to the general public.

Therefore, many supplements are being sold without consistent labeling, review of the actual ingredients being utilized within the product, review of the ingredients’ origins, or general product safety.

According to the FDA, the supplement brand is tasked with ensuring consistency of ingredients and general product safety. Some companies follow strict guidelines for ensuring consumer safety, while others cut corners.

Powder City’s Third Party Testing Review

Powder City is one company that I have come across that uses third-party testing. For each product, they engage a third-party testing company to conduct unbiased, quality reviews of the supplement’s ingredients as well as the effects on the body when ingested.

What is Third Party Testing?

You may be wondering: what goes into third party testing? Third-party dietary supplement testing must be conducted by an organization that is external to both the end-consumer and the underlying organization. The dietary supplement company pays the third-party tester to conduct reviews of its product’s ingredients and overall level of consumer safety. Products that pass certification can advertise as such to consumers.
While third-party testers cannot guarantee a dietary supplement’s ultimate safety, they certainly can provide an accurate assessment of the product’s ingredient purity.

What are Third-Party Testers Looking For?

Third party testers should review whether the manufacturer adheres to good manufacturing practices. It is impossible to test every bottle, capsule or package that is sold to a consumer. Therefore, auditing the company’s manufacturing practices can become important to ascertaining the product’s general purity and safety levels.

Consistent practices will ensure that the product being placed into a consumer’s hands is as it was designed to be. Currently, the only standard available to evaluate dietary supplements was established by the American National Standards Institute. These standards evaluate a product’s label accuracy, presence of microbes or contaminants, and advertising used to target consumers. Third-party testing companies can choose to utilize this standard when evaluating a supplement.

Dietary supplements can provide tremendous benefit to those consumers who include them as part of their health and fitness regimens. However, un-tested products sold direct to consumers may pose threats to their short-term and long-term health.

But What About Price?

Many companies with no third-party testing will offer what looks like a great deal on their products, but are you willing to sacrifice your health for a cheap price tag? Conversely, branded products from retail stores are almost always more expensive, but not for reasons that you might think.

Do not be fooled by the flamboyant packaging and advertising of retail supplements. Just because it has a fancy sounding name, does not make it any more effective or any safer. As is the case with many branded products, you are paying for the name and their marketing costs.

So why buy untested products or expensive retail supplements when you can pay a fraction of the cost and ensure product quality with bulk powders?

Visit the FAQ page for more information on Powder City’s third party testing and to find out how to receive a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for any supplement you wish to order.

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.

Stress Got You Down? Try These Relaxation Supplements

If you or someone you know is suffering from too much stress, then you really need to take a look at some natural remedies. Stress is something that can have physical side effects on the body, so it is important to try to help yourself counteract these negative effects. Fortunately, there are a number of helpful relaxation supplements including Phenibut, 5-HTP, and Picamilon.

Phenibut Powder:

As a supplement, Phenibut is most commonly found in its powdered formulation. You will also find that it helps to promote relaxation and a generally better mood. It is used as an anxiolytic (ie. phenibut reduces anxiety), sleep aid, and mood-boosting supplement.

Phenibut is also used around the world to help alleviate a number of common stress problems. Another interesting thing about using Phenibut is that you may find it helps to increase memory and attention span.

In addition to just being a general relaxation aid, many people have also found this supplement to be effective in helping people to improve communication skills. Students who have test stress also often find relief with this supplement. Of course, a key element of relaxation is sleep and Phenibut is able to regulate proper sleep patterns, helping most people to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling rested. It also increases REM sleep.


5-HTP is a chemical that your body produces from tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid. From here, the 5-HTP is then converted into a powerful neurotransmitter called Serotonin. This increase in Serotonin levels within the brain leads to positive effects on sleep, mood, stress, appetite, and even pain sensation.

There have been a number of studies on the benefits of 5-HTP supplementation regarding sleep. Most of these show that when you use this supplement, you will be able to better relax and fall asleep faster. Another big benefit is that you will tend to sleep deeper and wake up more relaxed and refreshed.

This increase in Serotonin levels also seems to have additional effects. People have been using it for help with dieting and weight loss, along with a reduction in the moodiness and even lowered stress levels. Using 5-HTP can also result in balancing out your moods and helping control anger, aggression, and overall mood.


One of the most interesting things about Picamilon supplements is that they only contain two main ingredients, GABA and Niacin. GABA is known as your body’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter. This statement simply means that it will help to slow your brain activity and promote relaxation. This supplement helps to increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and also helps to reduce stress.

Studies have shown that this supplement can act as a calming agent when taken in small doses. This calming action includes reducing or inhibiting the negative impacts of stressful conditions. In simpler terms, it helps to calm you down. You will be able to sleep better (falling asleep faster and sleeping more soundly), to notice a reduction in memory disorders, and to experience less dizziness and headaches.

Using These for Stress Relief:

Any of these three supplements should be helpful in terms of fighting off stress or promoting relaxation. Since all of them are very safe and well-tolerated, feel free to do some experimentation on your own. Of course, you should always respect the recommended dosages and may even want to start on the lower side of things until you determine exactly how each one affects you.

Yohimbine vs Maca for Testosterone

maca or yohimbine for testosterone boost

Low testosterone is a problem experienced by men of all ages. Men may have trouble performing sexually, or feel tired and sluggish during the day. More often than not, it can be traced to genetics or to a person’s nutritional regimen. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find effective and legal ways to boost testosterone due to the overwhelming number of supplements that claim to help.

There has been a lot of talk recently regarding testosterone-enhancing supplements. You may have noticed some of this discussion and even started looking into a few of the commonly touted remedies or supplements. Two of the most interesting and popular are Maca and Yohimbine HCL Powder. When looking at Yohimbine supplements vs Maca supplements – both of them actually offer a number of benefits related to increased testosterone and enhanced sexual function and performance.

What is Maca?

The first question you might be asking is: what is Maca? Sounds like a rather strange name, right? Well, it is a root found most commonly in Peru. It is also commonly referred to as Peruvian ginseng, despite the fact that it is not a member of the ginseng family. It has been used throughout the centuries as a folk remedy for increasing stamina, energy, and sexual function. It has even been reported that ancient Incan warriors took Maca before going into battle since it was thought to make them physically strong. However, they were later prohibited from taking this substance in an effort to protect the conquered women from their excessive libidos.

Today, this supplement can be used in either pill or powdered form. You can sprinkle it on just about any type of food you like. Some users even report that it has a pick-up equal to or better than coffee. On occasion, it has also been reported to be more effective when used inconsistently, like two or three times a week as opposed to every day.

What is Yohimbine HCL?

Yohimbine is the principle alkaloid of the bark of the Yohimbe tree. This tree is found in western Africa, throughout Nigeria, Cameroon, the Congo, and Gabon. Yohibine extract is also widely reported and promoted as a natural aphrodisiac used to increase libido and improve erections.

This supplement is also thought to work by increasing the amount of testosterone produced by your body. As such, you may also see a number of other benefits related to increased testosterone production, especially related to fat loss and improved body composition.

Maca and Testosterone:

Maca is thought to play a serious role in improving sexual function. This improvement has been one of its long-reported traditional uses and benefits. The modern studies into these benefits, however, appear to be mixed, with some showing strong benefits and others not showing much at all

Maca has also been shown to increase fertility in men and improve mood in menopause. Studies have shown that supplementation improves semen volume, sperm count, and even sperm motility. Interestingly, serum levels of testosterone did not seem to be affected. It has also been noted that Maca may help to ease worry and sadness in post-menopausal women, as well as improve female sexual function.

Yohimbine HCL Benefits:

The major benefit of those who use Yohimbine HCL is that they normally see an increase in their natural testosterone production. Certainly, this improvement leads to improved overall male sexual function including improved erections. Many people suffering from erectile dysfunction have also found this supplement to be very helpful.

Another interesting benefit of Yohimbine HCL is that it aids in fat loss. It has been thought that this supplement works in your body by somehow blocking specific receptors that inhibit fat loss. This effect may also play a role in not only fat loss but the redistribution of fat and muscle throughout the body, giving you an overall leaner and more muscular appearance. When combined with actual weight resistance training, it can result in faster gains in muscle as well. Other studies have found that Yohimbine HCL increases lipolysis through the increased release of the powerful hormone norepinephrine.

Perhaps because of the excess norepinephrine in your system, Yohimbine HCL may also act as a natural mood booster. In higher doses (over 50mg per day) it may help to block an enzyme called monoamine oxidase that is thought to play a role in sadness.

Yohimbine vs Maca for Testosterone

Which supplement should you take probably depends on your specific goals. If you are simply looking to increase testosterone levels naturally, then probably Yohimbine HCL would work best. On the other hand, increased energy might be best accomplished by using Maca. So, it really depends on exactly what you are after. Both seem to be effective in their own ways.