8 Supplements Every Woman Should Explore
Whether you’re young or old, an athlete or someone who uses a fitness app once in a blue moon, supplements are integral to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. More than 170 million American adults take dietary supplements—and women represent a significant part of this growing demographic.
High school biology taught us that men’s and women’s bodies have unique needs. While some supplements are equally important for all of us—a high-quality source of protein, for example—there are others that women in particular need to support a healthy lifestyle. If you’re already engaging in a fitness routine, supplements can also give you the edge in burning lean muscle and busting through fat.
You might already be taking a daily multivitamin or using whole food sources to get the most out of your diet. But sometimes it’s hard to squeeze in everything you need to support your health, and that’s where the right supplements can be a gamechanger. We’ve rounded up this list of key supplements for women to help you take the guesswork out of your supplement routine.
Just like weight training itself, whey protein can help you slim down and get stronger at the same time. Whey breaks down quickly, sending amino acids to the muscles, which helps them quickly recover after a workout. Whey also contains peptides, which are thought to increase blood flow to muscles, allowing more oxygen to travel to the blood vessels.
Like whey, casein is a milk protein. However, the similarities between these two proteins stop there. Casein is a slow digesting protein, meaning it provides amino acids to the muscles over several hours. Taking casein before bed, for instance, helps your body get key nutrients all through the night—and has been shown to increase your muscle mass more than taking it in the morning. Research also shows that taking a mix of casein and whey proteins after workouts improves muscle growth more than opting for whey alone.
Another workout-boosting supplement, creatine is a compound that occurs naturally in the muscle tissue, helping it to get the nutrients it needs to perform, grow and recover. This makes it an ideal companion for your workout routine.
Taking creating can help the body increase endurance and strength during exercise. Why does this matter? Because building muscle helps you burn fat. Although many women may have concerns about bulking up while using creatine, any water weight gained while using the supplement should disappear after you stop. So go ahead, get over the fear and see what this essential supplement can do for you.
B Complex Vitamins
The B complex includes essentials like vitamin B12, B6 and folic acid. All three are especially important for women’s health. B6 works to help your body make energy out of the food you eat. B12 keeps the metabolism on the move and helps the body make red blood cells. You can get Vitamin B12 from meat, eggs and dairy products—or by taking a supplement. The National Institutes of Health recommend adult women get 2.4 mcgs of B12 each day to prevent weakness, anemia and fatigue. All women of child-bearing age should also prioritize folic acid, which can help prevent birth defects when you’re pregnant.
Together, the full complex of B vitamins helps your body gain energy from food and bring oxygen into the muscle tissue. Chances are if you’re feeling run down, you might be in need of a B Complex Vitamin.
Fish oil has quickly become a mainstream supplement due to its ability to prevent heart disease. This supplement contains two essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which work together to lower blood pressure and triglyceride counts, as well as reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack.
On top of all its heart-healthy benefits, fish oil is thought to help with memory, mental energy and fat-burning. Fish oil also has a distinct benefit for pregnant women, aiding in a baby’s brain development and improving the chances of having a normal-weight baby.
Vitamin C is best known for its potential to stave off incoming colds and other illness, but it’s an essential vitamin for women even when they’re not feeling under the weather. Vitamin C aids in wound healing and helps your body make new red blood cells. It also works to help you feel more alert and better cope with stress.
On top of that, Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it works to destroy free radicals created from exercise or environmental stressors like pollution. Vitamin C is also essential for the synthesis of hormones, collagen and amino acids.
Calcium is an essential mineral known for its effect on bone health. Women experience bone loss as they age, and as a result, can require the help of supplements to offset this loss. In addition to the well-known bone benefits, calcium also plays a role in making sure our muscles contract properly.
Researchers say the mineral could also play a role in fat loss, as calcium reduces the amount of fat absorbed by the intestines and suppresses a hormone known as calcitriol.
Vitamin D allows our bodies to absorb calcium, meaning you’ll need both supplements to reap the full benefits. Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to a number of health concerns ranging from depression to breast cancer and heart disease. Although these links require further study, Vitamin D is thought to play a major role in immune support, bone health and more.
For women who work out, Vitamin D works with the receptors on muscle fibers, helping to activate the “good” genes that boost our muscle strength. To get started, take 2,000 international units of Vitamin D twice per day, at the same time as when you take calcium.
Vitamins and supplements are an effective way to prevent illness and improve your workout routine, but they’re just one part of the wellness equation. In addition to taking the above supplements, or a daily multivitamin, make sure you’re eating right, exercising and seeing your doctor on a routine basis.
BONUS: Natural Fat Burners
Ladies, if your main goal with using supplements is to shed some pounds, you should seriously consider trying out one of these new natural fat burners. These things are crazy popular right now, and tons of women using them are reporting amazing weight loss results.
These natural fat burners essentially take several herbal ingredients that have been proven to help burn fat, and combine them into one comprehensive fat-burning powerhouse. If you’re looking to lose weight, trying out one of these comprehensive fat burners could be just what you need.
Our #1 recommendation is a 100% natural, made-in-the-USA supplement called Burn4Her. If you want to learn more about some of our favorite picks, be sure to have a look at our list of the Top 10 Best Fat Burners For Women.