Best Workout Supplements For Women

Being all natural is very important to me! There are a ton of supplements out there promising to make you leaner and more muscular, but some of them are actually really bad for you long term and may actually mess up your hormones and adrenals! This can make it very hard to get lean in the long run and can be bad for your heart!

In my video below, I discuss a few of my fave workout supplements for women! 


Creatine

  1. What is it:

    Creatine is a non-essential protein-like compound (with  L-arginine and glycine). It’s found in large quantities in meat and fish. Most people do not get enough at the right time of day for it to be effective so it is important to supplement it.

  2. What it does:

    Creatine helps you push through tough workouts and can lead to muscle gains. It gives you a bit of extra muscle energy to push through those last few reps! For example, if you were lifting a weight and you would fail at around 8 reps, with creatine you might make it to 12 reps instead, or go up to the next weight. It can also assist with additional power for plyometrics or sprints.  

  3. How toTake:

    There are many types of creatine out there, but I generally stick to monohydrate. It’s still popular to do a load phase (take multiple times a day for the first week and then just twice a day on workout days). There have been many studies stating that you should only take creatine for a maximum of 3 months at a time. Reason being is because it may be hard on your kidneys. There are also studies that have disproved this…. I personally like to air on the side of safety and stick to the 3 months rule.

BCAAs or EAAs

  1. What is it?

    BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are are essential amino acids that can be obtained only from diet and cannot be synthesized by our body. EAAs are the plant based version of essential amino acids! BCAA’s are made from three aminos:  Valine, L- Leucine and isoleucine (3 out of 9 essential amino acids).

  2. What does it do:

    When you workout you burn calories. Most  of these calories come from sugar in the form of glycogen and fat, but some will also come from the break down of protein and muscle. By taking BCAAs prior to and during your workout, you can help spare your muscles! This means that on an on-going basis you will spare muscle but burn fat and sugar instead. The more muscle you maintain, the more fat you’ll burn all day. So in a way, it assists with sparing muscle and burning fat in the long run.

  3. How to take:

    When shopping for BCAAs, look for Leucine ratio.  It should be in a higher ratio than the other two aminos contained in BCAAs. Some people believe one can take Leucine alone, but studies have shown that the combo of the three works the best. Vegans, you may want to look into EAA in place of BCAAs. If you’re a supplement minimalist and you’re not working out intensely, not doing any fasting cardio, doing endurance based workouts and getting enough protein in your diet, you don’t necessary need BCAAs.

Protein Powder

  1. What is it:

    Protein powder is not an alternate for real food, but in a crunch, it can definitely help out. Personally, I don’t believe in having protein powder more than once a day and would actually prefer a max of five times a week. Protein powders are generally made from milk, eggs, hemp, pea or rice. They provide the 23 amino acids we need for muscle repair.

  2. What does it do:

    All tissue in our body (including muscle and organs) are made up of protein. We need adequate amounts of protein to maintain and build our muscle tissue. The average person needs about 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein… that can easily mean 80 to 140 grams of protein per day! Now, ideally, you should be eating that in actual food (e.g. chicken, fish, egg whites, turkey…) but if you are unable to do so, a protein supplement is a way to go.

  3. How to take:

    A good time to have a protein shake is after your workouts or on the run! I like to add greens and other super foods to my shake for a healthy bang to my meal. You can opt to buy animal based (milk, egg) or a plant based (hemp, pea, or rice)  protein powder.  It’s important to search out a protein powder that does not include any artificial sweeteners, or colors. Also be careful of amino spiking. This is where a company reduces the amount of protein but adds a cheaper amino acid. So for example. If you’re getting 20 grams of protein, but 15 grams are full protein (all amino) but they through in 5 grams of an inexpensive non-essential amino acid to make up 20 – those 5 grams are not going to assist with your muscle-building or recovery because your body can make the non-essential amino on its own. Aim to rotate between different types of protein powders. If you’re not a vegan, you can rotate between whey, vegan, and other types. This is to avoid developing a food sensitivity.  Don’t buy a protein that has ‘extra bcaa, beta alanine etc…have them separately as they are generally added at the expense of your protein grams.

 

L-Glutamine

  1. What is it?

    L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that can be found in many foods including grass fed beef, spirulina, wild caught fish, bone broth soup,  and asparagus. Sixty percent of our skeletal muscle tissue is glutamine. Life strains like training and stress can cause you to  dip into our l-glutamine stores. By taking glutamine as a supplement you are able to better maintain these stores which in turn helps with muscle building and recovery.

  2. Why take it?

    L-glutamine helps with muscle recovery. It can also assist with leaky gut syndrome…. take 5 grams twice daily – take with food for better absorption!

  3. How to take it:

    It is best to take about 5 to 10 grams of l-glutamine after a workout with food.  Many people will take it 1 to 2 times a day. You need to take it on an on-going basis to make the best impact!

Natural multivitamin: Sea veggies/ bee pollen or Royal Jelly

  1. What is it: 

    So these are not specifically for muscle building, but indirectly they are! Here’s why: If you are missing any of the important vitamins or minerals, your results will not be as good. I personally don’t take multi-vitamins and haven’t since I can remember. This is because I get enough through my food and natural supplements! My favorite natural supplements to ensure that I get my vitamins and minerals are sea veggies, bee pollen or royal jelly. Sea veggies (aka seaweed) has been a staple of many costal civilizations for thousands of years. Sea vegetables are among the most nutritionally dense foods in the world! They contain about 10 times the calcium of cow’s milk and several times more iron than red meat, sea vegetables are easily digestible, chlorophyll-rich, and alkaline-forming. Packed with minerals, sea vegetables are the richest source of naturally occurring electrolytes known.

  2. How to take:  

    Dulse, nori, and kelp are the most popular sea vegetables in North America. Dulse provides the perfect mineral balance in a natural form and so is a superior source of the minerals and trace elements we need daily for optimal health. Other common, sea vegetable are argar, arame, kombu, wakame, spirulina and chlorella. All are great options. Best way to take sea veggies and bee pollen (which is baby bee food) is to add them to shakes and smoothies.

I’d love to hear your favorite muscle building and recovery foods or supplements, or even better if you have a shake that you’ve created for this purpose. Please leave a comment below with your favorites and don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel!

xoxoxo, LL.