To preface this, as far as the majority of supplements are concerned, it is absolutely not necessary to go for a brand or product targeted directly at women. While women have different micronutrient requirements, and may consume smaller serving sizes due to having a lower calorie intake, products such as 'women's protein powders' are only different in how they are marketed. This being said, here we will delve into the 5 top supplements, in no particular order, which we believe will be of benefit to physically active women!
PhD Diet Whey
PhD diet whey is available in a variety of flavours to suit all tastes and is an excellent staple to have in your diet. It mixes well in oats or water to easily boost your protein intake throughout the day. Diet whey is low in carbs and fat and has added ingredients to assist weight management such as; CLA, green tea and L-carnitine.
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women
With 23 vitamins and minerals, Opti-Women is a high quality multi-vitamin and more which will support a fit, healthy lifestyle. Key ingredients which may be of special interest include folic acid and vitamin b12 which work with iron to support energy and metabolism (these are especially important for women at risk of developing anaemia). Folate also supports healthy pregnant. Anti-oxidant vitamin C is not only important for immunity but for protecting your skin and eyes. Vitamin K is a common deficiency. It is important for building and maintaining strong bones, blood clotting, and preventing heart disease- a high cause of mortality in women.
Optimum Health Multi Vitamin ABCDE with Iron
Another multi-nutrient supplement. Optimum Health include iron, which women have a higher need for than men. Women with heavy periods, who are pregnant, or who exercise intensely, are at increased risk of iron deficiency.
Creatine is a supplement that I believe everyone should take and can benefit from. Creatine is often credited as being the most researched supplement on the market, with paper after paper confirming its effectiveness. It is also an extremely cheap supplement, so as far as cost to reward goes, it makes sense to try it. Both powders and tablet forms are available, and we would simply suggest choosing whichever you remember (adding to a post-workout shake is an easy option). Creatine should be taken every day, at any time during the day.
Creatine works by helping our muscles regenerate ATP, the energy used in exercise. We cannot produce enough creatine naturally to meet demand, which is why it is so helpful to supplement its supply. Creatine can increase strength and the rate at which we are able to improve body composition, especially through weight training.
These great tasting BCAAs are an excellent way to increase water intake while providing a source of readily available amino acids to the muscles for growth and repair. They contain no carbs or sugar so are suitable no matter your current goal. They also kill a sweet craving. They can be taken at any time during the day, but are especially suitable for long training sessions and fasted cardio.
As discussed, women really do not need any 'special' supplements compared to men. However, it is important to be aware of the signs of any deficiencies and also pay attention to how the supplements you use allign with and can bring you closer to achieving your personal goals!