Supplements aren’t just for men – I think you’ll all agree that this stereotype is well and truly demolished! Women train extremely hard in the gym in which their bodies can benefit just as much as the next male Bodybuilder.
Stereotypes aside, it’s important to tailor your supplement stack according to your goals in order to truly accelerate your efforts in the gym. For those that have the ultimate goal of trimming down that body fat and creating a lean, toned physique, you may just benefit from this supplement stack.
This word is thrown all over the fitness industry… but do you actually known what it is?!
Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s) are needed by the body in order to build and maintain muscle growth (protein synthesis) and prevent any muscle breakdown.
BCAA’s, (Branch Chained Amino Acids) include 3 of the 8 essential amino acids that promote this effectively maximise muscle growth – leucine (more specifically) isoleucine and valine.
Increased muscle mass doesn’t necessarily mean a greater bulk as additional muscle helps your body burn more calories. In order to get the best benefit from our workouts, building muscle and losing fat, we need to take in enough of these aminos to get the job done to ensure our efforts aren’t wasted.
If you’re looking to increase lean muscle in particular, then BCAA 4:1:1 is the way to go due to a higher leucine content.
Protein is an essential component of the muscle-building process for both males and females – not just something that bulky bodybuilders chug down at the gym.
The ‘male-only’ stereotype for the consumption of protein shakes has hopefully long gone with the introduction of the ‘Strong is the new Skinny’ movement… It really is a shame for this belief to still be present in the minds of women wanting to tone, get lean, and even to simply lose weight.
To put it short, many women fall short of consuming the necessary amount of protein – especially when whey protein boasts these amazing benefits:
✓ Increased lean muscle mass
Whey protein also contains the essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis – which, you guessed it – increases muscle mass. More muscle will inevitably burn more calories, even when you’re resting.
✓ Increased metabolism and fat burn
As mentioned above, replacing body fat with an increased amount of muscle mass will reward your body with revved up metabolism to burn more fat and increase your energy.
✓ Fuller for longer
Whey protein stimulates the satiety hormone in your body through the production of a peptide, which inevitably keeps your stomach happier for longer!
Linoleic acid belongs to the omega family of fatty acids, which perform vital functions in the body and are necessary for optimal health and physical condition.
The conjugated form of linoleic acid, also known as CLA, is a combination of the different forms in which linoleic acid occurs in nature – but is available in supplement form to help aid better health.
CLA appears to prevent the decrease in metabolic rate usually associated with a decrease in caloric consumption. The benefits of CLA for fat-loss are thus twofold-both:
✓ CLA may help increase the metabolism of stored body fat for fuel, particularly abdominal fat. (1)
✓ CLA may prevent the metabolism from slowing down whilst on a diet.
Creatine is a natural supplement that is labelled my many as one of the most effective in creating strong muscle.
Your muscles naturally contain Creatine, produced through amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine. It’s job via chemical exchanges is to create quick energy in cells for bursts of power during physical exercise.
This energy produced is otherwise known as known as adrenaline triphosphate (ATP.) You might be thinking “why do I need supplements if it’s already created in the body?”
Unfortunately the body doesn’t produce enough Creatine for it to be effective during vigorous workouts – therefore supplement form can help provide a further boost!
ZMA is a combination of zinc monomethionine/asparate and magnesium aspartate plus vitamin B6. It’s strongly supported by clinical research to be an effective supplement for:
✓ Enhancing muscle recovery.
✓ Boosting muscle size and strength.
✓ Aiding fat loss.
Zinc is an essential mineral with antioxidant properties that stimulates the activity of many enzymes in the body – this includes Zinc being critical for protein synthesis, the molecular mechanism that leads to muscle recovery and growth!
Zinc is also critical for maintaining thyroid hormone production – a biggie for keeping your metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn each day) and fat-burning capabilities up. Being low in zinc can limit thyroid hormone production, and compromised thyroid hormone function results in a lower metabolic rate, which makes it harder to drop body fat.
Magnesium is also an essential mineral involved in numerous reactions in the body. It’s important for healthy function of the cardiovascular system, metabolic rate, and widely known for improving sleep. Together, zinc and magnesium offer a wide assortment of physique and performance benefits!
A good multivitamin fills in all the nutritional gaps in your diet, even if some people do comment that a well-balanced diet shouldn’t need supplementation. This may be an argument to a certain degree, however – try analysing the ingredients in a multi-vitamin to see whether you’re absorbing enough nutrients in your daily routine.
Supplementing with a good multivitamin may help support against the possibility of deficiencies in some of the other vitamins and minerals that can result from reduced food variety or calorie intake and increased vitamin loss from exercise.
Being deficient in many of these micro-nutrients can lead to low energy levels and restrict muscle growth, strength gains and fat loss!
Take Home Message
Ultimately, no one knows your body like you do so try different supplements and see how they work for you.
You generally need to give them at least a couple weeks to know the true results so be patient and remember you need to have a healthy diet, exercise plan and regular sleep to really see maximum results.