The best supplements for women you should know about

by | Oct 28, 2022 | Bodybuilding supplements

Nowadays, the marketplace is flooded with supplements for women. Be it bodybuilding supplements for women or general women-specific supplements, you will find yourself surrounded by endless options. In such a case, it’s better to inform yourself about the best options and then make a decision based on your health.

You must have seen that whether you go for high-end branded bottles, fruity gummies, or traditional white bottled women-specific supplements, all of these claim one thing: i.e., better health.

But is this even true?
Do you need all the dietary supplements available in the market to stay at the top of your health as a woman?

Well, the good news is no, you do not need to buy everything being sold to you.

Read along to find out the best bodybuilding supplements for women as well as the women-specific supplements that every female should consume! You will get to know what they are, how they can benefit you, and what is the safe limit for consumption.

Bodybuilding supplements for women

The best bodybuilding supplements for women include the following:


The best supplements for women you should know about

Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid that acts as fuel for our body and brain. It is stored in our muscles and brain to provide energy upon need.

What’s in it for you?

Creatine is a pretty awesome supplement for women if you ask me.

Why am I saying this?

Well, this amino acid acts as a boost of energy that helps you build lean muscles, without bulking you up. For the women bodybuilders out there, it does everything that you want without making you look like a Hulk (literally).

And if you are a vegetarian, this bodybuilding supplement is a no-brainer for you. Being naturally occurring in meat and meat-based products, such as dairy, there is a high chance that you are consuming creatine less than the required amount.

Creatine, a true magic powder in a box, increases your endurance and makes you perform better in high-intensity interval workouts (HIIT) and sprints. This bodybuilding supplement also provides women with mental clarity and focus (unlike anything you have experienced before!)

You will feel like everything makes more sense now, as this wondrous bodybuilding supplement for women powers your brain with the energy it requires. This comes especially handy if you are performing complex training such as expert-level boxing or dance routines.

Note: Creatine draws water into your muscles, which will make you a little bulkier than usual. But don’t worry, this water intake in muscles increases their size and stretches them, all of which ultimately leads to muscle growth!

Recommended uptake:

Regardless of the form of creatine you take (be it powder form or other), you only need to take 2 to 5 g per day. And there is no hard and fast rule for timings too, you can take this pre- or post-workout, whatever suits you.

NO boosters

The best supplements for women you should know about

This term encompasses all the sources of nitric oxide that serve to increase the level of NO in your bloodstream.

What’s in it for you?

NO is the missing element you need for improved blood flow throughout your body and force production during exercise.

Although mostly promoted for men, this supplement works great for women too.

The best thing about NO boosters is that they promote vasodilation i.e., they relax your veins. This promotes ample blood flow to muscles, which in turn provide excess nutrients and water to them. Thus, with readily available nutrients, your muscles can work harder than before and increase in size and overall strength.

Nitric oxide boosters also help you build lean yet strong muscles (women bodybuilders mostly prefer this rather than the bulky, vein-popping body that some supplements aid to create). This women’s supplement increases your energy efficiency and makes you work out harder for longer periods. It works pretty impressively for post-workout recovery too. It repairs your muscles fast and improves your healing and soreness post-workout.

One thing is for sure: your functionality during exercise drastically improves while taking NO, a reason for which can be its positive impact on brain function. While on NO boosters, you will experience improved learning and memory capacity, something which comes in handy for women of every age.

What more can anyone want? (Duh!)

Note: This is one of the best supplements for women, even if you are not into bodybuilding. NO boosters promote healthy aging as they help you maintain your bone mineral density and heart health. They also improve your sleep cycle(something severely impacted in aging women) and increase your overall strength.

Recommended uptake:

Look for supplements that have L-Arginine or L-Citrulline in them. NO boosters should also have glutathione in them, which promotes the longevity of NO.
You should take NO boosters ideally half an hour before the workout. (An hour before the workout works too but be careful to not increase the duration more than that!)

Whey Protein

The best supplements for women you should know about

Whey protein is one of the milk’s two proteins. It constitutes 20% of the protein found in milk.

What’s in it for you?

Whey protein is a power pack of amino acids and is one of the most popular protein powders (don’t worry, it’s famous for all the right reasons!)

Whey protein is a one-stop supplement you need for a ‘complete’ source of protein. It provides you with all the nine amino acids that your body can’t produce (Yes, ALL OF THEM!)

Another fabulous thing about this women-specific supplement is its easy digestibility. Whey protein is easily broken down into amino acids, thus providing a surge of energy you need instantly before a workout (Foods such as eggs, soy, etc., are digested slowly, therefore they do not immediately act as an energy supply.)

Not only that, but this bodybuilding supplement for women helps you lose weight, build muscles and lessen your appetite (BINGO!)

A 6-months study conducted on overweight adults showed that whey protein led them to lose 5 pounds more than the control group.

Whey protein also reduces the production of the hormone associated with hunger cues. This makes you feel less hungry and helps you lose weight.

On the other hand, whey protein also promotes the building of lean muscles quite effectively, making it an excellent choice for female athletes.

Whey protein consists of peptides that improve blood flow to the muscles. As a result, you will experience a significant increase in your muscle mass, strength, and workout capability. This magic powder (or pill in some cases) helps women in reducing their exercise-related muscle wasting and improves their post-workout recovery too.

Recommended uptake:

Since whey protein breaks down pretty rapidly, you need to take 20 grams of this bodybuilding supplement within 30 minutes before workout and also post-workout.

Casein Protein

The best supplements for women you should know about

Casein protein is the other one of the milk’s two proteins. It constitutes about 80% of the percentage of proteins found in milk.

What’s in it for you?

Although casein is the other half of the equation of milk protein, it is poles apart from whey. Both of these proteins are entirely different, thus making them an ideal protein combo for women who want to effectively build lean muscle mass and lose weight.

This was proved by a 10-week study that showed that the combination of whey and casein protein promotes greater growth of lean muscles (which gives you that shapely legs and toned body) than with whey protein alone.

Since casein consists of large protein molecules, they are slow to digest and provides you with energy (in the form of amino acids) in the long run. This is why most women prefer to take casein protein at night so that they can prolong the anabolic effect of muscles even when they are resting (or simply not eating anything for 7 to 8 hours!). You will also feel full for longer, thus helping you tackle the unexplainable bouts of hunger, common for women of every age due to ever-changing hormones!

Recommended uptake:

Taking 20 grams of casein right before going to bed will be ideal for you. I would also suggest you combine 10 grams of casein protein with 10 grams of whey protein for maximized effect.


The best supplements for women you should know about

BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids. It basically consists of 3 amino acids i.e. leucine, isoleucine, and valine that are branched in a structure.

What’s in it for you?

Well, you will be blown away by what this simple supplement can do.
BCAA is associated with improved tolerance during resistance training or aerobic exercise, helps you build your muscles fast, and also significantly delays the post-workout soreness that is inevitably experienced by all women.

And these are not just mere assumptions.

Research has shown that BCAA does have a pretty decent effect on muscle building and strength training in women. Research conducted in Japan on 12 women indicated that they experienced less fatigue, were able to retain their energy for the next day of workout and recovered faster than the non-users.

Since amino acids are the building blocks of muscles, they aid in muscle protein synthesis besides acting as a fuel. In BCAA leucine, in particular, promotes protein synthesis.

Not only this, a mixed-gender study on 218 candidates who ran a marathon showed that they had outstanding mental clarity and Improved physical performance during the race.
This means that you can use this wonderful women-specific supplement to reduce mental and physical fatigue too!

Recommended uptake:

You should take 5 to 10 grams of BCAA in the form of pre-workout or post-workout shakes.

B complex 100

The best supplements for women you should know about

It includes vitamin B complex, all of which are the essential vitamins that our body can’t synthesize on its own.

What’s in it for you?

Although B complex 100 does not directly contribute to muscle building, its role in the body is more important than you think.

I would rather you answer this:

Are you feeling exceptionally tired throughout the day? Does post-workout soreness act as a cherry on the top of your mountain of endless fatigue?

Because then there is a chance that you, my lady, are low on your B vitamins.
(And if you are a hard training individual, this is a high time that you start supplements on this gold pill!)

B complex 100 helps your body to function properly, something that is vital for uniform muscle growth and development. These supplements for women help your body to break down nutrients effectively and transport oxygen to all the muscles.

Some B vitamins have added effects too, such as folic acid helps in the natural NO (Nitric Oxide) production in the body while riboflavin aids in digestion and helps your body use the protein you are eating to make muscles.

I would suggest every woman take B complex 100 once in a while and see the difference in her body herself!

Recommended uptake:

Go for the supplements that provide at least 100 mg of these B vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), and pyridoxine (B6)
And 100 micrograms of these: cobalamin (B12), folic acid (B9), and biotin (B7). Take one pill a day every day.


The best supplements for women you should know about

Beta-Alanine is an essential amino acid that you can get from meat and dairy.

What’s in it for you?

Beta-Alanine produces a compound in your body that will revolutionize your whole life!
This supplement does wonders for you(without a doubt!)
Beta-Alanine, when combined with the non-essential amino acid Histidine, produces Carnosine. Carnosine is an intramuscular lactate buffer, i.e., it reduces muscle fatigue, tremendously increases your endurance and strength and promotes muscle growth, and induces fat loss in your body.

This complete package will not disappoint you.
(Trust me, lady, I am not kidding.)
Research states that females are more likely to experience the positive effects of Beta-Alanine and the results are further pronounced if you are a trained/ professional female athlete. (Dope!)

A 28-day study performed on aged professional female cyclists revealed that they had a boost in their performance and delay in exhaustion while on this women-specific supplement.
Not only this, another study performed on female master athletes showed that they had a tremendous increase in their lower body performance as well as endurance while on Beta-Alanine supplementation.

Therefore, adding Beta-Alanine to your routine will surely be a smart move, ladies.

Recommended uptake:

Timings are the most important with this bodybuilding supplement for women. You need to take at least 1 to 3 grams of beta-alanine immediately before a workout or immediately after it.


The best supplements for women you should know about

ZMA stands for zinc magnesium aspartate. It is a mineral-based supplement.

What’s in it for you?

Just like the vitamins, these minerals are equally important for you.

And when it comes to bodybuilding supplements for women, ZMA is a powerful contender in the market.

If you are taking a multivitamin, chances are that you are already taking zinc and magnesium to some extent. But remember, an adequate amount of these minerals is needed in your body for them to work.

The best thing about ZMA is that it boosts the production of two very powerful muscle-building hormones i.e., testosterone and IGF-1. This is a major accomplishment in the muscle-building process.

Besides this, Zinc directly promotes protein synthesis while Magnesium plays a key factor in the growth of muscles.

Recommended uptake:

A ZMA supplement containing 20 mg of zinc and 300 mg of magnesium is enough for women. However, if you are taking a multivitamin too, make sure that you do not exceed the recommended level i.e., 40 mg for zinc and 350 mg for magnesium.

General supplements that every woman should have

Now that we have discussed bodybuilding supplements for women in detail, let’s learn more about the supplements that all females should have. (This includes all the physically active women as well as those who rarely workout!)


The best supplements for women you should know about

Calcium is an essential mineral present in milk, dairy products, and most fortified foods.

What’s in it for you?

Calcium is one of the most important minerals in your body. Almost 1% of the women’s weight consists of calcium.

However, what’s more important though is that calcium is responsible for strong bones and teeth. Since all of the calcium is stored in these two places, you need to keep up on your uptake of this dietary supplement to remain fit and healthy!

Did you know? Women are four times more susceptible to osteoporosis (bone wasting syndrome) than men. Therefore, their need for calcium supplements is more highlighted everywhere.

Not only this, but the availability of calcium also makes the cell function normally and is essential for heart and muscle action.

Who needs it the most?

All adult women need to take calcium supplements, provided that they are not fulfilling their daily requirements through food such as milk. This includes

  • Females of 18 years and below, as their bones achieve their 90% mass density by the age of 18. A female’s bone mass continues to increase to its maximum till the late 20s.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women, since they need to provide food to their fetus or newborn too. The daily calcium requirement doubles during breastfeeding, hence taking calcium supplements becomes inevitable in this case.
  • Middle-aged women as their bone health start to decrease after 30.
  • Menopausal and postmenopausal women as a decrease in estrogen hormones make your body lose calcium faster.

Recommended uptake:

A daily dose of a minimum of 500 mg is necessary if you are eating a nutritiously rich diet consisting of milk, eggs, yogurt, etc.

However, if you are above 50 years of age, you need to amp up your dosage to at least 1000 mg a day. This also goes for breastfeeding moms out there. Make sure to split the dosage into two for better absorption.

Note: If you have kidney stones or any other disorder, consult with your doctor before starting this dietary supplement for women.

Vitamin D

The best supplements for women you should know about

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that our body makes when it is exposed to sunlight. Foods such as milk are also a source of Vitamin D.

What’s in it for you?

Have you read how I mentioned previously the importance of calcium?
Well, all of your efforts (i.e., of taking a calcium supplement) will go in vain if you are low on vitamin D!
This is because vitamin D plays a pivotal role in the absorption of calcium from everything you eat. (Including supplements!)

Hence, vitamin D plays a significant role in the maintenance and development of healthy bones. Extensive research on this dietary supplement shows that it not only makes the bones strong but also prevents diseases such as osteoporosis.

Who needs it the most?

Women of every age need vitamin D for their bones and overall health. It includes

  • Housewives or women who have insufficient sunlight exposure.
  • Women who despise or simply avoid drinking milk.
  • Breastfeeding and pregnant women, for their better health and appropriate growth of their baby.
  • Women above 50 years of age as a female’s ability to make vitamin D reduces with age.

Recommended uptake:

Young and middle-aged women should stick to a 400 IU per day dosage of vitamin D.
However, if you have reached menopause, you need to double the recommended dosage i.e., make it 800 IU per day.

Caution: Make sure you do not exceed the 2000 IU mark of vitamin D in a day. Take account of the foods and supplements you are taking when calculating your intake.

Fish oil

The best supplements for women you should know about

Fish oil is the oil present in the tissues of fish. These include mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon. All of these fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, namely EPA and DHA.

What’s in it for you?

Omega-3 fatty acids are more important for your health than you may think.

This is why the recommended uptake of fish by WHO is 2 portions every week so that you can benefit from omega-3 fatty acids present in fish.

Nevertheless, if you are unable to meet this requirement or simply cannot stand the smell of the fish (as some women do), you need to consider taking a fish oil supplement.

Fish oil provides many health benefits such as improved cholesterol levels, better circulation, improved blood vessels and heart health, mental clarity, and reduced joint inflammation. This women-specific dietary supplement prevents or reduces the impact of multiple diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, and mental decline disorders such as dementia and asthma.

Did you know? There is also some research evidence that states that taking fish oil supplements can help with moodiness and depression in women.

Who needs it the most?

All women should consider taking a fish oil supplement, including

  • Women who don’t eat the recommended portion of fish every week
  • Those who have elevated cholesterol levels (especially those who are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disorders)
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women for improved brain development of their child
  • Women who suffer from joint pain.

Recommended uptake:

1 gram a day of EPA and DHA is enough for women of all ages.
However, if you have high triglyceride levels, consider taking 2 to 3 grams of EPA and DHA a day after consulting with your doctor. (Lower your fat intake through food if you are taking such a high dose of fish oil).

The best time to take fish oil is between a meal (this will prevent the ‘fish burps’ from happening).


The best supplements for women you should know about

Multivitamins include all the essential vitamins that your body cannot produce on its own. They also contain certain minerals such as zinc, calcium, iron, and magnesium in them, all of which are important micronutrients.

What’s in it for you?

Multivitamins fill up the nutritional gaps in your diet. Whether you are eating less nutritious food (such as junk) or skipping a portion of your food altogether (in other words: dieting), multivitamins may help your body to keep up its proper functioning and keep you fit and healthy.

The best multivitamin should have the following ingredients:
zinc, selenium, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), biotin (vitamin B7), iodine, boron, molybdenum, vitamin A (including beta carotene), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

All these essential micronutrients will boost your energy levels, improve your immune response, help your body maintain its health, and improve your quality of life overall.
However special care should be taken about the dosage of each nutrient present in such supplements for women. You must make sure that you are not exceeding the recommended value for each vitamin and mineral, as it can lead to some serious side effects. (Trust me, you would NOT want that to happen to you! Your condition can worsen, and it can even lead to death.)

Who needs it the most?

All women, including

  • Women who are on a restricted diet to lose weight
  • Women who rarely eat a balanced meal and mostly rely on takeouts.

Recommended uptake:

Taking a multivitamin pill once a day is enough to meet your needs. You should, however, choose a women-specific supplement that provides you the maximum dosage you need in a day, provided that you are not consuming any other vitamin pill simultaneously.

Folic acid

The best supplements for women you should know about

Folic acid is a more resistant type of folate, a water-soluble vitamin B. It is usually found in green leafy vegetables (such as asparagus and spinach) and fruits(like cantaloupe).

What’s in it for you?

Folic acid is the holy grail of pregnant women. It helps prevent neural tube abnormalities in your child, which mostly occur during the initial stages of pregnancy. You can save your child from major health risks such as spina bifida or anemia by taking folic acid regularly in pregnancy.

Not only this but folic acid also plays a major part in making DNA. Thus, it boosts cell turnover both in your skin and hair, making them look healthier than usual.

Who needs it the most?

All women who are of childbearing age should take folic acid. And those who are trying to conceive should take folic acid without any break.

Recommended uptake:

Non-pregnant women can take 400 mcg of folic acid per day. However, once you get pregnant, your folic acid dose can lie anywhere between 800 to 4000 mcg, anything that your OB/GYN recommends.


The best supplements for women you should know about

Probiotics are bacteria that are good for your gut health.

What’s in it for you?

Answer this first.

Are you tired of recurring digestive problems?
Or are you afraid of getting an upset stomach on your much-awaited trip?

Probiotics are, then, the right choice for you.

Probiotics are the best choice for treating occasional digestive problems as well as improving your gut health as a whole.

Probiotics or the ‘good’ bacteria can help you, as a woman, maintain overall wellness in your body. Recent promising research indicates a positive link between probiotics and improved skin and immune health.

Not only this, some soft gel forms contain inulin, a prebiotic in them. It serves as a food source for the healthy bacteria residing in your gut.

Who needs it the most?

All women, regardless of their age, should take probiotics to improve their digestive systems. Those who need it the most are:

  • Women with recurring digestive problems
  • Women who travel a lot and face upset stomach issues as a result

Recommended uptake:

A single capsule a day is enough for a healthy female.


The best supplements for women you should know about

Iron is an essential mineral found in foods such as red meat, beetroot, etc.

What’s in it for you?

As per the WHO, the recommended dosage of iron for women is double that of men! This is because women lose blood during menstruation and need excess blood in various stages of life (such as pregnancy).

Iron is important for cell growth and development as well as normal functioning. It is also recommended for women if their blood count is low such as in anemia; or whose blood count is at risk of becoming low such as pregnant women. This is because during pregnancy, your blood volume increases significantly, and you need additional iron to meet the requirement of blood.

Who needs it the most?

This includes

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who are anemic or have a low blood count.

Recommended uptake:

Women above 18 years of age to 50 years old should take 18 mg of Fe(iron) supplement every day. You should decrease this dose to 8 mg if you are older than 50.
During pregnancy, the recommended dosage is 27 mg per day.

Coenzyme Q10

The best supplements for women you should know about

This is a fat-soluble nutrient mostly found in the meat of animals. The best source of coenzyme Q10 is fish and red meat.

What’s in it for you?

Coenzyme Q10 is a very powerful antioxidant. This means that it reduces cell damage from oxidative stress or bacteria or viruses.

This dietary supplement also helps your body to cope with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and even heart failure. Some research also indicates that it has a positive effect on your brain’s function (i.e., improved alertness and focus) as well as your workout performance. (Both of these things will come in quite handy if you are a female gym fanatic!)

Being an antioxidant, Coenzyme Q10 also has an anti-aging effect on your skin. This indicates that not only will your health get better on coenzyme Q10, but your skin will also glow and become youthful. (Dope! Ain’t it?)

Who needs it the most?

Women of every age can take coenzyme Q10. However, it is best for

  • Women who have cancer or heart disease or are at great risk of developing it.
  • Women who follow a strict vegetarian diet as the best sources of this nutrient are meat and fish (soybean and canola oil are also good sources of coenzyme Q10 but not as good as meat)

Recommended uptake:

A coenzyme Q10 supplement within the range of 30 to 100 mg is generally acceptable for all women. However, if you are recommended a dose higher than 100 mg, it’s better to split it into two. (Also don’t forget to take this fat-soluble supplement in-between meals!)


The best supplements for women you should know about

Lutein is a carotenoid, a group of nutrients that are fat-soluble. Lutein is naturally found in egg yolks, many fruits, and dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, for instance).

What’s in it for you?

Being a carotenoid, lutein plays a key role in the maintenance of your eye health. This antioxidant protects your eyes from free radical destruction, which can lead to ARMD(age-related macular degeneration). As women age, it’s quite common for them to develop ARMD, which ultimately leads to blindness.

Lutein is also found in the skin and protects the skin cells from damage due to direct sun exposure.

Moreover, this carotenoid is naturally present in breast and cervical tissues too. Thus, consuming a dietary supplement for women containing lutein will help you manage the health of these particular areas too.

Who needs it the most?

It can generally be consumed by all women, after a doctor’s consultation. It is best for the following

  • Women who have daily direct sun exposure.
  • Those who are genetically at a greater risk to develop ARMD.

Recommended uptake:

You can take lutein anywhere from 6 grams to 10 grams once a day. And remember, the best time to take fat-soluble nutrients is when you are eating your food. Therefore, always take this women-specific supplement in between your meals.

The takeaway

There is only one thing I would recommend in the end, ladies: Always, (and I mean ALWAYS) get your physician’s approval before starting any supplement.
This will protect you from overdosing and suffering from any adverse supplement-drug interaction in the future.

Always stay within the safe consumption limits and only take the supplements you need for better health.


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