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Top 8 Muscle Building Supplements for Women
The elephant in the room (and fitness industry)
The goal of this website is to build a healthy body naturally. In the fitness and bodybuilding industry, steroids and other substances are used (even when athletes claim to be natural). Steroids or other illegal substances tend to have harmful side effects, especially when taken by women. Although they get results, we think the natural approach is much healthier. You can maximize the muscle a woman can build naturally by using certain supplements. Here are the top 10 muscle building supplements for women
If you’ve read any of our other articles, I love creatine. And there is a good reason for this. It is one of the most studied muscle-building supplements in the world. It is also very safe to take.
Benefits of Creatine
- Improves muscular endurance during high-intensity exercise (1)
- Raises IGF-1 a growth factor that promotes muscle growth (2)
- Aids muscle fiber growth (3)
- May improve blood sugar levels and help diabetes (4)
I’ve been taking creatine for about 15 years now, and it has similar benefits for both men and women. Creatine is also one of the most cost-effective muscle-building supplements for women, so I recommend it first.
We have been using Optimum Nutrition brand creatine and with great results.
2. Whey protein
Whey protein powder is another very popular muscle-building supplement.
I specifically like using whey right after an intense weight training workout because it helps speed up the recovery process (and ultimately leads to fast muscle building). Whey is one of the fastest absorbing proteins (5)
Benefits of Whey Protein
- Rebuilds muscle tissue (6)
- It contains the amino acid leucine, which promotes muscle growth (7)
- It helps increase muscle-building hormones like insulin (8)
Although more expensive, I recommend using a whey protein with minimal ingredients.
I have been using Optimum Nutrition Natural Whey Protein for many years.
3. Casein protein
While Whey protein is a fast absorbing and digesting protein, Casein is a slower digesting protein. This makes it ideal for a before-dinner snack
Benefits of Casein Protein
- Improves muscle recovery
- Reduces triglyceride levels (9)
- May improve blood pressure (10)
- Burns more stored body fat (11)
One study showed that Casein was three times as effective as whey protein for building muscle. (12)
That is why I think they should be used in conjunction.
Whey protein for when you need fast digesting protein (before and after a workout), and casein when you need slow digesting protein (throughout the day, before bed)
I use Optimum Nutrition Casein. Some Caseins I have tried are chunky, but ON’s brand mixed well with no clumps.
Glutamine is an essential amino acid. And you may be thinking, why should I take extra Glutamine when it is already found in food? Well, the reason is that additional Glutamine will positively affect building muscle versus just food alone.
When I was bodybuilding in my 20s, I supplemented with Glutamine and found one thing to be true. I was much less sore and recovered faster when I supplemented with Glutamine. And when I stopped taking this, I felt the difference. Studies also back up my personal experience. (13)
Like Creatine, Glutamine is very cheap. Optimum Nutrition is the brand I would recommend.
Although Caffeine may not help increase muscle mass directly, it can help improve your workouts by giving your more energy. The more energy in the gym, the better your workouts, and ultimately the better muscular physique you will achieve.
Another benefit of caffeine is more body fat burned. The lower your body fat, the more you will see definition in your muscles.
There is certainly room for abuse with Caffeine, so make sure you limit your dosage to the recommended amount and don’t overdo it.
Black coffee is how I take my caffeine since it is so cheap and is something I drink in the morning anyway. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you can skip this without losing too much benefit.
BCAAs stand for branch chain amino acids. They are the building blocks of protein, which builds muscle. Although you don’t need BCAA’s, we found that BCAA’s tend to be more effective for women on a restricted diet.
They essentially have many benefits of taking protein but without the extra calories. However, we still recommend taking whey and casein protein to ensure you get the full spectrum of amino acids in your diet.
I like to avoid some BCAAs with extra sugar and ingredients. I used Optimum Nutrition Unflavored BCAA Powder.
7. Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are made naturally in the body, but by supplementing them, you can improve digestion and speed up the muscle-building process.
I have been using enzymes for years, which is especially effective when trying to build muscle.
You will be eating carbs, proteins, and fats, which can be tough on the body to break down. Digestive Enzymes give your system a boost to help process everything.
I have tried a few different brands, but AllMax Nutrition seems to be the most effective for my body.
8. Real Food
Remember that real food will always be the best way to build muscle as a woman. Without proper nutrition, the body will not have enough raw materials to rebuild muscle tissue.
The Whey and Casein proteins will certainly help but should not be a full replacement for real food. Get your nutrition in check first, your training second, and then focus on supplements to help you build muscle.