Men into weight lifting often take various supplements to help increase the size of their muscles. Ironically, many of these same supplements work well for women who lift weights, but not for the same reasons as men. Here are five supplements that you should be taking to get the most benefit from your weight lifting efforts.
Whey Protein Powder
Because muscles need the amino acids found in protein to repair themselves and tone, taking protein powder containing the right amino acids – the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) – is an easy way to get what you need in the right amounts. One scoop of powder contains about 20 grams of protein, and because it is quick digesting, when taken before and after a workout it gives you the protein boost your body needs both before and after a workout.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
As mentioned above BCAAs help muscles repair themselves and grow lean muscle mass. But these BCAAs in particular not only can be used by the body as fuel, but also to trick the brain to not sensing fatigue as quickly. The delay is not enough to be dangerous, but enough to allow you to work out a little longer. Take 3 to 5 grams at breakfast and again pre and post-workout.
This supplement improves endurance. So regardless if you run, cycle or lift weights, it will help you perform longer then you could have without it. Taking 2 to 5 grams before and after a workout will also help improve brain function and lower the bad cholesterol LDL, along with helping you push through your weight lifting workouts.
Proven to improve blood flow through the creation of nitric acid, it dilates blood vessels thus allowing more blood, and consequently more oxygen, to get to your muscles. More oxygen increases the amount of energy you have to do your strength training workouts.
In one study in 2008, they found female athlete participants that took arginine had lower body fat percentages and increased lean muscle mass. But as a woman, don’t think that you will put on muscle mass like a man. It just won’t happen, but it can add toning and definition from just a little more mass.
Take 3 to 5 grams before breakfast and then again 30 minutes before working out and before going to bed.
With enough of this supplement present, the body can use it to create carnosine. Not only does carnosine help improve muscle mass, strength and endurance, but one study showed that when beta-alanine was taken in conjunction with creatine, participants showed a larger drop in body fat than participants taking only creatine. Two to 3 grams taken before and after workouts should be enough to get the full effect.
If you notice, most of these supplements are taken before and after a workout, so an easy way to get them all in at once is to put the supplements in powder form in your whey protein shake. Regardless of how you get them, each one will do its part to help you get the lean sexy body you desire.