Pre-Workout Supplements for Women: What You Need to Know

Pre-Workout Supplements for Women: What You Need to Know

Taking care of your health is one of the most important elements of living a good life.

When you’re putting in the time, money, and energy to improve your fitness ... I'm sure you aren’t cutting corners or slacking off. You want every workout to count, and every meal to fuel your body and help you feel your best.

Plus, when you're particular about what you put in your body, you want to make all the right decisions. That's why it can be hard to know what to do when it comes to supplements.

I get it ... and I'm the same way too. If I want something, I put my best foot forward every time! I also am very cautious about what I fuel my body with, especially as a dietitian.

If you're reading this, you're probably curious whether pre-workouts are worth it or not. You're also probably wondering if they're good for you or not.

You may be thinking, "Are there any good pre-workout supplements for women?" Or, "Do I need a pre-workout supplement?"

In this article, I'm going to break down what pre-workout supplements are. I'll also go over when to include them in your fitness routine, and other best practices too.

I personally use them from time to time and consider them to be a great tool to help you reach your goals! So let's talk about them.

What Are Pre-Workouts & Are There Good Pre-Workouts for Women?

Pre-workout supplements are designed to improve your performance during exercise. They can also be a great way to give you a boost of energy and motivation. A lot of women, like myself, take them for that reason alone.

Many of them boast the benefits of increased energy, strength, endurance, and focus. A handful of pre-workouts can even help support better recovery, believe it or not.

For example, some pre-workouts have amino acids like BCAAs (branched chain amino acids). BCAAs taken pre-workout can help reduce muscle damage and enhance recovery (1).

Athletes especially can benefit from pre-workouts before they train. This is because to compete many must push their bodies to new extremes. Pre-workouts can provide the energy and enhanced performance needed to do so.

But athletes are far from the only people who can benefit from pre-workouts. 

Anyone wanting to take their workouts to the next level can benefit from a good pre-workout! It could be just what you need to get the extra push you’re hoping for.

We all want to be motivated. Everyone wants to have that inner drive to give it everything they have towards their goals. 

The problem is motivation doesn’t just drop in your lap. If you have a whole lot of energy and focus though, it’s a lot easier to get up and push yourself!

Basically, pre-workout supplements are a great way to prepare yourself for intense workouts. You don’t need one, but they can certainly help!

Are there pre-workouts for women specifically? Sure. However, this normally has more to do with marketing than actual differences between men and women. Truthfully, we can benefit from most, if not all of, the same ingredients.

In fact, "women's pre-workouts" typically just have less caffeine than "men's pre-workouts". When it comes to pre-workouts in general, there is a lot to choose from. I'll break down the different kinds of options you have.

At the end of the day, it's about finding one that best suits your workouts and your goals.

Are There Different Types of Pre-Workouts For Women?

Just like your specific goals, supplements are designed to get you specific results.

Some people want completely different benefits from their pre-workout supplement. Everyone has different goals, and people have different workout styles too.

Some people like to run. Some people like to lift weights. Some people like CrossFit. Some people like bodybuilding. Some people like powerlifting.

Some people want to build muscle. Some people want to lose body fat. Some people want to do both. Some people just want to be strong and healthy.

While goals and workouts are different, a lot of the ingredients you'll find in pre-workouts are the same. That includes those that are marketed as pre-workouts for women. So, what are these ingredients?

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your energy, focus, and drive. If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will! If you have long workouts or just need more energy to push yourself, then you'll want it! Think of it as a quicker-hit, substitution for your morning cup of coffee.

Amino Acids

These could be BCAAs, essential amino acids (EAA), or individual amino acids. Their main role is to minimize muscle breakdown and help support recovery. Beta-alanine is one of these popular amino acids. It can actually help buffer acid buildup during workouts. This can help reduce fatigue and increase endurance.

Creatine

As a woman, I've always been told to stay away from creatine. But, once I found out what creatine is and how it actually works ... I gave it a try. As someone who lifts weights, I highly recommend it!

Creatine is the most studied supplement out there! It can help increase performance by improving strength and power. It does this by helping you maximize energy production during every set. No, it's not going to make you bulky, bloated, or puffy either.

If you're trying to build some muscle, I doubt you'll be disappointed with creatine.

Carbohydrates & Electrolytes

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy our body uses during exercise. If you want to build muscle or boost performance, having carbs in your pre-workout can help! Electrolytes can also help support proper hydration, endurance, and muscle function for training.

Vasodilators

Some ingredients in pre-workouts can even help support blood flow. The purpose of this is to shuttle more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles during a workout. One benefit of this can be endurance. However, a lot of people say it can also encourage a strong mind-to-muscle connection.

These are only some of the more common ingredients you’ll see in pre-workout supplements.

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Safe For Women?

Pre-workouts can be plenty safe when used correctly. It also helps if you get them from a reputable brand. However, before you try any supplement, it's always best to consult your healthcare provider.

Some of us can be more sensitive to caffeine, or should stay away from it altogether. On top of that, there can be other ingredients in pre-workouts that you may want to avoid. Everyone is different!

To make sure you're avoiding any adverse reactions, it's always best to follow the instructions on the label. For pre-workouts, it's generally never recommended to take more than one serving. That's because of the caffeine and stimulants.

Trust me, you don't want to be jittery or shaky before a workout ... It's not a good feeling! Well, that's just a side effect you can experience when you have too much caffeine.

I'd personally recommend starting at half a serving of whatever you try and working it up over time.

Caffeine in the right amounts is safe to take if you’re healthy. Like anything else though, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing too. 

Anything can be unsafe if used incorrectly. Even if you drank way too much water it could have a negative outcome.

So, as long as you follow the directions, and don’t take anything your doctor has told you not to, you should have nothing to worry about!

If you want to avoid caffeine altogether, you can also choose a pre-workout that doesn't have it. Believe it or not, there are non-stimulant pre-workouts you can buy!

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t use supplements as a replacement for a good, well-balanced diet. 

Pre-workout supplements are not food, and shouldn’t be thought of as such. So, don’t skip a meal because your pre-workout will give you enough energy.

Pre-workouts are not a substitute for any form of nutrition.

Do Pre-Workouts Cause Weight Loss or Weight Gain?

Now, do pre-workouts have a direct impact on your goals? Can they help you lose weight or gain weight? I would say yes and no.

Yes, because they indirectly could help you gain or lose weight. No, because they won't directly impact weight gain or weight loss.

Whether you lose body fat, or gain it, it always comes down to calorie balance. It's the calories you burn vs the calories you consume.

If you want to lose body fat, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. You can only achieve that in one of two ways:

1. You can eat less food.

2. You can move more in order to burn more calories.

If you push yourself harder in the gym, you’ll burn more calories. If a pre-workout helps give you the energy to push yourself harder, then it may indirectly help you lose weight.

If you’re trying to gain muscle, you’ll have to work hard and eat more. Your pre-workout won’t make you eat more, but it could help you train harder!

So, while your pre-workout won’t be directly tied to your results, it can help!

What Type of Pre-Workout is Best For Women?

So, do women really need different pre-workouts than men? I can honestly say that isn’t true. Like I said, this is often more about marketing than anything else.

This doesn't mean everyone is the same though. Remember, the pre-workout that will best suit you depends on your workout and your goals. It also depends on what you're looking to get out of a pre-workout.

So what benefits are you looking for in a pre-workout?

If you want mainly energy and focus, then you may want a pre-workout with caffeine and other stimulants.

If you lift weights and want something for strength, endurance, and more ... then may look for ingredients like creatine, beta-alanine, and carbohydrates.

If you want something without caffeine, you can also look into non-stimulant pre-workouts that can support specific aspects of your training!

Try 1st Phorm Pre-Workouts

At 1st Phorm, our mission is to help real people like you and me achieve real and long-term results. If we're going to make the world a better place, it starts with us living up to our full potential.

Part of us becoming the best version of ourselves means getting our health and fitness dialed in. If you want to look and feel your best, that's what we're here for!

All of our supplements are founded on quality and measured on your results. For that reason, I'm certain we have a pre-workout that will be everything you want and more!

For strictly an energy and focus pre-workout, we have Megawatt. This is my personal favorite! Between the delicious flavors, focus, and electrolytes I get ... It really helps me crush my workouts.

For a fully-dosed, performance-driven pre-workout, we have Project-1. If performing your absolute best is part of your goal, Project-1 can help. It has a full serving of creatine, beta-alanine, and all the energy and focus you could need amongst several other ingredients. I definitely encourage giving it a try if you weight train.

For non-stimulant pre-workouts that can help boost various aspects of your workout, we have AlphaSurge and Endura-Formance.

AlphaSurge is designed to help increase and support blood flow. This can help shuttle more oxygen and nutrients to the muscle for endurance and mind-to-muscle connection.

On the other hand, Endura-Formance is a non-stimulant pre-workout that can be great for endurance and performance. It combines beta-alanine, creatine, electrolytes, and more to support your more difficult training sessions.

Not to mention, our pre-workouts are available in a wide variety of delicious flavors. All you have to do is mix it up with cold water and drink it back roughly 30 minutes before your workout!

Check out 1st Phorm Pre-Workouts here and I know you'll find one you love!

If you have any questions for us in the meantime, don't hesitate to reach out. Our team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Nutrition Coaches is happy to help and available from 6 AM to 10 PM every day! Just send us an email at CustomerService@1stPhorm.com or call us at 1-800-409-9732.

References:

(1) Ra SG, Miyazaki T, Kojima R, Komine S, Ishikura K, Kawanaka K, Honda A, Matsuzaki Y, Ohmori H. Effect of BCAA supplement timing on exercise-induced muscle soreness and damage: a pilot placebo-controlled double-blind study. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2018 Nov;58(11):1582-1591. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07638-1. Epub 2017 Sep 22. PMID: 28944645.

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