T Nation

Girlfriend's Supplements/Nutrition (and Mom's)


Hey ladies,

I’m not a woman but I’m looking for advice regarding women.

My girlfriend’s been lifting for about a year, and recently asked me what the best protein powder is for women…I think because she wants to make sure she gets in enough protein, and because with her school/work schedule it would be easier for her to make a shake rather than cook meals.

Does anybody have any recommendations? As far as brand, amount to take, when to take? And if you do recomend something - is there a special reason why? Are there any opther supplements you’d recommend? She gets UTI’s a lot and has started taking a cranberry supplement that she feel like has helped. I always recommend fish oil to anybody but is there anything else that would be helpful to a woman? I feel like I remember an old Dani Shugart article where she said taking zinc or iron or something really helped her get out of a funk…I’ll have to find that. What would you recommend her diet look like - for an 18 year old girl, lifting weights 4-6 days a week, and juggling school and work?

And is there anything you would recommend to older women? My mom is in her mid-30’s, and her mom is in her mid-50’s. Neither has horrible eating habits - sometimes I think they don’t always eat enough, as they seem scared of gaining wieght, yet they both have definitely have some fat they could lose. Maybe it’s due to having multiple children, being a woman, and getting older, which wouldn’t make it impossible to lose weight, but would make it harder when it’s coupled with the fact that neither of them have an athletic/sports history or lifestlye, and that they both do very little physical activity.

I’m trying to help get them to be more active, and giving some nutritional advice (I admittedly don’t know that much about nutrition - still trying to figure out excercise), but is there any supplement or food that you would recommend a woman take as she got older, to help fight anything that could come her way?

This was pretty long so I’ll recap:

1). 18 year old active girl’s protein powder (I forgot to mention she’s lactose intolerant, so staying away from dairy would obviously be nice), other supplementation, and nutrition tips. Any brands/specific foods, please explain why.

2). Mid 30’s mom, and mid-50’s mom, both beginning to become more active, but still looking for advice on nutrition and supplementation, as they’ll probably rely more on those than on exercise.

Hope you can help! Thank you!


Metabolic Drive. Why because it works. Pre or post work out. Remember though it’s a supplement, not a meal replacement.


Protein is protein man. Are there man steaks and little girl steaks?* Look for stuff with minimal ingredients and not filled with dud aminos/sugar/whatever your phobia is

.* The answer is yes but shut up.


Doesn’t really matter. Just pick one that agrees with her stomach.

Fish oil of some type, zinc, iron, magnesium. Up the dosage of iron when her period comes along, return to normal afterwards.

Quality protein sources, quality carb sources, veggies, fruits. Divvy this up according to her lean body weight. Maybe carb cycle on the days she off of training, and time the carbs around her workout when she does train. Keep mobility work in mind, and keep cardio in reasonable proportions to her lifting.

Same for your girlfriend. Just readjust food intake and training for the older lady.

Doubt it.

There’s your answer right there. ^^

Physical activity/weight training coupled with eating enough, and eating the right quality foods will take a woman farther than any supplement can. Get their diet in check first. If you can’t do it, seek out someone who can and is certified.

It’s best they realize that exercise is something that’s mostly non negotiable if they wish to remain healthy and see progress.


Haha I like your writing style. Thanks for the info!

What do zinc and magnesium do for you? I know they’re good; I just don’t know much about “why.”

I’m trying to start getting our moms more active…thinking of possibly a Starting Strength type thing, probably minus the cleans. Also just trying to walk a little each day. What’s your opinion of that?

Anyway, I appreciate the info. It was helpful


Zinc helps with your immune system. Magnesium helps the production of new muscle,bone, and tissue growth.

Espeacially women who are still menstruating regularly, it’s a good idea to take magnesium and zinc and iron.

SS sounds fine, or even a basic 5x5 program. When I first started out I used a 5x5 program. Definitely keep it simple. And walking, biking, swimming, etc are all good. Just let them enjoy it. If they’re just wanting to be more in shape and healthy I’d keep it simple like that.

If your girlfriend or the lady who is in her 30s wishes to try and advance over the years, perhaps have them read some articles on this site about how to start out and how to keep progressing.