T Nation

Supplements for women

T-Forum Members and T-Mag Staff:

The reason that I am posting this on the forum is because I was wondering if anyone could give me suggestions on what types of supplements that would be good for women to take? I am seriously interested in becoming a fitness competitor, but I do not want to develop masculine features as I have noticed seem to be common in many fitness competitors and female bodybuilders (especially in the face). I have decided that I will never use pro-hormones of any type. Does anyone have any suggestions of supplemenst that I might take to help me on my way without making me look like a man? Currently, I am taking Whey Protein, Meal Replacement Protein Shakes, Creatine, Multi-Vitamin, and Hot-Rox. My diet is already in order, and I am keeping an accurate diet log, along with consistent exercise. I was just curious as to what types of supplements would be good for women.

Amy,

Their are plenty of supps. that a women can use to help her on her way to her personal goals. The problem I am having is what to suggest. What are you looking to get from these supps… Are you looking for fat loss help, mass adding help, etc…

To just spit put a few supps. that I like that anyone can take with no specific goal in mind, and are not on your current list.

R-ala
green tea/green tea extract
msm
fish and/or flax oils
extra vit. c and e supplementation
Calcium
methoxy when it comes back out.

I dont know, there are so many things out there. Like I said it would be of help to know what you are looking for from a supplement.

Phill

along with that list i’d add:
methoxy, pre comp to harden up.
EFA’s, (espcially when dieting, i have seen so many female bodybuilder fitness competiotrs skin and hair go to crap from diets too low in fat)
basically anything that us boys can take excluding the “androgens” (mag 10, 4AD-ec, 1 ad, 1tu etc)
if not sure ask here, or dont take it.

The fitness competitors these days look like men because they’re on steroids, not supplements. Some of the top ones are even married to pro-bb’s. Think they don’t get educated very quickly?

Anyway, Hot-Rox is great and when the new Methoxy-7 comes out that will be good too. Also fish oil and maybe ZMA. Low Carb Grow is awesome if you need a protein supplement. I think some women get scared off by the name, but there’s no reason to be. Good luck! We need pics!

I agree with Phill

-Depending on your body comp right now, you could take a CLA. I have a friend who is a fitness model and she swears by it. If you’re super lean already, you might not want it.

-Big thumbs-up on the R-ALA. That stuff rocks.

-Overload on your Omega-3’s. Shoot for Fish oil capsules and some Flax oil. Take it with EVERY meal

My two cents. Good luck. I wish you the best.

What training phase are you in now and when do you plan on competeing?

First of all, I appreciate all of your suggestions. I bought some extra virgin olive oil and natural peanut butter today. I am thinking about taking flax seed oil, but am not exactly sure. I am looking for fat loss at this time. I am hoping to compete in a year.
I have never heard of R-ala. How does green tea taste?
What is methoxy-7 and why would it go good with Hot-Rox? Thanks again!!!

Amy

Amy as far as fat loss goes, getting your fish/flax oils will be a great help, along with helping with your skin and hair and other benefits.

R-ala, well heres this very short little description. If you want more just ask.

[quote]What is R-ALA?
R-lipoic acid is the biologically active form of alpha lipoic acid. It has been called the mitochondrial antioxidant because it is a key component of mitochondrial dehydrogenase complexes. R-lipoic acid is directly involved in cell metabolism and redox states. R-lipoic acid crosses the blood brain barrier, and helps regulate neuronal calcium homeostasis, scavenges a variety of reactive oxygen species (ROS) while recycling vitamins C, E and glutathione. R-lipoic acid has been shown to regulate pro-inflammatory cytokines, and alter the expression of “toxic genes”. R-lipoic acid has been used to treat diabetes and has been recommended as a “neuroprotective agent”

Why do I need it?
If it is naturally occurring within our bodies, then why do we need to take lipoic acid as a supplement? There are at least four good reasons. First, as we age, our bodies lose the ability to synthesize enough Lipoic acid, right at the time when we most need it. Secondly, you cannot get sufficient quantities from your foods. Third, the body produces small amounts of R-Lipoic acid for metabolism that may not be of sufficient quantity to neutralize rising free radical concentrations. Fourth, a minimum amount is necessary for normal metabolic processes. Taking larger amounts, can have pronounced therapeutic effects.

How is R-ALA different from ALA?
I have to get a little technical here in order to make the terminology meaningful. In chemistry, a compound that has four different groups attached to carbon has a plane of asymmetry. That carbon is designated ?chiral?, meaning it has ?handedness?. That means that the molecule can exist in two different forms that are non super-imposable mirror images of one another. Put your right palm on the back of your left hand. What do you see? Both hands have five fingers, with the same arrangement relative to the thumb and yet the thumbs point in different directions, so the hands are said to be mirror images of one another. Chiral molecules, like hands have this property. One of these isomeric molecules (called stereoisomers or enantiomers) rotates the plane of light in a machine called a polarimeter to the right and is designated dextro or +. The other isomer rotates the plane of light to the left and is called levo or -. There is another consideration when dealing with chiral molecules that places the four different substituents in order of priority. The priority is determined by convention and establishes what is called the ?Absolute Configuration? of the molecule. By starting with the highest priority substituent and moving in a clockwise direction to the second highest, and on to the third and fourth designates the molecule R. If you move in the opposite direction, the absolute configuration is S. Molecules in living systems generally exist in only one form. When the same molecule is synthesized, it consists of equal amounts of both forms. Commercially available alpha Lipoic acid is a synthetic product consisting of two forms, the R+ and S- isomers in equal amounts. As we said, naturally occurring Lipoic acid, the type your body makes and requires contains one form, the R-dextro or + form. This gives R-lipoic acid significantly more potency and efficacy. This is because the body recognizes R-lipoic acid and knows how to properly metabolize it, since all the key enzymes are structured to hold only the R-form of lipoic acid.

Does that mean ALA is no good?
Remember, alpha lipoic acid is contains 50% of the natural R-form and 50% of the unnatural S-form. Most of the therapeutic value lies in the R-form. That is the reason why people get results when they take an alpha Lipoic acid supplement.

So if I take half the amount of R-ala compared to ALA, I’ll get the same results?
It?s not quite that simple, although until recently researchers thought this was the case. There is new evidence surfacing that the unnatural S-form may actually interfere with the beneficial properties of the R-form. In one study with mice, alpha Lipoic acid at high doses shortened the mean lifespan, but even at low doses, the R- form increased total life-span. So it is best to avoid the S-form altogether in order to achieve maximum benefits. [/quote]

Green tea’s taste. Personally I like it and drink tons of it. Others dont like it. So you will just have to give it a go. You can also supplement with an extract. Look for high amount of EGCG for it’s fat loss effects.

I have yet to use methoxy, but many have reported it’s hardening effects. Try a search.

Hope that helps

Phill

R-ala helps with insulin/glucose management, basically helping shove more goodies towards the muscle and less to the fat.
Green tea is fine, it is often mixed with other teas and herbs for various flavours. Green tea can also be bought in stanardised capsule form. I prefer the actual tea myself during the day and plain ol’ caffeine pills pre-workout.
Methoxy is an odd one. I personally have no idea how it works (if someone would indulge me that would be nice!). I dont normally take stuff if i can find any GOOD scientific proof it works, however so many mates said it kick ass i had to try it. Basically it helps give the muscle a harder look and preserve muscle when dieting. Its obviously hard to do studies on “hardening”. Once the body fat get below about 16% (for the girls, below 12% for the boys) get some methoxy in ya and the look of the muscle can change quite a bit. Also you can get pumps while low carbing, Yay!
Read up on your fats (“fats round table” and JB & LL articles on this site). The flax oil can be a welcome addition to the diet, but give fish oils a bash as there is no need for the body to convert to DHA/EPA.

One of the most important factors for women is their hormonal levels. Products such as birth control pills can mess with the testosterone/estrogen balance. These pills can lower your test. levels to near nil. Not good. If you really want to do well, consider ditching the birth control pills if you are taking them. How old are you? Post-menopausal women can really benefit from manipulating testosterone/estrogen balance. The best thing to do is to have your hormone levels checked. I feel everyone should do this every few months or so. Hormones are the most important factor, so make sure you have a good idea of your own profile. I have had much success with women using products such as topical yohimbine creams for spot reduction of fat, 6-OXO, DHEA and 4-AD, all three of which can act as testosterone precursors without turning you into a man. That takes an enormous amount of exogenous testosterone.

loop brought up a good point.
The whole pill thing is quite individual. Some women find the fat comes off a lot easier if they drop it. Others find the pluses outway the minuses and stay on it. Its a personal choice.
as for taking 4-ad and DHEA…cant say i would recommend it…at all. especially it you want to compete in natural events.

I am a woman and my favorite for body comp is Methoxy. I have written a lot about it on other threads. I guess we’re still waiting for the new formula to come out.

I also agree with what’s been said about hormonal birth control pills. Many formulations decrease free T. And they all decrease insulin sensitivity. Not good. (This may not be the case with the patch, though.)

Green tea. I’ve also written a lot about this. I think it’s very helpful. I don’t like the taste, though some brands are better than others. But I like the way I feel when drinking it, so that keeps me brewing it. To help with fat loss, I believe you have to ingest a fair amount.

davo2 is on the money…

they look like men, because they are taking male hormones.

jaystyles