Muscle building is a huge challenge for women. Due to their low testosterone levels, women have to work way harder than men to build up. That being said, when we talk about muscles, we certainly do not refer to beefy bulky bodies, taking away all the attraction. Instead, we stress the importance of lean muscles that all women need to gain power and strength.
Building muscles and proper nutrition can help build a toned physique that acts as no less than a fat-burning machine. This is because muscles help burn calories. This equates to an increased metabolic rate which accelerates weight loss. Muscle building also fortifies your bones, leading to fluid movements and better life quality.
However, depending solely upon nutrition and heavy weight lifting wouldn’t cut it in the case of women, and supplementation can act as massive support. Muscle-building supplements are not just one of the most misconceived supplementations but are also super confusing for many. The flashy labels, sensationalized headlines, and misleading information on the internet have a huge role in this.
Contrary to the prevalent perception, supplements are a powdered blend of nutrients directly contributing to muscle building. They do not work by increasing the size of your muscles by inculcating power, leading to effective muscle build. Since women naturally have pretty low muscle mass-building capabilities, supplements can take them an extra mile. They help:
- Rebuild muscles
- Improve energy and focus
- Enhance workout performance
- Speed up weight loss
- Improve cognition
If your fitness goals align with the benefits mentioned above, then it's time to make the necessary shift towards supplementation. Quit gravitating towards cardio machines and start powering yourself with the multi-ingredient formula. This article highlights the top 10 muscle-building supplements for women that can help them scale-up:
One can't stress enough how important protein is for muscle building. Protein contains amino acids, which are the primary component required for muscles. It's essential to comprehend that one needs to consume more protein than breaking it down through natural processes.
Whey protein powders, casein, and soy protein all consist of amino acids in significant amounts to ideally fulfill your fitness objectives. Besides, the food sources such as lean meats, poultry, fish and seafood, and dairy products can also help you build leaner muscles mass.
Research suggests that people who add extra protein to their diet through supplements and protein-rich diets lead them to gain slightly more muscle than adding carbs.
If you are taking protein supplements to gain muscle, you might have been at a point where you wonder how much protein you should take per pound. In that case, it is recommended to take 0.5-0.9 grams of protein per pound. Bill Campbell explains in his video why protein is important for physique enhancement.
You must do proper research while purchasing a protein supplement. Whey Protein Powder by DMoose is a high-quality protein supplement that helps build muscles, enhances workout performance, and supports post-workout muscle recovery. It is gluten-free and does not contain hormones, soy, or fillers.
- Repairs tissues
- Good flavor
- Easy to mix with water
- May lead to a spike in blood sugar levels.
2. Weight Gainers
Weight gainers are supplements that are specifically used to gain muscles. They help you gain calories; therefore, they offer a perfect solution for people who find it tricky to gain muscle despite consuming many calories.
The high-calorie supplements provide 75-300 grams of carbs and 20-60 grams of protein per serving. The research concludes that physically inactive individuals witnessed a dramatic increase in muscle mass by consuming sufficient proteins.
However, it's important to note that weight gainer supplements are only recommended if you struggle to eat enough food and find it easier to fulfill your body needs with drinks like shakes, etc.
- Boosts calorie intake
- Increases lean muscle mass
- May cause muscle cramps
- May cause liver problems for some individuals
Creatine is a molecule naturally produced by our bodies, providing energy to our muscles. With dietary supplements, you can increase the energy supply to the muscles up to 40% beyond the ordinary levels.
Creatine supplements help elevate your exercise performance, which leads to muscle gain. Creatine Powder by DMoose is one of the best supplements to enhance your speed and energy. A significant amount of research has proven that creatine supplements can exhibit a drastic improvement in muscle strength.
Creatine helps increase the water content in your muscles, making them swell, thereby stimulating muscle building in the body. Research has also shown that creatine supplements can decrease protein breakdown. Consequently, you can witness an improvement in muscle building.
- Highly safe and popular among fitness enthusiasts
- Improves muscle strength
- Decreases protein breakdown
- May cause bloating
- May lead to stomach discomfort
This is one of the best muscle-building supplements for women. It reduces fatigue by buffering lactic acid, which directly impacts gym performance.
Research showed that consuming 4 grams of beta-alanine for eight weeks can result in lean body mass in wrestlers. Another study mentioned that individuals following a six-week high-intensity interval training witnessed an increase of body mass by 1 pound after taking this supplement.
This female muscle-building supplement can act as great support for muscle gain. It manifests lean mass production by expanding the bloodstream, augmenting metabolism, and restoring.
Pre Workout Powder by DMoose contains 2000mg of Beta-Alanine. It delays your onset of fatigue, enhances muscle endurance, and augments athletic performance.
- Boosts metabolism
- Improves muscle recovery
- Can give prickling sensation
5. Nitrates and Nitric Oxide Boosters
Nitric oxide supplements optimize your gym performance and are pretty popular among athletes. The reason behind it is that nitric oxide is used in several cellular processes in our bodies. It widens the blood vessels, ensures efficient nutrient delivery for smooth muscle functioning, and enhances exercise performance.
These supplements are ideal for better work output, improved endurance, and muscle recovery. Every gym-goer is well aware of the pain of sore muscles after a strenuous workout. Well, this supplement can help eradicate the uncomfortable experience.
You can look for supplements with beetroot powder, arginine, or citrulline to have these benefits. These can be effective if you take the dosage of 6g per day.
- Enhances muscle endurance
- Decreases muscle soreness
- If taken in doses above 10g, it can lead to diarrhea and stomach discomfort.
Having coffee or tea in the morning can drive you alert, but coffee alone will not cut it. Caffeine is a total game-changer when it comes to boosting focus and power. It does that by increasing dopamine and epinephrine levels in the brain. However, if you want to relish the benefits of caffeine, supplements can take you an extra mile.
Pre-workout supplements can contain 100-400mg of caffeine or even more; however, the appropriate dosage recommended is between 50mg to 300mg, depending upon your tolerance.
- Boosts power
- Increases focus
- High dosage may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, insomnia, and other negative side effects.
Magnesium is a substantial mineral required by our body. However, most of us are naturally deficient in it. Research proves several important benefits of magnesium that you can relish with supplementation.
Studies report magnesium to be highly advantageous in lowering blood pressure levels.
A review of 34 studies showed that people who consumed 340mg of magnesium per day for three months saw a reduction in systolic blood pressure. It also plays a critical role in blood sugar management. Taking magnesium supplements can be helpful in insulin resistance and stabilizing blood sugar levels among type 2 diabetes patients.
More importantly, studies have proved that magnesium supplements can be specifically effective for people performing high-intensity exercise as it increases the oxygenation to the muscles.
- Lowers blood pressure levels
- Improves insulin resistance
- Enhances oxygenation to muscles
- Sedative effects due to high doses
- Gut-related issues
- Risky for people with kidney issues
Adaptogens are optimal supplements that assist females in achieving a toned body. Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, cordyceps are some common examples that help reduce fatigue and improve cognitive functioning. Once you're more alert and active during your workouts, you will feel an upscaling change in your workout performance.
If you search for dietary supplements that help you reach your target reduction, then Fat Burner by DMoose is an ideal option. It consists of 150mg of ashwagandha, which helps reduce fat uniformly and raises cortisol levels.
- Improves muscle endurance
- Increases muscle mass
- Diminishes fatigue
- May cause gastrointestinal stress
BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) are popular bodybuilding supplements for women. These consist of three amino acids - leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are essentially important for growing muscles as they make up for 14% of the amino acids in the muscles.
Studies show that BCAAs can increase muscle mass or recede muscle loss compared to placebo. It is said that this supplement is only likely to work if you're taking an inadequate protein diet. It increases the rebuilding, repairing, and synthesizing of new muscle tissues, fueling the muscles.
If you are a serious athlete looking to speed up muscle building, then Essential Amino Acids by DMoose can be what you are looking for. It maximizes recovery time, repairs damaged tissues and prevents muscle breakdown from helping you perform at your peak.
- Synthesizes new muscle tissues
- Assists with muscle recovery
- May cause fatigue, nausea, or headache
HMB is short for Beta-hydroxy beta-methyl butyrate. This molecule is naturally produced by the body when it breaks down the amino acid leucine required for muscle repair and synthesis. It is vital for decreasing the breaking down of muscle proteins.
While naturally produced HMB in the body has several benefits for your muscles, it is produced in very small amounts. Therefore, taking it as a supplement can take the advantages up a notch. Studies suggest that HMB supplements can aid muscle growth, improve adaptations to exercise, significantly reduce muscle impairment, and diminish inflammatory markers.
Several studies have shown that untrained individuals who took 3-6 grams of HMB per day regained the lean body mass. If you are a beginner who is getting started with exercise and wants to increase the intensity, this supplement can prove critical in your performance.
- Reduces muscle protein breakdown
- Improves body composition
- Increases endurance
- No potential side effects
Muscle building can be challenging for women due to low testosterone levels; however, they can build lean muscle mass with the right supplementation. Muscle-building supplements can boost energy, enhance workout performance, and improve cognitive functioning. Supplements such as protein, creatine, BCAAs, magnesium, etc., can help you attain your fitness goals more efficiently and effectively.
- Phillips, Stuart M., et al. “Dietary Protein to Support Anabolism with Resistance Exercise in Young Men.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, vol. 24, no. 2, Apr. 2005, pp. 134S-139S. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2005.10719454.
- Kerksick, Chad M., et al. “The Effects of Protein and Amino Acid Supplementation on Performance and Training Adaptations during Ten Weeks of Resistance Training.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 20, no. 3, Aug. 2006, pp. 643–53. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1519/R-17695.1.
- Lemon, P. W. “Do Athletes Need More Dietary Protein and Amino Acids?” International Journal of Sport Nutrition, vol. 5 Suppl, June 1995, pp. S39-61. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsn.5.s1.s39.
- Spillane, Mike, and Darryn S. Willoughby. “Daily Overfeeding from Protein and/or Carbohydrate Supplementation for Eight Weeks in Conjunction with Resistance Training Does Not Improve Body Composition and Muscle Strength or Increase Markers Indicative of Muscle Protein Synthesis and Myogenesis in Resistance-Trained Males.” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, vol. 15, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 17–25.
- Bray, George A., et al. “Effect of Dietary Protein Content on Weight Gain, Energy Expenditure, and Body Composition during Overeating: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” JAMA, vol. 307, no. 1, Jan. 2012, pp. 47–55. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2011.1918,
- Watt, Kenneth K. O., et al. “Skeletal Muscle Total Creatine Content and Creatine Transporter Gene Expression in Vegetarians Prior to and Following Creatine Supplementation.” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, vol. 14, no. 5, Oct. 2004, pp. 517–31. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.14.5.517.
- Lanhers, Charlotte, et al. “Creatine Supplementation and Upper Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), vol. 47, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 163–73. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0571-4.
- Parise, G., et al. “Effects of Acute Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation on Leucine Kinetics and Mixed-Muscle Protein Synthesis.” Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md.: 1985), vol. 91, no. 3, Sept. 2001, pp. 1041–47. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.2001.91.3.1041.
- Trexler, Eric T., et al. “International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Beta-Alanine.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 12, July 2015, p. 30. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y.
- Kern, Ben D., and Tracey L. Robinson. “Effects of β-Alanine Supplementation on Performance and Body Composition in Collegiate Wrestlers and Football Players.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 25, no. 7, July 2011, pp. 1804–15. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e741cf.
- Smith, Abbie E., et al. “Effects of Beta-Alanine Supplementation and High-Intensity Interval Training on Endurance Performance and Body Composition in Men; a Double-Blind Trial.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 6, Feb. 2009, p. 5. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-6-5
- Lewis, Paul B., et al. “Muscle Soreness and Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness.” Clinics in Sports Medicine, vol. 31, no. 2, Apr. 2012, pp. 255–62. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csm.2011.09.009.
- Astrup, A., et al. “Caffeine: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Its Thermogenic, Metabolic, and Cardiovascular Effects in Healthy Volunteers.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 51, no. 5, May 1990, pp. 759–67. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/51.5.759.
- Romani, Andrea M. P. “Beneficial Role of Mg2+ in Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension.” International Journal of Hypertension, vol. 2018, June 2018, p. 9013721. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9013721.
- Zhang, Xi, et al. “Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trials.” Hypertension (Dallas, Tex.: 1979), vol. 68, no. 2,
Aug. 2016, pp. 324–33. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.07664.
- Gröber, Uwe, et al. “Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy.” Nutrients, vol. 7, no. 9, Sept. 2015, pp. 8199–226. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095388.
- Golf, S. W., et al. “On the Significance of Magnesium in Extreme Physical Stress.” Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy, vol. 12 Suppl 2, Sept. 1998, pp. 197–202. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1007708918683.
- Panossian, Alexander. “Understanding Adaptogenic Activity: Specificity of the Pharmacological Action of Adaptogens and Other Phytochemicals.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 1401, no. 1, Aug. 2017, pp. 49–64. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13399.
- Parisi, A., et al. “Effects of Chronic Rhodiola Rosea Supplementation on Sport Performance and Antioxidant Capacity in Trained Male: Preliminary Results.” The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, vol. 50, no. 1, Mar. 2010, pp. 57–63.
- Chen, Steve, et al. “Effect of Cs-4 (Cordyceps Sinensis) on Exercise Performance in Healthy Older Subjects: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), vol. 16, no. 5, May 2010, pp. 585–90. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2009.0226.
- Wankhede, Sachin, et al. “Examining the Effect of Withania Somnifera Supplementation on Muscle Strength and Recovery: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 12, 2015, p. 43. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9.
- Blomstrand, Eva, et al. “Branched-Chain Amino Acids Activate Key Enzymes in Protein Synthesis after Physical Exercise.” The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 136, no. 1 Suppl, Jan. 2006, pp. 269S-73S. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/136.1.269S.
- Gallagher, P. M., et al. “Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate Ingestion, Part I: Effects on Strength and Fat Free Mass.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 32, no. 12, Dec. 2000, pp. 2109–15. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768-200012000-00022.
- Nissen, S., et al. “Effect of Leucine Metabolite Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate on Muscle Metabolism during Resistance-Exercise Training.” Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md.: 1985), vol. 81, no. 5, Nov. 1996, pp. 2095–104. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1918.104.22.1685.
- Durkalec-Michalski, Krzysztof, et al. “The Effect of a 12-Week Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation on Highly-Trained Combat Sports Athletes: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study.” Nutrients, vol. 9, no. 7, July 2017, p. E753. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070753.
- Silva, Vagner R., et al. “β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate Free Acid Supplementation May Improve Recovery and Muscle Adaptations after Resistance Training: A Systematic Review.” Nutrition Research (New York, N.Y.), vol. 45, Sept. 2017, pp. 1–9. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2017.07.008.
- Hoffman, Jay R., et al. “β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate Attenuates Cytokine Response during Sustained Military Training.” Nutrition Research (New York, N.Y.), vol. 36, no. 6, June 2016, pp. 553–63. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2016.02.006.