You might think of weight lifting as a man's sport, but there are many women who enjoy hitting the gym as a hobby or as a professional pursuit. Female powerlifters, bodybuilders and figure athletes compete in competitions alongside men, competing for titles such as Ms. Olympia and Ms. International. To maximize your time in the gym, you may want to use some muscle-building supplements. These supplements--many of which are designed specifically for women--can help increase your intensity in the gym and improve your muscle gains when you're not working out.
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Branched Chain Amino Acids
According to "The Female Training Bible" at Bodybuilding.com, women may benefit from the use of branched chain amino acid, or BCAA supplements. These supplements contain specific amino acids--the building blocks of muscle--that may enhance protein synthesis, which may lead to increased muscle mass, according to Bodybuilding.com. BCAA supplements are to be taken during exercise so that the amino acids can halt muscle breakdown, which is a natural result of working out. Bodybuilding.com also points out that BCAA supplements can give you an energy boost without having to rely on sugar-laden energy drinks. BCAA supplements do not contain sugars and are unlikely to contribute to fat gain.
You might think that all women's multivitamins are the same, but according to the Bodybuilding.com article "Strong, Sexy And Shapely: A Supplement Program For Women," that's not the case. The article explains that women's multivitamins contain higher concentrations of certain nutrients, including vitamin D, calcium and iron. Bodybuilding.com explains that vitamin D and calcium help promote stronger bones, which may reduce the risk of injury that comes with intense weight training. In addition, the extra iron helps to replace that which is lost in the blood during your menstrual cycle. The supplement program also suggests that multivitamins may help strengthen your immune system.
One constant in the world of fitness and muscle-building nutrition, whether you are male or female, is the importance of protein. Protein contains the amino acids that help build your muscles and may also help you feel full. According to the health and nutrition website HealthCastle.com, soy protein may have benefits that extend beyond muscle building. The website notes that soy protein contains calcium and iron, which Bodybuilding.com noted were important for women. In addition, soy protein contains fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. In addition, HealthCastle.com says that research indicates adding 47g of soy protein to your daily diet may help reduce cholesterol levels. The website also suggests soy may help build stronger bones.