You wouldn’t buy dog food for your cat! So why are you taking men’s workout supplements?
I know what you’re thinking. “But I don’t use men’s workout supplements!” That’s where you’re (probably) wrong. See, while most workout supplements don’t actually say “For Men” on the label, it’s incredibly common for these supplements to be formulated with men’s bodies in mind, not women’s.
So why does this matter? Depending on you, it might not, but the problem is that most women don’t even know that they’ve been taking creatine, protein powder, pre-workout or BCAAs which were designed for men!
Let’s break it down.
Workout Supplements: Explained
What do I mean when I say that workout supplements are secretly for men?
It all comes down to two factors, Serving Sizes and Ingredients.
Manufacturers often set their serving sizes based on what works best for men. These serving sizes are often larger than would be optimal for most women, and more isn’t always better.
Similarly, the ingredients used in these formulas are mostly determined based on the needs of men’s bodies.
Why Serving Sizes Matter
Let’s talk about Kool-Aid. Add a scoop of powder to the recommended amount of water, and what do you get? A normal drink. However, what if you add that same amount of powder to less water? The drink gets stronger because the concentration of powder is higher.
This is exactly how serving sizes work. On average, men are 20 lbs heavier than women. Some have speculated that every pound of weight corresponds to an extra 5 miles of blood vessels.
Thus, serving sizes for men often burden women’s systems with unnecessarily high concentrations of whatever supplement they’re taking.
Here are two examples.
If you’re working out and using protein powder, chances are good that you’re trying to gain muscle and lose fat. But guess what? Excess protein (like the kind overly large serving sizes can give you) is usually stored as fat!
Over-supplementing with protein can also result in metabolic stress. Excess protein forces your kidneys to work harder to get rid of the excess nitrogen created from the metabolization of protein. For people with kidney issues, this can be especially problematic.
Caffeine is a primary ingredient of most pre-workouts. One serving of pre-workout usually contains roughly 300 mg of caffeine. In contrast, supplements formulated for women usually contain about 200 mg.
Caffeine is a stimulant often used to increase energy and focus. Exercise helps metabolize caffeine, but if you’ve taken too much (like, 100 mg more than you need!), then excess caffeine can linger in your system for hours! This can cause or worsen anxiety and nervousness. It can also cause insomnia and sleep interruptions.
Why Ingredients Matter
As children, boys and girls have similar dietary needs, but when puberty begins, women begin to develop unique nutritional requirements.
For example, women lose a great deal of iron during menstruation which must be replaced. A woman’s dietary requirement for iron is nearly twice as high as that of men!
Women also have special requirements for nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and folic acid.
Workout supplements designed for women are often fortified with these essential nutrients in order to support women’s health.
The Bottom Line
So there it is: The workout supplement secret that every woman should know.
If you’ve been taking normal workout supplements, now’s the time to make the switch to something that’s meant for you!