If you’ve been working out for a while, more than likely you’re using workout supplements.
Are you using the best ones for your goals?
If you’ve just begun to exercise and want to try a few supplements, where do you start?
The best workout supplements for women cover basic and advanced needs.
In this guide, we will look at the most common goals and the best choices for each of those goals.
Best Workout Supplements For Women
- NLA For Her – Her Whey – Best Whey Protein For Women
- PEScience Select Vegan Protein Powder – Best Plant-Based Protein For Women
- Nutricost Pre-Workout Powder for Women – Best Budget Pre-Workout
- IdealFit IdealLean – Best Low Caffeine Pre-Workout
- MuscleTech Hydroxycut Max For Women – Best Women’s Thermogenic
- Jacked Factory Lean PM – Best Nighttime Fat Burner For Women
- Scivation Xtend Perfect 10 Amino – Best EAA For Women
- Nutricost BCAA for Women – Best BCAA For Women
- MusclePharm Essentials Micronized Creatine – Best Creatine For Women
- Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women – Best Multi For Women
- Nordic Naturals Omega-3 – Best Fish Oil For Women
Reviews – The Best Workout Supplements For Women
When it comes to workout supplements for women, protein powder is the most important. (1)
Adequate protein intake is critical because it supports lean muscle mass and muscle preservation.
Protein also supports muscle recovery. This is crucial because your muscle fibers are torn down when you train and repair themselves when you recover.
Without a doubt, protein powder should be your number one workout supplement regardless of your bodybuilding, athletic, or fitness goals.
When it comes to choosing a protein powder, there are quite a few options. They range from whey, casein, multi-source protein blend, or a plant source.
1. NLA For Her – Her Whey – Best Whey Protein For Women
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NLA For Her – Her Whey contains 28g of whey isolate per serving. There are also 26 vitamins and minerals, plus 50mg of MCTs.
Her Whey is designed to be used before and after workouts, as well as between meals on off-days.
This protein powder can help you lose fat by controlling hunger.
Use Her Whey when you’re craving something sweet. You’ll help keep blood sugar levels stable. Also, the extra fiber helps keep users satisfied and feeling full.
These benefits make Her Whey the best whey protein for women.
- 28g Whey Isolate Per Serving
- Complete Vitamin/Mineral Profile
- High Fiber
- May Be Too Sweet For Users
2. PEScience Select Vegan Protein Powder – Best Plant-Based Protein For Women
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Plant-based protein sources are popular right now.
To meet this demand, PEScience Select Vegan was designed for anyone who wants to add extra protein to their diet using vegan sources.
Select Vegan supplies 20g of pea and brown rice protein per serving.
The combination of these two protein sources creates a complete protein. Plus, it has an amino acid profile comparable to whey. This has become a popular combination among plant-based protein powders.
Select Vegan is sweetened with stevia. Overall, this is the best choice for women looking for a plant-based protein.
- Balanced Combination Of Plant Proteins
- 20g Complete Protein Per Serving
- Sweetened Naturally With Stevia
- Uses Lower Quality PConcentrate Instead Of Isolate
If you work out intensely, pre-workout supplements can make the difference between a good training session and a great one. With all the available pre-workout products, how do you choose the best one?
The best pre-workout supplements provide a balance between energy, focus, endurance, and pumps. It’s one of the best supplement investments for improved exercise performance you can make. (2, 3)
That said, what makes a pre-workout supplement for women different from one for men?
Typically, it will not contain as much caffeine, and it will probably be creatine free. Also, unlike pre-workouts for men, it will not contain any type of testosterone boosters.
In addition, some pre-workouts for women may contain weight loss ingredients.
Finally, pre-workouts come with or without stimulants. Stim-free typically means there will be more focus and nitric oxide boosting ingredients. Stim-free pre-workouts work well for users that train late in the day. Stim-free means you won’t experience any sleep disruption.
If you prefer stim-based pre-workouts on those days you can train early, you can alternate between the two. Taking pre-workout supplements in this way is common for those that work long hours but then have a couple of days off in a row.
Finally, once you’ve decided what type fits your needs, you can choose the best pre-workout for you.
3. Nutricost Pre-Workout Supplement for Women – Best Budget Pre-Workout
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Nutricost Pre-Workout for Women features a balanced, fully disclosed formula containing 200mg of caffeine.
It also has 200mg of theanine and 100mg of theobromine. This provides smooth, jitter-free, and crash-free energy that will last for hours.
This pre-workout supplement has ingredients for pumps, endurance, and focus, all dosed moderately for women. These include nitric oxide boosters such as citrulline malate and arginine AKG. These two ingredients work well together to increase nitric oxide production.
There’s also beta-alanine for endurance.
The only downside is that it does contain artificial ingredients. However, it also contains natural ingredients such as natural flavors.
Still, with 11 total grams of workout enhancers at this price point, it will definitely improve exercise performance. This pre-workout shake is the best budget pre-workout for women.
- Smooth, Jitter Free Energy
- Balanced Formula
- Exceptional Price Point
- Contains Artificial Ingredients
4. IdealFit IdealLean – Best Low Caffeine Pre-Workout
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IdealFit IdealLean only contains 150mg of caffeine from natural green tea extract. This makes IdealLean a great pre-workout for anyone that wants low caffeine.
The addition of theanine helps to smooth out any potential harsh effects from the caffeine. This pre-workout also contains a Fat Loss Blend to help stimulate fat burning.
Also, this pre-workout supplement provides beta-alanine, dosed low enough to minimize the harmless tingling effect. This ingredient is important for blocking the buildup of acid that causes muscle fatigue. It’s one of the best ingredients for enhanced exercise performance.
Plus, there is citrulline malate and agmatine to stimulate nitric oxide production. This will increase blood flow for better pumps.
There’s a balanced, fully disclosed label, other than the Fat Loss proprietary blend. This pre-workout is best suited for users that have made getting lean their primary goal.
- Contains Exclusive Ingredients To Help Lose Weight
- Low Dosed Natural Caffeine From Green Tea For Smooth, Clean Energy
- Increases Nitric Oxide Production For Improved Blood Flow (Pumps!)
- Uses A Proprietary Blend
- Contains Artificial Ingredients
Weight loss is the number one priority for many women. Several good workout supplements help women lose weight.
A good thermogenic based around caffeine is a great way to jumpstart a weight loss program of effective eating and exercising. It also helps boost energy levels due to its caffeine content.
However, not every woman wants to use a high caffeine fat burning workout supplement. There are other choices, such as a caffeine-free thermogenic and/or a nighttime formula.
If you can handle it, the best approach is to use both a thermogenic with caffeine during the day, then switch to a P.M. formula at night so you lose weight 24/7.
It should be noted that the terms “fat” and “weight” are used interchangeably. Mainstream media refers to losing fat as “losing weight”. The truth is these are not the same thing.
If you lose weight, you are losing water, muscle mass, fat, and bone density. Still, we will use the terms interchangeably because that’s what people understand.
5. MuscleTech Hydroxycut Max For Women – Best Women’s Thermogenic
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MuscleTech Hydroxycut Max For Women contains 225mg of caffeine, stimulates thermogenesis, and provides an energy boost.
Max For Women features a unique weight loss ingredient called c.canephora robusta. This compound is clinically tested to support thermogenesis and fat loss. It also contains various hair, skin, and nail nutrients.
The downside is that MuscleTech uses a prop blend. This means you have no idea how much you’re getting of any of the ingredients. The label does show the amount of caffeine (225mg), but that’s it.
Still, the combination of ingredients makes MuscleTech Hydroxycut Max For Women the best thermogenic.
- 225 mg Caffeine – Stimulates Thermogenesis & Increases Energy
- Contains An Exclusive Ingredient That Helps You Lose Weight
- Contains Ingredients For Healthy Hair, Skin & Nails
- MuscleTech Still Uses Prop Blends
6. Jacked Factory Lean PM – Best Nighttime Fat Burner For Women
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Jacked Factory Lean PM is designed for either women or men. Lean PM helps gently promote sleep, supports appetite control, and helps the body burn extra calories – without caffeine.
Lean PM is a fully disclosed formula that’s well dosed. It can be used by itself or stacked with the daytime fat-burning product of your choice.
Even though it supports sleep, it does not cause next-day drowsiness.
This is a 2 capsule per serving formula so it’s easy to use, and it has a good price point.
- Zero Stimulants
- Supports Sleep
- Helps Suppress Appetite
- Some Users Claim They Experience Vivid Dreams
When it comes to supplements that support muscle growth, BCAAs/EAAs are one of the best supplements you can use.
BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, consist of 3 aminos that are considered essential. This means they must be supplied by the diet and supplements.
There are 9 essential amino acids in total, and they are referred to as EAAs. This combination of amino acids has several important benefits. These include stimulating protein synthesis, which promotes lean muscle growth. They also help prevent muscle protein breakdown and support muscle recovery. (4, 5)
7. Scivation Xtend Perfect 10 Amino – Best EAA For Women
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Scivation Xtend Perfect 10 Amino is an EAA powder that contains 10g of all 9 EAAs, plus extra arginine and a 3.2g electrolyte blend. Perfect 10 contains 1g of carbohydrates and zero sugar.
Xtend Perfect 10 is engineered to imitate the ratio of EAAs in human muscle tissue. This means Perfect 10 is “perfectly” designed for growth, recovery, and repair.
The additional electrolyte blend is meant to imitate the ratio of minerals lost in sweat during workouts. This well-thought-out EAA formula can be used by women or men.
One of the downsides is the high sodium content. While sodium is an electrolyte, the 600mg in this product may lead to an overly salty taste.
Still, Scivation Xtend Perfect 10 is well-engineered and is the best EAA for women.
- 10g EAA Complex
- Extra Arginine
- 3.2g Electrolyte Blend
- It May Be Too Salty For Some Users
8. Nutricost BCAA for Women – Best BCAA For Women
No products found.
Nutricost BCAA for Women contains 6g of BCAAs, plus nutrients that support women’s health. These nutrients include hyaluronic acid, cranberry, and biotin.
BCAA for Women supports workout performance and recovery. The addition of hyaluronic acid supports skin and joint health.
Biotin also supports healthy skin, hair, and nails, while cranberry prevents urinary tract infections.
This is a well-rounded product that goes beyond supporting bodybuilding/athletic performance. That makes it the best BCAA for women.
- Features 6g BCAAs
- Contains Important Women’s Health Nutrients
- 3rd Party Tested For Quality, Potency & Purity
- Contains Artificial Sweeteners
Creatine has been around since the early 90s when it revolutionized the supplement industry. Since its introduction, it has become the most well-researched and proven effective supplement on the market.
Further, the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) provides a sports nutrition position stand for creatine, as well as most supplements. This is one more source that verifies the effectiveness of creatine. (6)
What does creatine do?
It increases ATP, which is the body’s source of energy. More ATP allows you to train harder and longer. It also acts as a cell volumizer, which means it pulls water into the muscle cells.
This translates to increased muscle size and improved strength. Some research also suggests it supports recovery, and other studies suggest it improves cognitive function. (7, 8)
9. Muscle Pharm Essentials Micronized Creatine – Best Creatine For Women
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Muscle Pharm Essentials Micronized Creatine supplies 5g of micronized creatine monohydrate per serving. Micronized means the particles are smaller thereby improving digestion.
The only ingredient in this product is creatine, there’s nothing else added. It’s an odorless, tasteless powder that can be mixed with water or your favorite beverage.
Creatine supports performance, endurance, and recovery. It also supports strength and power.
This product is a cornerstone supplement for any serious male or female bodybuilder, athlete, or fitness enthusiast.
- 5g Micronized Creatine Per Serving
- No Other Ingredients
- 3rd Party Tested For Banned Substances
- Some Users May Prefer Additional Ingredients
A good multivitamin and mineral formula can be considered “health insurance”. Vitamins and minerals are known as micronutrients. This means they are dietary substances that are required for good health but needed in small quantities. (9)
Some say you can get everything you need from a balanced, healthy diet.
However, following a balanced diet requires you to know how much of every vitamin and mineral you are getting in everything you eat every day. That’s not as easy as it sounds.
Also, it’s much harder to maintain the proper daily levels of the water-soluble C & B vitamins. They are crucial for several bodily functions and must be adequately replenished daily.
For female fitness enthusiasts that lead very busy lifestyles, a good multivitamin/mineral formula provides everything you need without having to think about it.
10. Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women – Best Multi For Women
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Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women provides 23 vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. There are an additional 17 ingredients that are important for a woman’s health. That’s 40 total ingredients!
Opti-Women is a two capsule per day formula designed to support an active lifestyle.
It supports bone health and immune system health. Also, it supports energy production, eye health, and skin health. Finally, Opti-Women supports a well-functioning metabolism.
- 40 Total Ingredients That Support Women’s Health
- Only Two Capsules Per Day
- Complete, Balanced Formula
- The Capsules Are Too Big For Some Users
Fish oil, like a multivitamin, is not flashy. Yet it supports good overall health. Primarily, it supplies Omega 3 fatty acids, which can’t be made by the body. Fish oil promotes immune health, joint health, cognitive function, and heart health. (9)
11. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 – Best Fish Oil For Women
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Nordic Naturals Omega 3 contains 690mg total omegas, with 330mg EPA, 220mg DHA, and 140mg other fatty acids.
This product supports heart and brain health, cognition, and immune system function. Each serving exceeds the internationally recommended intake of 500 mg total EPA+DHA.
Nordic Naturals Omega 3 is produced using the triglyceride form to ensure optimal absorption and results.
Additionally, this form surpasses the strictest international standards for purity and freshness.
- Exceeds The Suggested Intake Of Omega 3s
- 90%+ Triglyceride Form Omega 3s For Superior Absorption
- 3rd Party Tested For Purity & Freshness
- May Cause Fishy Burps In Some Users
Buying Guide – How To Choose Best Workout Supplements For Women?
What Supplements Do You Need?
The first step in choosing the best workout supplements for women is to determine what your goals are. Your cornerstone stack should always include protein powder, a multi, and fish oil. These three supplements cover your basic needs.
As noted, protein is a foundational supplement. Of the three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats), it’s the most important.
Protein supports muscle gain, and if your primary goal is fat loss, it helps preserve muscle. (1) This is important because you want to lose fat, not “weight”. Protein also supports recovery.
A multi vitamin can be considered daily “health insurance”, while fish oil supplies healthy fats and should be taken every day.
Fat Burning Or Muscle Growth
If losing fat is your priority, you should add a fat-burning product to your program. Of course, you’ll need to eat and train to support losing weight. If you want to build muscle, add BCAAs and creatine to your program.
Female bodybuilders and athletes will probably focus on muscle growth. Yet maybe you’re not an athlete. You may be a woman who wants to lose a little fat and get into better shape. In that case, consider gaining a little muscle.
If you focus on endurance exercise, you’ll want to use a protein powder. You’ll also need to follow a higher carb diet. Muscle gain will be important, but adequate carbs for endurance will be important also.
Performance & Endurance – Pre-Workout Supplements
When it comes to overall workout performance and endurance, pre-workout supplements are a cornerstone product for female bodybuilders and athletes.
If you train seriously, you should add a good pre-workout to your program. You’ll want to be sure you pay attention to the caffeine/stim content. Many pre-workout supplements will contain a blend of stims based around caffeine. Others will only feature caffeine by itself.
The best pre-workout supplements provide a balanced formula that covers all your workout needs.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, there are caffeine/stim-free pre-workout options. Or you can start with a half dose to determine tolerance.
This is the smart way to use a pre-workout. It lets you make sure you’re OK with the caffeine/stim content while still experiencing the benefits pre-workouts have to offer. (2)
Overall Health & Wellness
Whether you are a serious bodybuilder, athlete, fitness enthusiast, or just trying to improve your health, a multivitamin is a must.
You can add fish oil to that as well. Fish oil, specifically omega 3 fatty acids, is crucial for overall health and wellness.
Your body depends on an adequate daily supply of these compounds for optimal health.
Stacking Your Supplements
Taking more than one supplement is known as a stack.
For example, as noted, your cornerstone stack should consist of protein powder, multivitamin, and fish oil. You then add to this stack based on your goals.
The primary consideration is when you should take each of the products in your stack. Let’s take a look:
Basic Cornerstone Stack:
- Protein – This should be taken 1-3 times per day. For example, first thing in the morning, within 30 minutes post-workout, and in between a meal. Some individuals take a shake within 30-40 minutes before sleep.
- Multivitamin – Take this once per day with breakfast. If your multi suggests two servings a day, take your second serving with dinner.
- Fish Oil – Take this with your multi.
Muscle Mass Stack
Add the following to your cornerstone stack.
- Creatine – 1 serving any time of the day on an empty stomach. Many individuals take it mid-morning, a few hours after breakfast. Some users add creatine to their pre-workout on training days. Drink plenty of water while using creatine.
- Pre-workout – 20-30 minutes before you start your workout. Drink plenty of water with your pre-workout.
- BCAAs – Drink during your workout.
Fat Burning Stack
- Fat Burner – The best fat burners are thermogenic and may contain caffeine. The directions usually suggest one serving 20-30 minutes before breakfast. Optional will be a second serving an hour before lunch. If your fat burner is stim-free, take a third serving before dinner. Or, use a nighttime fat burning supplement at bedtime.
Pay attention to how you react to each product you use. You may have to adjust the dosage or timing.
There are quite a few workout supplements for women on the market. This guide has narrowed the choices down to the most effective. With that in mind, your first choice should always be protein.
NLA For Her – Her Whey is the best whey protein available. One serving provides 28g of whey isolate, the highest quality protein you can buy. This formula also provides a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals for good health.
Are you pushing through a workout? You can’t do better than Nutricost Pre-Workout Powder for Women. This is well-rounded pre-workout contains 200mg of caffeine for increased energy levels. It also has ingredients that work synergistically with caffeine to provide a smooth, clean, jitter-free energy.
Of course, there are ingredients for focus, endurance, and pumps. Finally, it contains some natural ingredients such as natural flavors.
No women’s workout stack would be complete without a multivitamin, and Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women is the best choice. A total of 40 ingredients work together to create a complete women’s health formula.
If you want the best workout supplements for women, this guide gives you the ultimate options.
Just put your personalized stack together and get training!
- Martinez, N., Campbell, B., Franek, M., Buchanan, L., & Colquhoun, R. (2016). The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 13, 29. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0138-7
- Wolfe RR; “Effects of amino acid intake on anabolic processes”; Can J Appl Physiol. 2001; 26 Suppl:S220-7; Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11897897
- Wolfe, RR; “Branched-chain amino acids and muscle protein synthesis in humans: myth or reality?”; J Int Soc Sports Nutr; 14(1):30; 2017; Retrieved from https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0184-9
- Kreider, R. B., Kalman, D. S., Antonio, J., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Wildman, R., Collins, R., Candow, D. G., Kleiner, S. M., Almada, A. L., & Lopez, H. L. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z
- Kreider, R. B. (2003, February). Effects of supplementing creatine on performance and training adaptations. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12701815
- Fleming, J. A., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2014). The evidence for α-linolenic acid and cardiovascular disease benefits: Comparisons with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 5(6), 863S–76S. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.114.005850