11 best workout supplements for women 2021

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.

Let’s go! 

Best Workout Supplements For Women

  1. NLA For Her – Her Whey – Best Whey Protein For Women
  2. PEScience Select Vegan Protein Powder – Best Plant-Based Protein For Women
  3. Nutricost Pre-Workout Powder for Women – Best Budget Pre-Workout
  4. IdealFit IdealLean – Best Low Caffeine Pre-Workout
  5. MuscleTech Hydroxycut Max For Women – Best Women’s Thermogenic Fat Burner
  6. Jacked Factory Lean PM – Best Nighttime Fat Burner For Women
  7. Scivation Xtend Perfect 10 Amino – Best EAA For Women
  8. Nutricost BCAA for Women – Best BCAA For Women
  9. MusclePharm Essentials Micronized Creatine – Best Creatine For Women
  10. Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women – Best Multi For Women
  11. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 – Best Fish Oil For Women

Reviews – The Best Workout Supplements For Women

Protein Powder

When it comes to workout supplements for women (or men), protein powder is the most important. (1) Adequate protein intake is critical because it directly supports muscle growth, muscle preservation, and recovery.

When it comes to choosing a protein powder, there are quite a few choices. They range from whey to casein, to a multi-source protein blend, or a plant or vegan source. 

1. NLA For Her – Her Whey – Best Whey Protein For Women

NLA For Her – Her Whey contains 28g of whey isolate per serving. There’s also 26 vitamins and minerals, plus 50mg of MCTs.

Her Whey is designed to be used before and after workouts, as well as between 1-2 meals on off-days. 

This protein powder supports fat loss by controlling hunger.

If you use Her Whey when you’re craving something sweet, you can 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.

PROS

  • 28g Whey Isolate Per Serving
  • Complete Vitamin/Mineral Profile
  • High Fiber

CONS

  • May Be Too Sweet For Users

2. PEScience Select Vegan Protein Powder – Best Plant-Based Protein For Women

Plant-based protein sources are a popular trend 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 that 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 and does not contain sugar.

Overall, this is the best choice for women looking for a plant-based protein powder.

PROS 

  • Balanced Combination Of Plant Proteins 
  • 20g Complete Protein Per Serving
  • Sweetened Naturally With Stevia

CONS

  • Uses Lower Quality Pea & Rice Concentrate Instead Of Isolate

Pre-Workout

If you work out intensely, a pre-workout powder can make the difference between a good training session and a great one.

The right pre-workout, one that provides a balance between energy, focus, endurance, and pumps, can be one of the best supplement investments you can make. (2) 

That said, what makes a pre-workout for women different from one for men?

Typically, it will not contain as much caffeine, it will be creatine free, and it will not contain any type of testosterone boosters. It may also contain fat loss ingredients. 

3. Nutricost Pre-Workout Powder for Women – Best Budget 

Nutricost Pre-Workout for Women features a balanced, fully disclosed formula that contains 200mg of caffeine.

However, it also has 200mg of theanine and 100mg of theobromine to provide a smooth, jitter-free, and crash-free stimulant effect that will last for hours. 

This formula has ingredients for pumps, endurance, and focus, all dosed moderately for women. The only downside is that it does contain artificial ingredients.

Still, with 11 total grams of workout enhancers at this price point, this formula is the best budget pre-workout for women.

PROS

  • Smooth, Jitter Free Energy
  • Balanced Formula
  • Full Disclosure Labeling
  • Exceptional Price Point

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Sweeteners, Flavors & Colors

4. IdealFit IdealLean – Best Low Caffeine

IdealFit IdealLean only contains 150mg caffeine from natural sources per serving. This makes IdealLean a great choice for anyone that wants low caffeine.

The addition of theanine helps to smooth out any potential harsh effects from the caffeine. This product also contains a Fat Loss Blend to help stimulate fat burning.

There’s a balanced, fully disclosed label, other than the Fat Loss prop blend. This pre-workout is best suited for users that have made getting lean their primary goal.

Besides the prop blend, the only real downside is the use of artificial ingredients.

PROS

  • Contains Exclusive Fat Loss Ingredients
  • Low Dosed Natural Caffeine Plus Theanine For Smooth, Clean Energy
  • Balanced Formula

CONS

  • Uses A Prop Blend
  • Contains Artificial Ingredients

Fat Burners

For many women, losing excess body fat is their number one priority. A good thermogenic based around caffeine is a great way to jumpstart a fat loss program of effective eating and exercising. 

However, not every woman wants to use a high caffeine fat burner. 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 for around the clock fat loss. 

 

5. MuscleTech Hydroxycut Max For Women – Best Women’s Thermogenic Fat Burner

MuscleTech Hydroxycut Max For Women contains 225mg of caffeine, stimulates thermogenesis, and increases energy.

Max For Women features a unique fat 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 still 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 as far as individually disclosed potencies. 

Still, the combination of fat loss ingredients and other ingredients makes MuscleTech Hydroxycut Max For Women the best thermogenic fat burner for women.

PROS

  • 225 mg Caffeine – Stimulates Thermogenesis & Increases Energy
  • Contains A Fat Loss Ingredient That’s Exclusive To MuscleTech
  • Contains Ingredients For Healthy Hair, Skin & Nails

CONS

  • Muscletech Still Uses A Prop Blend So You Have No Idea What Potencies You’re Getting

6. Jacked Factory Lean PM – Best Nighttime Fat Burner For Women

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 burner 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.

PROS 

  • Zero Stimulants
  • Supports Sleep
  • Helps Suppress Appetite

CONS

  • Some Users Claim They Experience Vivid Dreams

BCAA/EAA

When it comes to building muscle, BCAAs/EAAs are one of the most important 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 aminos total, and they are referred to as EAAs. This combination of aminos has several important benefits, such as stimulating protein synthesis, preventing muscle protein breakdown, and supporting recovery. (3, 4)

7. Scivation Xtend Perfect 10 Amino – Best EAA For Women

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 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 to this product is the high sodium content. While sodium is an electrolyte, the 600mg in this product may lead to a salty taste.

Still, Scivation Xtend Perfect 10 is well-engineered and is the best EAA for women.  

PROS

  • 10g EAA Complex
  • Extra Arginine
  • 3.2g Electrolyte Blend

 CONS

  • May Be Too Salty For Some Users
  • Contains Artificial Sweeteners

 

8. Nutricost BCAA for Women – Best BCAA For Women

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.

PROS

  • Features 6g BCAAs
  • Contains Important Women’s Health Nutrients
  • 3rd Party Tested For Quality, Potency & Purity

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Ingredients

Creatine Monohydrate

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. 

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. (5, 6)

  

9. MusclePharm Essentials Micronized Creatine – Best Creatine For Women

MusclePharm 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.

PROS

  • 5g Micronized Creatine Per Serving
  • No Other Ingredients
  • 3rd Party Tested For Banned Substances 

CONS

  • Some Users May Prefer Additional Ingredients

Multivitamin

A good multivitamin and mineral formula can be considered “health insurance”. Vitamins and minerals are known as micronutrients, which means that they are dietary substances that are required for good health but needed in small quantities. (7)

Some say you can get everything you need from a balanced diet.

However, this requires you to know how much of every vitamin and mineral you are getting in everything you eat every day. This level of detail may be possible, and may even be something that’s done by elite bodybuilders and athletes.

However, it may not be practical for average women that lead very busy lifestyles. Therefore, a good multivitamin/mineral formula provides everything you need without having to think about it.

 

10. Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women – Best Multi For Women

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, immune system health, provides energy, eye health, skin health, and a well functioning metabolism.

PROS

  • 40 Total Ingredients That Support Women’s Health
  • Only Two Capsules Per Day
  • Complete, Balanced Formula

CONS

  • The Capsules May Be Too Big For Some Users

Fish Oil

Fish oil, like a multivitamin, is not a flashy supplement, 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. (8)

 

11. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 – Best Fish Oil For Women

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.

PROS

  • Exceeds The Suggested Intake Of Omega 3s
  • 90%+ Triglyceride Form Omega 3s For Superior Absorption
  • 3rd Party Tested For Purity & Freshness

CONS

  • 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. It supports muscle growth, and if your primary goal is fat loss, it helps preserve muscle. (1) This is important because you want to lose fat, not “weight”. It also supports recovery. Of course, a multi can be considered daily “health insurance’, while fish oil supplies healthy fats and should be taken every day.

Fat Loss Or Muscle Gain

If fat loss is your priority, you should add a fat burner to your program. Of course, you’ll need to eat and train to support fat loss. If you want to build muscle, add BCAAs and creatine to your program. 

Female bodybuilders and athletes will probably focus on muscle growth. Yet, if you’re not an athlete but you are a woman who wants to lose a little fat and get into better shape, you should consider gaining a little muscle.

Performance & Endurance

When it comes to overall workout performance and endurance, a pre-workout is a cornerstone product for many individuals, including female bodybuilders and athletes.

If you plan to 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 and look for a balanced formula that covers all your workout needs.

If you are sensitive to caffeine, there are caffeine/stim-free options. (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 heart health, joint health, and cognitive function.

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 program, or 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 of finishing your workout, and in between a meal. Some individuals take a shake within 30-40 minutes of going to sleep at night.
  • 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 Growth 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 Loss Stack

  • Fat Burner – The best fat burners are thermogenic and may contain caffeine. Regardless, the directions usually suggest one serving 20-30 minutes before breakfast, and an optional second serving an hour before lunch. If your fat burner is caffeine/stim-free, you can take a third serving before dinner, or use a nighttime fat burner that you take before bed. 

Pay attention to how you react to each of the products you use. You may have to adjust the dosage or your timing. 

Conclusion

While 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, which is the highest quality protein you can buy. This formula also provides a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals to promote good health. 

When it comes to pushing through a workout, you can’t do better than Nutricost Pre-Workout Powder for Women. This is a well-rounded pre-workout that contains 200mg of caffeine. 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.  

No women’s workout stack would be complete without a multivitamin, and Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women is the best choice. 40 total 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!

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142015/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6628334/
  3. 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
  4.  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
  5. 1.       https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2048496/
  6. 2. Kreider, R. B. (2003, February). Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12701815
  7. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/micronutrients
  8. 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
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