Equal Rights for All! What Supplements are Effective for Both Men and Women
- 08 Jun, 2017
“Does this work for women?”
“Is this safe for women to use?”
These are two questions I am asked constantly as I travel the world promoting the Gaspari Nutrition brand and educating the public about nutrition and supplementation. There seem to be both widespread misconceptions and confusion as to certain types of supplements being ‘only for men.’ With a few rare exceptions that I will address later, the fact is that men and women are physiologically identical. That is to say; what works for men will also work the same in a woman’s body. Let’s look at the main categories of supplements available today that are equally beneficial to both genders in their quest to improve the appearance and performance of their bodies.
Men and women have essentially the same daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. Because much of the food we eat today is processed, it’s critical to supplement our diets with a quality multi-vitamin/mineral product. One of the only differences in genders is that women often require additional iron, due to their increased need for that mineral because of blood loss during menstruation.
Anavite® by Gaspari Nutrition
Essentially, protein powders are food, protein to be specific, in powder form that you can easily mix into a shake. Typically, protein powders are made from milk (Casein) and Egg Albumin. Although less flavorful vegetarian versions made from Pea, Soy and others are beginning to arrive in the market… Ideally, we would all sit down to eat a solid meal every two to three hours to fulfill all our protein requirements. That’s not feasible for many men and women these days, as work, kids, school, and other responsibilities often take priority. Protein powders make it both easy and convenient to meet your nutrient needs with a shake that can be easily mixed, transported, and consumed in just minutes.
Myofusion Advanced® by Gaspari Nutrition
Whey protein is the liquid that remains after milk has been curdled and strained. It’s also incredibly bio-available, meaning your body is able to digest and utilize it even better than solid protein sources like eggs, milk, chicken, or fish. Whey has been proven in numerous studies to help you lose fat and preserve muscle, but also to build muscle size and strength, and even strengthen the immune system. It’s typically used by weight trainers and other athletes to quickly replenish spent muscle proteins after a workout. If you’re going to have a shake immediately after training, whey protein is your best choice, due to its ability to rapidly digest.
Precision Protein®, IntraPro®, Isofusion® by Gaspari Nutrition
Creatine is a natural substance found both in the body and in certain foods like meat and fish, that our bodies convert to a substance called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP provides the energy for muscle contractions. About 30 years ago, studies began looking at the effects of supplementing with creatine monohydrate powder. Mountains of evidence over the coming years showed that it enhanced muscle strength and endurance. It also promoted a gain in water weight. This is not the bloating type of water retention most people associate with that term. Creatine attracts more water inside the actual muscle cells, giving them more volume. This makes your muscles rounder and fuller, on top of the widely-proven performance-enhancing benefits.
Qualitine® by Gaspari Nutrition
SizeOn® by Gaspari Nutrition
For many decades, weight trainers and other fitness enthusiasts got their ‘pick me up’ energy boost from coffee. About 20 years ago, supplement companies began producing formulas not only with caffeine, but also including various other substances designed to enhance energy, endurance, and focus. Many also contained creatine. These products have come a long way, and are now far more effective than their early predecessors. Now, it’s rare to find any serious gym goers who don’t rely on a pre-workout formula to power through their weight training or cardio workouts. Once you’ve trained using them and experience the benefits, you usually make them a part of your pre-workout ‘ritual,’ just like putting on your workout clothes and driving to the gym.
Superpump 250®, Superpump MAX® by Gaspari Nutrition
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are three amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. They were found to promote muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle growth over time. Exercise performance was also shown to be improved when using BCAA’s. Because the muscles use these three amino acids for fuel during intense weight training, it’s important to supplement with BCAA’s to prevent catabolism, or muscle tissue breakdown. Many men and women who train hard with standard weight training workouts or more intense and varied workouts such as CrossFit will use BCAA’s in their capsule or powdered form before and during training.
Nitric Oxide Boosters
Nitric Oxide products utilize the amino acid L-Arginine to promote the production of nitric oxide in the body. Doing so enhances muscle pumps and vasodilation (opens the blood vessels to improve circulation to working muscles), oxygen delivery, concentration and mental clarity, and fights fatigue. Most weight trainers focusing on physique improvement use NO boosters mainly for the effect of a vastly greater ‘pump’ to the muscles. Even if that’s not a concern of yours, the benefits in terms of enhanced endurance during exercise as well as recovery afterward make it worth using.
Plasmajet by Gaspari Nutrition
L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream and makes up 30-35% of the amino acid nitrogen in your blood. Studies have shown that supplementing with L-Glutamine can minimize muscle breakdown and improve protein metabolism. This is especially important for anyone interested in losing bodyfat without losing muscle at the same time. L-Glutamine is also useful for immune system support, because anyone who trains hard and often is at a higher risk of becoming susceptible to illnesses like colds and flu.
Glutamine® by Gaspari Nutrition
Simply put, carbohydrates fuel your muscles during any type of strenuous activity. All dietary carbohydrates convert to glucose in the body, and are stored in our muscles in the form of glycogen. Athletes have long understood the value of eating carbohydrates to improve performance in activities as diverse as weight training and running marathons. Carbohydrate supplements have been around for decades, but technology has helped to develop forms that are more rapidly and readily utilized by the body, such as the state of the art Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD) found in products like Glycofuse®
Glycofuse® by Gaspari Nutrition
If your goal is to lose bodyfat, diet and cardiovascular exercise are going to make or break your overall efforts. However, there are products which can work to shed bodyfat through various mechanisms in the body. Nearly all contain caffeine, which has been demonstrated to help better utilize fat stores, as well as various other ingredients shown to be effective in fat/weight loss.
Carnipure® by Gaspari Nutrition
Lipodrene® by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals
The exceptions – men only!
There are very few types of supplements that are intended to be used only by men, and men over the age of 18, to be exact. These are various products that are designed to boost testosterone, lower estrogen levels, or both. They include prohormones, SARMS, and anti-estrogens. Women are strongly advised against using any product that increases testosterone and/or lowers estrogen, as doing so can lead to serious side effects such as increased hair growth, lowering of the voice, and disruption or even cessation of the menstrual cycle.