by Matt Weik
Look, I get it. There’s a market out there dedicated explicitly to supplements for women. And these brands are absolutely killing it. But when it comes to products already on the market being used by men, that doesn’t mean women can’t use those very same products. Let’s look at and examine pre-workout supplements for women as an example for this article.
Are Pre-Workout Ingredients Specific to Gender?
When you look at the ingredients generally found in pre-workout supplements, are they geared more toward men? Some would argue yes, but there truly is no difference. What are some of the common ingredients found in pre-workout formulations? Caffeine, beta-alanine, various amino acids, arginine, creatine monohydrate, citrulline malate, CLA, green tea extract, etc. There’s more, but let’s keep this brief.
Can women and should women use those ingredients? Absolutely. They can speed up their results and improve their workout performance by adding products that contain those very ingredients to their supplement regimen.
And this isn’t a knock at the brands that cater specifically to the female demographic, so don’t think that this article is a “shots fired” piece because it’s not. The reason for this article is to clear up the misinformation out there that women need to be using different supplements than their male counterparts. The truth is, what they need is a different dosage compared to men.
What’s the REAL Difference?
If you were to take a 250-pound male and give them Product X, and then give that same product to a 110-pound female, will there be some variation in effects? Absolutely. If Product X contains 400mg of caffeine, that may be suitable for men but not for women simply based on their body weight and tolerance levels with various ingredients such as stimulants. 400mg of caffeine for a female barely tipping the scales at 100 pounds may cause some adverse effects – or maybe it won’t? It’s very individualized.
However, when you look at pre-workout supplements for women, many of them contain the exact same ingredients as the “potent” pre-workouts geared towards men, only with a lower dosage of the ingredients. That makes sense, right?
So, are these women-specific brands tricking the consumer? Absolutely not. They’re simply catering and building their products around the needs of women. There really isn’t much more to it than that.
All of that being said, there’s obviously some caution and precautions that need to be enforced when it comes to products such as pre-workout supplements for women. For example, if a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, it clearly would not be a good idea to be taking a pre-workout that contains stimulants. Women who are pregnant are already warned by their doctor to decrease their caffeine consumption which drives many women crazy that they aren’t able to maintain their current coffee intake as they did before getting pregnant. (It’s a necessary casualty to the joy of procreation)
Additionally, women should always speak to their doctor to ensure they are healthy enough to take certain supplements such as pre-workout supplements for women while also ensuring these products will not interact with any medications they may currently be taking.
Pre-Workout Supplements for Women to Consider
There are plenty of supplement brands out there to consider using if you’re a woman and prefer utilizing women-specific products. Do a Google search and look for a reputable brand that you trust. When it comes to pre-workout supplements for women, there are so many different profiles out there that you need to consider the options and decide which one best fits your wants and needs while aligning with your specific health and fitness goals.
Should there be ingredients in a formula that you know give you some unwanted side effects or cause adverse effects, stay away from them. It’s really that easy. Again, what you’ll find on the market for pre-workout supplements for women will be a lower dosed profile compared to the brands that cater to men. And that’s perfectly fine.
Likewise, if your husband or significant other loves a pre-workout and you want to use it, go right ahead. Just heed the warning that his dose and your dose will be different. If he’s using a full scoop, you may need a half scoop or even a quarter scoop in order to feel the same effects from the pre-workout product.
Should you decide to use a supplement that isn’t built around a woman’s needs and has highly dosed ingredients, you will want to assess your tolerance by using the smallest serving possible and then ramp up as needed to achieve the feeling and effects you desire.
Are Female-Specific Brands Tricking You?
No. Not in the slightest bit. They have simply done their homework and know at what certain dosage ingredients affect women and where the “sweet spot” tends to be. And that’s not to say you won’t need to play with the serving size of a pre-workout supplement for women. You very well may need to.
Again, it all comes down to your body weight and individual tolerance – especially when it comes to using stimulants. Therefore, when buying pre-workout supplements for women or any pre-workout out on the market, look at the profile, understand what’s in it and at what dosages, and adjust your serving size accordingly. Remember, the recommended use and directions are merely a guide, not an absolute. Your mileage may vary, so go into supplement usage with that mindset already in place, and you’ll be fine.