Do Women Need to Take Workout Supplements?

Figuring out the “right” way to eat and exercise for your personal goals can feel daunting. The Health and Fitness Industry is kind of like a Gossip Magazine. Sweeping conclusions are publicized without legit scientific research and there’s always new trendy miracle supplements, diets, or workouts that claim to be better than the last. When searching for answers, it’s easy to get sucked into a tunnel of try this and don’t do that. How confusing! I get it. Even as a personal trainer, I too can get sucked into the latest fitness trends. This is why it’s so important to find influencers you trust! I hope to be one of them for you :).

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean there’s no sound information out there. We just got to sort through the junk!

It’s overwhelming when new information about a previous “Aha!” theory – think 90s low fat craze, 2000s low carb phase, or 2010s 30-minute insane, kick your booty workouts – proves it as less effective, fraudulent, or dangerous. There’s an influx of new information all the time proving what we used to think as “fact” as “old news.” In 2016, the latest headlines are all about weight loss and performance enhancing supplements. However, not all supplements are created equal. Ladies, I mean it when I say I’ve really tried it all – fat burners, amino acids, protein powders, diet shakes, protein bars, appetite suppressants, Dr. Phil’s miracle weight loss pills (what was I thinking?!). And you know what I found out? Most of them are pointless. But there’s also a few I’ve found helpful!

Let me help you sort through the junk.

As women we tend to have pretty similar fitness goals – tone up, lean out, lose weight, lift our butts, flatten our stomachs – you get the point. We also tend to have very similar fears of looking manly or being “bulky.” We are easily lured by packages that send weight loss messages and we tend to shun others that promote muscle building. Oy vey! Building muscle will boost our metabolism, make us look toned and taught, fight off chronic disease, and, ultimately, help us shed unwanted fat!

So is it possible to build muscle and retain it without supplementation? Of course! However, the majority of people can reach goals quicker and more effectively with them. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t have the time to just fool around and see what works.

Let me help you take a shortcut to the information you should know! I take a number of supplements to aid in muscle building, fat loss, and muscle recovery. Whether it’s to give me more energy in the gym, shorten the amount of time I feel sore, or help me utilize fat stores efficiently, I take them because they work for me. (Remember, every body is different and what works for me may not suit you.) I currently take l-carnitine and CLA for fat loss, l-glutamine for muscle recovery and digestion, fish oil for inflammation and recovery, all-natural vegan protein powder for taste (eating lean protein from whole food sources will do the trick too), and BCAA.

For any of you who are new to working out, you’ve probably never heard of BCAA, short for Branch Chain Amino Acids. The science behind taking a BCAA supplement is a little tricky, so let me break it down for you. BCAA are the building blocks of protein. The amount of muscle we can build during a workout relies heavily on our l-leucine levels, one of the amino acids you should see on your BCAA label. When we workout, our body uses our amino acid stores as energy. By taking a BCAA before or even during a workout, we add to our surplus which minimizes muscle loss, regulates insulin levels, and increases endurance or energy during a workout.

There are tons of BCAA on the market. And who has the time to research them all? My friends over at Fit Clarity put together this awesome article explaining the importance of taking BCAA and also giving a list of BCAA recommendations!

Do you take any supplements to aid in your fitness goals? What has been your experience with them? Tell me in the comment box below!

Health and happiness,





*Discalimer: This post is sponsored by Fit Clarity. However, all opinions are my own.

Hi and welcome to Life in Spandex! I'm Emily, a personal trainer who believes there should be no secrets standing in your way to getting fit. I am sharing my knowledge here on this blog in order to help you reach your goals. Fitness should be fun, eating healthy should taste good, and feeling your absolute best is the ultimate goal. Let's get fit together!
  1. […] From Slap Nutrition, a tub of their “liquid crack” Salted Caramel BCAA. No exaggeration, I am addicted to this BCAA! It tastes amazing, has the shortest, simplest list of ingredients you’ll ever find in a supplement, and comes from a company who values their customers like none other I’ve experienced. A BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acid) supplement will help you maintain your muscle, lose fat, and reduce muscle soreness and recovery time. You can read more about this supplement here. […]

  2. […] especially when I’m fasted, to help preserve my muscles. You can read in more detail on this blog post about the supplements I take and specifically why I take […]

  3. I’ve never taken supplements before, but I’ve considered it! This was really helpful!

    1. I’m so glad I could help clarify some things for you 🙂

  4. I hadn’t heard of BCAA as a supplement so I’ll def check them out. Thanks!

    1. You’re welcome Angie!

  5. I loved reading the breakdown of supplements instead of the usual “just take these” list. I have RRMS and have slowly started a lifting routine to help with mobility, but want to max out the benefits. I love the information you have placed in here to back up what you do for your routine. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I’m so glad you like it!! Make sure you check with your doc before adding in any new supplements :). Xoxo

  6. This post is so informative and helpful. Protein powder has always been a go to but now I will def check out BCAA

    1. Glad to help a girl out, Emily!

  7. Funny timing this article had for me…I need this info. My body is EATING itself I’m just realizing. NOT CUTE. I didn’t realize how much I was pushing my body! Supplements and better meal planning. Thank you Emily, you just shone a light for me!

    1. You got this girl!!! Good talk today as always :). Don’t overthink it, just eat more healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs, maybe take the running down a notch, take at least one rest day a week, and add in the supplements we talked about xoxo

  8. I did Thrive for a while (minus the patch), but I felt jittery. I am still searching for what will work best for me, and came across your post. Thank you the ideas and suggestions. I really like having some sort of protein shake for a meal replacement when I am on the go.

    1. You’re so welcome Sahvana! Just make sure your protein powder doesn’t have icky, processed ingredients 🙂

  9. This is great information! I started working out again in January after years (and years and years) of not having a gym membership or doing anything. Supplements back then were just for meat head bodybuilders – how things have changed! I’m definitely going to look into supplements now. Thanks for the great tips!

    1. Yay! You’re so welcome! Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  10. This is enlightening! I take a super foods supplement daily, along with a probiotic and turmeric powder. I am definitely going to add BCAA to my regime. Thanks for doing the research and sharing your find!

    1. You’re so welcome Rica! I take a superfood green powder and probiotics too!!

  11. I don’t take supplements, wondering if I should. Will have to look into this more.

    1. Well that depends on your goals and activity level 🙂

  12. This is brilliant. I have also tried everything in the book. The thermogenics made my skin red and itchy, the fat burners kept me up at night, etc. I still use Protein Powder and BCAAs. They are my go to supps. Thanks for sharing. This is great info.

    1. You’re so welcome Erin! Thanks for the support :). Glad we’re on the same page!! Xo

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