Women's Health

Women’s Fitness Month — Our Favorite Workout Supplements

Disclaimer: The following information has not been approved by the FDA. This information should not be interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for a visit with a medical care professional. Always speak to your doctor about any health concerns. 

June is women’s fitness month here at The Healthy Place! Whether you have personal fitness goals or are just exercising to stay healthy, this article will share a few of our recommendations on the workout supplements and foods that are going to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to have a great workout and a rapid recovery.  

Why Are Pre & Post Workout Supplements Important?

When you work out, your body uses up its energy stores and breaks down the proteins in your muscles. After a workout, your body needs to replenish those stores and rebuild the muscles.  Getting in the nutrients to help your body recover is recommended within 45 minutes after the workout. (1) This is commonly known as the metabolic winder and may last up to two hours after your workout, depending on when your last meal was.  

While we typically recommend getting those nutrients in with a healthy meal post workout, we realize that most of you are busy with jobs, kids, etc. and it isn’t always easy to find the time to prepare a full meal that includes the best options after a workout. That is why it is important to have good, quality supplements as an option! Here are some of the supplements that we recommend.

Our Favorite Workout Supplements

1. Caffeine or Pre-workout

Depending on the time of day and intensity of your workout, a pre-workout supplement may be a good fit for you. A good pre-workout typically consists of amino acids (such as L-arginine, L-citrulline and beta-alanine) and herbal ingredients with caffeine and electrolytes. These nutrients are going to give you a boost of energy and focus to help you have the best workout possible. A cup of coffee or another healthy source of caffeine may also do the trick for you, but you’ll be missing out on the added nutrients!  

2. Protein (BCAAs)

As you work out, your body breaks down the protein in your muscles.  It is the rebuilding of these proteins that creates bigger, stronger muscles. In order to rebuild these proteins, you need to consume protein relatively quickly after working out.  

Protein powders with branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a great protein source that are quick and convenient. They are considered essential nutrients, as your body does not produce them. (2) Protein can help reduce exercise fatigue (3) and muscle soreness (4) after a workout, boost muscle growth (5) and enhance weight loss (6). Protein powders come in many different forms and it is important to find one that is high quality that will meet your individual needs.

3. Creatine

Creatine, which is an increasingly popular and well-studied workout supplement, has been shown to increase muscle mass, strength and exercise performance (7) especially if your workout includes weight training.

Creatine is a substance found in the body, specifically in the muscle cells that help your muscles produce energy during more intense workouts. We recommend that you use a creatine monohydrate which has been used and studied for many years.

4. Foundational Supplements

Foundational supplements — like a good multivitamin, curcumin, and an omega-3 — also provide benefits for the body as a whole, but have even more potential for people who are active.

Curcumin is the active compound found in turmeric that gives it its anti-inflammatory benefits among many others. Numerous studies have shown that curcumin matches the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs, but with limited side effects. (8)

Micronutrients, like iron, zinc, magnesium and B vitamins found in multivitamins, play an important role in energy production, bone health, synthesis and repair of muscle tissue during recovery from exercise and much more. Finally, a good fish oil or omega-3 supplement helps by counteracting inflammation and reducing joint pain and tenderness.  (9)

Eating for Optimal Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

In addition to proper supplementation, we also believe that eating the right things before and after a workout is important. To understand how to eat after a workout, it is helpful to know what happens in your body when you exercise.

First, the body needs glucose, which is stored in our body as glycogen, during exercise and is used for energy and movement. When you work out, you form tiny tears in our muscles.  After a workout, your body needs to restore the glycogen levels and rebuild the muscle proteins. (10)  That is why what you eat both pre and post workout is so important!

Research shows that consuming carbohydrates before a workout can increase glycogen stores (11) and consuming protein before a workout can support muscle protein synthesis. (12)  

Based on that research, we recommend eating good sources of protein and carbohydrates anywhere between one to three hours before you exercise.

Before a workout, you will also want to limit healthy fat consumption, as it can slow digestion and keep you feeling full longer, which you don’t want before a workout. Instead, choose foods that are going to be easy to digest, especially if you’re eating closer to the workout. Some healthy options could be an omelet, roasted sweet potato, and fruit.  

Post workout, eating the same types of foods is going to be important. Again, carbohydrates are going to replenish those glycogen stores and protein will help rebuild the proteins in your muscles that were broken down. Healthy sources of fat, like avocados, nuts and seeds can also be beneficial after a workout.

Finally, along with food, it is important to drink plenty of water and replenish the electrolytes that were used up during your workout. Whatever you are eating or drinking, it is important to limit processed foods and consume real, whole foods that are going to nourish your body.  

Final Thoughts

We believe in optimal health for everyone here at The Healthy Place. Our goal is to provide you healthy options that empower you to make choices that are great for your health and overall well-being. We believe in you and whether you have time to go home and make yourself a full meal post workout or are drinking your protein shake in the car on the way to work, we see you working hard!   

Our Wellness Consultants are well trained and would be an excellent resource if you’re looking to customize your pre and post workout routine. We can help you find the products that are perfect for your needs. Stop in at any of our store locations or call at any time so that we can help you Find Your Healthy Place!

*Disclaimer: All information and recommendations given on this site, in email correspondence, newsletters or other materials provided by The Healthy Place is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice nor be viewed as a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider. Consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting the use of any medications, health programs, diets, and/or supplements, as well as regarding any health concerns you may have. Our statements and information have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As with any health-related program, product, or service, your risks and results may vary. We expressly disclaim responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information provided to you here.”

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