The Best Workout Supplements for Men vs. Women [infographic]
Which workout supplements to take is determined by many factors, like the goal you’re trying to achieve, your diet and lifestyle, and your training schedule. However, there are some workout supplements that have certain benefits for men over women, and vice versa. Here’s a guide to the best workout supplements for men and women, including what they are and what they do for men and women’s bodies.
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Recommended Supplements for Men
Men often have a higher chance of suffering from cardiovascular disease than women, and are also at an increased risk of prostate cancer. Therefore, there are certain supplements that promote heart health and prostate health. In addition, there are that can help combat decreased testosterone in men.
Men’s Heart Health
Some of the best supplements to take for men’s heart health are phytochemicals, which are plant foods that contain beneficial bioactive compounds. Some phytochemicals that provide vascular protection and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease include flavanoids and lignans.
Flavanoids are phytochemicals found in parsley, blueberries, citrus fruits, dark chocolate, and beverages like black tea and wine. Flavanoids work to reduce blood pressure and increase HDL, the “good cholesterol,” which protects arteries and blood vessels.
Lignans are a phytochemical found in flaxseed, soybeans, and soybean products. Lignans elicit estrogen-like biological responses, which increase antioxidant activity and lower LDL, the “bad cholesterol,” which contributes to vascular plaque build up – a primary risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Lignans also enhance the heart’s ability to respond to physical demands.
Men’s Prostate Health
Three supplements that promote prostate health in men are lycopene, selenium, and vitamin E.
Lycopene is a carotene commonly found in red-pigmented fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon), with powerful anti-oxidant properties. Lycopene protects against cell damage that leads to cancer and stops the growth of active cancer, preventing tumors. Additionally, lycopene increases proteins that destroy existing tumors, repairs cell damage which results in the restoration of healthy, normal cell function, and induces self-destruction in cells damaged beyond repair.
The health benefits of lycopene include prevention of the two most common prostate diseases (enlarged prostate and prostate cancer) and delayed progression of prostate cancer in men with the disease.
Selenium is a non-metallic essential nutrient; meaning, it cannot be synthesized in the body and must be obtained through dietary sources. Selenium stops cancerous cell growth and division and stops the growth of tumors. It’s health benefits include reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, slowed growth of existing tumors, and increased risk of survival in men suffering from the disease.
Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that can help to suppress the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells and disrupt the formation of tumors. It’s health benefits include helping to prevent tumors from developing and disarm the growth capacity of existing tumors.
Decreased Testosterone in Men
Decreased testosterone in men can be improved with supplements like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a fat supplement that aids in enhancing physical performance. CLA helps stimulate increased production of testosterone and increased levels of testosterone during physical exercise. It has many health benefits, including increased muscle mass, increased strength, increased endurance, and improved body composition (including increasing lean muscle and reducing body fat).
Recommended Supplements for Women
Many concerns for women like aging, body composition, and bone health can be improved with proper supplementation. The following are great supplements specific to women.
Antioxidants including Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), CoQ1, and Glutathione as well as lutein can help battle the effects of aging in women.
Antioxidants are enzymes that counterbalance negative effects of free radicals in the body. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is one such antioxidant that is vital in repairing cell damage. ALA helps to improve energy production and consumption, protects cells by neutralizing free radicals, and stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with mood, memory, and motivation.
Another anti-aging antioxidant is CoQ1, which plays a pivotal role in the generation of cellular energy. CoQ1 provides support to organs with high energy demands (like the heart, liver, and kidneys) and helps the heart use oxygen. It also improves blood circulation and assists in controlling LDL, the “bad cholesterol.”
A third anti-aging antioxidant is glutathione, which is dubbed “the mother of all antioxidants.” It gets this title from being the single most powerful antioxidant naturally produced in the body.
Glutathione promotes synergistic function in the body by recycling other key antioxidants and also detoxifies the body of toxins. It also strengthens the immune system, providing antiviral support, which is central to fighting infection.
Lutein is a carotenoid with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Lutein works to stop the aging process of skin by preventing degradation of collagen and elastin, and reduces the risk of developing cancerous skin mutations by repairing cells damaged by overexposure to UVB rays.
Women can improve their body composition with two key supplements: magnesium and l-arginine.
Magnesium is a mineral required for optimal performance, particularly in physically active individuals. It improves the delivery of energy/fuel to working muscles and optimizes muscle energy consumption during strenuous physical activity. It’s health benefits include improved muscle strength, increased endurance, and the ability of muscle to perform at maximal capacity for a sustained period of time. It’s also great for longer, more intense workouts and the promotion of lean body mass.
L-arginine is an amino acid that is crucial in the breakdown of non-essential body fat. L-arginine tells muscles to burn fat and converts into Nitric Oxide, which enhances thermogenic activation, increasing the rate at which fat is burned for muscle fuel. It’s health benefits include reduced body fat, preservation of existing muscle tissue during exercise, and improved muscle work capacity such as explosive strength and increased muscle mass.
Bone Health in Women
Since women are at an increased risk of bone deterioration and osteoperosis, the best supplement for women to take to support their bone health is silica.
Silica is essential for the normal growth, development, and formation of healthy bones. Silica stimulates healthy bone formation and strengthens bones while decreasing bone resorption (a cardinal trait of Osteoperosis). One health benefit is that it reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis by increasing bone density and strength. It also counteracts the negative effects of bone loss and frailty by enhancing bone volume in women with osteoporosis. Finally, it reduces the risk of bone-related injuries by enhancing skeletal mechanical strength.
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