Regular aerobic and strength training exercise can help you gain muscle, lose fat, tone your body and feel more energized throughout the day. If you walk down the supplement aisle at the grocery store, you’re likely to see a seemingly endless variety of products for nearly any fitness goal. While such supplements are legal, they may not always work and may not be safe. Keep in mind that supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and talk to your doctor before starting supplementation.
The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of new muscle. While most women shy away from the idea of bulking up, adding muscle can actually make you appear slimmer while boosting your metabolism. Most adults get plenty of protein through diet alone, but protein supplements offer a quick and convenient way to up your intake on the go. Talk to your doctor about your individual protein requirements, as any excess protein you consume will be stored as fat in your body.
That cup of coffee you down in the morning before dropping the kids off at school may also help you in the gym. According to the American Council on Exercise, a 400 to 600 mg dose of caffeine before you hit the gym can improve endurance and reduce fatigue during your workout. Even though caffeine may seem harmless, toxicity can occur and may cause serious side effects.
Each of the eight B vitamins are water soluble, meaning that your body is unable to store them. The B vitamin complex helps convert carbohydrates to energy in the body while helping metabolize fat and protein. A deficiency in vitamin B12 may cause fatigue, and pregnant women are at greater risk of a B9 deficiency that may cause birth defects. Talk to your doctor to see if B vitamin supplementation may help boost your energy during workouts.
Glutamine, the most common amino acid in the body, may become depleted after intense physical stress, such as after a rigorous weightlifting session. While results of clinical studies have been mixed, women looking to gain muscle may benefit from glutamine supplementation. If you participate in endurance events such as long-distance running, glutamine may help reduce your risk of infections, like cold and flu, after athletic events.