Sometimes we can be full of energy and ready to take on the day, and other times we can feel like we’re dragging our feet, struggling to motivate ourselves to workout.
When days like this occur, it helps to have a supplement on hand to help boost your energy to conquer your training session. This is where a pre-workout supplement comes in handy.
Though, women tend to wonder whether pre-workout supplements are a safe or effective option for them. They may also have questions about how they are supposed to use these supplements to see the best results.
Granted, women are just as capable of smashing their training sessions and achieving their fitness goals as men are, though there is no denying the physiological differences between males and females.
This can make it difficult to know how certain supplements affect women, particularly as most of the studies on dosages and effects of supplements are performed on men.
However, no matter what your goals are, a pre-workout can help you achieve them. Read on to find out the specific benefits for women!
Benefits of Pre-Workout for Women
The most well-known benefit of pre-workout supplementation for women is the increased energy and alertness as a result of the caffeine content. When you take pre-workout, you will feel more alert and ready to take on your workout.
So, whether you’re seeking a boost of energy for your early morning workout or post-working day training session, a pre-workout can be very beneficial for helping push you through when you’d rather skip it altogether!
Another benefit to caffeine is its ability to increase the density of receptors for serotonin, GABA, and acetylcholine. As a result, this can lead to a more positive mood, as well as increased energy.
Exercise is known to boost the production of “feel-good” hormones, such as endorphins. Though, using a pre-workout supplement before exercising can boost this further, helping you to feel even happier and more positive about your training session.
Improved Athletic Performance
It goes without saying that pre-workout can boost your athletic performance. Not only does this stem from the effects of caffeine but also some of the other common ingredients found in pre-workouts.
For example; beta-alanine increases exercise capacity and decreases muscle fatigue; L-arginine can help boost nitric oxide production, thus increasing muscle pump; and L-citrulline can help support muscle energy and peak muscle power output.
So, if you’re looking to beat your squat PR, or simply crush a cardio session, a pre-workout supplement can help you push yourself a little further so you see better results from your training.
Quicker Fat Loss
For anyone looking to shed fat, including women, a pre-workout supplement can help in several ways:
- A pre-workout can give your metabolism a small boost, helping you to burn more calories during and after your workout
- A pre-workout can provide you with more energy, which allows you to train harder for longer, and by default, burn more calories
It’s important to remember that to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit. So, a pre-workout will not magically result in weight loss, it simply provides an extra boost and can be a good addition to an already dialed-in weight loss routine.
Are Pre-Workouts Safe for Women?
In general, yes, pre-workouts are safe for women. Most women can use pre-workout supplements without negative side effects. Though, there are some potentially problematic factors that you should be mindful of before you take a pre-workout:
Caffeine, Stress, and Hormones
Overdosing a pre-workout, especially those that are high in caffeine, can lead to increased stress and anxiety. Though, this is relevant for most people in general, not just women.
This is related to the effect of excess caffeine has on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which plays a role in helping the body manage stress levels. Caffeine can potentially impair the functioning of this axis.
This can sometimes be referred to as adrenal fatigue, and if experienced over a prolonged period, can possibly result in hormone imbalances.
This includes a decrease in reproductive hormones like progesterone, and when hormones like this are out of balance, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including brain fog, fatigue, and difficulty getting pregnant.
Caffeine and Pregnancy/Nursing
Speaking of pregnancy, what’s the deal with caffeine consumption?
Well, it’s well-known that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be cautious about stimulant intake, thus pre-workouts containing caffeine.
When stimulants are consumed in excess, they can lead to pregnancy difficulties. Caffeine can make its way into breast milk, so it’s important to exercise caution when consuming a supplement that contains it.
So, is caffeine off-limits?
In short, no. Most women, provided they stay within certain limits, don’t experience any issues from consuming stimulant-containing pre-workout supplements.
Though, this should always be approached on an individual basis and should be given the green light by your doctor!
Additionally, if you’re dealing with a lot of stress, or have hormone imbalance issues, it might be worth considering a stimulant-free option.
How Much Pre-Workout Should You Take?
The current guideline for caffeine intake is up to 400mg per day, which is considered safe. For pregnant or breastfeeding women, the limit decreases to up to 200mg per day.
So, always check the label of your product before you take it. Ensure that the caffeine intake is below 200mg per serving and ensure you check the product with your doctor before taking it.
It is also wise to start with half a serving size to gauge the effects!
How Often Should You Take Pre-Workout?
There isn’t really a right or wrong answer to this question. You often find some people take a pre-workout before every workout, and others only take it before bigger, longer sessions or when they feel particularly fatigued.
As long as you are staying within the guidelines for caffeine consumption and aren’t experiencing any negative effects from taking your pre-workout, you’ll likely be fine to take it daily.
However, there is a case to be made about taking breaks from pre-workouts. We can become dependent on pre-workouts pulling us through our daily workouts. So, taking a break would allow us to feel its effects more strongly, helping us to experience more benefits due to less tolerance build-up.
A good approach is to cycle your pre-workout usage or at least cycle between stimulant-containing and stimulant-free products.
Choosing a Pre-Workout Supplement
There are many pre-workout supplements on the market, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right one for you.
When it comes to choosing a pre-workout supplement, there are a few things to look out for:
- Caffeine content - how much caffeine is contained in each serving?
- Additional ingredients - what other ingredients are in the product? Are they backed by science? Are they truly effective?
- Testing - what kind of testing process does the manufacturer use to ensure the product is safe and effective?
As you can see, there are plenty of advantages to taking a pre-workout supplement. As long as you’re using these products in safe quantities and following the guidelines, there is no reason why they should cause any harm.
Looking for your next pre-workout supplement? Our top pick is Pre Lab Pro, the next-gen pre-workout formula that helps boost energy, alertness, and athletic performance.
Containing just 80mg of caffeine per serving, Pre Lab Pro is a great low-caffeine option, allowing you to dose to your personal needs!