Did you know that the FDA estimates that only about 40% of Americans are taking supplements? That figure includes all supplements, think Vitamin D or CoQ10, in addition to those taken by athletes for performance. That leaves, by my estimate, upwards of about 60% of our population, is not performing at it's best. I can understand the concern around taking supplements. They are not regulated by the FDA, so there is a chance of not actually getting what you pay for, when dealing with a dicey supplier. Always make sure to purchase them from a reputable source. By looking for things such as "purity" or "assay tested "on the label, you can rest assured you're getting a safe, high-quality product. A Sales Associate at a store I frequent regularly, gasped as I placed my purchase on the counter last week. Eyes wide, he exclaimed, "I didn't know girls could take that?!". Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we prove our equality decades ago? Just checking. However, when it comes to supplementation, too many of us are still living in the dark ages. Gone are the days when supplements were used solely by juiceheads and bodybuilders. And why should guys get all the fun? I consider myself to be in pretty good shape, when it comes to strength and endurance. In un-supplemented form, I can still hold my own in the gym. But with supplemental assistance, I can push harder, sprint faster, lift heavier. Basically, I become a BEAST. Now, let's talk about what to take, and how to take it, to be the strongest, most fit and healthiest you can be! For starters, almost every woman can benefit from a high-quality whey protein. Even those of us who don't work out may not be getting enough protein from food sources. For those trying to build lean muscle, adequate protein is essential. A portable shaker,and a protein powder, makes it much easier to hit your requirements. Tossing around 2-pounders is not taxing enough to warrant additional aminos. If you're training with intensity, though, you should also think about adding in a BCAA (branched-chain amino acid), to aid in recovery. Their main role is to promote muscle development, although studies suggest they also carry benefits such as enhanced immunity, and fat loss. Speaking of fat loss, let's not forget about our thermogenics! Sound nutrition and exercise come first, so don't expect them to do your work for you! But if you're training and eating like a good Beast Girl should, they will absolutely fortify your effort. They work by raising your core temperature, therefore literally burning more calories. They also add some pep to your step, and fight the fatigue than can accompany losing weight. My personal favorite, is the pre-workout supplement. A scoop of Beast Mode on the way to the gym will unleash a power that you never knew you had. Adding this to my regimen has taken my workouts from good to great, in record time. What it does, besides adding significantly to endurance and speed, is prevent the build up of lactic acid. What that means for you is heavier lifts and more muscle (plus some serious street cred when you're putting up more than the guys!). I hope we've shed some light on the benefits of supplements for women, and which ones to incorporate into your program. Don't leave performance products to the men! Get supped up, grab some dumbbells, and show 'em what you're made of! Erin stays busy pursuing her own fitness goals, and helping to educate and inspire those she loves to live healthier lives. A hair stylist by trade, she manages a salon, and is chipping away at a degree, ultimately in dietetics and kinesiology. She lives in South Florida with her husband and a “pound puppy” named Pedro.