As highlighted in an earlier post on supplement safety & efficacy, most female athletes take supplements and yet there are not clear, evidence-based guidelines for supplements specific to active women so we were excited to read a new review in Sports Medicine from Abbie Smith Ryan et al on Active Women Across the Lifespan: Nutritional Ingredients to Support Health and Wellness The article concluded “evidence (primarily related to known physiological differences between sexes related to the brain, respiration, bone, and muscle) supports the use of female-specific ingredients to optimize body composition, delay fatigue, and improve mental and physical health”.
The specific supplements & related areas of impact/benefits highlighted in the article include:
So, as a female athlete, should you take the supplements highlighted in this review? And what about the new female athlete supplement bundles recently launched by respected scientists & researchers containing some of the ingredients listed above? The answer is: it depends.
Its important to note that some of the benefits ascribed to supplements are realized only when rectifying a deficiency which can occur because of dietary intake patterns or malabsorption. Some examples include Vitamin D, Magnesium, Iron and Omega 3’s. Consuming amounts above recommended dietary intake levels does not necessarily confer incremental benefit and overconsumption can result in unpleasant side effects and be toxic. Also, some supplements may be contraindicated for some medical conditions and/or in combination with other medications.
Our position at Nutrify is that selected supplements can and do play an important role in improving health and athletic performance. However, we take a ‘food first’ approach to meeting the unique nutrient intake needs of each our athletes, recognizing that one size does not fit all women. In addition to a comprehensive dietary intake assessment which evaluates nutrient needs, we leverage InsideTracker (and others) to help confirm the extent of any deficiencies and to identify where athletes don’t need to invest in supplements (and who doesn’t want to save some money!). So why guess? Nutrify can help you determine if a supplement may be beneficial for you and ensure you select supplements that are certified for safety and quality. Schedule a complimentary 15’ call to learn more.
Smith-Ryan AE, Cabre HE, Moore SR. Active Women Across the Lifespan: Nutritional Ingredients to Support Health and Wellness. Sports Med. 2022 Sep 29:1–17. doi: 10.1007/s40279-022-01755-3. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36173598; PMCID: PMC9521557.