Creatine is a popular supplement among male bodybuilders because it helps to build muscle mass. Well, it turns out that the benefits of creatine for women are pretty significant, too! Science is just beginning to discover that creatine works much differently for women than men, and it’s ideal for women who want to build lean muscle without adding bulk.
If you are a woman who works out regularly, supplementing with creatine can support your fitness goals. There are actually three different types of creatine: magnesium creatine chelate, creatine ethyl ester, and creatine monohydrate. Knowing the best type of creatine to take and how to use it is crucial for getting the maximum benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of creatine for women who want to improve their exercise performance, reduce body fat, and build lean muscle without bulking up.
What is Creatine and is it Safe?
Creatine is an amino acid that’s produced naturally in the body, mostly by the liver. It is used as a natural energy source (called adenosine triphosphate or ATP) by our brain and muscles. When the body needs energy, it converts creatine into a substance called phosphocreatine, which our muscles use as fuel.
Creatine is one of the most well-researched sports supplements on the market, and it’s completely safe for healthy women and men. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before incorporating any supplement into your routine, especially if you take medication or have a preexisting health condition.
It’s found naturally in foods like organ meat, fish, pork, and red meat. You can also purchase creatine as a dietary supplement in powder or pill form. For vegans and vegetarians on a plant-based diet, supplementing with creatine is a great way to ensure that your creatine levels are where they should be.
The Benefits of Creatine for Women Who Work Out
Creatine is a fantastic sports supplement for women who want to build lean muscle because it helps to keep your energy up during intense exercises like weightlifting, sprints, and interval training. If you’re already doing high-intensity training, supplementing with creatine could boost your results.
When your muscle cells have access to more creatine, it allows you to train at a higher volume and intensity. The effects of creatine allow you to work harder before your muscles fatigue, so you can squeeze in more reps or sprint just a little further. This allows you to build more lean body mass, burn more fat and calories, and increase muscle gains.
Studies also show that creatine can increase oxygen levels in the brain, which improves focus and mental clarity. This is especially useful during mentally challenging activities like dance routines or boxing. There’s also evidence that it can improve short-term memory and reasoning skills.
The Benefits of Creatine for Women Over 50
In addition to the physical and cognitive benefits listed above, creatine offers additional benefits for women over 50. According to a study by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, supplementing with creatine supports skeletal muscle mass and builds stronger, healthier bones, which is a huge benefit for women as they age.
Another study also showed that postmenopausal women who supplement with creatine have improved physical function and a higher quality of life. And, of course, when combined with strength training, it also helps to increase muscle mass, which naturally declines with age.
Does Creatine Cause Women to Gain Weight?
Of course, many women exercise for weight loss as well as overall health, so the last thing they want to do is take something that causes bloating or weight gain. Creatine is known as a bulking supplement, which causes many women to avoid taking it.
Creatine does not actually increase body fat (in fact, just the opposite). However, it could lead to water weight gain because it causes your muscles to hold more water. And, you should keep in mind that you may gain weight due to increased muscle mass.
Since creatine supplementation supports longer, more intense workouts, most women will easily be able to counteract any nominal weight gain with exercise. Most women also find that the water retention effects of creatine diminish after the first few weeks. Not only that but the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when you’re not exercising.
Is it Ok to Take Creatine if You Don’t Work Out?
Supplementing with creatine will not add any calories to your diet. Although it is a popular supplement for athletic performance, it also supports cognitive function, and it’s perfectly ok to take it if you don’t exercise. In fact, vegans and vegetarians should definitely consider it since it only occurs naturally in meat.
Which Type of Creatine is Best for Women?
No matter which creatine supplement you choose, make sure it’s free of fillers. Purchase supplements in their pure form only, with no additional ingredients. Creatine is available in powder, pill, or liquid form. It’s also included in many whey protein powders.
The most extensively studied type of creatine is creatine monohydrate, and it’s the best form of creatine for women. It’s been shown to perform better than other formulations, and it’s much more affordable than other blends and formulations
Creatine Dosage for Women
Everyone’s needs are different, so there’s no one ideal dosage that’s perfect for every woman. However, there is evidence to suggest that a low dose may be all you need. Research shows that only 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day can result in improved muscle strength and physical performance.
Bodybuilders looking for rapid muscle growth will often go through a loading phase, taking about 20 grams per day when they’re first starting out, but this really isn’t necessary for most people. Try starting with a lower dose and increasing it slowly if you’re not seeing results after a few weeks.
When to Take Your Creatine Supplement
Many people like to take creatine as a pre- or post-workout supplement, and it works great either way. The most important thing is to take it daily at the same time each day to keep your creatine levels consistent at all times. Whether you add it to your morning smoothie or your post-workout protein shake, consistency is the key to maximizing benefits.
The Side Effects of Creatine for Women
As with most supplements, creatine can have some side effects, especially if you start out with a high dose. Some people experience dizziness, bad breath, muscle cramps, and gastrointestinal issues.
However, these side effects are very rare when you introduce creatine slowly. In fact, most people who have lower levels of creatine stores notice only positive effects, such as an immediate boost in their energy levels when they begin taking it.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of creatine for women are numerous, and it’s a great supplement to try whether you work out regularly or not. From cognitive health to physical strength, muscle building, and fat loss, creatine can improve your overall health in a safe and natural way. It just might be every woman’s secret weapon for taking their health and fitness to the next level!