If you’ve been around the gym environment long enough, the subject of creatine has probably come up. Many women avoid taking creatine for years, thinking that it would only make them big, bloated and bulky. Forget the silly rumors you’ve heard about bloating and weight gain. Here’s the truth about how and why creatine benefits women, helping them achieve better results at the gym and promote health.
As someone who’s interested in optimizing her workouts and nutrition to look and feel good – be healthy and strong – you’re probably wondering, “What’s up with Creatine? Should I be taking it?”. The myths surrounding this supplement are staggering and contribute to the false notion that creatine for women is not a good idea, as it can make you bloated and bulky. Today, it’s time to look into what this substance really is and whether the myths about creatine for women are true.
Creatine benefits have been well documented over the years and include enhancing strength, increasing muscle mass, and improving exercise performance, yet, many women who train don’t take it. It is a beneficial supplement to add to your diet and training with it being one of the most researched and clinically validated supplements available.
What exactly is it?
Creatine is a natural compound found in meat and fish. It is also produced by the bodyin a low dosage. It plays an important role in releasing energy when we perform high-intensity exercise – helping to boost muscular performance. Creatine helps your muscles work harder and longer by helping to replenish the fuel (ATP) within muscle cells that allows muscles to sustain energy.
However, it is impossible to get enough creatine from our body or from the food we eat to elicit its performance enhancing effects without supplementing. Respectively, it’s worth noting that creatine benefits vegetarians as well, which is especially helpful for those that aren’t able to get any percentage of the compound through meat.
What are creatine benefits for women?
Creatine will make you feel stronger by increasing the blood flow to your muscles – and increased workout intensity will inevitably lead to increased muscle mass. It’s important to remember that it is very difficult for women to build muscle as women don’t have enough testosterone to naturally accomplish a ‘hulk-like’ physique. Rather than bulking up, your extra muscle mass will allow for a tighter, leaner physique, which will also boost your metabolism. Creatine has also been shown to reduce fatigue, benefit endurance, increase strength and power during resistance training and improve recovery.
How to take creatine?
Recommendations are taking two 3-5g doses daily in a punch form. There is no need to load this substance as once recommended. The easiest and most effective time of day to take it is after your workout. The next best time to take is prior to your workout. You will feel the effects within a week.
What about side effects?
Many women shy away from creatine because they’ve heard it comes with water retention, and some of us already experience enough of that during certain times of the month as discussed in my last post. Research actually shows that men tend to experience more water retention that women!
You may experience some weight gain with creatine, which is similar to any woman who is new to weight lifting and begins to add more muscle weight. Some women may freak out a little when their weight goes up due to muscle gain, but then feel much better once they see how much more comfortable their clothes fit as they become leaner.
Sometimes women will retain water in the first few weeks of using creatine, but this effects seems to diminish over time. If you start taking creatine, give your body enough time to see results before you decide to stop using it. Stomach cramping can occur when creatine is supplemented without sufficient water. So drink up! Nausea can occur when too much creatine is supplemented at once, in which case doses should be spread out throughout the day and taken with meals.
Need more advice on supplementation and nutrition? Book a free consultation with me and I will be happy to set up a nutrition strategy that will help you achieve your weight loss goals!