Hello, I am a 26 year old women who lifts weights and does cardio 5-6 days a week. I want to build a little more muscle to look better. I’d like to get stronger too. Will taking creatine help? A trainer at the gym says it doesn’t work for women. What’s the truth?
Hi Donna. Yes, creatine will be able to help you build muscle and improve your strength. According to Dr. Richard Krieder, a sports scientist who has published several studies using this supplement, creatine does work for women although it may take a little longer to see benefits than it does with men. This means that instead of seeing results in 7-14 days like guys often do, it may take you 6 weeks or more. At the end of the day though, it can still help you reach your goals faster.
Three things you can do to help ensure you get the most from creatine supplements are to buy a high quality product, take the right amount, and put 100% into your workouts. This is especially true for the workouts that you lift weights. Below are tips to help you do each of things right.
1. Buy a quality creatine supplement. One of the best that you can buy is Optimum Micronized Creatine. What makes it great is that it is tested and guaranteed to contain nothing but creatine monohydrate. This means no fillers, worthless byproducts, or potentially harmful ingredients. The other great thing about it is that it’s micronized. This means that its processed into a very find powder. Unlike regular creatine monohydrate, this micronized powder dissolves easily in water and stays dissolved too making it easier to mix and drink.
2. Take the right amount. When begin taking it you should follow a 5-7 day phase that’s called creatine loading. After this is over you’ll then take enough every day to maintain the creatine you’ve stored in your muscles. Generally speaking the loading phase consists of taking between 10-20 grams a day for 5-7 days. Start with the lower amount to see how it works for you and increase the dose if necessary. During the maintenance phase, lasts at least 3 weeks you only need to take about 5 grams every day. Taking your creatine with a protein shake or meals may help to increase the amount stored in your muscles too.
3. Put 100% into your workouts. You should lift weights 3-4 times a week to get the best possible results. Make sure each workout included lots of barbell and dumbbell based exercises like squats, shoulder presses, rows, lunges, and deadlifts. Don’t lift light weights to ‘tone’ either. Instead do sets of 5-10 reps per set.
If you would like tips and ideas, check out the workouts section of our site. If you’re looking for a great plan that has every exercise, set, and rep laid out for you we recommend Chad Waterbury’s Body Of FIRE workout plan. You can learn more about it at this link.
Interview with Dr. Richard Krieder (1999). Retrieved September 25, 2010. http://www.mikefrancois.com/creatineinterview.htm
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