Is creatine for women? Yes it is! It’s an awesome supplement for women of all ages and fitness levels. Keep reading to learn how it can help you train harder, get stronger, look better, and live healthier.
Why Do So Many Women Think Creatine Isn’t For Them?
Since it’s often advertised as a supplement for guys to build muscle, many women feel that taking creatine will make them look like a male bodybuilder, muscle-bound and bulky. I think this belief is supported by the fact that supplement companies use athletic looking guys and bodybuilders in 99.9% of their advertisements for creatine.
Being a guy, I never really thought about this. I know creatine is a great supplement for guys and girls. This belief kept me from thinking about how women actually feel about taking it.
Then, a few weeks ago I told my wife Monica she should give it a try. She told me that she wanted to improve her workout endurance and get stronger. My recommendation was for her to take creatine. Here diet is great and she trains hard with weights and bodyweight exercises 5 days a week so I knew it was likely to help her almost immediately.
Her first response to me was a surprise. She told me that taking creatine was for guys and would make her look like one too. I suggested she take it for a week and reevaluate. She did and the rest, as they say, is history.
After the first week of taking creatine Monica told me that she was no longer as tired between sets of kettlebell swings, squats, and press complexes. She can now also do Farmer’s walks for 1 mile carrying 70 pounds.
Best of all, it hasn’t made her look or feel bloated or overly muscular. In fact, her weight is still within the 105-110 pound range at 5’7”. As you can imagine, no one will ever refer to her as bulky or mannish.
My wife’s initial hesitation toward creatine and later appreciation for it are what motivated me to write this article. I want to get the facts out regarding how useful creatine supplements can be for all of you ladies.
Let’s first begin with the most important stuff, the many ways taking creatine monohydrate can benefit all of you ladies reading this article.
How Creatine Benefits Women
Just like us guys, supplementing with creatine will increase your strength. Even if you aren’t a pro athlete of Crossfit Games competitor this is a very good thing. Being stronger will make your everyday life easier, keep you healthy, and make playing your favorite sports and activities better. Plus, wouldn’t be great to be able to crank out more pull ups or push ups than the guys?
Studies show that your brain can benefit from taking creatine too. Studies with vegetarian girls, who aren’t getting much, if any creatine in their diet are able to perform better on written tests and tasks after taking creatine. It also appears to help women taking antidepressants respond better to their medication and feel less depressed.
Just like it helps guys like me, taking creatine monohydrate can help you ladies run faster and jump higher. This is key if you play sports that require lots of short sprints and jumping (i.e. Crossfit WODs, soccer, tennis, etc.).
This is probably one of its greatest benefits. Since it provides an extra dose of ‘instant’ energy, creatine Monohydrate will help you recover between brief (< 1 minutes) sets of intense exercise (thrusters, burpees, sprints, etc.). The faster you recover between sets, the harder you can train. This will enable you to be much fitter, leaner, and stronger than if you didn’t take it at all.
One way to strengthen and keep your bones strong is lifting weights. Recently published research finds that lifting weights and taking creatine can help them become even stronger. I told this to my Mom who’s just turned 70 and is concerned about keep osteoporosis and the weak, brittle bones that can accompany this condition at bay and she’s started taking it too. Her next DEXA scan will reveal whether its working. She does say she feels stronger when she works out and does her daily chores, which is nice.
Don’t wait until you’re this age though, the younger you are when you start to lift and take creatine for your stronger bones, the better.
Last but certainly not least, supplementing with creatine may improve a woman’s fertility, possibly making it easier to become pregnant. Ongoing studies find that taking it may enhance the function of the cells within your reproductive system, potentially making it easier to conceive. Time will tell on this but the initial data is promising.
Now that you know the many ways it benefit your health and performance in and out of the gym, let’s move on to two other important areas: the best creatine supplement for all you ladies and how to take it for the greatest benefit.
The Best Creatine Monohydrate Supplement For Women
The best creatine supplement for women is Betancourt Micronized Creatine Monohydrate. It’s what my wife and Mom take every day. You should too if you want to ensure you’re taking a quality supplement that will produce results quickly.
How To Take Creatine Monohydrate
You’re most likely to get the most benefit from creatine by following the time-tested and proven method of first ‘loading’ your muscles. During this phase you want to get as much creatine into your muscles as possible. Once their full, you will begin to see and feel its benefits.
The latest research shows that 20 grams a day for 5-7 days is the best way to fill your muscles with creatine. Take your creatine in 2-4 servings a day.
Mix each scoop of creatine within 8-12 ounces of water. You can take your creatine with or without food.
Once you have fully ‘loaded’ your muscles with creatine you can cut back to taking 1 scoop (5 grams) once a day.
Continue to take 5 grams a day for as long as you want to see its benefits. If you do stop taking it, the extra creatine your muscles are storing will wash out of your muscles after about 30 days. The benefits you experienced may go away too.
Here is a schedule to help you properly take and get the most from every gram of creatine you drink.
Days 1-7: take 20 grams a day in 2-4 drinks (5-10 grams each drink).
Days 8 and on: take 5 grams a day in 1 drink.
Creatine For Women – Frequently Asked Questions
Below are our answers to the questions we get most from women about taking creatine. If you still have any questions after reading, send us an email.
How Does Creatine Monohydrate Work?
Creatine works for women in a few ways. One is that it’s stored in your muscles every time you take it. Here it’s stored for future use as instant energy. This is how taking creatine can help you recover faster between intense sets of lunges, kettlebell swings, or pull-ups.
Another way that creatine works is to help you build muscle and strength. While it’s also a product of it being stored is the same, the reason for these benefits is different.
Will It Make Me Bloated?
No. There isn’t any research that finds creatine causes an increase in water content beneath your skin, which may cause you to look bloated.
Taking creatine increases the amount of water in your muscles. Instead of looking bloated, your muscles will appear fuller and harder and look more attractive.
Is Creatine Safe For Women?
Short (1-3 weeks) and long term (1-5 years) find creatine monohydrate supplementation is safe for healthy women. Researchers do suggest speaking with your doctor first if you have a pre-existing kidney or liver disease.
Now you know that creatine supplements not only work for women but can benefit your health and wellness outside the gym too. Give it a try for yourself and let us know what you think.
References – Creatine For Women
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Gotshalk LA, et al. Creatine supplementation improves muscular performance in older women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2008 Jan;102(2):223-31.
Kambis KW, et al. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003. Short-term creatine supplementation improves maximum quadriceps contraction in women. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003 Mar;13(1):87-96
Lyoo IK, Yoon S, Kim T-S, et al. A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Creatine Monohydrate Augmentation for Enhanced Response to a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor in Women With Major Depressive Disorder. The American journal of psychiatry. 2012;169(9):937-9
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Smith A, Walter A, Herda T, Ryan E, Moon J, Cramer J, and Stout J. Effects of creatine loading on electromyographic fatigue threshold during cycle ergometry in college-aged women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2007 4:20.
Tarnopolsky MA1, MacLennan DP. Creatine monohydrate supplementation enhances high-intensity exercise performance in males and females.
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Yoon S, et al. Biol Psychiatry. 2016. Effects of Creatine Monohydrate Augmentation on Brain Metabolic and Network Outcome Measures in Women With Major Depressive Disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2016 Sep 15;80(6):439-47.