Creatine for Women, What You Need To Know

Creatine, often associated with male-dominated fitness circles, has more recently begun to gain traction as a popular supplement among women looking to improve their physical performance and overall well-being. While traditionally marketed toward men for its muscle-building benefits, more recent research sheds light on how creatine can positively impact women’s health and fitness goals.

From improving exercise endurance to improving cognitive function, creatine offers a multitude of benefits designed to meet the unique needs of any woman. For women looking to improve their physical abilities, this article delves into the science behind the supplement’s benefits, the optimal dosage, possible side effects, and the most effective form.

What is creatine and what is it for?

Creatine is a natural compound found primarily in muscle cells, where it plays a crucial role in energy production during high-intensity activities. The compound is found in foods such as red meat and seafood and also naturally in the human body, produced by the liver, pancreas and kidneys, which transfer the phosphate from adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

“Creatine is crucial for regenerating ATP,” he says The best dietitian specialized in nutritional advice, Kat García Benson. “Creatine helps produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which allows muscles to continue working at high intensity for longer and improves overall performance. “That is why it is mainly used for weight lifting and running, to increase strength and power in short bursts.” Basically, creatine serves as a rapid energy reserve, allowing for greater power production and delaying fatigue during strenuous exercise.

Benefits of creatine for women

Improves exercise resistance

One of the main benefits of creatine supplementation is its scientifically proven ability to improve exercise endurance, particularly during high-intensity, short-duration activities (i.e. HIIT). Extensive research suggests that creatine supplementation can lead to significant improvements in overall performance, including maximal strength, intensity, and time to exhaustion during high-intensity endurance activities due to increased anaerobic work capacity. Benson adds: “Some research suggests it may also help increase muscle recovery and muscle glycogen stores. (glycogen resynthesis) when taken with carbohydrates. For endurance athletes, increased glycogen stores can mean longer-lasting energy during prolonged workouts.”

Creatine for women

Increases strength and muscle growth.

Despite common misconceptions, creatine is intended for more than just male athletes looking to bulk up. Women can also benefit from its muscle-building properties. Creatine increases the body’s phosphocreatine storage, which then helps the body produce more ATP during intense, repetitive exercise. These rounds of energy only last approximately five to eight seconds; Therefore, the body has to create more ATP to continuous energy. Creatine is a favorable supplement for women looking to sculpt their physique, improve athletic performance, or increase functional strength.

Improves mood and cognition

Beyond its benefits for physical performance, creatine has shown evidence of positive effects on mood and cognitive function. ATP is the main source of energy for cells (including those in the brain). Increasing ATP with creatine supplements can improve cognitive performance. reduce metabolic stressand improve memory (especially in older adults). TO study 2020 of female Alzheimer’s mice were given creatine for nine weeks and, as a result, showed decreased escape latency associated with increased spatial learning. (Male mice showed no benefit.)

Creatine is also said to potentially produce antidepressant effects by modulating neurotransmitter systems in our mood regulators, such as the serotonin and dopamine pathways. By communicating information through neurotransmitter function, creatine may help relieve these symptoms.

Improves post-workout recovery

Effective recovery is key to maximizing the benefits of a workout while minimizing the risk of injury, especially for women who balance exercise routines with other responsibilities. Creatine can rapidly regenerate ATP for faster recovery times, reduce muscle soreness, and improve muscle repair after intense training sessions. It can also help your body promote glycogen resynthesis to replenish lost muscle glycogen. Once muscle glycogen is broken down into glucose, it can be created into ATP for new energy.

Along with creatine supplementation, HUM’s Über Energy can positively impact sports performance and recovery through adrenal function supplements. Adrenal support is essential for high-intensity workouts, as adrenal fatigue can be caused by stress, such as exercise or “overtraining the body.” Vitamin B5 supports energy production by aiding ATP regeneration, while ashwagandha has been shown to significantly increase muscle mass and strength. It also benefits post-workout recovery, with B6 focusing on muscle repair and Siberian Ginseng reducing fatigue and lactate buildup.

Creatine for women

Dosage and best time to take creatine

Determining the optimal dose and timing for creatine supplementation is essential to maximize its benefits and minimize potential side effects. According to Benson, “the standard dose of creatine is approximately 2 to 5 grams per day. For new users, the “loading phase” is approximately 20 grams per day (split over 4 doses) for 5 to 7 days to rapidly increase muscle creatine levels, followed by a “maintenance phase” of 2 to 5 grams per day. Most people notice results in about 1 to 2 weeks, however, full benefits usually appear in 4 to 6 weeks.”

As for timing, there is no consensus on what is the ideal time to take creatine. “Some research suggests greater absorption and usage when creatine is taken post-workout; however, benefits may still be seen if it is taken pre-workout or at other times of the day,” adds Benson.

Whatever you choose, taking creatine consistently every day (regardless of schedule) is most important for maintaining high creatine levels in your muscles over time. Ultimately, the goal is to find a routine that works best for you and your schedule.

Creatine Side Effects/Risks for Women

While creatine is generally considered safe for most people when taken within recommended doses, it is essential to be aware of the possible side effects and risks, particularly with long-term or high-dose supplementation. Common side effects may include:

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Swelling/fluid retention (temporary)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration
  • Hypertension
  • Liver or kidney damage

Concerns have also been raised regarding possible kidney and liver damage associated with creatine use, particularly in people with pre-existing kidney conditions. However, when used responsibly, extensive research has not shown a definitive link between creatine supplementation and adverse effects on kidney or liver function in healthy people. Still, consulting with a health professional before starting any new supplement is crucial, especially for those with underlying health issues.

Which form of creatine is most effective?

There are several forms of creatine supplements available on the market, each offering unique benefits in terms of absorption, solubility, and effectiveness. Among the most studied forms are creatine monohydrate, creatine hydrochloride and buffered creatine.

Benson, along with extensive science-backed research, agrees that creatine monohydrate remains the gold standard. It also remains cost-effective and demonstrates effectiveness in improving performance and muscle growth. Its high solubility and bioavailability make it an excellent choice for most people, including women looking to build lean muscle mass and increase endurance during workouts.

The Creatine Takeaway…

Creatine has immense potential as a safe and effective supplement to improve women’s health and fitness goals. From promoting the opportunity to increase exercise performance and muscle growth to improving cognitive function and post-workout recovery, creatine offers a multifaceted approach to achieving optimal well-being. By understanding its mechanisms of action, dosing protocols, and potential risks, you can use creatine to unlock its full potential in the gym and beyond.

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