Should women take CREATINE?
Creatine supplementation is well-known for increasing strength, muscle mass, + improving overall performance.
Yet most women who lift DON’T take it.
Most of us think of creatine as something you take only if you want to gain serious muscle/strength.
You may have also heard that creatine causes water retention/“weight” gain/bloating.
Well, what IS creatine?
First of all, its NOT a steroid. It’s not even related.
It IS, however, an important component of muscles.
Creatine is a compound produced naturally in your body (primarily the liver). It has amino acid building blocks but it isn’t considered a protein because it’s broken down differently.
You only have a certain amount of muscular energy to use at one time without having to replenish it. That’s what happens when you get fatigued during an exercise.
Essentially, creatine helps your muscles work harder/longer to output power by helping replenish the “fuel” (ATP, remember HS bio?) within muscle cells. That allows your muscles to sustain more energy over a longer period of time.
Although most research on creatine supplementation has been done in MEN, there is a growing body of evidence to indicate that women also benefit.
Similar to men, we can also experience performance enhancement (+, indirectly, muscle growth). Unfortunately, the research available right NOW doesn’t show any benefit for women over a short term usage of supplementation (< 28 days), but DOES show a benefit over a longer period of time.
So if you want to try it, you need to be committed to it for > 1 month.
What about water retention?
This is super individualized. You may experience a little bit of water retention + therefore a higher number on the scale. Some women don’t experience this at all, while other women tend to hold water for 2-3 weeks before seeing levels return to normal. This, of course, also depends on dosage.
If you want to take it, give it a few weeks to normalize before you jump ship.
If you want to TRY supplementing with creatine for strength, endurance, or muscle enhancement, then follow some rules of thumb:
CONTINUED IN COMMENTS ⤵️⤵️