How much creatine does a woman need
I drink my BCAAs to help reduce muscle soreness and stay hydrated. But then I sometimes get a couple surprised looks when I say this:. Creatine is for women, too! Creatine is such a game changer when you are trying to build strong, lean muscle and push through training plateaus. It basically comes down to misinformation within the fitness community and a stereotype in the market that creatine is a guys-only supplement.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Creatine Explained in 3 Minutes
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Trying Creatine For 1 Month -- How It Affects WomenContent:
- Creatine for Women: What It Is & Why You Need It
- Creatine for Women: Why You Should Start
- Should Women Take Creatine?
- Ask the doctor: Does creatine improve strength in postmenopausal women?
- Is Creatine Right For You?
- Should Women Take Creatine? | Benefits & Safety
- The Benefits of Creatine Supplements for Women
- What Women Need to Know About Creatine Supplements
- Why Women Should Take Creatine
Creatine for Women: What It Is & Why You Need It
You've seen someone at the gym having a pre-workout drink and wondered what was in it. You've read about it online or in your favorite fitness magazine. You've overheard conversations between a trainer and trainee, or between training buddies deadlifting next to you.
Should I be taking it? Most women think of creatine as a supplement you take only if you want to gain serious muscle or strength. While some of this is partially true, some is situational. The first point that needs to be made is that creatine is not a steroid. In fact, it is a completely different chemical compound that is not at all related to hormones. They found that creatine was an important component in the muscles of most mammals and named the discovery after the Greek work for flesh, Kreas.
In particular, they were studying animal physiology and discovered that a wild fox contains 10 times more creatine in its muscles than a fox in captivity. This increase was thought to be a byproduct of the higher exercise level of the wild fox compared to its sedentary counterpart.
Future research confirmed these conclusions, and now creatine is one of the most popular sports supplements on the market. Creatine is produced naturally in your body, primarily the liver, from the precursor amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine.
The concern that creatine may harm your kidneys because of increased nitrogen removal is unwarranted. Creatine is also found in small quantities in your diet from some protein foods, primarily red meats beef, lamb, pork and fish. The normal dietary intake of creatine in people who eat meat is about 1 gram, and for obvious reasons, intake is much lower in vegetarians. The supplemental form of creatine manufactured in the laboratory is a tasteless and odorless white powder.
The most common type of creatine—and the most researched—is creatine monohydrate. If the scientific details make your head spin, just know that creatine helps your muscles work harder and longer by helping to replenish the fuel ATP within muscle cells that allows muscles to sustain energy.
Creatine allows your muscles to sustain energy by helping to replenish ATP adenosine tri-phosphate , the energy currency of your muscle cells. In your muscles, creatine combines with a phosphate Pi molecule to create a compound called phosphocreatine PCr. In this new form, PCr plays an integral role in energy metabolism within your muscle cells, especially in activities that require shorts bursts of intense energy, like weightlifting and sprinting.
Basically, if you want your muscles to contract so you can move or lift a weight, you have to expend ATP. When your muscles contract, ATP is broken down to adenosine di-phosphate ADP and a phosphate molecule, with the help of the enzyme ATPase, creating the desired end product: energy to allow your muscles to move. Within your muscles, there's only a limited supply of ATP. So, if you use all your ATP without replenishing it, your muscles will not be able to continually contract, and you will fatigue quickly.
This reaction allows you to work harder for a longer period of time, which means you can build more muscle and burn more fat without tiring out too quickly.
The creatine kinase reaction ensures a constant supply of ATP for exercising muscle as long as PCr does not become completely depleted. However, just like ATP, the natural PCr stores in your muscles are also limited and will decline rapidly once you start doing some serious exercise. For example, during 10 seconds of an intense cycle exercise test in the lab, peak power is reached during the first 5 seconds and declines as the PCr in the muscle is depleted. As the concentration of PCr decreases, fatigue quickly sets in.
Luckily, in recovery from intense exercise, PCr is resynthesized rapidly. Although most creatine research has been conducted in men, some evidence indicates women also benefit from creatine supplementation. Similar to men, women can experience significant muscle creatine accumulation and performance enhancement in response to creatine monohydrate.
However, some studies show little to no benefit at all. Overall, creatine seems to have a beneficial effect on strength in women who take it for a long period of time. In one study, researchers examined the effects of creatine supplementation during a week resistance training program in physically active, but untrained, women. After the four-day loading regimen, muscle PCr levels increased by 6 percent and the five-gram maintenance dose was adequate to maintain this increase over the duration of the study.
When strength was tested at the end of the 10 weeks, women in both groups showed significant improvements in strength in all exercises, which is expected, given that they were all untrained.
However, the women taking creatine had a percent greater increase in one-rep max 1RM strength for the leg press, leg extension and back squat compared to the women taking nothing.
In a similar study, researchers examined the effect of five weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation using 16 NCAA Division I female lacrosse players during their preseason conditioning program 5. Half of the women were given creatine at a loading dose of 20 grams per day for seven days, followed by a maintenance dose of two grams a day for the remaining 24 days. The other women took a placebo.
All women completed a resistance training workout three times per week. The results showed that the women taking creatine demonstrated a significantly greater increase in their maximum bench press strength compared with those taking a placebo. These researchers agreed with the previously mentioned study and suggested that creatine likely provided a greater stimulus for training, which helped enhance strength.
In the final long-term study done to date, researchers examined the effects of creatine in 14 female NCAA Division I soccer players 6.
Seven women were given creatine and seven were given a placebo. The women given creatine received 15 grams per day for the first five days followed by five grams per day for the remainder of the study. After 13 weeks, women taking creatine had greater gains in maximal bench press and squat strength than the women taking the placebo. In , sports nutrition researchers looked at the effects of 28 days of creatine supplementation with or without Beta-alanine on body composition, muscle function and water retention in 32 active college-aged women Over the 28 days, the women participated in their normal activities and were then tested at the end for changes in aerobic and anaerobic performance, muscle creatine content, and body composition.
Overall, the results showed that most of the women, even those in the placebo group, had beneficial changes in body composition, including reduced body fat and increased muscle mass.
They also had no significant changes in body water. With respect to exercise results, only the creatine group showed a slight benefit for increased aerobic capacity and increased maximal oxygen consumption, and none of the groups showed a benefits in sprint anaerobic exercise performance.
Muscle strength was not tested, so nothing could be deduced about this effect. When the investigators discussed this finding, they noted that their scientific methods for muscle creatine measurement had low reliability and could have been flawed, so results may not have been accurate. Criticism for this study was that the amount of women tested was very small for each group, the length of study was short, and the women were not put into a strength training regimen to determine how these supplements could have influenced a specific program.
With creatine, there are those who benefit from supplementation responders and those who do not non-responders. The lack of effects seen in some studies in women could be due to the fact that these women do not respond to the effects of creatine, in terms of muscular strength, power, or aerobic capacity.
The non-responder phenomenon could be related to the type of muscle fiber and size of cross-sectional area of muscle fibers that a person possesses uniquely.
Men and women who have more fast twitch fibers strength muscle fibers and a larger initial cross-sectional area of all muscle fiber types can increase their muscle creatine more after seven days than those with fewer fast twitch fibers or smaller muscle cross-sectional area.
From a biological sex perspective, women usually have smaller cross-sectional muscle fiber areas of both, their fast twitch and slow twitch fiber types; so do women and men who do more aerobic activity than strength training.
Overall, these physiological differences between men and women may explain why certain women do not respond to the effects of creatine supplementation. For example, in , researchers showed a lack of benefit from creatine supplementation in trained women In this week study, 26 young resistance-trained women were split into two groups.
One group was given a placebo, and the other was given creatine at a dose of 0. The women trained four days a week, and were encouraged to increase the amount of weight they could lift each time they trained. After 10 weeks, all women improved their strength in bench press and leg press and increased their training volume, but there were no differences between those women who took a placebo, and those that took creatine. The authors concluded that in this study, creatine had no effect on strength or performance in trained women which could have been due to the non-responder effect, or the low dosage of creatine.
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. Interestingly though, the research shows that men tend to experience more water retention that women, with an average increase of body water of 1. 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.
As suggested above, if you start taking creatine, give your body enough time to see results before you decide to stop using it. The general and scientific recommendation is to take 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day. There's no need for a loading dose of about 20 grams per day unless you want to see results faster. Avoiding loading will lengthen the time it takes for your muscles to become saturated with creatine, but after about one month of the minimal dose, your muscles will be ready.
The recommendation of 3 to 5 grams creatine per day came from the fact that in an average healthy person, approximately 2 grams of creatine is broken down and excreted in the urine per day. Taking at least 3 grams a day ensures that you replace this lost amount and enhance your muscle content of creatine by at least a small amount. If you want to be more precise with your creatine dose based on your body weight, you can load with 0.
Over a decade ago, researchers first documented what is known today as creatine loading, the most effective strategy for increasing muscle creatine stores by ingesting creatine monohydrate 1. They found that a five-gram dose of creatine significantly elevated blood creatine concentrations, peaking about one hour after ingestion and returning to baseline levels after 2—3 hours. In order to keep creatine elevated throughout the day, a five-gram dosing regimen every two hours for eight hours was adopted.
Maintaining this creatine dosing protocol for at least two days resulted in significant increases in the total muscle creatine content measured by muscle biopsies — ouch. Since then, subsequent studies have confirmed what those researchers first established: this creatine dosing strategy is effective at increasing muscle creatine stores.
However, it's not always necessary to dose this high or for a long period of time. Most of the creatine uptake occurs within the first two days, and muscle eventually becomes saturated with creatine in less than seven days at 20—25 grams per day.
You could also just eat more foods naturally rich in creatine, such as beef, salmon, herring, or pork. Unless you can stomach that much red meat or fish per day, the only way you're going to be able to get the recommended dose of creatine is with creatine monohydrate. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, creatine monohydrate is the most heavily researched and most popular of all the different types of creatine available on the market.
Today, other types of creatine compete, but it seems that creatine monohydrate reigns supreme. One of the most popular alternatives to creatine monohydrate is creatine ethyl ester, or CEE. Research conducted to date with this form of creatine has not found any benefit over creatine monohydrate in terms of muscle creatine content, body composition, strength or power More importantly, the decades of data confirming the safety of creatine monohydrate do not exist for this or other forms of creatine, so buyer beware Overall, if you want the benefits of creatine, I recommend you stick to creatine monohydrate.
A micronized creatine monohydrate does exist on the market, and the only benefit of this is that it will be easier to mix in water, and will not leave lumps. Although the scientific work is minimal in this area, especially in humans, it does seem that creatine usage is safe and may actually pose some unique benefits for your baby.
Creatine for Women: Why You Should Start
Could you discuss the benefits of creatine supplements for older, postmenopausal women? Are there any drawbacks? Creatine is a substance made in our bodies from the amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine.
Forget the dumb rumors you've heard about bloating and weight gain. Here's the truth about how and why women should use creatine. Thanks in large part to the misinformed media and lousy reporting, many women still believe creatine is a "guys only" supplement. To make matters worse, supplement companies routinely leave creatine out of their women's supplements, further reinforcing the gender divide.
Should Women Take Creatine?
You've seen someone at the gym having a pre-workout drink and wondered what was in it. You've read about it online or in your favorite fitness magazine. You've overheard conversations between a trainer and trainee, or between training buddies deadlifting next to you. Should I be taking it? Most women think of creatine as a supplement you take only if you want to gain serious muscle or strength. While some of this is partially true, some is situational. The first point that needs to be made is that creatine is not a steroid.
Ask the doctor: Does creatine improve strength in postmenopausal women?
If you've ever talked training, nutrition and supplementation with any guy in the weight room, you've probably heard him mention creatine. Well, here's a little fact most members of the weight-room posse don't know: Creatine works differently in women than in men — much differently, in fact. Surprisingly, we can get the all the muscle-building benefits without adding body fat. That is why numerous studies have shown that creatine increases muscular strength, power and lean muscle mass.
You've heard the rumors. Now here's the truth about creatine. If you've ever gone shopping for protein powder, you may have noticed some creatine supplements on a nearby shelf.
Is Creatine Right For You?
A key change I made towards getting the body I have was choosing to supplement with creatine. I had avoided taking creatine for years, thinking that it would only make me big, bloated and bulky. Boy was I wrong!SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: 1 MONTH ON CREATINE - Benefits & Side Effects (gainz)
Thoughts of creatine are often followed by that of big brawny men, but could creatine for women be a thing too? Although creatine supplements are popular for improving performance, like creatine monohydrate, many think its benefits are just for male gym-goers, or only related building muscle and bulking up. However, creatine has many potential benefits for women as well — especially those who want to improve their workouts and their overall health. Some of the creatine in the body comes from food and some is made in the kidneys and liver. Creatine works by helping the body to use the energy stored in the muscles when you take on high intensity exercise think lifting, sprinting, jumping, etc. In addition to boosting performance and muscle mass in the long term , creatine has other beneficial effects.
Should Women Take Creatine? | Benefits & Safety
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The Benefits of Creatine Supplements for Women
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What Women Need to Know About Creatine Supplements
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Why Women Should Take Creatine
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