Is Creatine Supplementation Safe For Women?
Posted on September 05 2019
Creatine is one of the most researched performance-enhancing supplements today. It is the favourite choice of all those who want to look and feel stronger. While one can simply not rule out its benefits linked to bodybuilding, there is a myth surrounding it with regard to the increase in body weight it could lead to. This wrong understanding has kept Creatine as a left out of the supplement plans of most women. The majority of women stay away from using it thinking, Creatine is just for guys, it may make their body bulk, create large, bulging muscles and hence not suitable for them!
Ladies, let me tell you it’s all an assumption! This article is especially for you who need to get the right knowledge on Creatine so you can decide yourself if it’s a supplement you want to consider including in your nutrition strategy.
Quick Facts On Creatine
1. Creatine is technically a non-essential dietary nutrient, but supplementation does prove useful for those interested in increased strength and muscle growth.
2. 95% of Creatine in your body is stored in the muscles and the remaining 5% is distributed in the brain, liver, and kidney.
3. Creatine Monohydrate is the most desired and effective form of Creatine supplement.
4. Creatine in powder form will allow you to flood your muscles with Creatine, increasing your readily available supply.
5. Creatine acts as a rapid but limited energy source for intense physical performance.
6. There is good evidence that just 5-10g of Creatine per day can lead to increased power output, muscular endurance, and increased muscle size.
The Logic Behind Creatine Supplementation Remains The Same For Both Men & Women
Your body although naturally produces Creatine, its storage capacity is beyond what your body makes, hence the supplemental Creatine helps you can stack it up.
Creatine has a direct connection with ATP production. ATP is a molecule that powers the energy-requiring processes of the cells in your body. ATP serves as a primary source of energy in processes from digestion to circulatory function and within your muscles; ATP contributes to the muscular contractions that enable you to move.
The logic behind supplementing with Creatine is that an increased amount of it in your muscles can help replenish ATP more quickly. This role of Creatine remains the same irrespective of men or women.
Know The Actual Role Creatine Plays
For your muscles to contract, move or lift a weight, you have to expend ATP. During your muscle contraction, ATP is broken down to ADP and a phosphate molecule, with the help of the enzyme ATPase, creating the desired energy to allow your muscles to move.
In your muscles, Creatine combines with a phosphate molecule to form a compound called phosphocreatine. In this form, Creatine plays a role in your muscle cells by donating the phosphate group to ADP to convert it back to ATP to deliver energy. Creatine is particularly useful to support activities like weight lifting and sprinting that require bursts of intense energy.
What you learn from this is supplementing with Creatine allows for more Creatine Phosphate to be available so as to readily replenish the ATP stores. When your body can replenish energy more easily, you can work harder at higher intensities and higher volume which means you can build more muscle and burn more fat without tiring out quickly.
Creatine Contributes To Energy Production In The Body, Not The Weight Gain
There definitely exists a difference between the male and female anatomy, but your muscles and your energy systems work the same. If Creatine supplementation can increase performance for men, the same is what it does for women.
While women often have the same exercise goals as men (increasing strength, power, performance), there is a stereotype that Creatine could make them bulk! We’ll rule out the fear today!
Creatine Alone Will Not Cause You Bulk Up!
Ladies, if you have seen any man who has gained huge muscle mass with Creatine usage, don’t assume yourself that your body will tend to become like the same.
Basically, the hormone testosterone is responsible for muscle growth in men. Since men have more testosterone than women, it makes it easier for them to put on a large amount of muscle mass. Women who have low testosterone than men are unlikely to gain huge muscle mass.
Moreover, adding serious, long-lasting body mass comes from eating a high-calorie diet and lifting heavyweights. Creatine alone won’t cause you to bulk up. Your training and eating methods vary with regard to your goals. For example, if your goal is to bulk, you will train differently and consume a high- calorie diet. The same way, if you want to lean out and tone up, then you will train differently and consume a low-calorie diet. Creatine helps you have better workouts overall, which will help achieve just about any goal (increase strength, build more muscles, burn more fat, build lean muscles).
What About Cellular Water Retention? Will This Cause Increase In Body Weight?
Increasing your muscle Creatine levels definitely increases cellular hydration in the muscle. Due to this, you may notice a small increase on the scales but its temporary water retention and hence temporary weight gain. The water retention improves energy and performance and helps prevent injury when training. Higher water retention by Creatine is experienced only by those who are on a loading protocol of 20g per day. A low-dose protocol of 2.5g-5g daily is highly unlikely to cause any change in your weight.
In my view, as long as your weight gain is not due to fat mass, you don’t have to bother much about it.
In the end, properly dosed Creatine supplementation is perfectly safe for women…
Creatine when used correctly, can speed up your results and help you achieve your physique-oriented goals.