Creatine is a supplement that is often associated with men and their body building needs. But did you know women can also take creatine to help their athletic endeavors?
Women who take creatine can help build or add to their lean muscle.
Let’s explore below the pros and cons to women taking creatine supplements, the effect it has on their fertility, and the correct amount theg should be taking to achieve maximum results.
How many grams should women take?
Before I answer exactly how many grams women should take of creatine, I want to further explain the benefits taking creatine can have for a woman.
In an article featured in the site “taken care of”, it explains that creatine is an excellent supplement for women who want to build lean muscle without the appearance of bulk.
Women who are already actively in the gym and working on high intensity training, know that the addition of adding creatine to their routine is an absolute given.
Creatine has been shown to help women with their goal of achieving more lean muscle mass because it can help them achieve and sustain higher levels of energy throughout their workouts.
Those workouts include but aren’t limited to: sprints or high intensity interval training.
In a study, women found that taking creatine while working out also helped support their mental clarity, and with this day and age, this can make a huge difference.
This is because it helps by improving the oxygen uptake in their brain, and as many women know, this can turn out to be a huge plus. This is especially true for those gruelling workouts that include complex dance routines and boxing.
The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition made a note to mention that in addition to improved cognitive benefits, creatine supplementation can also support healthy bones and help with skeletal muscle mass.
These are all common problems that are associated and come with age.
PubMed shares that in one particular study (postmenopausal) women were given creatine and then were asked to do a resistance type training exercise.
They showed an increase in physical function, a lower limb lean mass, and many reported an overall better quality of life. Did you know that women over 50 are also prone to experience a loss in their overall muscle mass due to their age? (Many women suffer from osteoporosis later in life.)
When adding in creatine and in conjuction with proper exercise, this problem can be improved upon.
Now that that is covered let’s get into how much creatine a woman should actually take. Just like when men are considering what dose of creatine to add into their daily routine, women also must remember that not everyone is the same.
There is no such thing as, “one dose fits all”, when it comes to creatine supplements. But with that given information, experts do believe that a little bit can go a long way.
In a study that was completed by The Asian Journal of Sports Medicine participants that supplemented with only 5 grams a day of creatine experienced a notable difference in their muscle strength and power.
Is it good for weight loss with women?
It’s no surprise that healthcare is often associated with women and their frequent goal of weight loss. In fact, Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD, shares that around 40% to 50% of women are trying to lose weight at any point in time.
So would creatine benefit women who are trying to continue their weight loss goal? The answer is a bit complicated.
The stigma surrounding women and the fact that it’s used mostly as a “bulking up” supplement, often deters women from taking and incorporating it into their lifestyles and diets.
Creatine is actually calorie free, and while it will not increase the fat levels in a woman’s body it can cause your muscles to store more water, this in turn can lead to water weight gain. (Which many women are desperate to avoid)
This water weight gain due to the increase in muscle mass is typically reported to be between one and three pounds.
But, this can be offset with an exercise routine that involves increased workout intensity with a duration that taking the creatine supplement helps support.
Does it affect fertility?
There is no clear answer on how creatine supplementation affects women and their overall fertility.
Scientists and doctors alike urge women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or may or want to become pregnant to not take a creatine supplement until more research has been done.
Doctors are always actively searching for ways to improve maternal health, so that the delivery of the baby is easier, safer, and so that it can result in healthy babies and healthy mothers.
It’s like how we now know that folate has a good chance of preventing those devastating neural tube defects in babies, and that there are other proteins or amino acids that will help your baby thrive and avoid complications, these important additives are often found in prenatal vitamins.
Currently, there was a study that is going on to link a woman’s creatine levels during pregnancy and the size of their baby at birth.
The study consisted of 270 women, and the study found that the pregnant women who had less creatine in their urine ended up giving birth to significantly smaller babies.
Dr. Hayley Dickinson Head of the Embryology and Placental Biology Research Group at the Monash University believes that this is an exciting new insight into understanding the importance of maternal diet and its impact on an unborn baby’s growth.
This new research may raise the possibility that improvements in the maternal diet or with the added supplementation with creatine, could protect an unborn baby from poor growth and even brain injury during a difficult birth process.
But again, Dr. Dickinson tells women who are thinking of enhancing their fertility or maternal diets with creatine to put a hold on it for now, as more research does need to be done.