Often times, women avoid taking creatine because they believe it will make them look bloated and bulky. However, this is a myth! Even though this supplement is often associated with male bodybuilders, creatine for women can help make the most of your workouts (both physically and emotionally). This supplement helps women build lean muscle without becoming “bulky” or too big, plus many other benefits.
This substance is well-known for enhancing gym performance and promoting optimal results. It’s similar to amino acids and is naturally found in our muscle cells (as well as some brain cells). When taken before working out, it helps the muscles produce energy while lifting or other exercises. There are a variety of factors that affect the creatine stores in your body – a few include meat intake, exercise, hormones like testosterone, and your muscle mass.
Not only is a creatine supplement great for athletes, but it’s also great for those following a plant-based diet. Meat eaters get much of their natural creatine supply through meat. Vegetarians and vegans typically have lower amounts in their body.
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When you supplement creatine, you increase your stores of phosphocreatine. This helps the body produce ATP, a molecule responsible for performing at higher energies. It’s the key energy source for heavy exercises like lifting. Creatine supplements helps prolong the time it takes you to get tired during an intense workout.
There are a few different types of creatine – these include creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester, magnesium creatine chelate, and creatine HCL. The most popular is creatine monohydrate. The others are new sources with limited research behind them, so it’s best to stick to the most common.
Many people will simply tell you that creatine will help you build muscle, but let’s dig a little deeper into a few ways this is done.
Boosting volume: Creatine helps you work harder by performing more sets or lifting heavier weights during your workouts. In turn, you will see better results.
Cell signaling improvements: Satellite cell signaling aids muscle repair and growth.
Cell hydration: Creatine lifts water content within muscle cells, which has been shown to aid in muscle growth.
Lowering myostatin levels: Supplementing with creatine can help reduce levels of this protein - high levels can slow or completely block muscle growth.
Since creatine is found in the brain as well, there are potential neurological benefits associated with the supplement. Some animal research has shown it can help with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, epilepsy, ALS, and brain injuries.
It also helps with many other functions aside from muscle building – for one, it helps create proteins that make new muscle fibers. Some other research has pointed to creatine aiding in lowering blood sugar and fighting Diabetes.
This depends on your goals. Some of the highest intense athletes and bodybuilders take 5 to 10 grams per day, while others may only need 1 gram per day if they’re just looking to supplement a plant-based diet and don’t need to enhance their athletic performance.
Additionally, some people have issues metabolizing creatine, so they may need to take 10 to 25 grams of daily supplementation to reach their desired results. Make sure to check with your doctor before taking a high dosage.
Most people have different answers to this question. Our answer? See what works best for you. If you’re taking it daily, there is no “right” time to supplement. However, some people do believe they have better results when taking creatine before their workout and some prefer taking it after.
Overall, women can reap the benefits of creatine just as much as men can. It’s an excellent way to build lean muscle without getting too bulky, plus it’s a great supplement for those following a plant-based diet.