Does Creatine Work for Women?
Does Creatine Work for Women?Feb 18th, 2013 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Coach Nancy - The Way I See It..., Nutrition & Weight Loss, Supplements
Creatine has a reputation of being a ‘guys’ supplement. It’s preceived as helping guys get bulked up and is rumored to add water weight. And as women, we typically don’t want to be either ‘bulked’ or carry excess water weight. So the question becomes – are the rumors true? Yes, but not ‘so much’ as to deter women from using it.
What creatine can do is to help us add some modest amounts of muscle mass. Studies show creatine to be both anabolic and anti-catabolic. In a nutshell, it can help us add muscle and prevent our bodies from destroying the muscle mass we work so hard to add. Women don’t bulk. It’s a challenge for us to add muscle as we women have only trace amounts of testosterone as compared to men. Those women who are able to take their bodies to that ‘bulky’ state are typically (1) working for hours on end at the gym, (2) eating enormous amounts of protein, (3) taking a lot of supplements (perhaps even steroids), and (4) are typically genetically gifted. So it’s not like any woman is going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ripples of muscles. (Sometimes I wish it were that easy – LOL.)
Creatine can make us faster and stronger so it’s perfect for those of us who do resistance training and/or HIIT training. It won’t help endurance so if you are a marathoner, creatine won’t help your performance.
Finally, creatine has recently been linked to increased mental performance in the elderly. Now that’s pretty cool – I embrace all things that can help me lead a long and productive life.
So what’s the downside?
Creatine has been in use as a supplement for over 30 years. It’s probably the most popular supplement (perhaps coming in 2nd to protein powder) of all time. Side effects seem to be minimal and contained to occasional stomach issues (bloating, cramping, etc…) and from what I’ve been able to discern, reported no more (and sometimes less frequently) than those same side effects from people taking placebos. So in a nutshell, there really isn’t any downside from side effects.
Creatine is inexpensive, provides a number of benefits and is safe so it is certainly something you’ll want to consider as a woman working out!