Creatine and women - a sensible combination?
Creatine is one of the most popular supplements for improving performance in sports. Creatine is often associated with images of muscular men, as the supplement is unfortunately usually only used by men. This is also confirmed by a study from 2014, in which the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) investigated the creatine consumption of university athletes. What were the organisation's findings? Around 11-29% of men consumed the supplement, with the figure varying depending on the sport. The proportion of women, on the other hand, was significantly lower. Only 0.2-3.8% take creatine. In today's blog post, we show you why taking creatine also has benefits for women.
How does creatine work?
Creatine is a protein component that is mainly found in red meat and seafood. However, the protein component is also produced by our body itself and stored in the muscles. On the one hand, it supports muscle contraction and on the other hand enhances performance during short, intensive sprints. The supplement therefore also supports muscle building.
The background: It is a component of creatine phosphate and, together with ATP, serves as an energy supply for the muscles. More specifically, creatine phosphate provides the necessary energy during short-term exercise and is important for the resynthesis of ATP. For this reason, creatine promotes the maximum strength of the muscles . Supplementation increases the resynthesis of ATP. As a result, it also increases physical performance during particularly intensive exercise and helps to prevent symptoms of fatigue. You can read more about the effect here.
This is why women benefit from creatine
Women often pursue the same training goals as men: the stronger, more powerful and more efficient, the better. In this respect, the supplement has many advantages that contribute to the realisation of goals. However, for many women, the fear of gaining weight stands in the way of creatine supplementation.
In the following, you will learn how the supplement works in the body and why weight gain is even beneficial .
Defined appearance as well as crisper outlines
A study in which a group of women took creatine for five weeks found that the athletes had a lower body fat percentage than the placebo group without supplementation.
In addition to a lower body fat percentage, the supplement had another effect. As we have already mentioned, creatine is stored in the muscle. Of course, this also applies to women. At the same time, water is also stored, which increases the volume of the muscles . This draws 1-2% of your weight in additional water into the muscles. As a result, you will gain weight but also look better. Finally, the increase in volume ensures a crisper bum, for example. You can read more about weight gain through creatine here.
More power through creatine
Another result of the study: Both groups achieved an increase in strength in the bench press, with the creation group achieving a higher increase than the placebo group. In contrast, in a shorter study increased strength values even in less than a week. e.g. on the middle thigh. However, the body fat percentage and the circumference of the thigh did not change in this short period of time.
Staying fit in old age
The supplement is also not only suitable for young (strength) athletes. The reason for this lies in the fact that even at the age of 30, up to 1% of muscle is lost per year. The older you get, the more this natural process occurs. The breakdown progresses even faster if you do not do any sport. One study found that creatine greatly slows down the breakdown of muscle protein. In addition, bone loss increases with age. Furthermore, for example, a firmer bone mineral density has been established. In addition to a regular creatine intake (0.1g/kg/day) over a year, all participants did weight training and always took a protein supplement .
Peculiarities of creatine in pregnancy
Research is currently investigating the positive effects of creatine supplementation during pregnancy. These include supporting the growth, development and health of the foetus.
Until the end of pregnancy, the child is dependent on a sufficient supply of creatine. However, the metabolism of creatine changes during pregnancy. In this respect, the requirement increases during this time.
Unfortunately, results from long-term studies are still lacking. If supplementation is desired during pregnancy, it is therefore strongly recommended that you consult your doctor.
Don't be afraid of creatine! It is one of the most studied supplements and numerous studies show no risks, but performance-enhancing effects. Nevertheless, you should take the supplement correctly. You can also read the instructions for use on our Creatine Monohydrate (Creapure®) Powder and our Creatine Monohydrate (Creapure®) Capsules .
- Kreider et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine 2017; 14: 18.
- Brenner et al. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: The effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training in women. 2000; 14(2), 207-213.
- Kambis, Pizzedaz. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Metabolism: Short-term creatine supplementation improves maximal quadriceps contraction in women. 2003; 13(1), 87-96.
- Powers et al. Journal of athletic training: creatin supplementation increases total body water without altering fluid distribution, 2003; 38(1), 44.
- NDR. Muscle loss: the underestimated risk. 2018
- Burckhardt et al. Osteology: Nutrition and Bone Health. 2015; 48.