“What supplements do you use?”
This might be one of the more popular questions I’m asked by my clients, people taking my fitness challenges, and other women, and most of what I tell them is probably somewhat predictable:
“I drink protein shakes to help support my workout recovery. I drink my BCAAs to help reduce muscle soreness and stay hydrated. I take pre-workout to help me push my hardest in the gym to get the results I’m looking for.”
But then I sometimes get a couple surprised looks when I say this:
And when I’m trying to build more lean muscle, I also use creatine.
Let’s be real for a second: creatine is a very popular supplement in the fitness world, and you may see a lot of men taking it to help them go “beast mode” in the gym.
But guess what?
Creatine isn’t just for men! Creatine is for women, too! That’s right. Creatine is such a game changer when you are trying to build strong, lean muscle and push through training plateaus.
So why aren’t more women already using it? Quite frankly, there isn’t a legitimate reason. It basically comes down to misinformation within the fitness community and a stereotype in the market that creatine is a guys-only supplement.
I’m here to blow that bias out of the water! Let’s run through what creatine is, what it can do for your workouts and lean muscle building goals, and the best type of creatine for women!
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is a nifty little nutrient that provides energy by helping recycle the fuel your muscles use during exercise.
Your body actually produces a certain amount of creatine naturally, and you can get it in small amounts from certain foods, like red meat and fish.
Your body stores creatine in your muscles, but the storage capacity is beyond what your body makes, so the more of it you consume the more you can stock up.
To increase your creatine consumption you can either down steaks all day long, or you can choose option #2 (my preferred choice) and take a creatine supplement.
These supplements usually come in powder, pill or capsule form (I’ll tell you which is best in just a minute), and they allow you to flood your muscles with creatine, increasing your readily available supply!
- Creatine helps provide energy by recycling the fuel in your muscles
- Your body produces a certain amount of creatine naturally, and you can get creatine from foods like red meat and fish
- Your body stores creatine in your muscles, but storage capacity is beyond what your body makes
- You can increase creatine consumption through supplementation and keep more in your muscles
What Does Creatine Do?
Essentially, creatine helps you train a little bit harder for a little bit longer, day after day, leading to enhanced training results over time!
You may be asking how this works exactly. Let me explain.
Picture yourself doing a pushup, and visualize the upward phase of this exercise. During this upward movement, your triceps muscle (the muscle on the back side of your upper arm) contracts and gets shorter, causing your arm to straighten out and push the rest of your body up.
If we zoomed in on that triceps muscle, I mean REALLY zoomed in, we would see the whole of the muscle is actually made up of thousands of tiny string-like muscle fibers.
The same is true for every muscle in your body. When all these tiny muscle fibers get shorter all at once, the entire muscle contracts and gets shorter, which leads to movement.
Each time you contract a muscle to perform a movement, every one of the contracting fibers burns up a little bit of fuel.
This fuel is a little molecule called ATP, and it’s stored in your muscles, but in limited quantities. During exercise when you have a lot of movements going on at once, the ATP in your muscles starts to become depleted.
Fatigue sets in and you find yourself unable to push your body as hard as you were at the beginning of your workout.
This is where our hero creatine makes its grand entrance into the story.
The creatine within your muscles allows your body to replenish the depleted ATP relatively quickly, providing more fuel and delaying the onset of fatigue, which allows you to push out a few more reps before your muscles are toasted!
As I mentioned a moment ago, taking a creatine supplement significantly increases the amount stored within your muscles, prolonging your workouts even more!
Wow, okay.. deep breath, I promise I’m done nerding out. 😉
The main idea is that creatine can help you increase your training intensity and help you really work your muscles, producing even better results.
- The ATP molecule is stored in your muscles
- Your muscles use ATP as fuel
- ATP becomes depleted during training and fatigue sets in
- Creatine helps your body replenish the depleted ATP quickly, providing more fuel, allowing you increase your training intensity
Should Women Take Creatine?
Here’s the short answer: Absolutely! All women who are involved in any sort of training regimen and looking to build lean muscle should be taking creatine!
This really shouldn’t even be a question, yet people are still asking it. And I totally understand why!
With so many sports nutrition companies catering to men, and with so many guys trying to “get swole”, a ton of the creatine supplements on the market today are packed with carbs and other ingredients that promote weight gain.
This has led creatine to be unfairly thought of as a “weight gainer” and designed to help pack on large amounts of mass. The fact is, creatine alone won’t cause you to become bulky.
While creatine can cause your muscles to drawn in minor amounts of intracellular water, research reveals creatine supplementation combined with resistance training leads to more lean body mass and lower fat mass.
Creatine simply helps maximize the results from training for your specific goals.
If your goal is to bulk-up, and you train for it and eat large amounts of food for that goal, creatine can definitely help.
But if your goal is to lean out and tone up, then you’ll be training differently and eating differently, and creatine can help you reach those goals as well!
- Creatine isn’t just for men
- Creatine combined with resistance training leads to an increase in lean muscle building and a decrease in fat mass
The Benefits of Creatine for Women
The benefits of supplementing with creatine are:
- Increased energy & Prolonged Workouts
- Quicker recovery
- Better training sessions!
Increased Energy & Prolonged Workouts
As I mentioned earlier, creatine can help your body recycle the fuel (ATP) it needs.
This means you have more energy, allowing you to prolong fatigue and push through those last, but very important, reps.
And who doesn’t want more energy to break through training plateaus and get better results, right?!
Quicker Recovery & Better Training Sessions
Because creatine helps out with the ATP energy process, the turnaround time between sets and exercises can be sped up, allowing your workouts to be even better.
And better training sessions lead to an increase in strength, decrease in body fat, better muscle tone, and enhanced results.
If you’re ready to take on more and to experience the amazing rewards of doing so, then creatine is the supplement for you.
- Creatine helps you increase your training intensity and output, allowing for improved results.
- Creatine can help you power through your workout and prolong fatigue
Best Creatine for Women
Creatine comes in basically three forms: powder, pill, and capsule.
The powder is absorbed in your body most quickly, and the capsule is essentially just the powder but inside a capsule, so it’s a close second.
The creatine in pill form is absorbed slowly because your stomach has to break it down first. Among these options, a powder is your best choice, because quickness of absorption is key.
You will also have a few options for which type of creatine. You should be looking for a powdered creatine supplement made with the highest quality of creatine monohydrate, as well as a supplement that is free of excessive calories, added sugars, and extra ingredients you simply don’t need.
My personal favorite is IdealLean Creatine! It was designed by women and created specifically to help support women’s fitness goals and results.
IdealLean Creatine is made with the highest quality creatine monohydrate in the form of Creapure®.
Each serving is packed with 5g of creatine monohydrate. It is also unflavored, making it super convenient. You can mix it in your favorite, juice, preworkout, or protein shake and you won’t have competing, strange flavor combinations.
You can also mix it with water if you’d like, just keep in mind that it won’t taste like anything!
- Creatine comes in a powder, pill, and capsule form.
- Creatine powder is easily absorbed.
- Creatine monohydrate is the highest quality of creatine
- IdealLean Creatine is designed to support women’s fitness results and lean-muscle building goals
How to Use Creatine and how much to take?
Once you’ve found the right product, you’ll want to start using it right away.
Studies show that 5g per day is sufficient for optimal results and that the best time to use it is immediately following your workout.
While post-exercise consumption is recommended for best results, pre-workout consumption has also been shown to be beneficial.
So if taking it afterward conflicts with your schedule, or if you’d just rather take it before, that’s okay too!
The most important thing is that you are consistently taking creatine each day. Creatine’s effects depend on supplementing with it every day, even on your off days.
- 5g of creatine per day has been studied and shown to provide beneficial results
- Some take creatine before workouts, some take it after. The most important factor is that you take it every day, even on your off days.
What Are You Waiting For?
Of course, your success story doesn’t begin and end with creatine. As with any supplement, you will only see results if you put in the work and stay consistent.
But I’m here to tell you that you’ll get further with creatine than you would without it. If you’re wanting to increase your efforts in the gym and take your lean muscle building to the next level, get your hands on the best creatine for women, IdealLean Creatine!