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Anyone interested in any kind of physical exercise is bound to hear about creatine at some stage. Maybe a friend is taking it, maybe you have heard about it online or maybe you overheard someone talking about it at the gym.
Whatever the case, being someone interested in optimising your results to become fitter, healthier and stronger you might be wondering, “What’s the deal with Creatine and should I be taking it?”
Creatine is one of the most researched and proven supplements available. It is known to increase strength, increase muscle mass and improve physical performance. However many women who train don’t take it.
Why is this?
Creatine has historically been thought of by women as a supplement that you would only take if you were interested in building massive amounts of bulk muscle. Also people often think that creatine causes water retention, and that right there alone is where most women say, ‘No thanks!’
The rumours of creatine are partially true, just not quite in the way that people would normally imagine them to be. This article provides a brief overview on where creatine comes from, what it actually does and which women can benefit from taking it.
Creatine is an amino acid that comes from protein. While creatine can be found in many different types of proteins, creatine as a supplement comes almost exclusively from plant proteins.
The creatine that you get from protein in your diet is usually very minimal compared to a single dose of a creatine supplement. Creatine, like many other amino acids that we eat can be produced by the body but again, only in relatively small quantities compared to supplementation.
There are many different types of Creatine powder but by a clear margin, creatine monohydrate is the most popular.
Creatine monohydrate comes in the form of a white, tasteless, fine grain powder that can easily be mixed with any other drink or even simply mixed in water.
Without being overly scientific, the function of creatine in the body is to replenish the fuel of your primary energy system, adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP). ATP is what your body will use for movements and exercise requiring short bursts of energy. This is contrasted with anaerobic an aerobic energy systems used for medium and longer distance training.
Basically creatine improves the rate that your body can restore your ATP energy in your muscles to continue exercising at higher intensity.
Creatine can increase water retention, BUT this water retention is within your body’s muscle cells, it is totally different to the experience of feeling ‘bloated’. So yes, creatine can make you tip the scales a little heavier but make no mistake this has absolutely nothing to do with gaining fat or bloated water retention. The water retention in muscle cells is simply part of the creatine energy creation function that enables all of it’s benefits.
When you take creatine, you will:
If any of the above mentioned benefits appeal to you then you can benefit from taking creatine. Basically, creatine supplementation is no different for women as it is for men. It’s a supplement that you will benefit from using on and off to improve your physique and overall strength and fitness capabilities.
The only time it would make sense to not take creatine would be in the late stages of competition preparation where competitors are looking to give their muscles the leanest driest possible appearance. However, this is likely well beyond the realm of concern for anyone aspiring to shape their ideal fit, strong and athletic physique.
Overall, creatine is a standout supplement for anyone trying to get the most out of their diet and training regime.
Author Muscle Coach owner Danny Tesch.