Many have asked the question, “is creatine for women?” The answer is an emphatical, YES! For years women have pushed it to the side and considered it only being for men. Yet, creatine for women can be notably beneficial. Follow along with this IIFYM insider scoop to find out why you should add it to your supplement regimen.
(Although supplementation is beneficial, your diet needs to first be geared towards sustainability. The IIFYM macro calculator is a great starting point!)
*please note that IIFYM and the author do not recommend taking any supplements without first consulting with your doctor to ensure there are no interactions with any health conditions you may have or with any medications that you may be taking*
What Is It?
Creatine is an amino acid that is produced mainly by the liver. While it only produces 1-2 grams per day, the body has the ability to store more but more times than not if you exercise, it’s utilizing the creatine stored and needs to be replenished daily. Creatine is stored in our skeletal muscles and helps enhance our performance.
What You’re Missing
There are many products on the market these days that are complete junk. That being said, creatine is one of the most studied supplements available today. You can call it the holy grail of supplements. What’s the good news about creatine for women?
IT WORKS! Creatine for women is incredibly beneficial in helping them reach their health and fitness goals. But you don’t have to take IIFYM word for it—try it for yourself!
While creatine can be found in some products we eat (such as fish and meat), in order to get a proper dosage, you would end up needing to eat a large amount of fish or meat and quite frankly, most people wouldn’t be able to complete such a task. Creatine for women will allow you to do more work in the gym.
You’ll be able to push harder, squeeze out a couple more reps, and see your endurance improve.
It should be noted, that in some cases, creatine can make you retain a little bit of water, but in all honesty that’s nothing to worry about—in fact it can enhance the look of your muscles artificially. Many think, “creatine for women? I thought that was only for guys.” Nope. In fact, supplementing with creatine for women can have major benefits.
IIFYM doesn’t push supplements in their programs, but it’s hard to not want to supplement with a product that has so much research and benefits behind it. Regardless, if you wanted to use one of the IIFYM programs found on the IIFYM website, you could always add creatine into the mix.
The Benefits Of Creatine For Women
It’s important to note that despite what you hear, supplementing with creatine for women will not make a female look like a man. Women simply do not have enough natural testosterone in their body and for that reason, you have no cause to worry.
Reduce muscle soreness – no one enjoys the next 1-2 days after a grueling workout. Because creatine for women is used in the body the same way as in men, the ladies will enjoy the benefits of reduced muscle soreness as well.
Improve recovery – when supplementing with creatine, the amino acid replenishes what is lost in the skeletal muscle and is then stored for your next bout of intense exercise (whether cardio or weight training). Having an improvement in recovery means you can train more often and complete more reps/sets during your workout.
More energy during workouts – this is one of the most amazing benefits of creatine for women. Many women enjoy HIIT style workouts (as do we at IIFYM) to keep the heart rate elevated to burn more calories per workout. By throwing in creatine for women, they reap the benefits of producing more energy and having a reduction in fatigue during each workout which will keep you lasting longer than if you weren’t supplementing with creatine at all.
And The Ultimate Benefit
Improve athletic performance – another benefit of creatine for women would be an improvement in their athletic performance. This can be extremely beneficial for athletes (we will touch on this more towards the end of this article).
While IIFYM does not recommend supplements for those under the age of 18, IIFYM does work with athletes who have added creatine to their regimen with great results.
Something noteworthy I want to add is that due to creatine giving you the ability to push harder in the gym, lift more weight, and have more energy during your workout allowing you to train longer, you may put on more lean muscle mass than without the use of creatine. Oh no! But, IIFYM, I don’t want to get bulky! You won’t. Stop worrying.
The advantage of having more lean muscle mass is that you will naturally burn more calories at rest which could equate to you staying leaner without truly having to put in more work to keep the pounds off. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn! See, it’s all good
What Is The Best Creatine for women?
I will probably get some haters for my answer but it’s simple—creatine monohydrate. This is a great form of creatine for women. It’s inexpensive, it’s the most researched, and if you purchase an unflavored version you can add it to just about anything. Most people will use this form simply based on the price, but in the long run, they are still probably better off using monohydrate when compared to other varieties.
The monohydrate version is greatly bioavailable and should definitely be the first type of creatine you try.
Some individuals have found that creatine monohydrate doesn’t agree with their stomach. If you find that to be the case, there are several other options available such as creatine citrate, creatine pyruvate, creatine HCl, and creatine ethyl ester (CEE) that might work better if you’re having gastrointestinal issues.
Other individuals are unfortunately non-responders—meaning creatine monohydrate does nothing for them. If that’s the case, I would recommend trying one of the other forms mentioned and seeing if you get better results.
But IIFYM is sticking to our guns that the best type of creatine for women is good old, tried and true, extremely beneficial, creatine monohydrate.
How Much Should You Take?
When figuring out what the best dosage of creatine for women is, try not to overcomplicate things. 5 grams of creatine per day is the sweet spot. Some women have gotten away with dropping that down to 3 grams per day and still seeing good results from the supplement. If you want, start with 3 grams and see if you get anything from it. Worst case scenario you end up needing to bump it up to 5 grams.
Find out the best dieting approach while using creatine, have one of our coaches build your Macro Blueprint.
It should be noted that the myth that you need to cycle and/or load creatine has been debunked if you read that years ago. It’s a personal preference if you choose to do one, both, or none. You will see faster results, however, if you do a loading phase initially to saturate your muscles.
In order to do a loading phase of creatine for women, take a dose of 20 grams per day (you can split it up into 4 doses if you wish) for one week. After a week of loading, you can drop the dose down to the maintenance of 5 grams per day. If you decide not to do the loading phase it will take around one month until your muscles are fully saturated.
When Should You Take It?
There are so many different articles out there saying when the optimal time to take creatine is, but to be honest, here at IIFYM we agree that it can be taken anytime.
You can take it pre-workout, intra-workout, post-workout—it’s up to you so long as you’re supplementing with it.
Some people put it in their pre-workout and drink it 30-minutes before a workout. Some individuals will mix it with their flavored BCAAs and sip it throughout their workout. While others will add it to their post-workout protein shake. Some even do a combination of all of the above.
What Collegiate Athletes Need To Know
Something that athletes who compete in the college ranks need to know is that creatine is considered an impermissible product under the NCAA regulations. What this means is that the school cannot purchase or provide creatine to you. However, this does not mean you can’t go purchase creatine on your own.
Using creatine will not make you test positive on drug tests so there is no need to worry if you are asked to give a random test. Creatine for women in athletics can be highly beneficial to your overall performance, while still following the rules and regulations set by NCAA officials.
To optimize your performance while doing a body recomposition, have one of our coaches build your Macro Blueprint
Hopefully, this article shed some light on exactly how creatine for women is beneficial. At IIFYM, we strive to bring you the highest quality content available. If you live the IIFYM lifestyle or are just getting started with your own IIFYM program, feel free to use our website to aid in helping you reach your goals.