Health & Habits
Creatine for Women: Why You Should Start Taking Creatine
Posted March 23, 2022
Creatine monohydrate is considered one of the top ergogenic aids on the market today. Despite its wide usage, popularity, and research surrounding the supplement’s benefits, female athletes may sometimes be misinformed on the usage, safety, and purpose of creatine as an exercise performance aid.
We’ve covered the basics of creatine here, but in short, it’s a well known supplement that can enhance strength, increase muscle mass, and improve exercise performance. Many women who train don’t take it as they fear serious muscle gains and the perception of looking “bulky”, and have also heard it causes water retention and weight gain. While some of this is partially true, some is situational.
While creatine can cause our muscles to draw 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 our specific goals. If the goal is to bulk up, and we train accordingly and eat large amounts of food for that goal, creatine can definitely help. But if the goal is to lean out and tone up, then we’ll be training and eating differently, and creatine can help reach those goals as well.
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most researched supplements in the world, and no significant harmful effects have been found in healthy individuals. One study examined long term creatine supplementation in untrained females, and found that creatine supplementation increased fat free mass and significantly increased lower body muscle strength and power. The study used a loading phase (about 20g) for 4 days, followed by a low dose (5g per day) for 10 weeks along with a resistance training program of 1 hour a day, 3 days a week for 10 weeks. This was considered a long term supplementation protocol, and no harmful effects were reported; only performance gains.
Creatine can be taken at any time of day, mixed with a liquid like water or juice. Research on whether to take creatine before or after a workout is mixed, but the bottom line is that it’s best taken on the same day as our workout. Like other vitamins and supplements, creatine is also most helpful when part of a consistent routine and is recommended daily. Adding it to morning smoothies, juices, or protein recovery shakes can help make that daily habit stick. Research shows that within one month, doses of 3-5 grams of creatine per day build up well in our muscles, and there is no difference in this “saturation” window for either men or women.
When choosing a creatine supplement, it’s ideal to select a powdered creatine supplement made with the highest quality of creatine monohydrate. The powder form is more easily absorbed by the body rather than a pill or capsule, and despite the varied types of creatine available today, monohydrate has been the most widely studied form and is referred to as the “gold standard”. It’s also important to choose a supplement that is free of excess calories, added sugars, and extra ingredients we simply don’t need, and VEDGE™ Creatine+ leaves all those behind. We use only the highest grade creatine monohydrate as well as Peak02® - a trademarked ingredient with proven studies showing increases in strength, energy, and performance. Peak02 is made up of 6 adaptogenic mushrooms, which all have powerful recovery and restorative effects on the body. They help promote blood transport and deliver higher amounts of oxygen during stressful events - like long training sessions - so both men and women can push themselves longer without breaking down or fatiguing.
TRY IT FOR YOURSELF!
By Vedge Nutrition
At Vedge Nutrition, we understand the power of our customers' purchasing decisions and strive to make a positive impact on the world through our business. That's why we're proud members of 1% for the Planet, an organization that connects businesses with non-profits working to tackle our planet's most pressing environmental issues. Through our membership, we've had the opportunity to partner with the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting endangered wildlife and their habitats.
Commonly used by gym rats and fitness fanatics, creatine is undoubtedly the king of all nutritional supplements, and for the right reasons. It’s well-researched to support the body’s energy needs safely and effectively and has an extraordinary ability to help us exercise longer and harder while increasing our muscle gains. Additionally, as scientists continue to expand the research horizons, another noticeable effect of creatine has recently surfaced: cognitive support. As we add this to the list of benefits creatine provides, it can be very helpful to understand its precise effects on the brain.
The point of deliberate exercise is to induce a workload on our bodies so that we adapt to similar stresses in the future. After we break down the body, it immediately works to repair itself. An important distinction with any type of training is that we never grow while we work out; only when we rest and recover. The right supplements and nutrition like calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin E are just a few highlights that help repair the body for the next stress load.
Macronutrients are the nutrients we need in larger quantities to provide us with energy, and are categorized as fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Micronutrients, conversely, are mostly vitamins and minerals, and are equally important, but consumed in smaller amounts. Thankfully, eating a wide variety of foods on a regular basis allows us to hit both our daily macronutrient and micronutrient needs.