In recent years, there has been a growing trend to consume supplements that help tone and increase muscle mass. But we also find a negative connotation, since many people consider them as unnatural. The reality is that the vast majority of them are based on properties that are produced by our body, in a totally natural way.
In this blog, we will talk about one of the best known and most valued supplements, creatine. We will discover its benefits, properties and we will go a little deeper into this great world of supplements. In this way, we will refute the preconceived idea that this type of supplements are only intended to be consumed by men.
The fundamental role of nutrition.
First of all, it is important to bear in mind that creatine will not bring us benefits if we do not follow a healthy diet. But what does this imply?
It has been proven that nutrition plays a very important role in this process. We must be aware and follow a healthy diet that provides us with all kinds of nutrients. A balanced nutrition, therefore, would be one in which we combine macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Therefore, before making the decision to add any type of additional supplement in our diet plan, it is important to have a complete, varied and healthy diet.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a chemical substance that is produced naturally in our body. It is made up of three types of amino acids, which help digest the proteins we consume in order to provide us with the energy we need in our daily lives. We can find it in many foods such as meat or fish, or more specifically, in pork, beef, chicken, salmon and tuna.
But if we produce creatine naturally, why consume it in the form of a supplement? There are very few foods with large amounts of creatine, for this very reason, many people consume it to supplement their diet, without the need to consume large amounts of food.
Benefits of creatine in women
Creatine, as a supplement, has numerous benefits, the main ones being:
Increased muscle mass: This aspect is directly related to the energy that this substance provides us. It will help us to improve our performance, training more consistently, which will make us see results more immediately. It is important to emphasize that creatine itself is not a substance that intrinsically influences muscle growth by nature.
Increased strength: Creatine can increase the ability of women to perform high intensity exercise and lift heavier weights, leading to increased muscle strength.
Accelerates muscle recovery: It gives us the opportunity to recover before workouts. Creatine has regenerative properties, which will make our muscles recover more immediately from physical activity, allowing us to train more frequently and maintain steady progress. In addition, it helps prevent injuries and avoids the aging of muscle mass.
Improved athletic performance: By increasing the availability of energy in the muscles, creatine can improve performance in activities such as running, jumping or high-intensity sports.
Improves various health markers: Experts say that not only does it have benefits related to physical activity, but it can also help lower cholesterol and diabetes levels.
- It is a low-cost supplement, which is available to everyone. It is important to keep in mind that if you are thinking of taking any type of supplement, you should consult a doctor or nutritionist beforehand.
Creatine, therefore, can be a great ally if we want to improve our physical condition, paying special attention to the increase of muscle mass, increased performance and post-workout recovery. We must not forget that supplements are only a small part. Combining them with a good daily physical activity will be the key to our success.
How to take creatine correctly?
To get the maximum benefits from creatine, it is important to take it correctly. Here are some guidelines you should follow:
Choosing the type of creatine: Before you start taking creatine, it is important to choose the right type. Creatine monohydrate is the most studied and effective form. This can increase water retention in muscle cells, which in turn improves strength and endurance during exercise.
Proper Dosage: The recommended dosage is approximately 3-5 grams per day. This may vary depending on your body weight and level of physical activity. You can perform a loading phase of 20 grams daily for the first 5-7 days to saturate the muscles more quickly, followed by the maintenance dose, although it is not necessary to perform a loading phase, and you can start with the maintenance phase directly.
Timing: Taking creatine after training can help absorption due to increased blood flow to the muscles. You can also take it at any time of the day that is convenient for you, as consistency is key.
Combination with carbohydrates and protein: Mixing creatine with a fast-absorbing carbohydrate source, such as a protein shake with simple sugars, can boost absorption.
Hydration: Drinking enough water is essential to get the most out of creatine, as it aids in its transport and retention in muscle cells.
- Supplementation cycles: You can follow an 8-12 week cycle of creatine supplementation, followed by a rest period. This allows your body to maintain its natural creatine production capacity.
Creatine for Women: Myths and Realities
There are several myths and concerns surrounding the use of creatine for women.
Here we will debunk some of them and provide you with evidence-based information:
Myth 1: Creatine causes unwanted water retention and makes women look bloated.
Fact: The water retention caused by creatine is intramuscular, meaning the water is stored inside muscle cells, not under the skin. This does not cause visible bloating and, in fact, can help improve muscle appearance and definition.
Myth 2: Creatine is harmful to the liver and kidneys.
Fact: Numerous studies have shown that creatine is safe for the liver and kidneys when consumed at recommended doses. Only in cases of pre-existing kidney disease should its use be avoided.
Myth 3: Creatine is only for bodybuilders and men.
Fact: Creatine is beneficial for active women of all fitness levels. It is not limited to bodybuilders or men and can be used by women looking to improve their athletic performance and achieve their fitness goals.
Frequently Asked Questions about creatine intake in women
Can creatine affect the menstrual cycle in women?
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that creatine affects women's menstrual cycle. It should not have any negative impact in this regard.
How long does it take to notice the effects of creatine?
The effects of creatine can vary, but generally begin to be noticed after a few weeks of regular use. It is important to be consistent and to combine it with a proper training program.
Is it necessary to take a break from creatine?
It is not necessary to take a creatine break, but if you decide to do so, be sure to follow a loading phase when restarting use to restore creatine levels in the muscles.
Does creatine interact with other supplements or medications?
Creatine has no significant interactions with other supplements or common medications. However, it is always advisable to consult with a health professional if you are taking any specific medication.
Can I combine creatine with other supplements?
Yes, creatine can be safely combined with other supplements such as proteins, amino acids and vitamins. However, it is important to follow the appropriate dosage recommendations for each supplement.
Are there any side effects associated with creatine?
In general, creatine is considered safe and well tolerated. Some people may experience mild water retention, stomach upset or muscle cramps. However, these effects are usually temporary and disappear over time.
Creatine for women can be an effective tool for improving physical performance, muscle strength and body composition. It is safe to use and offers a number of benefits for active women of all fitness levels. By following proper dosage guidelines and combining it with an appropriate training program, women can take full advantage of creatine's positive effects. Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.