Creatine is for Girls(too)

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I opened my inbox a few weeks ago and there was a question from this nice Finnish girl I have been chatting with over the past month or so. I am always happy to answer questions and love to meet new people. Thanks to the internet I now have friends on almost every continent. I still haven’t gotten an email from anyone in Antarctica yet(I have high hopes, though).

Beautiful Finnish Girl writes:

What’s your take on supplements like creatine? The big boys seem to be taking it and I wonder if it’s of any use for a little girl :).

My Response:

This is a great question and yes, it is of use for a little girl like you.  It’s really the only supplement I would ever approve someone to consume to aid their muscle building pursuits because it’s the only supplement that has been around long enough with research to back it up.

As for my response, creatine is safe and suitable for females as it is for males. There is no risk of ineffectiveness based on gender because our musculoskeletal profile is identical as I pointed out in this article. Creatine is perfectly fine to use regardless of what your goals may be. If you are performing intense workouts on a regular basis, it’s probably a good idea to be using it.

What is Creatine?

It’s made up of 3 amino acids(building blocks of protein), therefore it is a natural supplement. Our beautiful bodies make small amounts of creatine and if you consume red meat, fish and other animal protein sources you are getting some though your diet. However the amount we make and consume in food is very small and will not create a noticeable effect in strength levels. This is why you must supplement with a creatine product to reap the benefits. Our bodies and diet will just not provide enough.

Creatine is a very old supplement, is well researched and has been proven to work, unlike many of the newer supplements that are made purely to sell. The ever popular N.O. products come to mind right about now(cue a snarky laugh) and the supposed affects one may notice from these types of products are usually placebo(omg, I am getting such a pump BRO!).

What Makes It Work?

Without getting too technical, our bodies break down the three macro nutrients, carbs, fat and protein into an energy product known as ATP. Through a long chain of complicated processes, ingested creatine will allow one to store more ATP and creatine within the muscle cells. This in turn allows us to over reach a bit during our workouts and increase our performance slightly. This will allow you a bit faster sprint time or to squeeze out a few more reps on the bench press. Layne Norton does an awesome job explaining exactly how creatine works in the article he wrote for bodybuilding.com. Enjoy.

To Load or Not to Load

Many people will say that you must load creatine, taking 20g per day for a week to ensure your stores are maxed out for optimal progress. This is semi-true but not an absolute. If you are taking creatine, it’s going to build up in your system regardless of loading or not. I personally do not like to load as it would give me massive gastrointestinal discomfort. I have fond memories of the summer when I would decide to load up on creatine. The bathroom was a very familiar place during that first week on the stuff.

This is just my account and you may have a different experience with loading. You won’t know until you try. If you are adamant about loading, I say start small with 5g the first day and then build up by 5g each day to assess tolerance. By the time you get to the fourth day you will be at 20g and it’s only recommended to consume that much for five to seven days anyhow.

How Much, What Kind and Cycling?

If you were under my supervision I would tell you to take 5g per day and stay on the stuff. Do not worry about timing, just make sure you are ingesting the daily requirements. I like to mix mine in a protein shake. As popular as cycling creatine is, there is no need to. There are no benefits or special effects as a result of cycling creatine. Once your stores are full, the 5g daily will just keep them topped off. I also do not recommend going out and buying hyped up, overpriced creatine. Buy the inexpensive, generic creatine monohydrate powder. You can usually buy it in bulk for cheap.

For the Ladies

Here are some reminders before you begin ingesting this white, flavorless powder. You will gain weight. Your clothes are going to be tighter. You are not getting fat or growing gigantic muscles. Creatine is known for making one retain water. This is common in men and women alike.  Enjoy the bloat.

There have been times where I gain a permanent 5-7 lbs after going on creatine but the initial gain is all water. Once I ditch the creatine, the water drops and I am back to normal. If you are one of those lovely females interested in strength training, I highly recommend the use of creatine. It can’t hurt and I am positive it will help you build that body you’re after.

Comments

  1. Danielle says

    Hi! I am a 25 year old girl about 115-120 and I am just wanting to GAIN WEIGHT! I have a hard time gaining. I had a major back surgery a few months ago, recovery is about a year and I’m not there yet so I gotta be super careful and really cannot be doing any extensive workouts. I can go walking, I can’t run yet but I just gotta take it easy. My boyfriend brought home a big container of creatine the other day and I am wondering, If I take it 2X a day and say go for a walk at night…will I gain weight? I’m just skinny, smallest I’ve ever been, my mom is tiny and I just want to gain weight at this point. Thankkks so much for your help!!

    -D

    • says

      Sorry, late to getting this. I missed it.

      Creatine in itself is not going to make you drastically gain weight. you might gain some water, but that’s it. If you want to gain weight, you need to eat more food.

  2. says

    Someone asked me about creatine and women today and I googled it to double check it was OK. Who came up? JC Deen. The man, the myth. Great article brother.

    Jay

  3. MB says

    I know this is an old thread – but wondered if you had the answer…
    Started creatine – and noticed some really good effects. I’m lifting heavier. It feels easier. I do weigh more, which freaked me out at first, but I got over it.
    Then I had an appointment with my physiotherapist. I had injured my shoulder a while back. He suggested I take ibuprofen to take the swelling down. Which is not a great thing to take with creatine I have read. So I have stopped taking creatine. Question is – how long until I can take my anti-inflame?
    Also, how problematic is tea and alcohol when I’m back on creatine?

  4. says

    I am just getting back into working out. I’m a wife, mom, and work fulltime. My question is I want to lose 50lbs, and become very agin. Use I use creatine if I’m trying to lose weight.

  5. Haley Ellis says

    Hi there!
    I’m an 18 year old girl who works out frequently.
    A male body builder who happens to be a friend of mine, advised me to start taking creatine mono hydrate.
    Other friends of mine told me that when I stop taking it I will gain weight and be “flabby”
    Lol.
    All I want is to be toned and really tight and defined.
    Your advice would be appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Haley

    • says

      taking creatine can help you get stronger and more defined. there’s no reason why it would make you flabby if you discontinue taking it. You might gain a little bit of water weight when you start taking it, but it’s not actual fat.

      follow my beginners routine, eat well, and focus on getting stronger if you wanna be toned and defined.

  6. T says

    All of this information is extremely helpful, and thank you for making the article! :)

    But just a few questions of my own.
    I am a 17 year old girl. And I’m planing on joining the Wrestling team at the High School I attend. I’m only 107lb. And would like to gain wait (mostly muscle) for the Wrestling season, so that I accually stand a chance at wining. LOL. Do you think that Creatine would help me achieve the goal I’m setting? I would like to be able to beat a Guy. :)

    • JC Deen says

      sure thing. the most important part of the muscle building equation is to follow a sound training program as well as supplying the body with nutrients for growth and recovery.

      • T says

        Creatine helps muscle endurance? If that’s what its called… Would It will help me work out longer and be able to lift more wait?

        • JC Deen says

          not so much as in it will help you get a few extra reps, but not help you with long runs, etc. it can enable you to lift more weight, yes.

  7. Reka says

    Hi, I would like to know how much carbs do we have to eat to get the insulin response necessary to use let’s say, 5 grams of creatine. Because the sources I’ve read don’t say anything about the carb amount, or they say really outrageous amounts which can be good for a 230 lbs person but definitely not good for my goals (fat loss with gaining strength). I don’t think I would eat, like 75 grams of pure sugar, as a bb forum suggested. So how much carbs do we have to eat at minimum? Does it help if we add protein (that elicits insulin response too)? I’ve been taking it with some fruits and protein (about 40 g carbs and 30 g protein, more or less), is that enough?
    Thank you so much!

    • JC Deen says

      why worry so much about it? Just have a normal post workout meal (similar to the macros you mentioned), add the creatine and be done with it.

      Most of the sources (I assume) you’re reading are probably aiming toward male bodybuilders who wish to gain muscle. If you’re using creatine to help maintain/gain strength, I would just make sure to get 5g per day (throw it in your post workout meal).

    • JC says

      well, it will usually even out for most people. if it doesn’t, then you just go off of it for a week or so until the bloat goes down.

  8. leslie says

    So I’m 26 and just starting taking creatine. maybe it’s in my head, i dont know but i look like i’ve been gaining weight. i’ve always had a flat stomach and it seems to not be as flat anymore. I know you say you gain water weight from it but how long does that last. And how long at a time should i be taking creatine, how long on and off?? and should i be dieting while i’m taking it?
    thanks!

    • JC says

      It’s likely you’re retaining some water. it’s hard to say how long it will last, but if you up your water intake, it should level out soon. You can take it indefinitely as I have not seen any reason not to take it long-term. There’s no real reason for cycling it. And yes, you can use it whilst dieting – it may help you retain strength.

      hope this helps.

  9. D says

    Hi, i wanna ask a couple questions. i wanna start taking this. i lost ALOT of wait in these last few months. Its started to bother me..Im always weak and lazy. And i was not like that before…And it was because of smoking.However i AM STOPPING.I wanna exercise and take this and be like how i was before.WHat to you think i should do? Is there anyside effects?I am willing to gain weight and be energetic. Also if you stop after a while. Will there be changes? etc..

    • JC says

      it’s hard to say “what you should do” or what I think without knowing much more than what you’ve told me. sorry.

      however, if you’re wanting to take creatine, it’s perfectly fine. No need to worry about side effects or anything. some people report stomach discomfort or diarrhea but it’s not common.

      if you stop taking it, there won’t be much in the terms of changes in strength if that’s what you’re asking…

          • D says

            thank you so much! sorry to bother you but i have a couple more questions… so i just brought creatine this morning. i am going to start taking it tommorow. i heard that it makes your breast smaller.. is that true? also your voice changes.and etc. i dont wanna look like a man. lol .. just need a little advice. sorry

            • JC says

              haha, I think you have creatine confused with steroids.

              none of these side effects will come with taking creatine. What you will probably notice is some water weight gain and eventually strength gains. other than that, good luck!

                • D says

                  ok im sosososososo sorry to bother you again. but i just needed to no.i started drinking it and whutever. and today i put it in my vitamin water. i think i put a lil to much. i statted having pains in my stomach but then i just took a nap and it went away. i wanna no in a cup. how many spoon fuls should i put in it? and today if i put alot is that bad? i threw the rest of the vitamin water out cause it was alot. so suggestions?

                  • JC says

                    no bother. this is what I get paid for, satisfaction from.

                    5g daily is enough. do you have a kitchen scale? a tbsp would be enough I believe.

                    5g daily should not give you any issues.

  10. ken says

    Hey JC,
    So what happens after youve been takin creatine for say 6 months but all of a sudden stop taking it. Will all the strength and muscle that you got from creatine disappear over time or will you retain all the muscle and strength? Basically, do you have to permanently take creatine for the rest of your life if you want its benefits forever? THanks

    • JC says

      you won’t lose the strength. if you do, it won’t be much. You’ll likely just drop some water and that’s it.
      you don’t have tot take it forever

  11. gemma says

    Hi,

    Im wandering about taking creatine, my aim though is to stay petite but just to be really toned…much like the photo above. Im not keen on building real big muscles.
    Would creatine be good for me to acheive this?

    • JC says

      sure. you needn’t worry about getting “big” because it’s hard enough for females to build appreciable muscle mass anyhow.

  12. says

    I tried creatine mono a while back but it did nothing for me: no increase in performance and no water retention whatsover. In your experience, is it worth trying a different brand before deciding I’m a non-responder?

      • says

        Ultimate Nutrition’s creatine monohydrate. I had the 300 g jar and used it until it was gone. I did a 5 day loading phase with 20 g/day, then did 3 grams per day in the morning with my carb-heavy breakfast.

        • JC says

          Interesting. I do know that there are non-responders out there. You might be one. However there is no harm in trying again if you want. Its cheap stuff. it’s not like you are dropping a ton of cheese on the stuff.

          • says

            True. :) I don’t really use any supplements at all (except for protein powder and fish oil). It figures that one of the few things that’ve been proven to work doesn’t work for me :p.

  13. Kx says

    After starting to take creatine I have to say that, it really works. For beautiful Finnish girls too ;).

    I can lift heavier, I’ve lost fat (as I can lift more I probably use more energy during my gym sessions, read: not saying that creatine itself helps you to loose weight), the boys at the gym seem to like a girl who lifts with them (added benefit and nowadays I always have someone to spot for me) and so on… :D

    My weight has stayed pretty much the same but as said, I’ve leaned out. For the first week or so my trousers did feel a bit tighter but I chould really be imagining that as I was expecting some bloating. It’ll be interesting to see though if there’s a drop in weight if I some point stop taking it.

    And I did buy the cheapest stuff in the store.

    • JC says

      and the Finnish girl showed up ;)

      good call on buying the cheapest stuff. I imagine you will drop some water when you go off of it. If you had a shoot or anything of the likes I would say to definitely drop it a few days before.

      • Kristy Michelle says

        I was reading this comment, and I was wondering, which brand of creatine did you use?

  14. says

    Creatine is good – just one more tip for the girls – you dont hav to pay more money for a girls creatine, use the “normal” one. :)

  15. says

    Does Creatine have calories? What brand do you recommend? The hubby may be interested. A guy at his job who does P90X keeps telling him to take Creatine, but never with any sense of informative background information.

  16. Pete says

    Hey JC,

    Wanted to chime in for Creatine Mono. It is the most researched type and in AARR (Alan Aragon Research Review) Alan breaks down some research between Creatine Ethyl Ester and Kre-Alkaline and basically all break down in the stomach but the cheap ole Mono performed superior. So its most researched as well as most effective! Save a few bucks and tell the GNC guy to push his expensive junk on someone else!

    Great article, sending this to all the female lifters I know! Thanks!

  17. Vanilla says

    How many beautiful Finnish girls do you know? ;)

    Nice article, maybe I should finally start taking it too…

    • JC says

      actually, I am not sure about how many I know. It could be many as I live in the land of mix breeds. I read they are all beautiful though.

      try it out for a while… see how you like it.

  18. says

    hmmms.. does your creatine gain come the same day you start, or does it sneak up a bit later? I was about to say I didn’t bloat at all and that I thought it was mostly men who bloated on creatine (revenge!), but… I did go up a pants size recently..

    • JC says

      I suppose it can be an individual thing. I only notice it at the end of the week(when I weigh myself) being about 5lbs heavier.

      up a pants size? good or bad?

      • says

        Good (glutes getting into gear) and bad (girl fat ass anxiety, loss of wardrobe). I’ll jump off the creatine and see what happens, then jump on again. And then stop overthinking :)

  19. says

    Cool article, though I’ve never had any benefit from creatine.. Most of them make me feel really sick. Can you recommend a creatine product that will most likely definitely work?

    The most powerful supplements I’ve taken are Scivation Vasocharge (a nitric oxide with added creatine monohydrate) and Body Ripped Androbolin (tribulus testosterone booster)

    The Vasocharge really DID give me the biggest pumps. But only for about 22 days.. On the 30th day it had completely warn off. It was not a placebo effect, it was real. But NO Xplode, Nanovapour, Vassive NO, Full Throttle NOZ, and a few other nitric oxides have not worked for me at all. The Androbolin certainly worked and made me stronger, but of the 5 or so testosterone boosters I’ve had since then, none have worked…

    It’s amazing how everyone responds differently to supplements..

    So anyway, what creatine product should I buy?

    • JC says

      Of course you will see a difference after taking pro-hormone.

      In my opinion all N.O. products are garbage. If you have to hype a product up like so for it to sell, good chance it’s probably useless. You never see hyped up ads for your basic creatine monohydrate. I think this is for two reasons – First, it’s been around forever and two, it simply works and they no longer need to convince people to buy the stuff.

      if you want a creatine product just do a google search for the cheap monohydrate. here I will save you time.
      Crea Mono

      • Damon says

        Actually when Creatine first came out, there were tons of hyped up ads for it… EAS’s Phosphagen was highly advertised and way over priced. There were several other Creatine products out there that were massively overhyped “variations” on it. Just a quibble with that statement :)

        I would suggest a micronized creatine monohydrate, it’s basically the same as the normal creatine, it’s just a much finer grain and it mixes better so you don’t have to swallow a big wad of sandy tasting drink.

        • JC says

          Oh sure. I didn’t mean to say that wasn’t the case. It’s just now that is has proven to be worthy, hype is unnecessary to make the sales. However I have seen some “fancy” creatines out there lately, due to new formulations, blah blah, blah. I bet they will fade out in time, just like every other dumb supplement.

      • says

        I’ve already used that one and all it did was make me sick.

        I’ll see if I can find another monohydrate and give it a go.

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