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Creatine For Women

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About Creatine For Women

When it comes to creatine, there has been a lot of confusion over the years as to exactly how it works, if it works, and also some concern over side-effects. So let’s start at the beginning ...


What is creatine?

Creatine is a tripeptide, synthesized from the amino acids methionine, arginine and glycine. It is found in high concentrations within skeletal muscle tissue as phosphocreatine.


What does it do?

Phosphocreatine is an energy donation molecule able to rebuild ADP backup to ATP (energy). It does this without the requirement for oxygen, which gives this energy pathway the technical term anaerobic. The anaerobic phosphocreatine energy system is heavily relied upon for our energy demands in exercises lasting up to 10 seconds. However, research still shows benefits for exercises lasting up to three minutes. However, as a rule of thumb, the shorter the duration of the exercise, such as sprinting and powerlifting, the more beneficial supplementation may be.


What are the Side Effects of Creatine?

When taking high doses of creatine—20 grams or more per day and stacked with glucose—in those who have not supplemented with this product before, weight gain is inevitable. This weight will be in the form of fluid within the muscle cell—not body fat. Creatine can be compared to an electrolyte in that it has the ability to draw fluid into the cell. However, this effect is minimal, if noticeable at all, when taking a smaller dosage, such as 2.5 to 5 grams daily.


Will I benefit from Supplementing with Creatine?

This all depends upon the type of exercises that you engage in, and also the type of diet that you follow. As stated earlier, we synthesize our own creatine from methionine, arginine and glycine, typically at a rate of around 1 gram per day, according to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2012. In addition to this, meat eaters and even pescetarians consume about 1 gram per day. Based on this, we could say that vegan powerlifters will benefit the most, given that their dietary intake is zero, and their reliance upon the phosphocreatine energy system is high. On the other hand, meat eaters whose main activity is long distance running will unlikely find any benefit from this supplement.  


Does Creatine affect Hormone Levels?

There is no evidence to suggest that creatine changes hormone levels in any way. Creatine is simply involved in donating phosphorus groups to rebuild ADP up to ATP, which is energy.


And Finally …

Creatine is fine for use for any gender. However, the usefulness of this product depends on the type of diet you follow and the exercises undertaken. Creatine has actually been shown to improve memory, perhaps by supporting ATP levels in the brain, and also boost mood. This latter effect may be due to creatine having a methionine-sparing effect, allowing for more S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) to be synthesized.

For further information on specific forms of creatine, take a look at the following informative article.