The Health Benefits Of Creatine For Women

When it comes to nutritional supplements, creatine has rarely topped the list for women, especially those of us who are 35 + years old. However, among fitness content creators it has exploded on TikTok and Instagram. Sales have surged 114% growth over the past year. 

Emerging research suggests that this well-known sports supplement, creatine monohydrate could be an overlooked ally, offering significant health and fitness benefits for women during menopause and perimenopause. 

“There are few supplements I recommend across the board. Creatine is one of them. A growing body of research shows it can help increase strength, power, and athletic performance in females, and it’s also good for your brain health and maybe even your mood,” wrote Dr Stacy Sims on her blog in April 2023. I love Stacy’s books (see links below) and enjoy hearing her thoughts on supplements especially as she tells it like it is. If there isn’t research backing it up, she doesn’t promote it.  

Studies show that creatine can enhance muscle gains, performance and recovery. They also show it can improve memory and sleep, lower stress and depression! 

After age 35, you naturally begin to lose muscle and it becomes difficult to build new muscle. Creatine supplementation may help you build more muscle which translates into a higher resting metabolic rate, aka a faster metabolism!

It also might have positive effects on mood and cognition.

Need more convincing? Let’s dive into why creatine supplementation might just be the supplement you didn’t know you needed.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in small amounts in certain foods and produced by the body. It plays a critical role in energy production, particularly in high-intensity, short-duration activities. While creatine is often associated with male athletes looking to enhance workout performance and muscle mass, its benefits extend far beyond the realm of sports nutrition, offering unique advantages for women’s health, especially during perimenopause and post menopause.

Benefits of Creatine

Boosts Muscle Strength and Endurance

One of the most challenging aspects of aging for women is the loss of muscle mass and strength, a condition known as sarcopenia. This natural decline is accelerated during and after menopause, due to hormonal changes. Creatine supplementation can combat these effects by enhancing muscle performance and endurance, making it easier to build and maintain muscle mass through strength training and resistance exercises. Creatine supplementation helps your muscles work harder and longer resulting in greater gains. Muscle gains lead to a healthy, faster metabolism which is what we want as aging women! We want MORE lean muscle mass. Who doesn’t want to boost their exercise performance from sprints to lifts?

Enhances Recovery and Reduces Fatigue

Fatigue is a common complaint among perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Creatine has been shown to improve recovery time and reduce overall fatigue, making it a valuable tool for women looking to stay active and energized. Whether you’re powering through a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session or simply trying to keep up with daily activities, creatine can help support sustained energy levels.

Supports Brain Health

Emerging research highlights creatine’s potential benefits for cognitive function, an area of concern for many women as we age. As an almost 40 year old, I’m still blaming my brain fog on pregnancy hormones. Studies suggest though that creatine supplementation can improve memory and attention, particularly in tasks requiring speed and accuracy. For women in perimenopause and postmenopause, who may experience cognitive changes or “brain fog,” creatine offers a promising strategy for supporting brain health. 

In addition, one review in 2021 on brain health in women found that women with a major depressive disorder who augmented their daily antidepressant with 5g of creatine responded twice as fast and experienced remission of depression at twice the rate of women who took only their antidepressant

May Help with Bone Density

Osteoporosis and decreased bone density are significant concerns for postmenopausal women, largely due to the decline in estrogen levels. While more research is needed, some studies indicate that creatine supplementation, in conjunction with resistance training, may improve bone density by increasing the strength and mass of muscles attached to bones, thereby exerting greater force on the bones themselves.

How to Incorporate Creatine Into Your Routine

Incorporating creatine into your dietary supplement regimen is straightforward. 

The most common form of creatine monohydrate is usually in a creatine powder but also these days found in gummy and pill form too! 

A typical dosage is 3-5 grams per day, but it’s always a good idea to start with a lower dose to assess potential side effects. Start with 3 and work your way up to 5 or more grams every day. Yes, you need to take it every day not just on days you workout. You can take it before, during or after your workout. 

You need to be consistent for at least 4 weeks of at least 3 grams to start to see any difference. 

There are pros and cons to the different forms of creatine including capsules, powders, and gummies. Creatine powders are the most common and tend to be the most cost-effective option. They are versatile, allowing you to adjust your dosage easily and mix the powder with your preferred liquid. I mix mine with water and BCAA’s and drink during my workout. 

However, some may find the powder form less convenient for on-the-go consumption compared to capsules or gummies. Capsules offer the convenience of portability and no need for mixing, making them a great choice for those with a busy lifestyle, though they may be more expensive per serving. Gummies provide a tasty alternative, ideal for those who dislike swallowing pills or the taste of powdered supplements, but they often contain added sugars.

Potential Creatine Side Effects

You will not bulk up. You should not experience weight gain. Creatine is calorie free. Any weight gain would come from lean body mass aka muscle. Bloating is reportedly something more men experience than women at first but is a possibility for some due to water retention. Water retention is not fat! So if you notice the scale moving up at first, don’t freak out. Give it a week or so and it should go back down. This is water not fat. Remember, you don’t need a loading phase which is often what leads to this side effect. 

Taking creatine as a female will not increase your testosterone. 

Back in high school, kidney failure was reported among young male users who were using too much. This information has been largely dubunked as untrue for women. 

When incorporating creatine into your regimen, it’s crucial to consider its potential interaction with other medications or supplements. Creatine may interact with medications affecting kidney function or water retention, such as NSAIDs, diuretics, and certain blood pressure medications. 

Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting creatine, especially if you are taking other medications or have pre-existing health conditions. 

My experience with Creatine Supplementation

First, I just started taking creatine. I shared this on my Instagram and I promised to bring you along. I’m currently on day two of creatine supplementation. I’m using the FASTer Way Creatine which is one of the purest creatines on the market and has one ingredient. Fellow FASTer Way coaches have been taking creatine for years and have been singing it’s praises for a long time. Many of us are excited to see what it has to offer our clients!

I do take a variety of supplements but don’t take a ton. I don’t take collagen because research is inconclusive if it works but research on creatine for women is promising and proven. Dr Stacy Simms (who wrote Roar and Next Level) recommends it as well. 

See my other supplement recommendations here.

Share the Post:

Related Posts