Is Creatine good for Women?
Where is Her Creatine?
Creatine Monohydrate has been extremely popular for men for many decades but what you didn’t know is that it can offer benefits to women!
Creatine for women? But you’ll get big and bulky.
- Pink Dumbbells are for women
- High reps, low weight is for toning and that’s what most women should do
- Deadlifts and Squats are for guys, inner thigh machines and leg extensions are for women
- Creatine helps your muscles get the nutrients you need to perform
- Creatine makes you bulky and bloated
Like many things bodybuilding, there are myths and misconceptions about exercises and supplements. Let’s set the record straight and say for men and women, there are no his and her exercises and most supplements will benefit both sexes.
This is true of creatine monohydrate. It’s NOT just for males. It’s pretty much work for all age groups, any gender (The NCAA won’t let colleges give it to athletes) and even for those who don’t go to the gym and lift weights. There are no lines of his and her creatine and if there is, it’s a marketing gimmick designed to sell you a female version of something that is the same as the male. I had to laugh when I saw this lightly colored bottle “Women’s Creatine.” The product was identical to males but it was specifically for her.
A 1999 survey of 806 NCAA Division I athletes by researchers at the University of North Carolina and published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine found that 48% of men used it (compared with only 4% of women).
Best Creatine Supplements for Women (Updated List for 2020)
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements available. But it’s been mostly linked to male athletes and bulking up. What’s more, creatine supposedly causes weight gain, and that’s why most women prefer not to take it. But there is a lot of misinformation out there, and not all creatine types cause weight gain. In fact, many help with weight loss and boost the fat-burning process!
Let’s have a closer look at creatine supplements, their benefits, and their side effects. Majority of professional and serious yet amateur women athletes use creatine regularly. I’m not saying all creatine supplements are the best, but after detailed research and with the help of female athletes, we’ve compiled a detailed list of the best creatine products for women along with everything else you need to know!
1. Transparentlabs Creatine HMB – Best Creatine Monohydrate Powder
Transparent Labs is a transparent brand with well-designed products with no fluff, fillers, and anything unnecessary. They focus on bringing the best to their users, and that’s the reason I tried them in the first place.
Their Creatine HBM contains clinically effective ingredients that produce visible results. Here’s what I was able to experience after taking this supplement regularly:
Enhances power: a combination of creatine monohydrate and HBL has been shown to increase power and lean mass gains. They are especially effective when used together and not as much when you use them separately.
Increases endurance: this combination has also been shown to improve endurance, especially when part of your training consists of running or cycling.
Reduces fat mass: creatine HBL has positive effects on the body fat mass. In fact, it helps to decrease it effectively, which means you can build a lean body without gaining extra weight.
Prevents muscle loss: HMB helps to maintain lean weight while decreasing fat. This is good news for all who worry that they’ll bulk up if taking creatine.
On top of that, the blend contains Bioperine, which helps to increase the absorption rate and make the product more effective.
Overall, it’s a clean product with one negative side to it; this isn’t Creatine HCL, so it will retain some water.
If you’re looking for a good quality creatine supplement, Transparent labs is the best you can value for money. The product is effective and designed with clean ingredients and no harmful or useless fillers. A blend of creatine monohydrate and HBM produces a powerful combo that supports lean mass, helps to reduce fat, and even boost muscle recovery. Creatine monohydrate may cause some water retention but the product is excellent for those who want to lose weight, get strong, and build lean muscle without bulking up.
2. Beyond Raw Creatine HCL – Best For Less Bloating Effect
For all who want a supplement with creatine that does not bloat, Beyond Raw is a solid and reliable option. This one was designed for those who want to boost their athletic performance. It’s based on lab-grade micronized creatine, which means it absorbs faster than monohydrate!
Apart from that, I was thrilled to notice zero bloating and clean formula with no useless fillers.
Builds muscle: while creatine can help build muscle, research has shown that it can be equally beneficial for women who are trying to build lean muscle.
Boosts energy: creatine HCL helps to increase the production of ATP in the body, which is a source of energy we use during high-intensity training (lifting, running, sprinting…). That means HCL enables you to train longer and harder.
Increases strength: if you’re able to train harder for longer, you gain power . This review showed that it may help increase strength and power up to 5%.
Enhances endurance: including creatine in high-intensity training can benefit and improve overall endurance, including short-term exercise and aerobic workout.
Decreases muscle recovery time: since creatine HCL boosts protein synthesis on a cellular level, your body can heal much faster and perform even harder.
This is a no-bloat creatine supplement that won’t cause any excess water gain while using it. HCL can be used before or after a workout but make sure to stay hydrated while using it or it can cause dry mouth. This is a must for all who work out regularly, and want to take their workouts to a new level. Many women are very satisfied with it since it helps to build lean muscle without any water retention. It has very few drawbacks and they can be avoided if you stay hydrated. It is one of the best supplements available!
3. BulkSupplements Creatine HCL Powder – Best Value
A scientifically researched supplement, Creatine Powder is free of any fillers and artificial ingredients. The formula is lab-tested, and it only contains creatine HCL that provides complete support for any type of athlete no matter your age. What’s more, you’ll notice muscle development quite quickly with regular use.
Improves athletic performance: by increasing ATP levels in the body, this supplement helps to boost your workouts and increase energy levels during training sessions.
Boosts muscle strength: with regular use, this supplement helps you to train longer and harder, do more reps
Increases lean muscle: HCL powder prevents muscle loss and helps to build lean mass
Improves muscle recovery: muscle fatigue can prevent you from working out regularly, but this supplement improves recovery time, enabling you to train according to your exercise schedule.
Being a pure creatine hydrochloride, this supplement may work better for all who were previously unsatisfied with creatine monohydrate. The powder won’t upset your stomach but will boost workout sessions and improve endurance while helping you build a lean body mass. Creatine Powder does taste a bit bitter, but you can easily tone that down by mixing it with a fruit juice or lemonade. Overall, this is an excellent value for money that provides visible results, no matter your age, workout type, or athletic goals.
4. Genius Creatine Powder, Post Workout Supplement For Men and Women – Good For Endurance and Muscle Building
The unique part of Genius Powder is that it’s designed with three different creatine types to provide their users with maximum product efficiency: Creapure (creatine monohydrate), Magnapower (creatine magnesium chelate), and creatine HCL. It’s a simple product with decent taste and real results.
This supplement combines the benefits of all creatine supplements, and it’s quite affordable for the purity of the formula. It also contains beta-alanine, which helps to push your physical performance even further and to decrease muscle fatigue.
Supports lean mass: the supplement is free of anything artificial, so it only promotes the ultimate support for those trying to build lean muscle without any soft and fluffy areas on their bodies. It increases the fat burning process at the same time but doesn’t cause any bloating.
Increases energy levels: with an effective creatine blend, this supplement helps to increase the ATP levels in the body, enabling you to get more bang for your buck with more reps
Improves muscle recovery: beta-alanine combined with creatine improves muscle recovery by delivering nutrients to the muscles. That means you can work out more often.
Increases muscle strength and power: along with beta-alanine, this supplement improves muscle power and strength. The components enhance power , which you’ll be able to notice with regular use. Your muscles will endure more and strength as well as power will increase for more reps and longer and harder workout sessions.
Genius is a natural muscle builder that promotes lean mass without any fluffy and soft appearance. What’s more, it improves muscle recovery and effectively increases strength while helping you burn away the fat. The price could be a bit better, but since it contains clean ingredients with a clear label, it’s also the quality that you’re paying for. After all, you’re getting a blend of the 3 creatine formulas with beta-alanine and magnesium included in the mix. It’s a unique supplement that packs just the right amount of everything for the best results, and recovery.
5. Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate
This is a pure creatine monohydrate creatine powder that athletes use due to its excellent absorbency rate for maximum effects. This supplement will give you 5g of creatine per serving, and it’s best to take it post-workout.
Whether you’re a woman or a man, this is a high-quality product with many satisfied users. Unlike some other supplements on the list, this one is great for women who want to gain muscle and lose weight at the same time.
Supports muscle strength and power: creatine increases ATP in the body, which is the main fuel for high-intensity workouts. This results in increased power and strength, which has been shown by many studies, including in this meta-analysis. The researchers found an 8% increase in strength in people who use creatine compared to those who don’t.
Increases energy levels: with regular use, creatine can raise energy levels and minimize overall fatigue.
Builds muscle mass: by being able to train harder and longer, creatine helps to support the muscle-building process
Optimum Nutrition designed their supplement for those who are serious about their athletic goals. Your reps and strength will improve and it’s perfect for those women who’re trying to increase muscle development and gain muscle mass. The product raises strength and muscle when taken regularly, and you should take it before and after a workout for the best effects. Some users said it causes cramps and upset stomach, but these can be easily avoided. Just make sure to stay hydrated when taking this supplement. It may cause bloating one in a while, but mostly when taken in large amounts.
6. NAKED Nutrition Pure Creatine Monohydrate – Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free
Naked provides a one-ingredient product, namely micronized creatine monohydrate, which makes this supplement a simple, effective, and a high-quality one.
It’s a versatile option for all who’re taking other supplements as well; you can easily stack it with BCAAs or protein powders. I love the fact that the brand is transparent and straightforward.
Micronized creatine: this type of creatine is dissolved easily, and it gets absorbed fast by your body, which makes it that more efficient when it comes to its benefits.
Improved muscle gains: this supplement will show on the scale, but it’s mainly minor water retention and newly developed muscle mass. Combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet, it promotes positive results.
Improves the fat-burning process: creatine will help you eliminate some of the body-fat while supporting your body to train longer and harder. You’ll notice fat melting away and gaining muscle slowly.
No side-effects: unlike many creatine monohydrate supplements on the market, this product doesn’t cause any side-effects (nausea, stomach cramps), which enables you to lead your lifestyle normally without any interruptions and feeling of discomfort.
For best effects, mix it with a fruit juice or a protein shake, as water isn’t the best option. You’d probably want a better taste, but the brand is dedicated to bringing the highest-quality ingredients to their customers. The supplement is free of anything apart from creatine, so you get exactly what you pay for without any fillers. But, this supplement is the best for all who’re trying to build lean muscle mass and lift heavy weights as opposed to those who build their workouts on cardio.
7. BPI Sports Best Creatine Monohydrate
For diverse options of creatine types and a few additional ingredients that support an active lifestyle, BPI Creatine gives you a 4g serving scoop with 3.45g creatine (monohydrate, anhydrous, phosphate, AKG, magnesium creatine chelate, and pH buffered creatine alkaline), betaine anhydrous, and Himalayan pink salt.
Different 3 creatine blends: in this blend, each type of creatine has a role to play. Monohydrate is the most used form of creatine, anhydrous provides additional creatine per gram, and AKG has antioxidant properties, which may also minimize fatigue.
Increases absorption: with Magnapower (magnesium chelate), this supplement get your body to absorb creatine better.
Improves hydration: electrolytes in the product improve hydration. Sodium and potassium help to maintain the body hydrated, which is important because you’re already losing water and electrolytes when working out intensely. What’s more, you should drink more water when taking creatine, or it can cause some drawbacks (stomach cramps).
BPI Best Creatine is a thoughtfully designed supplement that may or may not work best with its creatine blend. This is a proprietary blend so knowing the exact amounts of creatine used is impossible, which is why I believe it’s a pricey product for what you get. Dozens of online reviews praise its effectiveness; I’ve used it many times before and I’ve noticed increased strength, power, and energy all with a reasonably good taste. Still, I’d prefer to see more specific ingredients with fewer fillers.
Is Creatine Safe for Women?
Creatine is safe to take for women but in many cases, it causes bloating (see more below). Make sure to follow the recommended dose when taking creatine. Taking any supplements in excess can cause negative effects.
In this case, too much creatine can cause liver, kidney, and heart damage.
A nutritional compound derived from amino acids, creatine provides support for instant energy production!
Creatine is as safe for women as for men as long as you don’t overuse it. Follow the recommended dose to avoid negative effects.
What Are the Different Types of Creatine Supplements?
There are different creatine supplements available on the market; to be exact, there are seven different types available. The type that works best for you depends on dosage and workout goals.
Monohydrate: this type of creatine first entered the market, and it had to be combined with sugar for best effects and taken in high doses (20-25g a day).
Ethyl ester: this type is taken in smaller amounts. There’s also no sugar required for it to be absorbed
Tri-Creatine Malate: a mixture of creatine monohydrate and malic acid, it’s water-soluble, and it doesn’t cause gastric distress as much as the other options
Buffered Creatine: this is a newer type that you take in small amounts (2-4g a day). It boosts creatine absorption by regulating its pH since high levels of pH reduce the overall effectiveness of creatine.
Micronized Creatine: in other words, this is creatine in very small particles to improve absorption, but it has to be taken in high doses. For best effects, drink plenty of water.
Liquid Creatine: this type isn’t too popular anymore as it wasn’t shelf-stable
Conjugated Creatine: the newest type of creatine, this one focuses on microdoses that improve absorption and fewer side-effects.
There are many different types of creatine, but creatine monohydrate is the most studies one whish should be taken in high doses. Others are commonly used, but micronized creatine is the best for quick absorption.
Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight for Females?
Most women work out to lose weight. But creatine is a bulking supplement which is why many women prefer to steer clear of it.
In reality, creatine doesn’t increase fat levels in a woman’s body. In fact, it’s calorie-free. What happens is that creatine can cause muscles to store more water, which can appear as weight gain. Since it also helps to increase muscle mass, women can expect to gain weight (in muscles).
But that’s not all; different types of creatine have slightly different effects on our bodies.
One of the biggest downsides to creatine monohydrate is that it retains water. It increases extracellular water levels under the skin and causes a puffy look. That’s why many believe that creatine causes weight gain.
On the other hand, creatine HCL works much better. Our bodies absorb it faster and better. That means you can reduce unwanted water retention by taking a smaller dose for better results.
Creatine causes temporary increase in water weight (especially creatine monohydrate) which is why many think it makes you gain weight. In fact, it doesn’t increase fat levels in the body and it helps to promote fat loss with regular use and workout.
Is Creatine Good to Lose Weight?
Creatine can help you lose weight and burn fat effectively, which makes it an indirect fat-burner. The more physically active and stronger you are, the longer and harder you’re able to work out.
Creatine provides support in this fat-burning process because it helps you get stronger, which means that you can burn more calories as you progress with working out.
What’s more, it also helps to increase the metabolic rate, which is great news if you want to lose weight. Last but not least, creatine provides you with an energy boost, helps to minimize fatigue, and keep you motivated to go on, which can be difficult while losing weight and dieting.
Creatine can help you burn more calories and fat as it helps you get stronger. It also improves metabolic rate and minimize fatigue, so you can train more often more intensely.
Creatine And Bloating Explained
Does creatine make you bloated?
First of all, not everyone experiences bloating when taking creatine. This side effect also depends on the type of creatine you take; creatine HCL is less likely to cause bloating, while creatine monohydrate is more likely to cause it.
Studies have shown that increased body water is normally a short-term effect, and it resolves within a few weeks after the loading process.
Loading phase means that you stack your body with higher amounts of creatine to get the results faster: you’ll get stronger, more powerful, and burn fat more quickly when taking 20-25g of creatine up to 7 days in a row.
If you skin the loading phase and stick to 3-5grams of creatine daily, you will limit the bloating problem, but it’ll take you longer to experience the full benefits of creatine.
There are different ways to avoid creatine bloating:
Drink a lot of water: creatine pulls water into your cells, which means you can become dehydrated. Dehydration causes bloating, so make sure to stack up on water intake and prevent feeling like a balloon.
Cut high amounts of carbs from your diet: eating a lot of carbs, such as bread and pasta, causes your body to retain water.
Avoid foods high in sodium and sugar: stay away from processed foods that are loaded with sodium to prevent bloating. Salt is important for a healthy body, but too much can cause water to retain. What’re more, foods high in sugar take much longer to digest. The bacteria in your gut feeds on the sugar and causes gas build-up, which results in bloating.
Use high-quality creatine: a healthy diet and regular exercise aren’t enough to make the most of your supplements. Make sure to use trusted brands that are transparent and don’t load their products with unnecessary fillers and sugars that would cause more damage than benefits in the long run.
Take creatine in small amounts: stacking up on high creatine amounts normally causes bloating. Take up to 5 grams a day, no more, and it’ll reduce the chance of being bloated.
Stick to a healthy diet: you can lose weight and reach your physical and athletic goals only on a healthy diet. Quality supplements and exercise are important, but eating whole and healthy foods are equally important to prevent bloating, fatigue, and other uncomfortable feelings.
Creatine causes bloating when taken in high amounts (20-25g per day), but there are easy ways to avoid it, such as healthy diet, regular water intake, and taking it in small amounts.
Creatine Powder Vs. Creatine Pills?
To be honest, the powder is absorbed faster by our bodies, so many fitness experts prefer to choose it over the pills.
However, the decision is up to you.
Pills are easier to take, also on the go while you have to mix and drink the powder.
A faster absorption rate means better results, but choose what works best for you and your lifestyle.
No matter which type you choose, make sure to stay consistent with taking creatine, stick to a healthy diet, and don’t mix creatine with any acid juices to boost absorption even further (grape juice works well).
Our bodies absorb powder faster but if you prefer to take pills, you can do so as well. No matter which type you choose, stay consistent and you’ll notice results with both options.
Common Misconceptions of Using Creatine
- I’ve heard it’s a steroid
- It causes weight gain
- The creatine side effects are bad
This may be one of those rare dietary supplements that can be beneficial even to sedentary people. So let’s figure out what Creatine is and why creatine for females or men makes sense. Many of the research used in creatine studies has been done on women. Those are listed below so if you hear that all the research about creatine has been on men ,that’s not true.
What is Creatine?
In a nutshell, it’s produced in small amounts by your body, it’s found in some foods and when it’s available, your body can use it to convert to something called ATP (Adenisone TriPhosphae) that is the energy source for muscles. The more creatine you have stored and ready, in theory and in research, you will have more available short term energy for doing work and possibly just enough to do a few more repetitions than without having supplemental creatine.
That means when taking creatine, you may eke out more repetitions with the same amount of weight.
In the exercise world, Creatine helps you do more work which in turn can be beneficial to growing and maintaining more muscle. With more muscle, you could be leaner, stronger and healthier. It does not build muscle per se but aids with muscular energy production for better workouts which lead to more muscle. There are some reported side effects of creatine but they are mild and in most cases, occur when you take well beyond the recommended creatine dosage or unfortunatley take low quality products.
Bloating is the #1 Reason for the Hesistation to Use Creatine
Most women avoid creatine because they heard it causes boating, upset stomach or unwanted weight gain.
Bloating in this case might be:
- muscle growth
- gastrointestinal upset
- water retention under the skin
What they don’t realize is that the weight gain can be a combination of muscle being built (a good thing and takes hard work) and water being retained in the cells.
If you mention the word water retention to most women, they want nothing to do with it. However, it’s not the type of water retention you’d think. It’s called cell volumization. Creatine increases cells retention of water. This feeling is minimal and entirely different than typical water retention caused by the “monthly bloat.”. Being properly hydrated is a good thing. Any water weight gained will be gone when you stop using creatine.
Men probably don’t mind the feeling of fullness, bigger muscles or a few pounds but it is totally understandable that most women are not looking for supplments that offer the remote possibility of the aforementioned results. But keep in mind that this particular effect is way overblown and very different from your typical water retention type effects.
“Weight gain of about 0.8 to 2.9 percent of body weight in the first few days of creatine supplementation occurs in about two-thirds of users.” – Christine Rosenbloom, R.D., sports dietitian for Georgia State University Athletics
Creatine:What Does the Research Say
- Research shows creatine helps women get stronger and absorb creatine efficiently just like males.
- Untrained female (non-vegetarian) subjects who took 20 g of creatine monohydrate per day for 4 days, then 5 grams per day for 10 weeks during a strength training program. The researchers said, “It is concluded that long-term creatine supplementation enhances the progress of muscle strength during resistance training in sedentary females.”
- Female softball players reported that creatine, loaded at 20g for a week, increased mean strength and endurance in trained females
- Female lacrosse players, creatine increased bench press strength compared with placebo, but there were no significant differences in body weight and no increase in body fat.
- Female soccer players from the University of Alabama found the same thing – creatine increased strength (bench press and squat) but body composition did not change. They concluded that short term creatine supplementation can enhance strength performance in women with minimal effect on body composition.
There are subtle differences between men and women when it comes to creatine supplementation. There were some marked differences in the rate at which protein is spared or how much lean mass was gained. This might be because males have more muscles to begin with higher testosterone levels and other factors. In any case, females responded positively to creatine supplementation just like males.
If you want to be precise, actual creatine dosages may vary for a women because a true creatine dosage is based on body-weight.
Here is a very professional Creatine Overview by WebMD
Is there a Creatine for Women Only Version?
Yes. For example, IdealLean Brand manufacturers creatine targeted specifically for women! Some supplement brands target vegan female athletes, with few brands manufacturing vegan creatine products targeted for females!
What is the Best Creatine Monohydarate to Use?
Just the regular powder form. Nothing added, no sugars, no transports, no added protein or anything else. Companies need to create new twists on things to continue to sell and to enter new markets. But when it comes to creatine, good plain creatine monohydrate powder that is tasteless, orderless, no color and sometimes grainy is the best. Using creatine for fe,ale aesthetes is no different from men using it.
The Verdict: Is Creatine Something You Should Use?
Hopefully by now you understand a little bit more about creatine for females and why it’s actually a supplement you should consider. Do not be swayed by the myths about bloating, water retention and side effects. They are way overblown for most responsible users. There are some significant benefits to females who choose to use this product that is not for men only. Below you will find some older studies with links for further research.
Creatine is a popular supplement for a reason. It helps to increase ATP levels in the body. That means your body gets more energy for exercise. More energy means you can work out more while boosting muscle strength, endurance, and power.
By building your muscles, you’re able to train longer and harder, burn more fat, build muscle, and consequently also get more motivation that helps you achieve your athletic goals.
It’s a versatile supplement that can be combined with other products as well and result in improved performance and a strong body. However, not all creatine supplements are created equal. There are many options available, but to pick the best products wasn’t easy.
We had to check, test, and use different options until we discovered the top most effective creatine supplements available. The best overall value for money you can get is, according to our research BulkSupplements Creatine HCL Powder. It’s a clean and tested formula that is quickly dissolved and absorbed.
You’ll be able to do more reps while maintaining a lean body mass without any bloating. The taste may be bitter, but the product is effective and a great alternative for all who aren’t too keen on taking creatine monohydrate.
If you’re looking for the best creatine monohydrate powder, Transparent Labs is a transparent product without any fillers and nonsense ingredients.
This supplement is designed for all who want to burn fat and prevent any muscle loss. It’s a clinically effective formula that won’t cause bulking, and Bioperine boosts the absorption even more to maximize the effects of creatine HBM.
For those of you who are primarily worried about bloating, Beyond Raw Creatine HCL contains lab-grade micronized creatine with a clean formula and no fillers.
It’ll boost energy levels without any side effects, just make sure to stay hydrated. This is a must or all who exercise regularly and want to keep muscle without any water retention.
If you want to build endurance and muscle at the same time, Genius Creatine supports both men and women, and they’re bulking up process.
This supplement is unique since it’s designed with 3 different creatine types and beta-alanine. This combo effectively increases ATP levels in the body, enabling you to train longer and harder, while looking after your muscles and decreasing their recovery time.
1 . Vandenberghe, K. et al. (1997) Long-term creatine intake is beneficial to muscle performance during resistance-training. J Appl Physiol, Volume 83, pages 2055-2063.
2. Stout, J. et al. (2000) Effect of creatine loading on neuromuscular fatigue threshold. J Appl Physiol, Volume 88, pages 109-112.
3. Mihic, S. et al. (2000) Acute creatine loading increases fat-free mass, but does not affect blood pressure, plasma creatinine, or CK activity in men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc, Volume 32, pages 291-296.
4. Parise G. et al. (2001) Effects of acute creatine monohydrate supplementation on leucine kinetics and mixed-muscle protein synthesis. J Appl Physiol, Volume 91, pages 1041-1047.
5. Murphy R. M. et al. (2003) Human skeletal muscle creatine transporter mRNA and protein expression in healthy, young males and females. Mol Cell Biochem, Volume 244, pages 151- 157.
What’s your stance on creatine for women?