Creatine is one of the most extensively studied nutritional supplements available and offers anyone who is serious about their training and muscle gains – including women – a cost effective product relative to its many benefits.
Here are 4 reasons why every lady who trains in the gym should consider including a creatine supplement in their plan.
1. Creatine can help you build muscle
Boosting creatine stores with a supplement enables you to sustain the intense short duration muscle contractions for longer during resistance training sessions.
By increasing strength, power and muscular endurance in this way, you can train harder for longer, which increases the stimulus muscle tissue needs to grow back stronger and bigger with the appropriate recovery and nutritional support.
This enhanced work capacity delivers creatine’s muscle-building benefits, rather than any direct effects on muscle protein synthesis, as is the case with supplemental protein or hormones.
2. Train harder for longer
In terms of muscle uptake and ability to increase high-intensity exercise capacity, creatine is possibly the most prolific performance-enhancing supplement at our disposal.
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s position stand, “creatine monohydrate is the most effective ergogenic nutritional supplement currently available to athletes in terms of increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass during training.”
3. Creatine may help to spare muscle tissue
Research by a team of Australian scientists has shown that creatine may, in fact, deliver a greater muscle sparing effect than whey protein.
In the study4 funded by AST Sports Science, a research team led by Matthew Cooke imposed controlled, chemically induced damage to the skeletal muscle tissue of lab rats to test the myo-protective potential of supplemental creatine (CR) compared to that of whey protein (WP).
The study results showed that the creatine-supplemented muscles “displayed a greater proportion of non-damaged (intact) fibres and larger cross-sectional areas of regenerating and non-damaged fibres compared to CON (control) muscles at day 7 post-injury. At day 14 post-injury, CR-supplemented muscles generated higher absolute forces concomitant with greater contractile protein levels compared to CON and WP-supplemented muscles.”
Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that: “Creatine supplementation appears to offer an element of myoprotection which was not observed following whey protein supplementation.”
4. Creatine may aid recovery
The findings from the study, which were published in the journal Nutrients, suggest that the ability of a creatine supplements to support muscle growth run deeper than its ability to generate functional strength.
According to the Australian researchers, observations from the study suggest that supplementing with creatine reduces the extent of muscle damage and/or enhances the growth of the regenerating fibres.
They suggest that the structural improvements are due to increased cell fluid volume that occurred in the earlier stages of the study, which may underpin the benefits observed in the later stages of recovery.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.