Creatine is a substance that is naturally found within both men’s and women’s bodies, but today I want to talk to you about the use of creatine for women. There are a number of benefits that a woman can achieve with creatine, from boosting exercise performance to increasing overall energy. It can also help clear away mental fatigue and even boost your mood. Not only am I a female nutritionist, but I’m also a certified personal trainer, and I’ve used and recommended creatine to many of my female clients.

There are a few different types of creatine that are available, such as creatine ethyl ester and creatine HCL. The type that you’ll find most often in supplements is creatine monohydrate, because it tends to be the most effective and beneficial.

Creatine monohydrate can boost muscle creatine by as much as 40 percent, so you feel stronger when you’re working out. If you’re interested in improving your performance when you’re in the gym or want to help perfect your physique, read on to find out more about how women’s bodies can be positively impacted with the use of a creatine supplement. Not only will I cover a lot of the basics of this supplement, but I’ll also speak with you about the potential side effects and risks.

How Does Creatine Work?


Creatine boosts a woman’s health and performance in a few different ways. When you’re working out hard or partaking in physical activity, creatine levels must be optimal within your muscles in order to feel strong and perform at your best. If your creatine levels are low, this prevents the proper production of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. ATP is an energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of muscles and all living things. You’ll feel tired faster and may have a harder time recovering from your workouts.

Creatine is often used to help build muscle, and this is accomplished a few different ways.

More Time Working Out

It allows you to complete more physical activity in one session. That added volume is absolutely necessary if you want to see gains.

Cell Signaling

Creatine also assists with cell signaling. It increases the amount of satellite signaling that occurs, which promotes muscle repair and the growth of new muscle.

Hormone Activity

Creatine can raise the anabolic hormone levels in your body, which is optimal for the process of protein synthesis. This aids in the maintenance and increase of lean body mass as well as boosting the healing process.

Hydrating Cells

Creatine results in more water being retained in the muscles so they experience a higher volume.

Lowers Myostatin Levels

Myostatin is a protein that can slow down the development of new muscle growth when there is too much of it present in the body. Creatine reduces levels of myostatin in the body.

Raising Phosphocreatine

Phosphocreatine is a phosphorylated form of creatine that aids in recycling adenosine triphosphate, which is needed for providing energy for different physiological processes like muscular contraction.

What Can Creatine Do for a Woman?

two women and creatine

A lot of people associate creatine with male bodybuilders that have extremely large and defined muscle groups. While it is incredibly popular among this demographic, men aren’t the only ones that can benefit from creatine. Because creatine has the potential to help you create lean muscle mass without gaining any fat, it’s optimal for women who are trying to look and feel their best.

Creatine works well for women that are already participating in high intensity training and want to take their workout to the next level. Whether you opt to use creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester or magnesium creatine chelate, your female body can feel stronger, experience more energy and reap the benefits of more endurance. Creatine can also help you lose weight as you'll most likely burn fat when exercising. Your mind will be clear thanks to an uptake of oxygen in the brain.

Does It Work for All Women?

Just like with any supplement, experiences will vary. Both men and women can benefit from the use of creatine, but there are some people that don’t like how it affects their body. Some studies show that creatine has had very minimal impact on certain people taking it, despite the duration the product was used and the type of creatine that was included in a supplement. It’s important to give creatine enough time to work. Some women notice a change in their energy levels within one week of starting to creatine load, but it can take several weeks to notice any kind of substantial difference.

Will It Make Me Bulky?

Creatine is great because it doesn’t result in you forming more fat on the body. It’s a calorie-free supplement in that regard. However, creatine will make your muscles store more water inside of them, so they can appear bulkier. This is water weight gain that can cause the number on your scale to go up. When you’re using creatine, you have to get into the mindset that you’re going to be looking at yourself in the mirror and judging your gains from that perspective. What you don’t want to do is keep watching the scale day in and day out, thinking you’re gaining weight when really, it’s not fat that you need to be concerned with. As a female nutritionist and personal trainer, I always recommend to my clients that they take the number on their scale with a grain of salt. That number doesn’t matter if you feel great and love how you look.

7 Reasons Why Women Should Take Creatine

fit woman with creatine

Now it’s time to take a look at seven of the reasons why women should take creatine as part of their fitness and wellness routine.

#1. Creatine Can Increase Strength without Gaining Weight

Creatine is frequently used by women (and men) that want to increase their muscle mass without adding on weight or fat. This is an excellent supplement that can boost your athletic performance, endurance and strength. Unlike other supplements like protein powder, that contain calories and fat in each serving, creatine is something that’s produced naturally in the body and doesn’t result in weight gain. You’re simply increasing the amount of creatine in the body to see positive results.

#2. Increases Energy and ATP Production

When you’re going to be participating in high-intensity workouts of physical activity, ATP energy is what you want a lot of. Creatine has the potential to increase your phosphocreatine levels in a way that boosts the production of ATP energy. This is actually one of the few supplements that can very purely improve the amount of strength and power that you have while working out without unwanted side effects like weight gain, bloating, etc.

#3. Improves Exercise Performance

By increasing the amount of phosphocreatine being stored in the body, creatine benefits from more ATP energy when exercising. We’ve all had those sluggish workouts that we have to essentially force ourselves through, not really knowing where the energy is coming from. You’ll feel more motivated and ready to exercise when you’re utilizing creatine supplements. You’ll be able to hit those higher speeds on the treadmill or add a little bit of weight to your reps.

#4. Improves Athletic Performance

Through an increase in strength, lean muscle mass and faster muscle recovery after workouts, creatine can help improve your athletic performance. Athletes have been using creatine for decades to help them achieve more speed and energy. Women can use it as well to sprint faster, be more alert or lift more weight.

#5. Speeds Up Muscle Growth

Creatine is not only one of the most effective supplements for speeding up the growth of muscle, but it’s incredibly impactful considering that it is a legal substance. When you combine creatine with exercise, you’re able to achieve gains that you never thought were possible. Your increase in muscle will look better as well, thanks to the water retention that is a result of creatine usage. The reduction in myostatin is also a big part of why this is so successful.

#6. Could Improve Cognitive Health

There are a number of studies which show compelling evidence of creatine use improving overall cognitive health through better cognitive processing, mental recovery and brain function. This is especially true in people who are creatine deficient, but it works in many other cases as well. Creatine deficits occur in many women without them realizing it, due to hormone changes, enzyme deficiencies, depression, sleep deprivation and fatigue. Supplementation restores this balance so cognitive function occurs in a more streamlined and efficient fashion.

#7. Could Lower Blood Sugar Levels

There is some evidence which suggests that creatine use can lower blood sugar levels, especially in people who have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. There are also people who will see a bit of a glucose spike when using creatine, which might not be a bad thing if you’re otherwise healthy and experience a normal insulin response. That glucose could actually help with your performance, energy and endurance.

Drawbacks of Creatine for Women

Even the best supplements come with some drawbacks and side effects that you’ll need to watch out for. Creatine is no different in this regard. However, there is plenty of research that has been conducted on creatine in the past 25 to 30 years. This research shows that creatine can enhance performance and promote muscle growth, but there are also side effects to be aware of. Most women tolerate creatine use quite well, but this is what you should watch out for.

Abdominal Bloating

Bloating typically occurs with creatine use when you’re in the loading phase. Creating loading refers to the period of time when you first start taking your supplement. It is to be used in larger amounts to get your creatine stores up, and then you can lower your dosage to a more maintenance-like level. When you’re consuming anywhere from 20 to 25 grams of creatine daily, you may notice that your stomach feels a bit more bloated. This is often because of increased water retention.


Diarrhea sometimes occurs when doses of creatine are being used above 10 grams at a time. This supplement stays in your intestinal area as it’s not fully digested by your GI system. After drawing water out from other areas of your body, you’ll have a higher water content in your stools which can result in diarrhea.

Dangerous for Kidney Disease

If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, you may want to avoid using creatine. It can also be a risk for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, as creatine can then damage the kidneys. The kidneys are used to excrete a byproduct of creatine, called creatinine. If kidney function is compromised, this can result in abnormal levels of creatinine in the body.

Potential Weight Gain

I mentioned that creatine can result in water retention in the body, and this can cause your weight to go up. If you’re paying close attention to the number on your scale, this may be a negative side effect. Take a moment to step away from the scale and assess how your body looks. You may actually be impressed with what you see despite your weight going up. Just remember, this weight gain isn’t from fat. If it is, that’s more due to your diet than it is your creatine use.

Conclusion: Should You Take Creatine If You’re a Woman?

If you’re considering using creatine to boost your workouts and performance, it helps to seek the advice of a professional. As a registered nutritionist and certified personal trainer, I’m able to provide my clients with a lot of useful information regarding how creatine can impact their workouts for the better. It’s really important that you’re taking the right dose to ensure you’re seeing results but also to prevent health complications with your heart, kidneys or liver.

Nutrition advice is also an important component of creatine use. It’s often recommended that you use creatine with a meal that has ample carbohydrates in it. You also want to make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water so that the body has water to retain in the muscles, but also so you don’t become dehydrated or low in important minerals.

About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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