Can Women Benefit From Creatine?

Creatine is one of the most researched supplements. It has numerous benefits for active men and women.

By URLife Team
28 Jun 2024

It's no secret that creatine is more popular among men than women for its benefits, such as greater workout performance and enhanced muscle growth. And if you're a woman, you might wonder if creatine supplementation will work the same way for you — will creatine make you bulky? Or will it make you lose your hair? Or will it cause muscle cramping?

Creatine is an amino acid. It is a source of energy for your cells, produced naturally by our liver, pancreas, and kidneys. We can also get creatine from our diet by eating red meat and fish, creatine is stored in our muscles as phosphocreatine, which can be broken down during physical activity to provide energy for muscle contractions. This increase  in creatine allows our muscles to generate more energy. As a result, many people take creatine to boost their muscle mass and enhance athletic performance. Creatine supplements come in various forms, including powders, liquids, and tablets. 

When you take creatine, most of it goes to your muscles, where it's converted into phosphocreatine by adding phosphoric acid to your muscles. Taking a creatine supplement, like creatine monohydrate, increases the levels of phosphocreatine and creatine in your muscles. This extra creatine helps your muscles produce ATP more quickly, which fuels your cells during high-intensity exercise. ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, such as muscle contractions, nerve impulses, and chemical synthesis. 

Creatine also helps your body build more lean muscle tissue because your muscles hold more water. The increased water pressure causes your muscles to swell, which can promote muscle growth.


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Foods High in Creatine

  • Red meat (beef, lamb, pork)
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey)
  • Fish (tuna, salmon, cod)
  • Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster)
  • Organ meats (liver, kidney, heart)
  • Animal milk, including cow, sheep, and goat


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Why Should Women Take Creatine?

Females have naturally lower creatine stores than men, meaning that they respond better to creatine supplementation and could experience double the performance improvement than males. Besides performance and muscle growth, creatine can also work wonders for PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms, and feeling your fittest and healthiest self during pregnancy, postpartum and menopause. Evidence of the importance of creatine in mental health can be found in a 2020 study looking at over 20,000. Researchers found that the lower the intake of creatine in one’s daily diet, the higher the likelihood of depression, with a more pronounced trend in women. By supplementing with creatine monohydrate, women may be able to protect their mental health more effectively.
It is also important to say that creatine supplementation has an excellent safety record for women. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence showed that creatine monohydrate does not increase any risk of adverse effects, nor does it increase body weight or cause other health issues

Apart from this, there are many other benefits of creatine for women: 

Creatine Builds Muscle Mass and Strength 

  • According to a Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Review, heavy lifting combined with creatine supplementation can result in larger increases in muscle mass compared with lifting alone.
  • Creatine can help women build muscle and burn fat effectively. It boosts energy during workouts, allowing for stronger and longer training sessions. This leads to increased muscle growth and better fat loss over time.
  • Using creatine regularly is important to maintain its benefits. It keeps muscles supplied with creatine, which supports ongoing improvements in strength and body composition. By combining creatine with consistent exercise, women can achieve better results in building lean muscle and reducing fat, ultimately enhancing their overall fitness and shape.


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Creatine Improves Exercise Performance 

  • According to a study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research review, creatine helps lifters perform 14 per cent more reps at a given weight. 
  • By increasing the availability of phosphocreatine in muscles, creatine helps to rapidly regenerate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary energy source for muscle contractions during high-intensity exercise. This means that individuals supplementing with creatine can often push themselves harder and longer during workouts, whether it's lifting weights, sprinting, or performing bursts of intense activity in sports like soccer or basketball.
  • Research consistently supports creatine's effectiveness in improving strength and power output. This is particularly beneficial for activities that rely on short bursts of energy, such as weightlifting or sprinting, where even small gains in performance can make a significant difference. Moreover, creatine supplementation has been shown to reduce fatigue and muscle soreness following exercise, potentially allowing for quicker recovery between training sessions.


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Creatine Slows Ageing of Cognitive Function 

  • Creatine is known for its ability to enhance energy production in muscles, but studies suggest it may also benefit the brain. As we age, brain cells can become less efficient at producing energy, which may contribute to cognitive decline. Creatine supplementation has shown promise in improving brain energy metabolism and supporting overall brain health.
  • Studies have found that creatine supplementation could potentially enhance memory and cognitive performance, particularly in older adults. By increasing phosphocreatine levels in the brain, creatine may help maintain or improve cognitive function over time. While more research is needed to fully understand the extent of creatine's effects on cognitive aging, early findings are encouraging and suggest that regular creatine supplementation could be beneficial for supporting brain health as we age.


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What is the Recommended Dosage to Avoid Any Potential Side Effects?

When deciding the best creatine dosage, consider how long you've been using it and how long you plan to continue. Initially, you need a larger dose to maximise creatine stores in your body. After that, smaller, regular doses help maintain optimal levels in your muscles. For most individuals taking 3-5 grams of creatine per day, adjusting slightly based on your fitness level and body weight is ideal. If you're petite, start on the lower end; if you're an advanced trainer, go higher. Vegans and vegetarians should start at the higher end to maximise performance benefits. This dosage is ideal for improving performance, brain health, bioenergetics, and gut health without causing bloating or gut issues.


Busting the Common Myths Around Creatine

Myth 1: Creatine is Bad for Women

Creatine is not inherently bad for you as long as you follow the recommended dosages. It is also recommended to avoid products with long ingredient lists or blends, creatine is completely safe. To ensure the supplement you choose has been tested and approved, use sites like or
Another important tip: don’t overdo it. If you’re new to creatine, start by taking a small amount and give yourself a few days to see how your body reacts. If everything feels fine, you can then continue with regular supplementation.


Myth 2: Creatine Causes Bloating

Women, more than men, might worry about potential bloating from taking creatine. Creatine helps increase intracellular fluid, which makes muscles look more defined. Some people think this could cause overall fluid retention, but that's not true. Instead, it helps with optimal hydration.
Taking the recommended dose of creatine twice a day can minimise any potential stomach discomfort or bloating. If you do experience bloating, it might be due to something else in your diet, like too much salt. Continuous supplementation of creatine usually leads to an increase in total body water, which is a sign of good hydration.


Myth 3: Creatine Causes Hair Loss

There is a common concern that creatine might cause hair loss in women. This belief stems from the idea that creatine increases levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone linked to hair loss. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim. A 2021 study published by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, concludes that the current body of evidence does not indicate that creatine supplementation increases total testosterone, free testosterone, DHT or causes hair loss/baldness. Most studies have not found a direct connection between creatine supplementation and hair loss. 


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