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THE Supplement for Women 40+?


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I knew creatine as a supplement that bodybuilders are using to gain muscle mass and my understanding about it was that you need to be careful with taking it especially if you’re not working out very hard as it will make you gain weight. I guess that may be also what you know about creatine or maybe you haven’t even heard about it before?


What is Creatine? Creatine is a natural compound that our body uses to quickly generate energy, especially during short bursts of intense activities like lifting weights or sprinting. It's stored in our muscles and helps produce a molecule called ATP, which is like a fuel for our cells. Think of creatine as an energy supply to help your muscles power through a workout (if you want that effect though, you need to take it as a supplement). In fact, about 95% of creatine is stored in your skeletal muscle. Smaller amounts of creatine are also found in your brain and gut, contributing to various physiological functions. 


Creatine is naturally produced in the human body from three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine, and is also found in small amounts in certain foods, including red meat and fish. However, you’d have to eat A LOT (over 1kg of red meat) to get the recommended 4-5 grams of creatine daily. 


I’ve recently come to learn that creatine actually provides remarkable benefits for women in their 40s and beyond. It doesn’t only enhance strength and workout performance, it also has a positive impact on your brain health, bone strength, skin and more!


Why is creatine such an important supplement for women?


Women have much less tissue stores than men, actually 70-80% less. 


And let’s be honest, most women are far from eating enough protein, especially not red meat, so you’re also less likely to get it from your diet. 


Also, after 30, your muscle mass decreases by about 3-8% every decade and that increases even more once you hit the 60 mark. If you remember last week’s article, muscle mass is one of the key factors that will help keep up your metabolism, but it’s also important to keep your bones healthy: Post menopause, women can lose up to 20% of their bone mass (due to low estrogen and testosterone levels but also a lack of bone regrowth stimulating exercise), leading to an increased risk of falls, fractures and osteoporosis (Source) Indirectly, creatine supports bone health by promoting muscle strength and mass. When you do strength-training exercises, your muscles pull on your bones, stimulating bone growth and improving bone density.  


"Post-menopausal females may also experience benefits in skeletal muscle size and function when consuming high doses of creatine (0.3 g·kg-1·d-1); and favorable effects on bone when combined with resistance training." Source

One of the biggest benefits of creatine is its ability to fight inflammation. I actually first tried it when I heard Dr. Ben Lynch talk about his wife, who had constant shoulder pain and sore muscles, (something I frequently experience too) and he had advised her to take creatine that instantly helped ease that muscle pain. So I had to try it for myself and it did work (only I forgot about it and haven’t been taking it regularly, but definitely will integrate it in my daily routine after researching all these positive impact of creatine for you ;-)) 

How does creatine fight inflammation? Creatine acts as a powerful antioxidant, fighting the free radicals that can damage your cells. (Source) 


"Accumulating research also suggests that creatine supplementation has anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic properties, which may help create a favorable environment for muscle and bone accretion and recovery from exercise." Source 

Supports a healthy brain or cognitive health: Creatine provides energy to your brain cells and this supports better intracellular communication, resulting in good memory and ability to learn new things. Women have lower brain levels of creatine than men, so they'll likely see a better impact on cognitive health than men when supplementing with creatine.



Supports blood sugar balance: Creatine has been found to enhance insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle. This means that they can take up and use glucose more effectively, which helps with keeping your blood sugar levels more stable and also increase your energy. (Source) 

One study found that creatine, especially combined with optimal protein intake and strength training, can help your muscle cells better utilize glucose.  



Let’s summarize the benefits of creatine:

  • Enhances cellular energy and boosts physical performance

  • Supports muscle mass and strength - in fact, researchers find that women who use creatine have a 10-15% increase in exercise performance.

  • Supports bone health 

  • Antioxidant that protects your cells from damage, aka less muscle pain

  • Supports a healthy brain or cognitive health 

  • Supports blood sugar balance 



Now let’s talk about the burning question: which form of creatine and how much should you take?


  • Creatine monohydrate is the best supplement to use. Look for a creatine powder with no additives or fillers. If you are looking for a recommendation, consider these 2 options: the powder lasts much longer and can easily be incorporated in smoothies, soups, chia puddings or else or just be drunk with water. 

  • Dosage: when starting new with creatine, take 1g per day and slowly increase up to 4g per day (over the course of 1-2 weeks) and take it before your workouts. It will take 4 weeks at your full dose to reach tissue saturation. Once your tissues are saturated, timing of your supplementation is not important.

  • Consistency is key: It can take about a month to saturate your tissues with creatine, and you have to take it daily. You can either take the allotted amount (about 5 grams) every day for a month, or you can take 5 grams four times a day for five days in a row. After that, you’ll dose about 3-5 grams a day, depending on your size. 


What are the contraindications or who should not take creatine?

You may have heard that creatine will damage your kidneys: it does not create kidney problems if you have healthy kidneys. Check out this study to read more. It says that short and long-term creatine supplementation (up to 30 grams a day for five years) is safe and well-tolerated in healthy individuals.

If you have pre-existing kidney issues (or other health concerns, always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using creatine).  



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