Creatine is one of the most researched and proven supplements on the market and a beneficial addition to anyone’s stack
I’ve heard it time and time again from women…”creatine is just a men’s supplement”, “creatine will make me bulk up”, “creatine will make me fat”, “creatine will bloat me”.
The truth is, if creatine does do this to you, then you’re using it incorrectly. Here’s the lowdown…
What does creatine do?
To better understand creatine we need to look a little closer at the muscle.
In order for a muscle to contract, the cellular fuel molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP) must break off a phosphate group, leaving behind adenosine diphosphate (ADP). Your body can’t use ADP. Luckily, the ADP borrows a phosphate molecule from your body’s store of creatine phosphate (PCr) to form more ATP.
Supplementing with creatine allows for more creatine phosphate to be available to replenish ATP stores. When your body can replenish energy more easily like this, you can train at higher intensities and with higher volume without fatiguing as quickly.
Studies have shown that both untrained and resistance-trained women can significantly increase both upper-body and lower-body strength when supplementing with creatine. Additionally, a 2003 review study found that women have greater relative improvements in strength compared with men: 14.8 percent versus 5.5 percent.
Creatine has also been shown to benefit athletes outside of the weight room. It improved sprint and agility performance in elite soccer athletes preparing for the Olympics and decreased recovery time for cyclists.
So, how much should we be taking? Let’s discuss dosage and loading.
Studies reveal that creatine can help women significantly improve strength in both upper and lower body
The loading myth
Ever heard of creatine loading? Well, there’s a theory out there that creatine needs to be ‘loaded’ in order to be effective. This loading theory has lifters consuming 20 grams of creatine per day for 5-7 day.
Although there’s nothing wrong with loading, it can cause water retention and in the long term, isn’t more effective than taking a regular dose of creatine each day. However, for those bulking, loading is a great option as water retention isn’t an issue and the creatine load can promote fast gains.
A low-dose protocol (3-5 grams daily), is highly effective for all kinds of athletes wanting to increase strength, power and endurance and it’s highly unlikely you’ll see any change in your weight or any unpleasant side effects.
A daily 3-5g serve of creatine can benefit strength in all athletes
Creatine for climbers
Creatine can improve strength, power, and endurance, making it an ideal supplement for sports climbers and boulderers alike. These benefits also apply to training and will enable greater training gains over time. For endurance climbers, creatine will reduce the pain and fatigue associated with getting pumped by increasing blood flow (which superficially increases the “pumped” sensation), which means you will hold on longer on the wall.
I recommend climbers follow a low dose creatine protocol rather than loading. I personally use the Bulk Nutrients Pre Workout 101 and Non-Stim Pre-Workout together on training days. Both supplements have small amounts of creatine in them which when combined equates to a perfect dose for my requirements.
However, you can buy creatine in many forms and for a very cost-effective price! Check out the complete Bulk Nutrients creatine range here.