Thursday, May 17, 2012

To creatine or not to creatine?

I'm all about taking my protein and multi-vitamin and occasionally some pre-workout, but I tend to shy away from other supplements because I don't know how they will affect me.  Rich has taken creatine on and off over the years and I have always gotten on him about it, but that was mainly because I didn't know much about it.  He would swear to me that it made a difference in his muscle size and ability to sustain his workouts, but I didn't want to hear it.

After years of this back and forth, I started reading more and more articles that explained the benefits of creatine, even for women.  It still took me a while, but I gave in and decided to give it a try a few months ago.  I did not do any loading, but did add 3 mg a day to my PWO shake.  After a week or so I started to notice some changes.  I was able to push a bit harder at the gym, but more drastic than that my muscles were growing.  Unfortunately, the creatine also made me feel really bloated pretty much all of the time.  No, I wasn't just bloated at my midsection, but pretty much everywhere.  You can tell in some of my more recent back pics.  Where my sports bra meets my ribs there is an inch or so of water weight.  

The great thing about the bloating is that it does indeed disappear once you stop taking it.  I've been off of it for 4 days and I'm down 4lbs.  I weighed in at 114lbs this morning, which is least I've weighed in the last 6 weeks of being on creatine.  I was hanging steady around 118-119lbs while taking it.  

For now, I'm planning on taking a few more weeks off to see what happens.  I think it makes sense to stay off of it during the summer because no one wants to be bloated in a bikini!  The fall and winter would be ideal for putting on some additional size.  

I am a believer that using creatine does help with weight loss, just as the following excerpt from explains:

Weight Loss

Many women are afraid to supplement with creatine because of the risks of weight gain, but some studies have found that creatine can lead to weight loss in women because it offers the same benefits for women as for men, without the added fat gains. Women can use creatine to work longer and harder in the weight room to build muscle. This means they will be burning more calories at the gym and even when they are at rest, because muscle burns more calories than fat. Burning more calories throughout the day will lead to weight loss as long as women follow a sensible diet.

This is what I take. 
Here are a few articles about women and creatine if you are interested:

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