A question that pops up from time to time is: Should vegan women take creatine?

Many supplements are available. It can be difficult to determine which ones will help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Many people commonly use creatine as a well-researched supplement to increase lean muscle mass.

During a workout, creatine supplies your muscles with fast-acting energy. Helpful for quick bursts of energy, especially during intense activities like weight training and high-intensity exercise like sprinting. This leads to better power and speed for short bursts of intense activity.

Research links creatine supplementation to increased glycogen storage in muscles. Glycogen can quickly release glucose, providing a rapid source of energy. Women can benefit from using creatine to improve performance, build muscle, and recover faster.

What is vegan Creatine?

Our muscles mostly store creatine, which is a naturally occurring, organic compound. The body makes creatine using three amino acids: arginine, methionine, and glycine.

The body produces creatine and converts it to its storage form, creatine phosphate. Your body makes creatine, but you also get some from food.

Omnivores obtain extra creatine from foods derived from animals such as red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood. Vegans rely solely on the amount of creatine their bodies produce.

It plays a role in producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of energy for your cells. Muscle energy helps with muscle growth as well as improved endurance, power, and recovery.

Here are three benefits of creatine supplementation:

  • Increase lean body mass. Supplements of creatine, combined with weight training, can help you get that toned physique, fat-free mass, and enhance stamina and power. When you have more muscle mass you increase your metabolic rate since muscle is more metabolically active.
  • Increase your exercise capacity. Creatine could potentially boost your exercise performance and stamina by supplying extra energy. By enabling you to run quicker and lift heavier, it can strengthen you and elevate your fitness level. These performance enhancements can contribute to your overall well-being.
  • Levels up your energy. Creatine can enhance your energy levels by increasing ATP production within the body. ATP powers muscles and movement in the body by utilizing creatine to generate energy.

How creatine works for women:

Studies have shown taking creatine has mostly looked at men. However, there is evidence showing that women can also benefit from taking creatine supplements. Creatine monohydrate can help women increase muscle creatine levels and enhance performance.

Scientists studied how taking creatine while doing weight training for 10 weeks affected active women. The study focused on the impact of creatine supplementation on this specific group of women.

The benefits of creatine supplementation are most noticeable in women who engage in weight training or sprinting exercises. Women who use creatine for an extended period (greater than 28 days) during these activities may experience increased strength.

During the 10-week regimen, every woman engaged in weight training exercises for an hour, three times a week. After 10 weeks, all women improved their strength in some of the movements and increased their training volume.

Anaerobic exercises like sprinting and weight training rely on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for energy. The frequency of these activities increases the consumption of ATP in your body. Active people utilize creatine to restore ATP.

By boosting the creatine levels in your muscles, you can accelerate ATP regeneration. This equips you with extra energy for high-intensity activities that require quick bursts of power. This means you can lift heavier weights during weight training or sprint more effectively.

Should I supplement with vegan creatine?

Creatine provides quick energy to muscles during exercise sessions. It participates in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the main energy provider for cells. Muscle-building energy from creatine helps with muscle growth, endurance, power, and recovery.

Creatine may enhance your strength and speed up your post-workout recovery, assisting in your muscle growth goals. You can achieve these goals without creatine, but it can expedite your progress towards reaching your targets.

The liver and pancreas produce creatine. Vegans usually exhibit lower muscle creatine levels than those who consume both plant and animal products. Our bodies naturally produce enough creatine, so we don’t need to be concerned about not having enough.

Creatine supplements can assist vegans in building stronger muscles, losing body fat, increasing strength, and improving endurance. Boosting creatine levels in the muscles achieves this. I would recommend using vegan creatine monohydrate, which is the most researched type of creatine.

Taking creatine monohydrate with carbohydrates or protein helps the body absorb more creatine into the muscles. Many people prefer to take creatine with a snack, carbohydrate-rich drink, or protein shake to maximize its benefits.

Are there any plant-based foods with creatine?

No plant-based foods contain creatine. Meat and poultry have creatine because animals make it and keep it in their muscles.

Vegans can get arginine, glycine, and methionine from a plant-based diet for natural creatine synthesis in the body.

Most creatine monohydrate supplements work for vegans and are the best way to get all the benefits of creatine.

Here are some vegan sources of creatine that provide the amino acids needed to produce it.

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Lentils
  • Beans (chickpeas, etc)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Barley
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Watercress
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach

Will creatine make me bloated or gain weight?

Some women do not use creatine because they believe it causes water retention. This can be an issue for those who already experience water retention during certain times of the month. Research shows that men retain more water than women, gaining an average of 1.5 to 2.0 kg of body water.

Taking creatine may cause weight gain, similar to how women who start weight training may gain muscle weight. Some women may worry about gaining muscle weight, but they feel more confident when their clothes fit better. This happens as they become leaner.

Sometimes women will retain water in the first few weeks of using creatine, but this effect seems to diminish over time. If you start using creatine, make sure to give your body enough time to see results before deciding to stop.

Final Thoughts

Vegans have lower creatine levels in their muscles than omnivores. Weight training and taking a creatine supplement can help you train harder, lift more weight, build lean muscle mass, and lose body fat. Creatine might lead to water retention, but it’s not a certainty. If you notice water retention, allow some time for it to stabilize before you decide to stop using it.