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We know guys love supplements that help them gain mass and build strength. But many women tend to shy away from ingredients that promote size, fearing that they’ll get too bulky. That’s one reason many women still don’t reach for creatine when they’re picking out supplements to boost their workout results. But before you discount this well-studied strength aid, take a moment to consider the following benefits:
Your muscle cells naturally make creatine phosphate, which when broken down provides immediate energy to muscle fibers. When you supplement with creatine, your body can store more of this energy-giving molecule, strengthening the contractions of the muscle fibers. That means you can pump out more reps—and build more muscle—when you’re training.
Creatine supplementation helps your muscles replenish their energy stores, so you can train harder for longer periods. Here’s how: During any strenuous activity, your body gets its energy from a molecule called ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. During a complex metabolic process, ATP is broken down into ADP (adenosine diphosphate). Creatine helps add back a phosphate molecule to ADP, so your muscles once again have more ATP to work with and you can continue to burn it up at the gym.
Creatine will supply your muscles with the nutrients they need to recover from heavy lifting and build muscle. Taking it after exercising helps replenish muscle, aid in recovery, and build a pool of energy for the next workout. When creatine is added to a post-workout shake, along with a simple carb such as fruit to aid in faster absorption, the benefits are almost instantaneous.