Can Older Women Take Creatine for Stronger Bones?

2018-03-16T14:03:48+00:00 June 14th, 2016|Bone Health, Healthy Aging|

Athletes have used creatine as an extra competitive edge for over two decades. But new research suggests creatine’s benefits reach far beyond athletic performance. Currently, this vital substrate for cellular energy is being investigated for its beneficial effects on the brain, aging, and even bones (1).

Bone health, in particular, is a primary concern for women. Women past menopause are especially vulnerable to weakening bones that can lead to higher risk of fractures, frailty, and loss of function in everyday activities (2). In the same way that exercise increases muscle strength, exercise offers a stimulus to bone tissue, making it stronger by increasing the bone’s density.

While not a replacement for a nutrient-rich diet and solid exercise program, creatine might offer valuable support in the combat against age-related decreases in bone mineral density (BMD). BMD refers to the amount of minerals, like calcium, present in bones. The greater the BMD, the denser and stronger the bone, and the less prone it is to fractures and degeneration.

Creatine has the potential to benefit bone health in several ways. Supplementing with creatine might offer an indirect benefit for boosting BMD. Creatine increases energy stores in muscles, allowing for better workouts (3-5).  Stronger muscles pull harder on bone, which in turn can create a stronger stimulus for increasing BMD (6).

Creatine may also have a direct effect on bone apart from exercise. Bone cells rely on creatine for cellular reactions (7). Boosting the body’s stores of creatine can support the metabolic activity of bone cells that are involved in bone formation and absorbing minerals, helping to make bones strong (8).

In a recent yearlong study, investigators gave postmenopausal women either roughly 7 grams of a creatine supplement or placebo (9). Both groups followed a simple weight training program three times per week and had their diets monitored using a food journal. At the conclusion of the study, the creatine group was able to maintain BMD, as well as slightly increase bone strength and muscle strength. The placebo group, on the other hand, ended up losing a significant amount of BMD in the femur, which is the largest leg bone and prone to fracture (1, 10). This study demonstrated that creatine supplements combined with weight training were able to help women maintain BMD and keep aging bones healthier.

The optimal time to take creatine for older adults appears to be around the workout period (11). The greater benefits from taking creatine just prior to a workout, for example, may be due to an increase in blood flow in the muscle during resistance training, which can result in greater creatine transport and accumulation in exercising muscles (11).

Used as a pre-workout, supplementation is found to be more effective for increasing muscle creatine uptake and concentration and could lead to better results (12, 13). An efficacious amount of creatine is about 3 grams—the amount in a serving of AMPED™ Power— and is a simple and effective strategy to get the most out of a workout.

Based on the recent research, creatine appears to have joined the growing list of bone-supporting supplements such as calcium and vitamin D—as found in Ageless Essentials™ Daily Pack. When combined with quality amounts of dietary protein and exercise, women look to gain from keeping their muscles and bones stronger with age (14).


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