The Benefits of Creatine Supplements
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a micronutrient that occurs naturally in skeletal muscle tissue and helps to supply energy to muscle and nerve cells. Creatine in its phosphocreatine form is used in muscle cells to store energy for explosive movements – movements that use up ATP storage quickly (sprinting, skating, weight training). During intense exercise phosphocreatine is broken down into creatine and phosphate. The phosphate group is then used to generate the cellular energy ATP. When ATP stores are depleted, energy and endurance drop during the workout, so to avoid this and increase strength, lean muscle and endurance athletes will supplement with creatine.
Benefits of Creatine
Creatine is used widely in the sport of bodybuilding helping to provide fuller looking muscles, increased energy output during exercise, increased muscular endurance and strength. Other athletes such as hockey players, track & field, and other sports that require short bursts of energy can benefit from supplementing with creatine. Creatine is a safe and effective alternative to illegal steroids and prohormones.
Side Effects of Creatine
There are no serious side effects from supplementing creatine. Studies have shown that consumption of creatine has no short or long term effects. Some people do experience a slight digestive discomfort like gas and bloating or some diarrhea during the first week of use. Decreasing the amount of creatine used each day may lower the occurrence of digestive issues. Since creatine supplementation causes the muscles to retain water, some people may experience a weight gain of as many as five pounds in the first few weeks, drink enough water to avoid dehydration typically an ounce for each pound of body weight.
Typical Dosing Of Creatine
Since creatine comes in various forms dosing will vary. Creatine Monohydrate has been on the market the longest and has been studied the most. There are 2 ways of taking creatine monohydrate a loading phase and a maintenance phase. Loading stage: 20-25g divided into 3-4 doses throughout the day for 4-6 days (OPTIONAL). For every 5g of creatine mix it with 20-40g of dextrose. Maintenance phase 2.5-10g with dextrose divided into 1-2 doses 30-60 minutes before and immediately after your workout. On non-workout days, ideally take your creatine approximately 30 minutes before breakfast. Typical cycle of creatine monohydrate is 60 days on, 30 days off. Other forms of creatine the dosing varies. (Kre-Alkalyn, Creatine Ethyl Ester, Di/Tri Creatine Malate, Creatine Chelate, Creatine AKG ect.) These types of creatine are touted to be easier broken down by the body and can come in convienient capsule form.
Is Creatine right for me?
If you’re looking to break a plateu in the gym, increase lean body mass and increase your endurance creatine is right for you. Just remember 1 in 10 people are non-responders to creatine meaning they see absolutely no results from creatine supplementation, this is a crappy situation so remember when you hear someone’s opinion on creatine it is personal to them and you could see tremendous results!
What Supplements Contain Creatine?
- Straight Creatine Powders/Pills (Bulk Form)• Pre-Made Creatine Mixes (Muscletech Cell-Tech, Allmax Krush)
- Pre-Workout Creatine Supplements (VPX N.O. Shotgun, BSN N.O. Xplode, Gaspari Superpump 250, MRI Black Powder)
- During Wokout Creatine (Gaspari Size-On, CMI 24/7)
- Post-Workout Creatine (VPX N.O. Synthesize, BSN Cellmass, Muscletech Anabolic Halo)
- Stimulant Free Creatine/N.O. Blends (Ultimate Nutrition Horse Power, Dymatize Xpand)
I’ve used creatine supplements on and off for the past 5 years, the first I tried was creatine monohydrate with great success, the water retention gives you a fuller look which was nice during a bulking phase. Recently I just use a kre-alkalyn product with I find easier on the system because of the ph balance for a leaner firmer look. When buying creatine do a bit of research first to make sure the product you’re buying fits your goal and budget creatine has come down in price and is a good bang for your buck. Some people will tell you creatine makes you fat when you come off of it which is false, food and calories make people fat not creatine. I feel creatine is a great buy and perfect stacked along with whey protein and nitric oxide. Keep eating. Keep Lifting!