Creatine monohydrate is a combination of amino acids naturally found in the body as well as dietary sources such as meat and fish. Supplementing with additional creatine will increase your body's phosphocreatine stores resulting in greater levels of ATP (the body's energy source). The increased ATP levels mean your body can work harder for longer, leading to improved athletic performance.
Why should I take creatine?
- To increase strength
- To increase lean mass
- To improve speed
- To improve power
- To improve multiple sprint performance
Which users will benefit from creatine supplementation?
- Strength athletes
- Speed athletes
- Recreational gym-goers
- Vegetarians (as they have lower base creatine levels)
How often should I take creatine?
It has often been suggested that using a loading dose is the best way to take creatine taking either 20g for 5 days but taking a simpler dose of 5g/day will also be effective. Some people prefer to cycle creatine, running it for 8 weeks at a time, but there is no evidence that method is superior and it is perfectly fine to run creatine all year round.To promote creatine uptake, it is recommended to take it with a high carbohydrate drink so adding it to your post-workout shake would be a good option for most.
Are there any side effects?
Occasionally, users may experience some bloating and abdominal discomfort as a result of creatine. If you happen to experience this, we'd suggest trying a 'low-bloat' creatine such as Creatine Ethyl Ester. It has been suggested that creatine supplementation may increase kidney stress but long-term studies suggest that creatine supplementation is completely safe providing there are no pre-existing renal conditions in users.