Creatine. A supplement on every gym goers tongue and mind.
It’s gains are in white, it’s monstrous, it’s the bee’s knees, it’s…it’s…what is it?
For the many who have tried it, you already know creatine definitely works and those not convinced… this article should definitely make you consider giving it a try before “cre-a-tine” (excuse the pun) an early judgment.
Creatine occurs naturally within your body system and supplies you with a type of energy. Creatine can be obtained naturally in the diet by consuming fish and red meat. However, it’s not ideal on your wallet or your digestive/renal system to consume mass amounts of red meat and fish to get a few grams of creatine. As for vegetarians… unfortunately there are no significant dietary sources to obtain creatine unless supplementing.
One thing is virtually certain when you take creatine, is that you’ll gain muscle making it ideal for bulking or gaining lean muscle mass. It’ll happen quickly, while the initial gain is water (about 2 to 4 lbs in the first week), following gains will be in muscle due to the increase in the workload you can handle. So do not be put if you are cutting, creatine will still help you achieve lean muscle mass.
That’s all good and well, but when supplementing you should always know what goes into your body… So how does creatine help you make all kinds of gains?
Benefits of Creatine
The composition of creatine is simple; creatine is a combination of three different amino acids, glycine, arginine, and methionine. That’s it, it’s nothing more than a stack of amino acids. So do not be off put by hearing rumors such as creatine is a steroid or a harsh chemical substance.
Creatine supplementation increases the concentration creatine stored within our muscles, allowing the body to regenerate short burst energy rapidly (ATP) making it perfect for users such as:
– Recreational gym goers
– Strength athletes and powerlifters
– Sprinters and cyclists
Creatine allows these types of users to go above and beyond due to the multiple effects it has on your body such as increased:
– mass (both water retention and lean mass)
How to take Creatine
Creatine comes in both powder and capsulated form, as well as in a variety of flavours. There are different ways of taking creatine such as simply having 4-6 grams a day or the most popular method is ‘loading’ where the user will consume 20-25g a day for 5 days. However, there is no real evidence that suggest the either method is better.
Consumption of creatine should be taken with high carbohydrates (one reason to why creatine is associated with bulking) to maximise its uptake.
Another benefit of creatine is that creatine is a fuel source; it’s your body’s first choice of energy when performing anaerobic exercise. By supplementing with creatine you can increase creatine stores, providing your body with more energy for your training, allowing you to lift heavier and increase the number of repetitions. This will cause extra micro tears in your muscles (the ache that you feel in your muscles from training) and whereby once repaired your muscles will be bigger, faster and stronger.
Creatine Side Effects
Creatine side effects are uncommon, the most reported side effect is nearly always bloating. However, this can be easily countered by switching to a different form of creatine such as ‘Creatine Ethyl Ester’ which provides ‘low bloat’ effect. Creatine usage has been suggested as completely safe as long as there is no pre-existent renal condition as it may put some stress on the kidney.
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