Written by Jamie Bantleman
What Is Creatine Monohydrate?
Creatine is one of the most highly studied supplements and is used by strength athletes, those with sport performance goals and bodybuilders alike. Not many supplements have this reach due to them usually targeting one specific type of training. However, Creatine can both increase strength as well as improve the growth of muscle tissue.
“Creatine is a molecule in an energy system (creatine phosphate) that can rapidly produce energy (ATP) to support cellular function. Thus its performance-enhancing properties aid training and competition. A well-researched supplement, creatine is remarkably safe for most people”.
The Benefits Of Creatine Monohydrate
When we workout, we produce a high level of cortisol (stress) due to the body being placed under increased tension and exertion. The role of creatine in the body is that of storing high energy groups in the form of creatine phosphate. When the increased level of cortisol is on the body, the high energy is released therefore helping to improve strength within the workout. Linking back to those who play sport, strength athletes and bodybuilders, the main aim or at least one of the main aims in all of these sectors is to improve your strength too, therefore, have a bigger recruitment in muscle fibres to improve their ability in whatever they may be doing.
When we are looking at supplementation we can notice that foods also have that particular nutrient or vitamin in. In this case, creatine is found in foods such as eggs, meat and fish. However, for the dosages that are recommended to have an effective impact on the body, I would highly recommend Creatine Monohydrate as, in supplement form, it is much more easily accessible.
How Much Creatine Monohydrate Do I Take?
“Creatine monohydrate can be supplemented through a loading protocol. To start loading, take 0.3 gram per kilogram of body weight per day for 5–7 days, then follow with at least 0.03 g/kg/day either for three weeks (if cycling) or indefinitely (without additional loading phases).
For an individual weighing 180 lb (82 kg), this translates as 25 g/day during the loading phase and 2.5 g/day henceforth, although many users take 5 g/day due to the low price of creatine and the possibility of increased benefits. Higher doses (up to 10 g/day) may be prudent for those with a high amount of muscle mass and high activity levels”.
In this loading phase, I have found clients increase muscle mass and strength dramatically when programmed correctly, I have however ensured they’re fully hydrated at all times. A high load of creatine can cause slight stomach cramping if you are not drinking enough water. Therefore my advice for drinking enough water would be to consume 0.039L water per kg bodyweight to reduce any risk of dehydration or cramping.
Overall, Creatine supplementation is incredibly safe and well documented, the by-product of increased muscle mass comes from its effect on improving strength.