Is Creatine a Must-Have Supplement
Creatine is one of the most popular supplements among bodybuilders and athletes. There are many benefits of taking creatine, which include:
1) Increase muscle mass.
Creatine increases your muscles’ ability to produce ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), in turn, allows cells to use energy from oxygen and food sources such as glucose or fatty acids.
2) Improve recovery time between sets.
Creatine helps increase the amount of ATP stored in your muscles during workouts. This means that you will have less fatigue after each set.
3) Increase strength.
Creatine improves your muscles’ ability to contract and relax at a faster rate than without it. You may feel stronger and more powerful when using creatine regularly.
4) Increase endurance.
Creatine increases the amount of ATP your muscles can store and release. This makes them last longer before breaking down.
5) Decrease fat storage.
Creatine decreases triglycerides (fatty substances) in your blood, thus helping you burn more calories throughout the day and keep off extra pounds.
6) Increase brain health.
Creatine increases your brain’s ability to regenerate and repair itself, making it less likely to develop conditions such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases.
7) Increases testosterone.
By increasing muscle size and strength while decreasing stored fat, creatine increases testosterone levels in the body.
8) Increase bone density.
By increasing muscle strength and size, creatine helps prevent osteoporosis (bone weakening).
These are only some of the numerous benefits of using creatine. Many of them make creatine a must-have supplement for athletes and bodybuilders.
That being said, there are still many benefits of taking creatine that have not been scientifically proven. This includes statements such as: “Creatine helps you increase muscle size” or “Creatine is an absolute necessity if you want to maximize muscle gain.”
When should I take creatine?
Most people take creatine immediately after a workout, since this is when your muscles have depleted their energy stores. Taking creatine at this time will help you achieve greater muscle gain by providing your body with more ATP. However, some people prefer to take creatine on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, as this causes it to quickly ‘peak’ in the blood after about two hours. The second method is better if you want to increase size without gaining much weight. The first method is better if you want to gain both size and weight.
You should not consume creatine with sugar, as this can cause an insulin spike. Ideally, you should take your creatine with a meal or protein shake that has little to no carbohydrates.
You can also mix it with fruit juice or a flavored drink, but it’s best not to do this too often, since the sugar in the drink will prevent it from being absorbed properly.
What kind of creatine should I take?
There are many different forms of creatine available in the market, but the three most common are:
• Creatine Monohydrate. This is the cheapest and most commonly used type of creatine.
It is also the form that has been the most extensively studied and has the best safety record. Some studies have suggested that it is less effective than the two other types, but this has been disputed.
• Creatine Nitrate. Also known as liquid creatine, this form is claimed to be faster acting and better absorbed by the muscles than monohydrate.
It is also more expensive and can taste very bad.
• Micronized Creatine. This form includes particles that are small enough to pass through membranes in your body.
This means that they can also pass through the membrane of muscle cells, making them more effective at enhancing muscle growth than other types.
When choosing a creatine supplement there are several things to consider, such as: how quickly you want it to start working; how much you can afford; and whether you mind having to drink it with juice or another type of food.
Do I need to load creatine?
When you start taking creatine, your body stores a small amount of water around your muscle cells in order to make them larger. This is called ‘water weight’ and it makes you gain weight quickly, however, most of this is temporary. Many people believe that by taking a ‘loading phase’ they can increase the amount of creatine in their muscles without any extra water retention.
The theory is that taking a higher dose of creatine for a few days will saturate your muscle cells with creatine faster, allowing you to increase the size of your muscles quicker. While some experts believe that it can help, others argue that there is no point since the extra water retention is merely temporary.
Many people also believe that a loading phase is dangerous because it can cause your kidneys to fail or lead to a cramp while you sleep. These things are extremely rare and are more than likely to happen if you consume a low-quality supplement or take too much of a high-quality supplement.
It is best to buy a quality creatine supplement from a trusted brand, and don’t drink more than the recommended amount.
How should I take creatine?
Creatine can be taken by mixing it into water, juice or a sports drink. You should always shake it well before drinking it and try to consume it as quickly as possible. It can also be taken by simply mixing or ‘stirring in’ the creatine powder with the tip of your finger into soft food like yoghurt, cake batter or peanut butter.
What other tips should I know?
You can save money and get the best results from creatine by combining it with regular exercise. Many people who take creatine don’t notice any results because they aren’t exercising or exercising enough. It’s important that you eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly without overdoing it.
Creatine isn’t suitable for everyone, especially those with certain health conditions. People with a history of kidney disease or liver disease should not consume creatine and people with heart problems should talk to their doctor first.
How much does it cost?
The prices of creatine supplements can vary depending on where you buy them from. They range from as little as $10 to more than $100 for an amount that will last you between one and three months. Cheaper supplements are almost always of a lower quality, so it’s best to invest in a good quality supplement if you want to see good results.
What are the side effects?
Creatine is a natural substance found in the body and supplement safety has been well researched. Minor side effects can include:
All of the above are greatly reduced or eliminated when taking a quality supplement made with ingredients such as micronized Creatine and Tribulus Terrestris.
Sources & references used in this article:
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- Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials on the effects of potassium supplements on serum potassium and creatinine (FP Cappuccio, LA Buchanan, C Ji, A Siani, MA Miller – BMJ open, 2016 – bmjopen.bmj.com)
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