The Scoop on Creatine: What You Need To Know


Creatine is a naturally occurring substance that is synthesized in the kidneys and liver. Formed out of amino acids, it is used by organs with high energy demands to improve the uptake of required energy. Because of this function, it has been linked to increased athletic performance and the building of lean muscle mass. These links have caused many athletes to supplement their diets with additional creatine in order to create a performance advantage.

Supplementation with additional creatine has been shown to produce many desired outcomes. To begin with, creatine supplementation facilitates a better effort to recovery ratio. Simply put, people who use creatine supplements tend to recover faster than those who do not. It also facilitates resistance training by allowing for a heavier resistance load per exercise, as well as increasing the time required to push a body to the exhaustion point. All of these benefits lead to more effective, productive training sessions.

When creatine was first introduced into mainstream health and fitness circles, many suspected that continued use could cause damage to the kidneys. Early reports seemed to indicate that supplementation did indeed cause kidney issues in athletes. However, long term studies have shown this to be false. In fact, they European Food Safety Authority published a report stating that 3g of creatine per day is considered risk-free. Long term use can increase the bodys production of formaldehyde, though this excess is excreted through urine and presents no issue.

Using Creatine Supplements

First, there are a number of creatine products on the market today. Learn about Way2sms login. Most of the studies done on creatine use that show a correlation between supplementation and muscle development were done using creatine monohydrate. Therefore, people looking to begin creatine supplementation would do well to purchase this form of the substance. Once the product is chosen, the next step is to begin the load phase.

Load Phase: The textbook approach to the loading phase is to take 20g of creatine daily for a period of five to seven days. This serves to fully saturate the bodys creatine stores, and allow for the training benefits associated with creatine saturation. It has been documented that users will gain weight during this phase, and even during the maintenance phase. This is due to creatines natural tendency to promote water retention. It is also expected that users will produce less urine than they did prior to using the supplement. After the initial period of five to seven days, a user moves into the maintenance phase.

Maintenance Phase: Maintenance levels can vary from user to user. One of the biggest determining factors with maintenance dosage levels is diet. For people who eat a lot of red meat, only two or three grams of creatine per day are needed to maintain proper levels. This is due to the amount of the substance that is found in meat. However, for vegetarians of plant-based eaters, they might need to maintain with a dose of five grams per day.

During the maintenance phase, it is important to be consistent with creatine intake. Muscles benefit from a consistent load of creatine over a period of time. Therefore, sporadic doses and inconsistent approaches to intake can negate the benefits of the supplement. It is important to be disciplined with the maintenance of creatine levels during this phase.

How To Best Take Creatine

Creatine intake is more efficient during an insulin spike. As a result, the common suggestion is to take creatine supplements with juice. Also, since muscles tend to take glycogen in large quantities immediately after a workout, timing a dose of creatine with post-workout periods is generally a good idea. These tips allow for the best use of the supplement, and the most profound impact on muscle performance.

Creatine While Dieting

Since many athletes and bodybuilders require dieting phases, it is important to know that creatine can be beneficial during these cycles as well. While it is typically considered an aid in bulking or building mass, creatine can help maintain workout intensity during a low calorie phase. Since the volume and intensity of workouts is usually diminished while dieting, creatine can be hugely beneficial in this way.

This also makes it a supplement to consider for women, even if gaining muscle mass is not a priority. Since any physical activity that utilizes muscle movements benefits from higher creatine levels, any athlete of any gender could use creatine to help achieve their fitness goals.