Creatine has been used in the bodybuilding world for some time now. Many bodybuilders use it for its fantastic benefits and impressive results. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites that sell creatine supplements and products.
The problem is that none of these websites give you specific facts and information about what it actually is and how to achieve your goals through the use of creatine. Let us fix this for you and give you some basic information about creatine and the effects that it has on your body.
What Is Creatine?
In the simplest terms, creatine is extra energy for your muscle cells which helps them grow and function whenever you do any physical activity. In scientific terms, creatine is a part of the energy system known as creatine phosphate. Energy is produced when it reaches your muscles and converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essentially energy for your muscles. When you work out or put any strain on any of the muscles in your body, your reserves of ATP are depleted and your body needs to produce more creatine to convert into ATP. Your body naturally synthesizes creatine in the kidney and liver, and then it is transported to your muscles through your blood stream.
how Do Creatine Supplements Function?
Creatine supplements have taken the bodybuilding world by storm for a very good reason. These supplements are generally geared towards increasing muscle mass, the rate at which your muscles grow, and improving the endurance of your skeletal muscles. The extra creatine from supplements increases the production of creatine phosphate, which means that you can produce more ATP. This allows you to work out longer by giving you a boost of extra energy that you didn’t have before. The main reason why supplements are a better choice for increasing your creatine levels than the natural method and getting it from food is because creatine is sensitive to heat. This means that even though there are plenty of levels of creatine in many types of meat, most of it is destroyed during cooking.
Is Creatine Safe To Take?
This is a question that is asked my many people who are considering creatine. Surely something this beneficial for your muscles and muscle growth must have side-effects? The truth is that there are some very rare side-effects in some cases, but as long as you are a healthy person there should not be any issue with you taking creatine supplements.
However, if you are under the age of 18 or pregnant then you should avoid taking these supplements. Those who suffer from kidney disease, liver disease, or diabetes should also stay away from creatine supplements. Finally, some drugs such as certain diabetic medications, diuretics, and acetaminophen can have dangerous complications when taken with creatine. Consuming caffeine and ephedra with creatine can heighten the risk of side-effects, so be careful when using a combination of any of these.
What Forms Do Creatine Supplements Come in?
Due to its popularity, creatine supplements are sold in a variety of different consumable forms. The most common ones are as follows:
These have gained some traction in the past few years. Companies that sell creatine pills usually sell them in a standalone pill form which is sometimes flavored. You can also find creatine pills in a mixed form with other beneficial supplements such as amino acids and important vitamins.
This form of creatine supplement is not very popular in the bodybuilding world. Although there are claims that it is easier for digestion, most consumers choose other methods of delivery. There have been claims that the taste is very difficult to mask.
This is the most common way that creatine supplements are offered. Some companies sell creatine powder as a standalone product but most have a flavored mix which you blend with water resulting in a creatine drink.
Many companies deliver products that come in a creatine blend form. They utilize other supplements in their blend to increase the potential benefits they have to offer for anyone looking to stimulate their workouts and gain muscle mass. Some blend formulas are very complex and deliver an even better performance boost than you would get from a standalone creatine mix.
Who Should Use Creatine?
While creatine supplements are most commonly used by bodybuilders and strength training athletes, it is perfectly safe for use by anyone who is physically active. The benefits that it has to offer can be utilized by anyone in the sports world. Endurance athletes can see great improvement in their performance by taking creatine supplements due to its ability to give that extra energy boost at the right time when you need it most.
Athletes who participate in team sports can also get that extra power needed to win the game when it’s on the line.
And lastly, if you are a person who is looking to turn your life around and are ready to get into shape, then creatine supplements can give you more power to perform better and increase your muscle mass to help burn the extra fat from your body.
What Dosage of Creatine Should You Take?
If you are new to the gym or are a light athlete first starting out your journey to a better body, then typically about two to three grams of creatine per day should be more than enough to get you started and keep you working hard throughout your workout sessions. Those who have been to the gym on a regular basis and are looking to get a performance and endurance boost should take about five or more grams per day depending on body mass.
When we talk about cycling, we are referring to a need to cycle some products which our body can become dependent on. Creatine is not one of those products and your body will not become dependent on it, so cycling it is not needed. There are no known creatine sensitivities to any of the ways that creatine acts on your receptors.
No, taking creatine will not make you look fat. While creatine does make you take on more water and in turn make your skeletal muscles look more robust, it will not make you look fat.
Can You Use Creatine for Weight Loss?
There is no evidence that creatine is a fat burner. However, it does increase the amount of energy you get for your workouts. This means that you will be able to lose more fat and feel more energized throughout your workout while taking creatine supplements. If you have made the conscious decision to work out and have a clear weight loss plan in front of you, then creatine can help. But simply taking it and not performing regular exercise is not going to help.
What Time of the Day Should You Take Creatine Supplements?
There is no “best time” to take creatine since it is not a stimulant of any type. With that said, there are some supplements out there that contain certain other ingredients which are best used before a workout or after a workout. For example, any creatine supplement that also has caffeine in it should be taken right before you start your workout.
Creatine Review Summary
As long as you continue working out and going to the gym, then you should be fine. You will not lose the muscles that you gained while taking creatine. Once you have grown your desired muscle mass all you have to do is maintain it. Your muscles won’t magically disappear if you stop taking creatine.
Our hope is that this article has provided you with most basic information needed to decide if creatine is the choice for you. We want you to keep in mind that while creatine supplements, or any other supplement for that matter, can help you and will do amazing things for your body, nothing is more vital than your own actions and the decisions that you make. Creatine isn’t going to wake you up in the morning and drive you to the gym or force you to lift weights or get on the treadmill. That’s your job. Before you decide that you need creatine supplements, you first have to dedicate yourself to the work ahead of you.
You have to have the right attitude and outlook in order to be successful at the gym. Find the things that drive you the most and use them for motivation. Only then can you achieve and accomplish the goals you have set for yourself. Start slowly and work your way up, be it in gaining muscle or shedding those extra pounds. Get a journal, give yourself some time, and set a clear, achievable set of goals. This is the only way to get where you want to be in the long run. Most importantly, don’t give up. It won’t be easy, but as long as you stick with it, you will be able to succeed.