Creatine is an organic acid that plays a key role in providing energy to muscle cells during intense activity. In this article, in an accessible language, we will describe in more detail why creatine is needed.
From Wikipedia: Creatine is a nitrogen-containing carboxylic acid found in vertebrates. Participates in energy metabolism in muscle and nerve cells., Was isolated in 1832 by Chevrolet from skeletal muscles.
Creatine is naturally produced by the body and is found in small quantities in animal products. The creatine accumulated in the muscles helps to produce ATP, which is the main source of energy in the body.
Although creatine is not an essential component, because the body itself can synthesize it, it is one of the most widely used supplements, because there is substantial evidence that it can improve athletic performance and is safe to use. In addition, creatine can have other healing properties, in addition to its ability to make a person stronger or faster.
In my personal experience, I can definitely say that creatine is one of the few sports supplements that has proven effective. With it, I was able to increase muscle mass and strength in training.
Creatine vs. Creatine Supplements
The average human body contains 3.5 to 4 grams of creatine per kilogram of muscle. However, it is possible to stock up to 5 grams per kilogram. The idea of supplementation is to increase its benefits by saturating the body with creatine. Enriched sources of food include beef and fish, which hold 5-7 grams per kilogram.
Since most studies regarding the benefits of creatine have been performed with a dose of 5 grams, this is largely impractical for most people trying to get the benefits seen in the studies without additives. Of course, before using any supplements, the potential risks and benefits must be weighed. And if you decide to use creatine to increase muscle mass, you need additional information to get the effect of taking the supplement.
Its safety and benefits have been studied to a greater extent, some of the imaginary benefits of creatine are supported by scientists, some are not. Creatine also holds promise beyond athletic and performance parameters, but these areas require more research.
- Increased muscle size - Creatine supplementation causes an increase in muscle water content, which makes them “bigger.” This does not increase the size of muscle fibers. However, creatine helps to increase the “real” mass free of fat, and its strength and power-supporting properties allow for better workouts, which means to achieve greater results.
- Improving Athletic Performance - A lot of research has shown that ingesting creatine supplements can make an athlete faster and stronger when performing high-intensity movements.
- Increased Muscle Protein Synthesis - There are several studies refuting this claim. - However, if someone who uses creatine can lift more weight, muscle protein synthesis should increase; although creatine alone simply increases the available energy supply (ATP) for muscle contractions. That is, a simple intake of creatine does not stimulate the synthesis of muscle protein. It must be used together with strength training, to lift more weight and stimulate protein synthesis.
Remember, there has never been a scientific study showing that jumping from an airplane with a parachute is something better than jumping without it.
Side Effects and Risks of Creatine
Creatine supplementation should be safe for use by healthy people. Most of the health risks attributed to creatine (kidney and liver damage, increased risk of injury) have not been shown in clinical trials. And although there are no long-term studies examining the use of creatine, there are no known reports of physical damage due to supplementation in people with healthy kidneys. However, it has been proven that creatine has a devastating effect on diseased kidneys.
Dehydration is also a problem with supplementation, as creatine pulls water into muscle cells. If you use creatine, be sure to drink enough water in any case. And as with all supplements, due to inadequate regulation, toxins and contamination in products are always a problem. Buying a famous brand will close this question.
Gastrointestinal upsets are the main side effect of creatine. Reception with food, without “loading” (see below) or, possibly, using forms without monohydrate, can reduce or eliminate this reaction.
Again, creatine is very safe for most people. Often, however, kidney and liver diseases in the early stages may not have symptoms, so it is a good idea to check with your doctor for kidney and liver function, especially if you plan to take supplements.
How to take creatine monohydrate in powder?
There are many different types of creatine available. If you look at the shelf with additives, you will see creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ether, creatine hydrochloride, AKG creatine and others. The oldest form is creatine monohydrate, and it has been used in most well-designed studies. For this reason, this form is better than newer, unexplored forms. Therefore, I always use Optimum Nutrition Powder Creatine, it definitely works for me and every time I get the expected effect.
People using creatine often do the “loading phase”, taking 20 grams per day, for 5-7 days before moving on to the maintenance phase — 5 grams per day. Studies have shown that this increases the level at which muscles become saturated. However, creatine does not need loading to show a positive effect.
Some people think that coffee interferes with the absorption of creatine, because it works like a diuretic and removes a lot of water. In fact, coffee is not such a strong diuretic, which means you should not be afraid of it.
What to take creatine with?
To better absorb it, you need to take it with grape juice or with honey. These products contain glucose, which creatine binds to and passes through the walls of the stomach. You can also use diet cola. Empirically, it was noticed that creatine is also well absorbed with it.
Better to take creatine on an empty stomach. Take 200-250 grams of water with honey or juice, chop there a teaspoon of creatine and drink before eating.
My way of taking
A long time ago, a friend of mine advised me to take this regimen of creatine monohydrate -3 by 3 to 5. That is, 3 days I take 3 grams per day of 5 grams of creatine. Next, I take a break for three days and again a three-day reception and again a break. The duration of the entire intake cycle is 4-7 weeks, then you need to rest for several months.
Take 3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate with your pre- or post-workout shake. If you use a load, take 5 grams 4 times a day for 6 days, then 3 grams a day, but after the doctor says that your kidneys are healthy.