Creatine is often a controversial and debated supplement. Some are worried about health risks and others claim creatine to be the key to muscle growth and performance. In this article, I discuss what creatine is, and how to use it.
What is creatine all about?
Its an amino acid found in your body’s muscles, and in your brain. Its also produced by the liver, kidneys and pancreas. It primary role is to stimulate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is your bodies main source of energy. It can be found in foods, such as meats and seafood. More commonly it can be made synthetically in powder form.
When needing ATP during exercise, and once the production can’t meet up with demand, the body becomes depleted and you become fatigued. So, creatine supplementation has the following benefits for Bodybuilders:
- Increase Energy
- Increase workout frequency
- increase workout duration
- Increase muscle mass
How should a bodybuilder take creatine?
Creatine Monohydrate is the best type to take in a powder form. Mixing it with fruit juice will increase the absorption by muscles due to the increase in insulin. The powder has to be completely dissolved. The later is an indicator of a good product.
I prefer the loading method:
20 grams daily for 7 days, followed by a standard dose of 5 grams daily. (2) I recommend splitting the dose and taking half of it pre-workout and the other half post-workout. My goal is to keep my creatine levels stable and on par.
What about side effects?
According to the research centers, such as the Mayo Clinic. (1) it is generally safe to take up to 5 years.
Don’t take creatine if you have a history of kidney disease or diabetes.
Taking in higher dosages will exacerbate muscle cramping, dehydration, nausea, diarrhea or dizziness. The Recommended dosage is important to follow.
The Final Conclusion
Creatine improves both strength in power and when combined with weight training, it’s very effective for lean body muscle and mass.
A recent review of over 150 studies reported an average 2.2% increase in lean body mass and 3.2% decrease in body fat with Creatine supplementation. (3)
Add creatine to your supplemental stack to get an edge in Bodybuilding.
Jeffrey Cording, IFBB Physique Pro.