How Creatine Can Help Your Workouts
You have heard all the buzz at the gym – what is this stuff called “Creatine”? There are many questions regarding the safety and the efficiency of Creatine in workouts. Check out these question and answers (Q&A) in the article below to help you understand some of the truths and misconceptions about Creatine.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that is naturally produced in the human body. Creatine assists in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a major source of energy for the muscles.
Is Creatine safe?
Creatine is unquestionably one of the most scrutinized supplements on the market – over 200 studies have examined the effects of creatine on athletic performance. After years of analysis, current consensus within the sports nutrition community confirms the effectiveness and safety of creatine.
According the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: “In our view, the most effective nutritional supplement available to athletes to increase high intensity exercise capacity and muscle mass during training is creatine monohydrate.” (Kreider et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:7) Here is a great link on Creatine: Why does Creatine Work?
What will Creatine do for me?
1.Higher phosphocreatine concentrations serve as immediate reserves for ATP during exertion.
2.Increased phosphocreatine resynthesis rate during and after exertion due to increased levels of creatine.
3.Smaller decrease in muscle pH during exertion.
4.Greater training capacity.
5.Increase in muscle mass (absolute power output).
How much should I take?
The average person uses about 2 grams of creatine per day just to maintain normal energy metabolism. JISSN states the quickest method of increasing muscle creatine stores appears to be to consume ~0.3 grams/kg/day of creatine monohydrate for at least 3 days followed by 3-5 g/d thereafter to maintain elevated stores. A 160lb person (73 kilos) requires 22g for 3 days followed by 3-5g/d.
Every body is different, and everyone trains for different purposes and at different intensities. Start with a relatively small amount; monitor the timing of your supplementation and the effects during training. Revise intake accordingly. Its’ that simple.
As with other supplements, creatine augments my normal nutritional routine. Because I get some creatine from other protein sources throughout the day, I skip the ‘loading phase.” I have found that my optimal dose is 2.5g daily taken about 30 minutes before training. As always, I ensure that I am optimally hydrated and consume some good carbohydrates prior to any training session.
Considering the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the ergogenic benefits of creatine, we believe it merits serious consideration as part of your overall nutritional and supplementation strategy.