I came across Creatine Monohydrate several years ago during my undergraduate Kinesiology studies. At that time it was creating quite a big storm in the athlete supplement industry, it was everywhere! 10 years later and Creatine is still one of the most tried, tested and valuable supplements any athlete can take. Let’s take a quick look at what Creatine is and what it does for our bodies.
Creatine is definitely not a new discovery, it dates as back as the early 1920’s where scientists discovered its ability to aid muscle growth in athletes. However, it wasn’t until the 1990’s when athletes started using it to enhance their performance at the Olympic level (keep reading to see why it’s not a banned substance!).
So where does Creatine come from? Well for one, our bodies naturally produce Creatine in our liver, kidneys and pancreas and transport it through our blood to all functioning muscles. Its main role is to supply extra phosphates for the creation of ATP (aka energy). It’s important to note that we obtain most of our stored creatine from consuming animal products such as meat.
Benefits of Creatine Supplementation
Creatine really provides value as we exercise and use up our readily available ATP. In reality, Creatine doesn’t come into effect until we have used up all of our energy, but once it does, it gives us that edge to keep going. This is why athletes have begun supplementing with Creatine. Numerous double blind studies have shown that Creatine enhance muscle energy reserves and therefore improves performance in high intensity exercise.
Some people complain of feeling bloated when supplementing with Creatine, but here is the surprising upside of this. What is really happening is that Creatine allows your muscle cells to retain extra water to flush out byproducts and wastes from the breakdown of muscle (which happens to all of us when we exercise) and this in turn improves recovery time.
In a long term perspective, the quicker our muscles can recover, the faster they can grow and improve their efficiency in us exercising. Guess what this means? More fat loss as our metabolism is increased from greater muscle density (that’s right muscle uses up fat for energy!).
That sounds like some pretty powerful stuff hey? Well it gets better. Recent research has also shown that Creatine supplementation can help with a number of degenerative muscular and neuromuscular diseases including arthritis and Parkinson’s disease! In addition to this, more studies are being done on Creatine affecting memory and IQ levels. I will be keeping a close eye on this and will keep you updated on new findings.
Creatine Side Effects
Numerous short term studies have been done on Creatine all finding that other than some gastrointestinal discomfort for some users, supplementation has no known side effects. If you notice any kind of excess bloating or stomach pain, simply lower your intake and slowly increase it over time to the suggested intake (5 grams/day is common for most supplements).
Long term research is still being conducted, but as a rule of thumb I suggest that you give your body a break every 3 months for at least 2 weeks from supplementation with Creatine. That way your body does not become completely dependent on obtaining it through supplementation alone.
It is always a good idea to check with your physician if you decide to go on any supplement especially if you have ever had any kidney/liver problems (note here that it’s also a good idea to limit your alcohol intake when supplementing with Creatine).
My personal experience with Creatine has been extremely favourable. I notice a significant increase in my energy levels and therefore push just an extra rep or two at the end of my sets. This is exactly what it takes to make your muscles grow, and that pump you get is extremely euphoric.
Women may particularly not like the bloated feeling, but if you feel like you’re not getting the results you should be getting and want to increase your lean muscle mass, it might be something to consider.
I have tried many forms of Creatine, so many supplements that say they have the magic patented form of Creatine Monohydrate, but in reality our bodies can only use it in one form so don’t stress too much about forking tons of money on an expensive supplement.
Although the powder format is the cheapest, I personally don’t like the texture when drinking it. But, luckily I came across Fusion Bodybuilding Purple-K . These purple capsules of Creatine have given me incredible results very quickly and it’s simple to take 2 before and 2 after your workouts. I don’t speak this highly of almost any other supplement and everyone I speak to has been quite impressed with the results. Get more info here – Fusion Bodybuilding Purple-K .
If you want to save some money then the powder form is the way to go and the top seller is Higher Power Micronized Creatine .
Have you tried Creatine? What have been your results?