What is creatine?
Creatine is one of the most popular supplements in the market. It is also a naturally occurring amino acid present in our bodies and acquired through the consumption of meat, fish, dairy products, nuts, seeds and egg whites. The majority is located in skeletal muscle with around 5% in the brain and heart. The liver can also produce creative by combining arginine, glycine, and methionine.
Creatine is an amino acid that is produced naturally by the body, mainly in the liver and kidneys. As soon as creatine is created then it is delivered to the muscles via the bloodstream. Creatine is also found in different types of fresh meat, and in supplement form. Creatine increases strength and stamina.
What is it for?
The main benefit of creatine is its ability to aid the production of energy. The creatine in our bodies is stored as creatine phosphate (phosphocreatine) and when ADP (adenosine di-phosphate) requires an additional phosphate in order to convert back to ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) it can be provided by creatine. The ATP-PC system provides a rapid source of energy in anaerobic activity.
Another benefit discovered through recent research is the ability to buffer lactic-acid build up; especially useful to both endurance and strength athletes. Glycogen breakdown has the side effect of lactic acid development. This is responsible for the burning sensation and fatigue of the muscle. Hydrogen ions are released by lactic acid and can build up in the muscle cells. However, the ATP production process utilizes large amounts of hydrogen ions, thus acting as a “buffer” to lactic acid build up and delaying its onset, allowing the athlete to train for longer.
There is evidence that creatine helps to place the body in a more anabolic state where protein synthesis can occur. The greater the protein synthesis, the greater the muscle gain.
Who should use it?
Creatine is ideal for anyone that is aiming to gain mass or lose weight. It is known to be very effective when added alongside a resistance training regimen. It is widely used by bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness trainers. Creatine goes beyond helping the body to build muscle, It supplies energy to your muscles to help push through a workout, helps postpone fatigue. And it combats soreness. Creatine is ideal for anyone that is aiming to gain mass or lose weight.
Types of creatine supplement available with us include:
- MET – Rx Creatine Hardcore
- Beast sports creature creatine complex
- BPI sports best creatine supplement
- MusclePharm BCAA 3.1.2 for muscle development and maintenance
- Muscletech Cell Tech Performance series powder hardgainer creatine formula
Creatine monohydrate in basic terms this is creatine bound with water. Each molecule is made up of 88% creatine and 12% water. This is the most common form of creatine supplement available.
Creatine phosphate, more expensive and although it does contain phosphate, there is no evidence to suggest that it is more beneficial. It is also only 62% creatine and 38% phosphate, so would need to be consumed in larger quantities.
It is important to bear in mind that yielding the highest amount of creatine is not the only consideration. Absorption plays a key role. Those who favor creatine citrate point out that it has a 90% absorption rate, whilst monohydrate is just 40%.
Different forms of creatine
Powder – the most popular and cheapest form and mixed with water or juice to produce a drink. However, there are drawbacks with absorption rates. As the solution passes through the stomach the acids begin to digest the creatine before it has had the opportunity to reach the muscles – as much as 50% can be lost.
Serum form – has a more efficient delivery and so less creatine is lost in digestion and more absorbed in the muscles. This gives the dual benefit of having to take less and being able to take it closer to your workout times. The major downside to the liquid form is the creatine has to be stabilized or it will start to breakdown into creatinine after approximately twenty minutes.
Pills – these work in the same way as the powder supplement but do not require mixing. The obvious disadvantage with this form is the inability to take a tailored dose.
Effervescent powder – similar to powder with the advantage of greater absorption rates. It has the same associated dosage problems as creatine pills.
When taken in powder form, creatine remains in the blood stream for approximately 1-1.5 hours. Creatine must be absorbed into the muscles in order to stimulate growth. Therefore, if you deplete the supply in the muscles when working out and there is creatine available in the blood stream, the muscles can replenish their supply from this source. It is advisable to take creatine around one hour prior to a training session. This will allow time for the supplement to become available to the muscles through the bloodstream. Creatine will then be available before, during (within the muscles) and after (within the bloodstream) the workout your level
Is Creatine OK for women?
Many Women have the urge to try a creatine supplement but opt out because of fear and lack of knowledge about the supplement. It is rumored that it will make women bloat or bulky. This is an understandable fear factor and it is also not true. Creatine has been proven to give women and men energy, increased stamina, and better workouts. Creatine delivers your muscles the nutrients they need to grow and recover. A good creatine alongside a good workout plan and a healthy diet can yield great results.
Using a creatine supplement can cause a small amount of water retention. The good news is that the water is held mainly in the muscles. This will help you to look a little more defined but not bloated. The water retention varies based on many factors such as Carbohydrate intake, Sodium intake, and how much you sweat.
There is also Weight Loss potential while using this supplement. Creatine increases stamina, endurance, and strength which allows for better workouts that increase metabolic rate.
The Implementation of a good creatine supplement into your diet will yield a vast amount of benefits. When making a decision on the right creatine supplement for you, Research and review some top rated products and read their ingredients and check out their manufacturing process. Choose a creatine without any additives or preservatives. Choose inexpensive brands that utilize a micronized complex