All About Creatine

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So many of you know what creatine (also known as creatine phosphate) is, but some of you may be asking what is that?! I’m gonna give ya the details.. its kind of a process to explain so I hope I do an alright job at it hahahah! =)

What is it?

Your body naturally produces creatine (about 2 grams a day) through the pancreases, liver and kidneys. You also can get it through eating meat (mainly red meat) or through supplementation. Its an amino acid derived from arginine, glycine and methionine.

Why you may or may not need it?

Creatine has shown effectiveness for overall athletic performance, muscle growth, size and strength and just overall health benefits too. Without getting too complicated, creatine is the resynthesis of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) and ATP is used as energy for muscle contraction (mainly weight lifting exercises). When your muscles contract the molecule of the ATP split making ADP (adenosine di-phosphate). So basically you lose the one ATP and gain two ADP. . . .this is where creatine phosphate comes in! So when you supplement with creatine, it gives up, or bonds to a phosphate of ADP therefore converting it back into ATP. With that, creatine can get to the muscle faster, allowing it to regenerate faster, leaving you with higher intensity workouts, heavier lifts and a better performance throughout your workout. But your ability to store creatine is a limited time and your body will soon search for other ways of obtaining your ATP.

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Are there side effects?

YUP! just like anything basically… some include headache, upset stomach, and diarrhea (but that’s usually when the person is taking WAYYY over the limits suggested).

Also creatine is more so used by men because ..well not only does it help with muscle mass but it can also make you retain water in some ways .. so not very many women are wanting to gain weight, especially water weight. . . but also keep in mind that a lot of it is water weight that you do gain and its easy to shed too once you’ve built the structure of muscle you may be shooting for.

How much?

Depends on the person, but they recommend:

  • 3-5g a day. (maintenance phase)
  • 20g for 5 to 7 days (loading phase)
  • Be sure to cycle off creatine around every 2-3 months.

During the loading phase and why they recommend it is so that you can start gaining the benefits of the creatine in the shortest amount of time. But taking a smaller dosage has shown to be beneficial as well.

Also, when taking creatine, its best to take it 30 min before and after a workout to reap the most benefits. Its also to take with a high-glycemic carb. . . so a protein shake or sports drink with a decent amount of carbs is two of the best options.

Now obviously you cant just sit around taking supplement expecting to “gain muscle growth” because your taking creatine. Creatine (like any other sport supplement) works best when your eat a clean, healthy diet full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients and you’re getting a good amount of exercise in.

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