What Is Creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid often supplemented by athletes to help aid muscle recovery and overall performance. It is one of the world’s most researched supplements and has been proven to (if used correctly) increase strength and muscle mass.
Where Does Creatine Come From?
Creatine is naturally created in the human body by the liver and kidneys. It can be found in meat (red meat in particular) fish and often dairy.
How Does It Work?
Creatine aids the body’s energy levels by regenerating a molecule called ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the main energy molecule used by cells to transfer and store energy. When your creatine levels are low your ability to produce ATP stops. However, supplementing creatine allows the body to produce more ATP – allowing you to train harder and longer.
Another property of creatine is its ability to hydrate your muscles – when a muscle is hydrated its ability to synthesise protein increases. As creatine allows your muscles to hold more water they will often appear larger and more pumped.
Creatine can also be used by your body as a fuel source when performing anaerobic activity (Weightlifting, jumping, sprinting).
Will Taking Creatine Once Before A Workout Give Me More Energy?
Not exactly. For Creatine to work your muscles must be saturated with it. This takes at least a week to do, so doing it once before a workout will not make a difference.
Even if your cells are already filled with creatine; your body must process it first and that takes time. The creatine your body will use in the upcoming workout will come from the creatine phosphate stores already in the cells, not from the creatine you just ingested.
How Do I Supplement Creatine?
To get the full benefit of creatine you must saturate your muscle cells with it. Using a small dose (5 grams), saturation usually take 14 – 30 days depending on the individual. By Taking 25 grams (1 scoop 5 times a day) you can saturate your muscle cells faster and then drop down to 1 scoop a day to maintain your levels.
What Type Of Creatine Should I Take?
There are different types of creatine supplements. These include Creatine Monohydrate., Creatine Phosphate, and Creatine Citrate.