Posted by: bosch | 2004/10/19

very interesting article on creatine

What is Creatine Monohydrate?

Creatine Monohydrate has become one of the most popular and most scientifically backed sports supplements of all time. The concrete evidence and real-world trials that have been done with creatine demonstrate that this powerful supplement is here to stay. Creatine is a compound that is naturally produced by our bodies to supply the necessary energy to our muscles. Creatine is produced by the liver and then taken to the muscle cells by the blood where it is converted to creatine phosphate. Our bodies usually produce about 2 grams of creatine per day. Creatine can also be found in certain foods like red meat and fish among others.

Why should I use Creatine?

As is the goal of many of today's top supplements, including HMB and L-Glutamine , creatine is used in an attempt to boost strength levels, enhance gains in muscle size and strength and prevent muscle tissue breakdown that can occur subsequent to strenuous exercise. By supplementing with creatine, an athlete can increase their muscle creatine levels and thereby produce more energy during short, intense bursts of activity, like weight training and sprinting. This is the key reason to creatine's popularity during the last few years. Athlete's are discovering that they can sprint faster, lift more and jump higher using creatine monohydrate. It truly is "the" sports supplement of today. In addition to giving athletes more strength for short durations of time, creatine also acts as a cell volumizer, similar to Glutamine. Cell volumizing is a process whereby water molecules are pulled into the muscle cell, helping them look "fuller" or more "pumped" and thereby creating the necessary conditions for muscle growth.

What research has been done on Creatine?

The amount of studies done on creatine monohydrate are to numerous to list here. Suffice it to say that creatine monohydrate is one of the most extensively studied and tested sports supplements ever! Most of the studies done point to the same thing: Creatine supplementation leads to increases in size, strength and performance. Most significantly of all, is that athletes who use creatine tend to gain large amounts of lean body mass, sometimes 10-15 lbs. (4.5 - 6.8kg), within one to two weeks of use! This is truly a miraculous supplement to be sure. Also, research has recently shown that combining Creatine with a high glycemic carbohydrate can increase creatine's effects and help get more creatine into the muscles where it is better utilized.

What doses of Creatine should be taken?

While there is no definitive guide on how much creatine should be taken, most experts agree that large amounts should be taken as a "loading phase" for the first week of supplementation when the body is most responsive. This creates phenomenal gains in muscle size, strength and performance in as little as one week! For this loading phase 5-10 grams taken daily should be sufficient. Then, once the muscles are saturated with creatine, a maintenance dose can be consumed. This should range from 2-3 grams a day.

What side effects are caused by Creatine?

As of yet, no known side effects have been reported from the use of Creatine Monohydrate. Some people contend that creatine causes muscle cramping. This has not been confirmed by any scientific studies to date. Creatine is a natural nutrient produced by our bodies and is believed to be safe. However, consuming to much Creatine Monohydrate without the sufficient intake of water can put the liver and kidneys under pressure. Ample (as much as you can take!) amounts of water should therefore be included in a diet containing Creatine Monohydrate.

Should I cycle Creatine?

There has been no evidence to suggest that cycling creatine can be advantageous. However, some athletes have experimented with various "schemes" of cycling to get the most benefits from creatine supplementation. These include a prolonged period using a maintenance dose, say 4-6 weeks, followed by another "loading phase", and a 4-6 week reduced dosage pattern followed by a loading phase. As is the case with all supplementation, better judgment is the key to success. Knowing your body and its limits is as crucial to proper supplementation as it is to proper training.

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Thank you!

Conrad Booysen-Biokineticist

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: BillaBoy | 2004/10/20

Yup, saw this article on bodybuilding dot com some time ago

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