Creatine The Wonder Supplement
2. Creatine. You hear so much about it in the gym, it’s almost like a secret weight-room password. But what is creatine? And does it really work?
In my opinion, creatine is the best supplement to take in and out of the gym. Even if you’re not a gym rate, creatine can have major health benefits.
So what is Creatine—and how does it work?
Photo courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/photo/fitness-power-man-person-17840/
Creatine helps replenish energy conception—specifically, it replenishes the molecule ATP. ATP stores and supplies energy for your body’s cells. Under stress / during exercise, your body goes through a checklist of the energy it uses in a particular order.
Your body uses ATP during the first ten seconds of your set in an exercise, for maximum power output. Then, it uses glucose (aka carbohydrates.)
By taking creatine, you can increase the production of ATP which will allow you to have more access to that initial burst of power. It will also replenish your ATP storage faster. Instead of waiting four to five minutes to replenish your ATP storage, addition of extra creatine can help you do it sooner.
You can think of ATP as the fuel first used when a jet takes off. A large amount of energy is used to get the jet off the runway and airborne. Once it’s in flight, the fuel used to keep it there is like the glucose that keeps you going, doing reps in your set. Creatine’s role here is to help your body produce more ATP, and give it a bigger tank of that powerful liftoff fuel.
What are the benefits of Creatine?
By taking creatine, you can help increase the power output in those ten seconds—meaning you can train harder. You also replenish your ATP stores more quickly—meaning you can train longer. This doesn’t mean that creatine itself gets you bigger or stronger muscles. But by allowing you to train harder and longer, it can help increase muscle size and strength.
Should I take Creatine?
If you want to give your body the edge to train harder, for long, absolutely. But it’s not a quick-fix—bigger stronger muscles don’t come right away, they still take time and hard work. Creatine is an advantage along that path. Increasing size and strength is up to you, and depends on how hard—and how smart—you train.
Creatine as an anti-aging supplement
A study has shown that creatine can lower lipofuscin, a recognized factor in aging. The study results found that by taking creatine, it may be possible to live up to seven years longer.
This study is no guarantee—like many scientific trials, this was done on lab mice, not humans. It showed creatine to increase the lifespan of the mice by 9%, which is equivalent to seven years for humans. But its implications are strikingly positive, increasing potential performance in the gym as well as increasing lifespan.
Can Creatine enhance mental performance?
The same lab mice showed improvement in neurobehavioral testing. What does that mean?
Neurobehavioral tests examine such mental capabilities as the ability to learn, reaction time, memory, and coordination. And in simple terms, the mice who were given creatine showed improvement in all those areas. It can be reasonably inferred that creatine supplements should have a similar effect on humans.
Now that you know what it does, let’s talk about the different types of creatine. How do you decide which one to take?
Which Creatine should you take?
Two words—Creatine Hydrochloride
The biggest reason creatine hydrochloride is better than all other types of creatine is because creatine hydrochloride has the best absorption process in your body. That means you don’t have to take as much of it, as compared to other forms of creatine, like creatine monohydrate.
In order for you to see results when using creatine monohydrate, you should be taking 3-5 grams per day. But creatine hydrochloride will give you the same results with just 2 grams daily.
Have you heard of the “loading phase?” This has to do with those different absorption rates. Creatine monohydrate doesn’t absorb well in the body, so you have to “load up” on it. And when you take more of it, you need to be consuming more water.
You may have heard that creatine will make you bloated—while not entirely true for all creatine, bloating can occur when you take creatine monohydrate. Because creatine monohydrate absorbs inefficiently and somewhat incompletely, what’s left over sits in your stomach. The leftover creatine causes your body to draw more and more water to your stomach in order to flush out the creatine—a by-process which definitely has the potential to give you the runs.
How much Creatine Hydrochloride should you take?
The most effective approach to taking creatine is 2 grams before you hit the gym and 2 grams after. On your off days, take 2 grams in the morning with a protein shake. You’ll need to take creatine in conjunction with a carb—try adding a banana. Why? You need insulin to process the energy, which is spiked by carbs, so that the insulin can drive that creatine into your muscles.
Creatine works. For health benefits in and outside the gym, a mental boost, and long-term anti-aging, creatine can be a powerful advantage.
Take 2 grams of creatine hydrochloride or 5 grams of creatine monohydrate before and after the gym. On rest days, take 2-5 grams of either type of creatine.
Keep working hard, and be patient with your results! Just because you took creatine 5 minutes before walking into the gym does not automatically mean you’ll be stronger, lift more, have bigger muscles. Give it a few weeks before you expect to see the benefits. For me personally, I began to see results after four weeks of taking creatine and protein every single day.
Things to remember about Creatine:
Creatine is safe, and there are no unpleasant side effects from taking it.
The “loading phase” is a myth.
There is no need to cycle on and off creatine supplements.
It should only cost you $20-30 for a one month’s supply—the hype of big brand companies making “better” creatine is not science, it’s just a marketing gimmick!! If a salesperson at a supplement company tries to sell you creatine for more than $30/month, they are trying to rip you off! I get pissed that big brand companies lie to people to further fill their corporate pockets, leaving you with little to no results and little to no money at the end. Don’t get duped!.