If you’ve ever been to a supplement store then you surely have heard about creatine and its many forms.
This particular supplement has stuck throughout the years with many bodybuilders due to its multiple positive effects, and along with protein powders has become one of the most popular products out there. There is, however, a lot of misconception when it comes to its use and effectiveness. This is what I hope to clear up with this article. Everything you read in this article has been tried and tested by myself. It may not be 100% the same for you, it should be very similar.
Does Creatine Work?
The short answer is yes, but not as much as people expect it to. Many people seem to have this impression that supplements are a miracle worker. The truth is there is no such thing. Supplements, such as creatine, will help when used correctly but you still need to work your ass off if you want to see results!
Let me first start off by saying that the vast majority of you already take creatine, with or without you knowing about it. This is because creatine is a naturally occurring substance found in most meats such as beef, salmon, and cod. The problem is that when such foods are cooked you destroy most of it in the process. The average person gets only 1g of creatine a day from his regular diet, which is very little and this is the reason why many people choose to supplement this intake.
But what effects can one expect to get from creatine supplements?
The best and most profound effect of creatine is the strength increase one gets from it. Now no matter how you train you will always feel stronger while taking creatine. I have noticed the most improvement when I trained using high-intensity workouts. When doing things such as 3, 2, and even 1 rep movements the difference was incredible! I also noticed a difference in my cardio when doing HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), which is a big plus for me.Creatine has also been shown to increase testosterone, improve neurological function (better memory and also faster information processing), increase energy, increase muscle mass, and increase recovery.
One last point I want to mention, which is unrelated to bodybuilding, is that it also helps sprinters and jumpers. A group of Italian researchers found that such athletes who supplement with creatine performed as much as 10% better in their first 30 seconds of activity. While this may not sound like a big deal when weight-training is involved, it matters a lot in other sports especially when timed runs are being done.
How To Use Creatine?
The best way to use creatine seems to vary according to who you ask. It is my recommendation that you load when using this supplement. You see creatine needs to saturate the muscles in order for it to work effectively. Such saturation can take a long time to happen when one uses a regular dose. Loading is the practice of taking very high dosages for a short period of time. They are followed by smaller, maintenance dosages for a longer period.
When consuming creatine it will work to your advantage to mix it with a sugary-based substance since this will help release insulin. This, in turn, will help pump the creatine into your muscles. If sugar is out of the question for you (maybe you are on a diet) you can achieve the same effect by taking it with protein and carbs instead. When using a sugary beverage such as grape juice try to take 100g for each 5g of creatine. When using protein/carbs try to take them in a 1:1 ratio, such as 50g protein/carbs for each 5g of creatine.
The last thing I want to say for this section is that no real evidence suggests that taking creatine at a specific time will affect anything. For convenience sake, you might want to take it with your post-workout shake, but taking it at any other time will also have the same effect.
That’s all for this article guys, I hope you have enjoyed it and learned something new.