Should I be using Creatine?

Creatine Benefits

Creatine is one of the best researched and most effective ergogenic supplements on the market. Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid which is vital for providing our muscles with quick energy. Even tho our bodies develop its own creatine, we can also obtain it through diet, with meat and poultry providing rich sources. There is substantial evidence that supplementing Creatine is beneficial for people looking to boost their strength, stamina, performance, and make serious muscle gains.

Creatine was originally used by sprinters to maximise muscular power and endurance during short bursts of very strenuous activity. These properties mean it is also very well suited to strength trainers who want to optimise their performance. Since then, creatine has been researched so thoroughly we know that it carries a multitude of benefits.

Creatine has the ability to act as a cell buffer which means it can help prevent the buildup of acidic products that contribute to muscular fatigue. Creatine supplementation is known to enhance the body's ability to store glycogen, which means the muscles have more fuel, and can work for longer. 

Additionally, recent research has shown that creatine supplementation has the ability to enhance the body's own production of anabolic growth factors, which are the chemical messengers that tell the body to lay down lean muscle. These complementary, synergistic modes of action are the reason why so many men see huge gains when they begin creatine supplementation.

Is it dangerous? No...Not only is it all natural, but the safety of creatine has been proven time and time again by rigorous scientific testing.

How to Take Creatine

Creatine use is not as basic as some other supplements. The most common way to take creatine is to begin with a loading phase. During this 5-10 day period, 20g of creatine is taken per day, usually split into four 5g doses. After the loading phase, a maintenance dose of 3-5g per day is taken indefinitely. Some people skip the loading phase and move straight to the maintenance phase. This can mean it takes a little longer to see results, but many people find it helps in avoiding side effects, which include water retention and stomach upset. There is no scientific reason to cycle creatine, but some people prefer regular breaks. It is common to come off creatine before competing, because the water retention that some people experience using creatine can prevent them from attaining the hard, shredded look.

Best Time to take Creatine

Insulin is known to maximise the absorption of creatine, so it is best to take creatine with a meal, or at least alongside a source of carbohydrates, like an energy drink. Because creatine has a cumulative effect on the muscles, timing is not as important as with some supplements. Many people add creatine to their post workout Protein Shake. Large doses of creatine have the potential to cause stomach upset. If this is the case, splitting the dose into smaller doses is very effective. If taking a pre workout supplement the recommendation would be to take your creatine immediately post workout. If however you are not using a pre workout supplement we would recommend taking 20% of it initially 20 minutes pre workout, before sipping on 60% of your fluid intra workout & then finishing the remaining 20% (or there abouts) of your creatine post workout.

 

Creatine Mono or HCL?

Creatine HCL is the most soluble form of creatine on the market. As a result, creatine HCL may be far more bioavailable and readily absorbed than creatine monohydrate. This means that creatine HCL is essentially a super concentrated form of creatine, and a much smaller dose is needed to achieve the same effect in regards to strength and muscle gain. Furthermore, only needing a tiny amount eliminates the need to drink large quantities of fluid.

Although uncommon, some people experience mild side effects when using creatine monohydrate, such as bloating, cramping, and frequent urination, etc. These side effects have never been reported to be detrimental to health, but may be a nuisance to some. Creatine hydrochloride (HCL) has been said to eliminate these issues.


 

Quick Recap:

  • Loading phase of 20g Creatine Monohydrate per day for 5-10 days
  • Maintenance dose of 3-5g Creatine Monohydrate daily
  • Maximise muscular absorption by pairing creatine with high GI Carbs
  • If using the Creatine HCL 2 pills pre workout amd 2 pills post
  • If using a pre workout supplement take your creatine immediately post workout
  • If NOT using a pre workout use your creatine as a pre, intra & post workout supplement
  • Creatine does not need to be cycled although some individuals may choose to do so