What Benefits Will You Get From Taking Creatine?
Since it made its explosive debut in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in its original form as “Creatine Monohydrate”, creatine has stood the test of time and remains one of the most popular supplements in the market.
People who have used creatine report strength gains and improved sports performance.
Professional athletes have endorsed creatine as part of their regular supplement program.
But should you take creatine?
Creatine is a nitrogenous compound that naturally occurs in meats and fishes. It is processed by the pancreas, liver and kidney.
Creatine works by increasing the body’s ability to produce energy at a faster rate.
Our bodies only have a small amount of creatine which our muscles can convert to energy.
This will only last for approximately 3 to 15 seconds; barely enough to support an all-out effort.
With supplemental creatine, you can sustain the effort much longer.
This is why regular users of creatine claim they can squeeze out 2 to 3 more reps in weight-training.
Creatine has many reported benefits:
- Increased Strength
- Enhanced Muscle Size
- Increased Storage Of Anaerobic Energy
- Improved Levels Of Endurance
But there have been reports of side effects to taking creatine. These include:
- Weight Gain
These side effects are due to the fact that creatine pulls in water to your muscle cell.
This leads to weight-gain due to bloating and cases of cramping.
In the earlier versions of Creatine Monohydrate, consumers were advised to take the product with simple sugars to increase uptake or with an electrolyte to reduce the incidence of cramping.
Over the last two decades, creatine has evolved from its powdery monohydrate form to versions that are easier to mix and quicker to absorb.
Among the new types of creatine are:
- Creatine HCL
- Ethyl Esther
- Tri-Creatine Malate
- Micronised Creatine
- Buffered Creatine
- Conjugated Creatine
These newer versions of creatine have been formulated to eliminate the side effects and the need to “load” the substance.
“Creatine Loading” is the process of ingesting 5 grams of creatine every day for the first week to keep the muscles saturated with the substance.
To date, all of the concerns about creatine have been disproven. Thus, if you want to take creatine go ahead but as with all supplement products, you have to follow the instructions on the label carefully.
Conduct research and learn as much as you can about the supplement before taking it.
In fact, it would be a good idea to get a complete medical examination done first and find out if you are allergic to a supplement before trying it out.
Finally, always remember that creatine is only a supplement. On its own, it will not work.
You still need to put in time and effort in the gym and remain strict with your nutrition plan to achieve your health and fitness goals.