Creatine is a bodybuilding supplement that was popularized way back in the 90s. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to how supplementation should be done because it requires precision for it to take effect and get results. There’s the issue of whether it should be taken with warm water or at room temperature or should there be a loading phase or not. To clear those up, here are facts on how it should be taken.
Creatine is a naturally-occurring compound that is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. It fuels the muscles by acting as an energy source to produce ATP or adenosine triphosphate. ATP is the chemical used by the muscles for contraction. ATP quickly runs outresulting in the inability to perform. Supplementing with creatine will supply the muscles with the needed ATP stores so you can go on with your workout. With the muscles now having the strength to do more work, the onset of fatigue will be delayed. Another benefit you can get from creatine is the promotion of anabolism as it counters the breakdown of muscle tissues.
The recommended way to take this supplement is to cycle your intake. You can choose a 4-week cycle, 8-week cycle or 9-week cycle. The usual way of loading is as follows: 20 grams per day for the first seven days, maintenance of 5-10 grams per day for the following six weeks, and last phase is 2-4 weeks without creatine. As of now there are no studies that can determine what the best cycle is but these are the recommended doses.
In the loading phase, you can divide the 20 grams four times throughout the day. It means you can take 5 grams in the morning, 5 grams at lunch, 5 grams for dinner and another 5 grams before going to bed.
If you’re not seeing much result from your intake, chances are you’re taking it wrong. Creatine should be taken with glycemic carbohydrates .Taking it with grape juice or dextrose is a popular method. Taking it this way will create an insulin spike in the blood. While the body stabilizes the insulin levels, uptake of creatine will be increased. Taken without crabs, creatine will most probably be excreted through the urine.
Some people say that creatine should be dissolved in warm liquid. However, most users are on the fence with this one. Some say they feel results even if taken cold or at room temperature. Others say that the warm liquid fully dissolves the powder promoting better absorption. In the end, you need to do your own research and try both ways. See which works for you best and stick with it.
Dieters and women
Since red meat is rich in creatine, women who diet or are vegetarians will have a deficit and working out will be difficult. Low calorie intake can reduce overall body strength so giving your muscles the added fuel source is a benefit. Just make sure that creatine is taken with carbs so it can be absorbed well.
A few more things to take note:
- Creatine is best for those people who are doing intense explosive workouts. If you’re just doing light exercise routines, you’ll only get water retention.
- Also, a lot of people have reported that they’ve gotten bigger muscles ever since they started supplementation. That’s just water and not really muscle. Creatine draws a lot of water into the muscles making it important to drink plenty of water while taking the supplement.
- Creatine food sources include pork, beef, tuna, salmon, milk, and cranberries. So if you’re getting a lot of these in your diet, you might as well save your money and skip supplementation.
- Creatine is sold in powder, capsule, liquid and in blend form. It also has a lot of varieties but the most popular one is the creatine mono-hydrate, next is creatine ethyl ester, which has lesser bloating effects.