For its performance-enhancing properties, creatine powder is one of the most thoroughly researched exercise supplements. We look at what creatine is, what it does, when it's best to take it, and how it can help you get something out of your workout
Creatine is one of the most important compounds for fueling the key energy system that we use while strength training or doing power exercises.
Although concerns about the safety of creatine supplementation have been posed over the years, the International Society of Sports Nutrition released a position statement after evaluating all available clinical literature to provide us with a plethora of proven evidence that supplementing with creatine is not only fully healthy, but also highly beneficial for professional and recreational athletes.
On a cellular level, creatine is beneficial to our bodies. It aids muscle cell hydration, allowing them to perform some of the most important functions, such as muscle protein synthesis, more efficiently.
Although we have yet to be exposed to Creatine's full potential, we've agreed to educate you on its so-far confirmed advantages, as well as when it can be used as an exercise, fitness, and efficiency aid for the best workout.
The Science Behind Creatine
Creatine is an amino acid derived from methionine, glycine, and arginine. It is mainly processed as phosphocreatine in skeletal muscle (PCr). This stored phosphate provides a quick and easy source of adenosine triphosphate for resynthesis (ATP). During high-intensity, short-duration exercise, the body prefers the ATP energy system.
PCr has a regular turnover of around 1-2g/d, which is excreted as creatinine. When PCr is exhausted in your muscles, it causes muscle weakness, which leads to decreased workout time and effectiveness.
Due to this daily turnover and depletion from certain exercises, you must restore creatine through your diet. Creatine is found naturally in meat, poultry and eggs. Though when following a vegan/plant-based diet, supplementation can also be an easy and effective way to replenish your muscle stores of PCr.
Creatine monohydrate is a highly bioavailable supplementary source of creatine that your body can easily absorb and use. Our Creatine Monohydrate is of the highest quality available. It has a neutral taste and excellent water solubility.
The Benefits Of Creatine
Typically speaking, creatine has the power to increase overall exercise performance. So, what are the benefits specifically?
Improved Strength And Power
Creatine supplementation is highly beneficial for the strength efficiency of our upper and lower limbs for exercises lasting less than three minutes, according to two systematic studies. This well-proven boost may be useful during high-intensity weightlifting or when you need to outperform your opponent with fast, rapid, and explosive bursts, such as in a race or fighting sport.
Maximising Muscle Glycogen For A Prolonged Workout
Creatine supplementation increased muscle glycogen loading potential, according to a study from Louisiana State University. This means it will be able to help you fuel up with glycogen more effectively, which will improve your efficiency during prolonged/endurance exercise.
Enhanced Sprint Performance And Anaerobic Capacity
This supplement will help with interval and HIIT exercise, as well as repetitive high-intensity sprints like running, cycling, or swimming. If creatine will assist you in training harder and quicker, you can anticipate an increase in anaerobic ability as a result.
Elevated Muscle Volume
Due to the fact that creatine draws water within muscle cells, when combined with regular hypertrophy-type exercises, creatine can generate the increase of muscle volume making your muscle look fuller. In addition, creatine increases the concentration of certain cells within muscle fibres, which means that your muscles will appear larger in the short-term, while in the long run your muscles will increase in size due to the growth and gain of muscle fibres.
Increased Lactate Threshold
Intensive training sessions normally result in the accumulation of lactic acid and hydrogen ions. The accumulation of hydrogen and lactic acids manifests itself in the muscle group as a burning sensation and fatigue. Creatine will assist you in maintaining a healthy level of protein in your body. As a consequence, the lactate threshold will rise until fatigue sets in.
Since creatine supplementation has been widely studied and continues to be so, there have been several benefits reported in areas other than sports results. In healthy adults, creatine supplementation has been shown to enhance short-term memory and intelligence/reasoning skills.
When To Take Creatine?
The debate about supplement consumption and timing has been a hot topic among fitness enthusiasts for years. What we've learned so far is that individual strategies produce individual outcomes, so your own personal approach will be determined by what works best for you, your lifestyle, and your training and performance goals.
Scientific studies suggests that creatine can be commenced with a loading dose of 0.3g per kilogram of body weight per day for five days. Then, after loading, a maintenance dose of 3-5g daily is all that is required6.
For example, if your body weight is 80kg then your loading dose would be 24g/d for five days, then on the sixth day and thereafter, you can continue supplementing creatine at a dose of 3-5g/d.
This method would more than likely cause a gain in water weight during the loading period. Remember, creatine causes cellular hydration. So, if this gain in body weight from water is not ideal for you then you can skip the loading period and go straight into the maintenance dose of 3-5g daily, just be sure to continue supplementing for at least three weeks for optimal benefits.
The timing of creatine supplementation remains unsure, though it doesn’t really matter when you take creatine as long as you are taking it for the right reasons, as listed above, and the correct dosage (3-5g/d) for at least three weeks to ensure maximal PCr is stored in your muscles. Nevertheless, here are some interesting notes on creatine supplementation timing for the keen fitness enthusiast.
Taking creatine half an hour to an hour before exercise will provide enough time for the supplement to be digested and top up your PCr muscle stores ready for a hard training session. Also, one of the benefits of creatine supplementation is its ability to boost muscle glycogen capacity, so if your sport relies on extensive glycogen stores, Our Creatine Monohydrate with an appropriate carb pre-workout could help saturate these stores which will be tapped into during prolonged exercise.
A study achieved the result that immediate post-workout supplementation with 5g creatine for a period of four weeks in recreational bodybuilders may produce superior gains in free fat mass (FFM) and strength in comparison to pre-workout supplementation.
After a strenuous activity, the levels of key nutritional substrates including creatine are at their lowest. Your body is ‘primed’ for maximal uptake, so taking creatine with a post-workout shake or meal will promote its uptake. With your muscles being damaged and exhausted of nutrients, you need an appropriate refuelling supplement to feed starving muscle tissue and aid its repair. Namely, introducing The Newtrition Co Creatine Monohydrate to your protein and carb blend to consume after a training session will aid in post-workout muscle recovery.
Intaking of creatine consumption on a rest day is to maintain the supplement levels, but don’t worry if you’re skipping on your daily intake while skipping on your exercise, this will not have a significant effect on the overall results you’ve already accomplished.
Should You Add Anything Else To Creatine?
As previously stated, combining creatine with carbohydrates will affect the amount of glycogen stored in muscles. Please keep in mind that combining extra carbs with creatine will result in a rise in weight due to water retention, so if you're looking to lose weight, this isn't the best option. This method is suitable for those who want to improve their athletic results.
Is Creatine Safe?
Short answer, yes. If you are 18 years of age or older and you’re generally healthy, then yes. There have been several reports of short-term side effects such as nausea and stomach upset during the loading process. Longitudinal study has also shown that creatine supplementation has no negative effects on renal (kidney) health in a variety of athletic populations. The protection of creatine supplementation, on the other hand, is dependent on creatine monohydrate. There are many supplements available on the market so it’s up to you to choose a brand you trust that is transparent with their ingredients.
The advantages of creatine are undeniable, and it has become an essential part of a fitness enthusiast's normal diet and supplement routine.
When it comes to dosage, a daily dose of 3-5g is recommended. For the first five days, you will load your body with 0.3g per kilogram of body weight per day. After that, there is no advantage of having higher doses above 3-5gm/day
Finally, while creatine has long been known as the "bee's knees" of bodybuilding due to its ability to naturally develop muscle, many other athletes have benefited from it as well.
Creatine is promoted as one of the most powerful and healthy work out supplements in power or strength training, cycling, sprinting, physical exercise, weightlifting, combat sports, and even team sports.