There is a lot of glowing tribute to the effectiveness of taking creatine; from been the best supplement for performance in the gym, to improving muscle mass, strength and workout sessions and also to the soothing effects on the brain and so forth. The truth is, only amateurs will consume everything that come his way without first knowing what the risk and benefits are. In this simple but precise guide, you will get answers to most of the disturbing and nagging questions that people have about creatine like what are the pros and cons of creatine, does creatine make you fat?, is creatine a steroid, and what happen when you stop taking creatine and where to buy creatine online.
So sit back and enjoy answers to these questions…
So what is Creatine Nitrate?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic substance that is found naturally in muscle cells. Creatine is very popular among athletes and bodybuilders because it helps the muscles to get bigger, produce energy during heavy lifting or high intensity workouts and also improve athletic performance.
Creatine is naturally produced in our body from amino acids – the building blocks of protein to fuel our muscles; it’s also found in protein-rich foods, mainly meat and fish. But, getting an appreciable amount of creatine requires you eat a lot of meat and fish. This makes supplementing with creatine an inexpensive and efficient way to increase creatine intake.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine work with the body’s adenosine trisphosphate [ATP], by reproducing the ATP molecules which are the body’s main source of energy. When the level of creatine in the body dropped, the production of ATP molecules is affected and energy is therefore decreased. So each time the body experiences a decrease in ATP molecules, the best solution is to take creatine supplement so the body can power the ATP to increase muscle strength, muscle gain, and power output.
What Are The Heath Benefits of Taking Creatine?
Research made by the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus, creatine is said to be a “possible effective” muscle and strength enhancer. The government website continues “There is a lot of mixed research on creatine’s ability to improve muscle and strength; However, analyses of this research show that creatine seems to modestly improve upper body strength and lower body strength in both younger and older adults.”
Here are some other major questions and benefits of taking creatine
Does Creatine Make You Weight Gain?
One question that has continued to generate controversy among pro athletes and bodybuilders is ‘Does creatine makes you gain weight?’ Creatine is very well used by varieties of people including both men and women and also the elderly. One recent study (14-week) conducted on the elderly found that adding creatine to their training program significantly increases their leg strength and their muscle mass. This is why creatine is recommended for short term and long term muscle growth.
One thing is almost certain: If you take creatine, you’ll gain weight.
Does Creatine Gives Strength and Exercise Performance?
Athletes love using creatine supplements because, research shows it is effective in high intensity training and allows the body to produce more usable energy which makes them work harder and achieve more.
In 2012, a review concluded that creatine:
- Enhance the effects of endurance training on strength and body mass
- Improve the quality and benefits of high-intensity intermittent speed training
- improves endurance performance in aerobic exercise activities that last more than 150 seconds
- may improve strength, power, fat-free mass, daily living performance and neurological function
These noticeable benefits are usually caused by increased capacity to produce ATP.
As it is, ATP normally depleted after 8-10 seconds of high intensity activity. (This is why supplementation is highly recommended to help you produce more ATP so you can maintain optimum performance a few seconds longer)
Does Creatine Affect the Brain?
Creatine effect on the brain is one of the most exciting prospect to treating neurological diseases. Like muscles, the brain stores phosphocreatine and needs plenty of ATP for excellent function. Supplementing has been suggested to improve the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease.
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Huntington’s disease.
- Ischemic stroke.
- Brain or spinal cord injuries.
- Motor neuron diseases.
- Memory and brain function in the elderly.
Although creatine is said to be beneficial for treating brain diseases, but most recent research did were performed on test animals. But one study was made on children with traumatic brain injury which lasted for 6 months and the study shows that there was a 70% low fatigue rate and 50% reduction in dizziness
Research conducted on the entire brain function, it reveals that creatine can benefit the elderly, vegetarians and also those at risk of brain diseases. But the research shows no effect on brain function in healthy adults.
Repairing Damage After Injury
Another great benefit of taking creatine is that it help to prevent muscle injury, it reduces cramping and improve the recovery process when an athletes experience injury. it is also has an antioxidant effect after an intense session of HIT (high intensive training)
Does Creatine Cause Depression?
Although further research is needed on this one, study reveals that taking creatine can help with depression. In South Korea 52 women who suffers depression were asked to add 5 gram of creatine supplement to their daily antidepressant, and within 2 weeks they experience improvement in their symptoms and the improvement lasted up to 4-8 weeks.
The results above indicate that, creatine may be a promising therapeutic method to eliminating depression in females
When to Use Creatine?
There are 2 ways you can use creatine for supplementing. One way is to use it before your workout sessions so you can increase your strength while the other method is taking creatine after workout so it can easily absorb into the body.
There are different studies to back up which is better of the two. One study reveals that taking creatine after workout is better due to a research conducted on 19 male recreational bodybuilders who were randomly divided into 2 groups. One group took 5g creatine before workout while the other group also took 5g of creatine after workout. The research studied these guys for 4 weeks while they trained 5 days a week with same protein intake.
After the 4 week study, researchers discovered that those who took creatine after workouts tend to gain more muscle mass than those who take creatine before workout. Although, the benefit wasn’t that significant, this can mean that taking creatine after workout might have happened by chance.
With that said, it is important to note that taking creatine either in the morning or before bed or after workouts or before workouts does not necessarily matters. This is because creatine has no quick effect on strength and muscle growth, it is only when creatine has reached a maximum level of saturation can you expect immediate benefits.
Therefore it is advisable to take creatine anytime it is convenient.
How to Use Creatine while cutting?
While creatine is taunted the amazing performance enhancer to achieve super strength before every workout, unrealistic expectation must be done away with because it takes time to build up the level of creatine your body needs for immediate results.
Creatine while cutting requires you to cut down on your daily calorie consumption during your cutting phase of your fitness plan. The reason why you need to cut down on calorie consumption is to train your body in burning as much fat without losing muscle tissue. This is why creatine is used in supplementing your nutritional plan so as to burn fat and maintain a lean muscle.
The real secret of creatine to effective cutting is its ability to yield positive results that can be seen by people. Use creatine when cutting as it will not only make you maintain muscle while cutting and in a calorie deficit, it will also make you look better due to muscle fullness!
Can Creatine Cause Higher Blood Pressure
If you are already diagnosed with hypertension, taking creatine might pose a big risk to your health. However, creatine is safe and beneficial if you are naturally low in creatine level within the body. When creatine got broken down by the body’s system it produces the waste product called creatinine which your kidney helps to neutralize.
A recent 10-year study was conducted and published in the “American Journal of Hypertension” the study tries to trace the relationship between serum creatinine level and predicting the effect on hypertension. The study was conducted on 229 Japanese adults of age between 30-69, the study reveals the relationship between creating and high blood pressure, the research concluded that heightened creatinine level have the potential to lead to hypertension
Which Is Better To Use: Creatine Capsules vs Powder
There is no much difference which one you use, it would have been better to ask which of the two will absorb quicker and easier by human body. Both have the same potent to work the same vis a vis your body system. The pills are pressed powder or in readily broken down capsules. In any case, it gets on your system quickly.
Powder is cheaper generally and can be purchased in bulk quantities to cover for many users at a time
Creatine Effects on Sperm
As its well known, the male sperm already contains creatine; so creatine does not have any worrying effects on sperm. Although in many fitness forums, there are statements that suggest that using creatine might have an effect on the male sperm or if using creatine can make man infertile? however no study has really shown to confirm this statement of creating making man infertile or affecting the sperm count
Beta Alanine and Creatine
Stacking beta alanine and creatine could have advantages for bodybuilders and anyone who wants to improve their physical performance
To demonstrate the effect of using beta alamine and creatine monohydrate; recent study conducted on 44 untrained men of age 20-22 and published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness at November 2015. The group were divided into four treatment protocols: getting either a placebo, 5 grams creatine alone, 1.6 gram beta-alanine a mixture of 1.6 gram beta-alanine and 5 grams creatine.
The participants received the supplements orally two times per day for 22 weeks, after which four times each day for the previous 6 days. They have been observed at a baseline workout session on day one of the trial and another exercise session in the conclusion of the 28 days.
Peak power, mean power and fatigue index were listed for both coaching sessions. According to the study authors, the team that obtained beta-alanine along with also the beta-alanine plus creatine team both observed an improvement in physical performance by boosting the mean power dimension and from delaying the fatigue index.
Can Creatine make me fat?
This is maybe the most common question most bodybuilders wish to understand. Can I actually be fat after using Creatine? No one won’t.
Creatine can only make you lose fat not get you fat! By its working creatine helps athletes and bodybuilders preserve their endurance and muscle strength and help to cut down on excess body fat.
Is Creatine A Steroid?
This is a wrong assumption by people to think creatine is a steroid. Creatine is not even nowhere as near as a steroid. Creatine and steroids are by no mean the same thing, while steroid are illegal substances used for performance enhancing creatine on the other hand are supplementation for strength and endurance before and after training sessions.
Can Creatine Be Cycle
Study has reveal that cycling creatine is not only unnecessary but could be damaging to performance. The more creatine is stored in the body, the easier it is to deplete from the cell muscles after a week or so. Its just a common misconception that creatine should be cycled every six weeks.
Is Creatine Bad For Kidney
This is just not accurate as studies have found that creatine when used as instructed, is perfectly good for us and there’s zero evidence to indicate it may be bad for your kidneys. We create creatine ourselves so that alone should help prove that it is not quite as bad as some folks would have you think. If people use a lot of however, they then could potentially face difficulties, but by that logic we can say the same about vitamin or mineral health supplements.
There is no evidence to support the claim that creatine is bad for the kidney. The only downside is, if there are too much of it in the body system, then there is the slight possibility of having some difficulties. Apart from that, no science has come out to show any sign of negative effect creatine has on human kidneys.
How much time does it take for creatine to operate
Creatine monohydrate is among the several supplements which bodybuilders and athletes must take to assist them achieve the goals they need.
As soon as you start taking creatine monohydrate supplement it will begin working right away; however, you won’t see actual results for likely 2-3 weeks, possibly longer. Everybody differs. Bodybuilding is a procedure which will take some time.
Does creatine raise testosterone production?
Astudy was also conducted to ascetain if creatine can actually increase testosterone production. The research was conducted on 33 men split into 3 groups
- Group 1 was given just creatine
- Group 2 was given creatine and beta alanine
- Group 3 was given a placebo
participants that took only creatine experiance 22% increase in testosterone level while the other groups experience no other hormonal changes.
Although the research was not too clear as to how testosterone level was increased by creatine consumption, but a possibility that creatine could increase the ratio of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is a stronger and more active hormone than testosterone was established.
Supplementing with creatine dosage starts with the ‘loading phase’ which is what lead to quick increase in muscles. So to load with creatine, take 20 grams daily for 5-7 days. i.e the 20 grams should be split to 5 grams serving throughout the day.
After the loading phase, it is recommended to take 3-5 per day to maintain the increased level within the muscle. You can stick with this dosage for as long as you want as there is no benefit to creatine cycle. However, you can only experience maximum muscle gain after three to four weeks of dosage.
To not suffer from dehydration, creatine is advised to be taken with a glass of water to stay well hydrated.
Safety and Side Effects Of Using Creatine
Although the general consensus of people is that taking creatine can cause dehydration and cramps, but such notions are not supported by science. The truth is that creatine can indeed reduce dehydration and cramps when on intense workout sessions. In fact 4 years studies on creatine (most well researched supplement) shows no negative effects.
According to some, they believe creatine has undue influence on the liver and kidney, there is no valid evidence that indicate the use of creatine to cause liver and kidney problem in healthy people (i.e. if taking in normal doses). so if you are suffering from any of these condition (liver or kidney) please consult your doctor before taking creatine. Also kids under 18 years should stay clear from using creatine supplements.
At the end of the day, creatine is one of the cheapest, most effective and safest supplements you can take.
Effects At High Doses
More research is needed into how high doses of creatine can affect other body functions.
The Mayo Clinic advises caution, noting that creatine could potentially:
- lower blood glucose, which could affect individuals with diabetes or hypoglycemia
- raise blood pressure, affecting those with hypertension
They also advise caution for people with:
- deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- electrolyte disorders or imbalances
- gastrointestinal disorders
- irregular heartbeat
- kidney stones or liver disease
- low blood pressure when standing up
- bipolar disorder
This is not an exhaustive list.
Creatine is a bioactive substance. People should approach it with caution.
The Best Creatine Supplements
Creatine Monohydrate – This is the most used type of creatine supplement by athletes and bodybuilders and you should try it too.
Creapure – this is an extremely pure form of Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL – this is a highly available form of creatine, which has been attached to an ester salt to increase the uptake of creatine into the muscle and reduces water retention in comparison to creatine monohydrate.
What Are The Different Types of Creatine Supplements?
so if you are wondering what sorts of creatine supplement to go with your body composition, below are some few types of creatine supplement you can choose from: