As you may have already heard or already know, creatine does work! Now the real question is how does creatine work? Creatine has proven itself time and time again to be one of the most useful, research backed supplements on the market. It has proven itself in many, many clinical studies that have shown increased energy levels, muscle strength, increase lean muscle mass and size. It has apparently also been shown to increase overall health and immune function when used correctly.
How creatine works is basically by increasing the amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in your muscle tissue, which in turn promotes cell volumization resulting in better conditions for muscle growth. ATP is basically a form of energy for your muscles, used primarly for short bursts of power, such as in lifting weights or doing sprints. Higher ATP levels mean more energy in the gym to train at a higher intensity than you were accustomed to. This means more sets, more reps, heavier weights, more power, and most importantly (in our opinion), faster recovery! People often mix creatine work a pre-workout supplement like 1.M.R. to get the best results.
Creatine is simple a supplement that gives your muscles that extra “oomph” of energy, to squeeze that last bit of energy to get that last rep (or more) we all struggle on. How many times have you been in that situation of trying to break your last weeks record of 5 reps on an exercise, and you think “ONE MORE!”, but your muscles just won’t cooperate. This is because your body has already used up all of the ATP in your muscles to complete your usual amount of work in the gym. Creatine will soak up in your muscles to allow optimal efficiency for ATP creation and use.
How Do I Take Creatine?
There are three recommended ways to take creatine, and they all work perfectly fine. All 3 have shown good results in research and regular use, so essentially it’s up to you to figure out which way you would like to use it.
1. The first way is a “load” process, where a person takes a large amount of creatine (usually 10-15 grams daily) for 5-7 days. This is the load period of this creatine cycle. From there on, the individual would take 3-5 grams daily as maintenance.
2. The second method is a straight-forward 3-5 grams daily without a load period. Sometimes what bodybuilders or athletes prefer to do is either take the creatine in the morning with a high fructose/sugar drink for a faster absorption process. This is due to the stimulation of insulin, which has shown to improve transporting creatine into muscle tissue.
3.Also, some prefer to take it before or after a workout, or both (but still a combined total of 3-5 grams per day). It’s believed to have a better result on absorption of creatine in the muscles, as at those times they are craving nutrition.
It’s best to use creatine for 6-8 weeks, and then stop for 1-2 weeks. This is done to give your body some time off from consistent use, and to take some stress away from the liver (as a precaution).
What Type Of Creatine Should I Take?
There are a lot of fancy “designer” creatine supplements out there, claiming amazing (and absurd) results. At the end of the day, a simple powdered form of creatine monohydrate like this will work just fine. There is debate about creatine purity out there, but as long as you buy from a reputable supplement company such as Optimum Nutrition, you’ll still get excellent results.
There are other types of creatine, such as the newer Creatine Ethyl-Ester. This has also shown promising results as reported by many bodybuilding communities on the web. Manufacturers claim that this creatine works better than monohydrate since it does not bloat or cause cramping, and absorbs into muscle tissue faster. Although it has shown promising results, it’s still best to wait for more research and clinical studies to be sure of any other adverse side effects.
Creatine is one of the best, research backed, and proven supplements on the market. Creatine does work, but as always you still need to put effort into your workouts and clean up that diet. I hope I’ve once and for all answered one of the most frequent questions we’ve ever been asked on creatine and how it works.