Creatine - What Is It?
So, we’ve all had our fair share of protein shakes and chances are you’ve relied on a pre-workout to survive that deathly weights session. But, what’s the deal with creatine monohydrate?
This popular yet elusive supplement is a bit of a mystery to many of us. What does it actually do? How do you take it? And, is it really worth adding into your arsenal of supplements? We’ve done some digging: here are the benefits of creatine and why it may be worth picking up a tub or two on your next supplement spree.
SO, WHAT IS CREATINE?
As one of the most widely studied supplements on the market, it’s surprising that so many of us are unaware of what creatine monohydrate actually is and it’s list of benefits. Creatine is a molecule that is naturally produced in the body and also found in various foods. It’s produced in the body from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine.
From enhancing strength and promoting recovery to helping build lean muscle mass, creatine is a must for those looking to maximise their high-intensity exercise performance.
HOW TO TAKE CREATINE
Creatine usually comes in powder form, but capsules also exist for those who prefer consuming it this way. In powder form, creatine is pretty easy to use though – simply add to water or into BCAAs or protein shakes if you prefer.
WHEN SHOULD I TAKE CREATINE?
You can take creatine before or after exercise, or anytime during the day. There is no evidence to suggest that taking creatine before or after a workout is best. You can take creatine with water or scoop it into protein shakes and BCAAs. When product stacking, always check whether the product is suitable to be consumed with creatine.
DOES CREATINE WORK?
As with most supplements, different people will react to creatine differently. Healthline states that several studies have shown that the consumption of carbs with creatine increases the impact it has on the muscles. There are a number of benefits to taking creatine; it can help your muscle cells produce more energy, can speed up muscle growth and can also benefit high-intensity workouts, supporting muscle endurance and energy during exercise
IS CREATINE SAFE TO USE?
Creatine monohydrate is easy and safe to use however, it is recommended that you read all ingredients and side effects before taking any supplement.
WHAT DOES CREATINE MONOHYDRATE DO?
IT HELPS MUSCLE CELLS PRODUCE MORE ENERGY
Taking creatine can help increase your muscles’ phosphocreatine stores. Phosphocreatine helps your body to form ATP, the key molecule your cells use for energy. This will mean you’ll have more energy to support those high-intensity workouts, whether you’re lifting weights or thrashing it out on the treadmill.
IT CAN HELP SPEED UP MUSCLE GROWTH
Creatine has been proven to increase lean body weight and help build muscle size. The initial cause of this is increased water content in your muscles. Adding creatine to your supp collection can also aid muscle fibre growth, which in turn will boost performance and help you achieve your goals.
IT CAN BENEFIT YOUR HIGH-INTENSITY WORKOUTS
Due to it’s direct link to ATP production, creatine is great to boost your high-intensity workouts, supporting muscle endurance, energy during exercise and also helping improve recovery rate.
IT’S SO EASY TO USE
To top it off, creatine is super easy to use. Most powdered creatine supplements are unflavoured too, making it great for product stacking, so you needn’t worry about how you’re going to squeeze it into your diet.
HOW MUCH CREATINE SHOULD I TAKE PER DAY?
When first starting to take Creatine powder, it is recommended that you take one serving (one level 5g scoop) with your morning, afternoon, and evening meals and before bed for 4-5 days to help saturate your muscles with creatine. After this, take one serving per day – this could be with a meal, after training in a post-workout protein shake, or during your session in your BCAA.