Creatine monohydrate

Creatine was first discovered in 1832 by a French scientist. However it took almost another hundred years before the next wave of scientists discovered that in excess of 95% of creatine is stored in muscle tissue. Even though creatine and its effects were well-known for quite some time, it wasn’t until the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 that athletes took creatine monohydrate to enhance their performance. Creatine is a compound that the body naturally produces and is mainly used to supply energy to our muscles. Creatine is made in the liver, kidneys and pancreas, and the bloodstream will transport it to the body’s muscles. When it reaches the muscles it will immediately be converted into creatine phosphate (phosphocreatine), which can then be used to regenerate the muscles’ energy source.

Creatine naturally occurs in many foods and can be considered 100% natural. These foods include salmon, tuna, herring and beef. However the best source of creatine, by a long way, is creatine monohydrate. This is mainly because it proportionately contains more creatine than any other source. Creatine has long been the most popular supplement used by bodybuilders as it is known to significantly increase lean muscle mass. It is also known to increase your overall athletic performance, increase energy and it will also help to speed up your recovery time. Creatine offers a muscle protein synthesizing action which actually minimizes protein breakdown. It also enhances muscle growth, which in turn will make your muscle fibers far bigger and stronger.

There are two extremely popular ways of taking creatine monohydrate. The first method is known as loading and is typically used by someone who has never taken creatine before. The process will involve saturating your muscles with creatine and it is recommended that for at least your first week you should take 20 g to 30 g per day. You should always mix creatine with either water or a non-acidic juice, such as grape juice. Once your initial loading period is over, you should really look to take 5 g to 15 g of creatine on a daily basis. This is more than enough to ensure that your muscles stay saturated.

The second method involves a far more gradual approach to using creatine monohydrate. This will basically involve skipping the loading stage and immediately consuming 5 g to 15 g of creatine monohydrate per day. For the best results you should aim to take creatine at least an hour and a half prior to training and combine it with a high carbohydrate base. Creatine monohydrate is completely safe and very effective and there are no known adverse effects from taking it. However, it is highly advisable that you do not overdo it and stick to the recommended dosages of creatine monohydrate.

With that said, certain individuals have experienced gastric upsets from the use of creatine monohydrate, but this typically occurs after the first time they have ever used it. You should find that within a short period of time (2-3 weeks) that your system will have adapted to absorbing creatine, and you should no longer observe any side-effects. As creatine is naturally produced by the kidneys and liver, it is not recommended for somebody who suffers with kidney or liver problems. Certain medical studies have shown that the body’s production of creatine actually shuts down once you start consuming creatine monohydrate. However this, once again, will have no adverse effects to your health, and your body’s creatine production will continue as soon as you have stopped using it.

Out of all the major benefits that creatine monohydrate has to offer, the best must be the faster recovery time. This will decrease to production of lactic acid in the body and will therefore allow you to workout far harder. This is especially important to most athletes as it allows them shorter rest periods and more exercise time. As we are well aware, the more exercise you are capable of doing, the more likely your muscles will grow.

There is still much discussion about exactly when you should take creatine monohydrate. Some people believe you should actively load your muscles with creatine prior to training, while others believe that if you have been taking creatine on a regular basis that your muscles are already stocked with enough creatine. Therefore you should look to take your supplement after training to replenish these stocks. There have been no specific studies to prove either way is better, although most people actually take a creatine monohydrate shake after their workout, just for convenience. It is believed that the best post workout shakes will usually consist of whey protein, simple carbohydrates, glutamine and most importantly creatine. It is also important to note that creatine monohydrate has absolutely no calorific value and it really helps you to train harder. Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight this may actually be the ideal supplement for you.

Last updated on Dec 20th, 2010 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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