Creatine is a well known substance in the sporting circles. Although it is allowed by the World Anti-doping Agency, some Creatine based products have a bad name. Why? You can find out bellow.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid, made out of three other amino acids – Arginine, Glycine and Methionine.
It was discovered in 1832 by Michel Chevreul. In 1923 scientists proved that 95% of the total mass of Creatine in the human body (in a phosphate form) is found in the muscle tissues.
How does Creatine help you?
Creatine is one of the most commonly used supplements in bodybuilding today. Its main purpose is to increase the energy reserve in the muscles, which leads to increased muscle power and hardiness.
Why is that? When muscles contract, the human “fuel” – ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) breaks down to ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). In order for the work to continue, the ADP must transform back into ATP though attaching another Phosphate group.
The additional Phosphate group comes from the Creatine Phosphate stored in the muscle tissue.
The most common forms of Creatine that can be found on the market are: Creatine monohydrate and Creatine Phosphate.
- Best results are achieved when the monohydrate is administered in a special routine (2 stages). The first one is called “Loading” and it is recommended for everyone that is taking Creatine for the first time. It has duration of four to seven days, during which the bodybuilder takes twenty to thirty grams a day. After that comes the second stage, during which you take around 0,03 grams for every kilogram in weight you have.
- If you are using a supplement which contains the Phosphate form, everything is the same, but you should lower the doses with around 20%-30%.
Creatine is best administered around 30 minutes before a session, accompanied with simple carbohydrates.
Advantages and disadvantages of Creatine for bodybuilders
Although it’s not definitely proven, some side effects of Creatine include dehydration, diarrhea, muscle cramps, lower blood volume and lower electrolyte levels.
The most important thing to remember when using Creatine as a supplement is to drink a lot of water during the day – six to eight glasses a day.
Creatine is one of the most popular and effective supplements used by bodybuilders. Used in conjunction with a good diet it ensures fast and noticeable effect in the muscle development.
Additional physiological effects
Using Creatine helps recovering after sessions and stops the process of muscle decomposure(Catabolism).
Creatine is absorbed through the small intestine and transported to the liver via the bloodstream. It can pass the blood barrier via a transporting peptide.
It is still unknown whether this process causes decreasing the quantities of this peptide or not.
Foods containing high levels of Creatine
Opposite of anabolic steroids, Creatine is widely accepted as a natural supplement as it is present in a lot of foods.
The highest levels of Creatine can be found in red meat (especially beef) and fish (Salmon, Tuna, etc.).
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