Creatine Benefits, Why Creatine Monohydrate is best and how can Creatine benefit your workouts?
Hi, I know there is a lot of information out there on Creatine and Creatine Benefits but I just wanted to give you a quick roundup of what I found while doing my own reading on the subject of Creatine, what is it and how do you get the best from it.
- The first thing I should clear up is that CREATINE IS’NT A STEROID!
- The second thing to point out is that CREATINE WILL NOT RUIN YOUR KIDNEYS!
You should always be drinking lots of water while using Creatine anyway and this will keep the byproduct of Creatine, Creatinine, flushed through your kidneys.
Creatine Benefits come in many forms and has been scientifically proven to:
- Aid in increasing lean muscle size.
- Improve post-workout recovery.
- Improve performance on HIIT sessions.
- Have a nootropic benefit and aid brain function.
If used correctly, Creatine is one of the safest supplements you can use to improve performance.
Some forms of Creatine are thought to be more beneficial than others and some of the most popular types are listed below, in no special order:
Creatine Monohydrate is said to require sugar along with the Creatine Monohydrate to help it be digested. This seems to be largely incorrect in so much as the benefit is only fractional and not really needed.
For best results, most reports say that a loading phase of 5 days is required to maximise the Creatine in the muscles.
After this time a period called the maintenance phase is entered where a lower daily dose is taken.
Creatine Ethyl Ester
Creatine Ethyl Ester requires less to be effective and no sugar is needed to aid in digestion.
Some say that this type of Creatine is not as effective as others due to its absorption rate.
Others even go as far as saying that Creatine Ethyl Ester mostly gets washed through the system and flushes out of the body.
Tri-Creatine Malate is a compound made by combining Creatine Monohydrate and Malic Acid.
More water-soluble and believed to be more bioavailable than normal Creatine Monohydrate, this Creatine benefits from greater absorption and you benefit from the improved effects of each dose.
Also known as Kre-Alkalyn.
This type of Creatine slows the breakdown of Creatine into Creatinine, which is what Creatine is broken down to by the body, before being excreted via the kidneys.
The idea is that the higher the PH level of the Creatine supplement the slower the breakdown and excretion with more Creatine being available for absorption.
Requires less Creatine per serving and requires one dose in the morning and another before your workout.
This version of Creatine benefits from smaller particles of Creatine powder (greater surface area) to improve the absorption rate.
As with all Creatine, you should be making sure to drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
More water seems to be needed when on Micronised Creatine.
While there is still a market out there for Liquid Creatine the product is unstable and you will not necessarily be getting a quality product that contains the stated quantity of Creatine.
As mentioned above, Creatine starts its breakdown into Creatinine in water and in as little as 10 min.
This is why a lot of Creatine products will advise to “drink within 10 minutes of mixing”
This type of Creatine deals with some of the underlying issues with Creatine in relation to absorption rates, dose requirements and side effects.
Conjugated Creatine also requires lower overall dosing.
12 Ways Creatine Benefits the Body
- Promote greater gains in increasing FFM (Fat-Free Mass, which includes muscle mass
- Increases muscle fibre size; hypertrophy
- Increases muscle mass
- Improves maximal strength
- Improves maximal power
- Improves single-effort sprint performance
- Improves worked performed during repetitive sprint performance
- Improves performance during exercise of high to maximal intensity
- Improves recovery following endurance activity
- Has a neuroprotective function
- Enhances bone regeneration
- Improves muscle and performance in vegetarians.
In sports nutrition, there are few supplements as heavily researched as Creatine.
The effects of Creatine cannot be denied but how will Creatine help you exactly?
- Creatine assists the body’s ability to perform high-intensity work. This aids in improved results and muscle growth.
- Creatine aids in the provision of Creatine phosphate and Creatine phosphate is a high energy molecule used by muscles during work.
- A higher store of Creatine gives the body more power and endurance and this, in turn, gives you the great workout you desire without so much early onset fatigue.
When energy is used in the body a molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is used in the energy production.
ATP is important and any help you can give your body to create it helps in prolonging the energy availability in the body.
Creatine also aids recovery from hard sessions and studies have shown that Creatine seems to reduce muscle cell damage and inflammation following an exhaustive exercise session.
Creatine loading over just a few days can improve muscle volume and sprint performance.
Please note that the initial rapid increase in volume from the use of Creatine is due to water being taken from the bloodstream into the muscle.
Creatine does not make your muscles physically grow in the same way working out does, you still need to work out and break down muscle ready for rebuilding in order to get strength gains.
Certain recommendations for creatine use seem to differ on the use of a loading phase for maximum gains, with a loading phase typically looking like 7-10 days of a higher creatine dosage before returning to a maintenance dose ongoing.
Creatine as a nootropic
Just as a brief side note, Creatine can be a powerful neuroprotectant and increase the survival of nerve cells in the brain.
Creatine is thought to do this by helping to deal with the metabolic as well as physical trauma that is caused by the bodies energy metabolism.
Creatine has also been shown to improve the function of short-term memory and, to a lesser degree, problem-solving.
Creatine may help reduce Age-Related Muscle Loss.
As we age there is a reduced production of all the nice chemicals, we relied on in earlier life, to provide both muscle growth and maintenance.
Creatine has been shown to aid in IGF-1 production (Insulin Growth Factor), with IGF-1 being a powerful anabolic hormone.
Supplementation with Creatine in later life can aid in maintaining muscle mass and given the right training, help increase muscle mass slightly in older individuals who take part in regular strength training.
As another brief side note, If your a vegetarian, Creatine supplementation may be even more important as the Vegetarian diet provides a naturally low daily intake of Creatine.
Finally, Creatine has been researched and found to be helpful in the healing of bone fractures as well as osteoporosis and the research linked the increase in cellular energy production to the formation of new bone.
Who will benefit from taking Creatine?
- Bodybuilders and anyone interested in building muscle.
- Anyone in the older generation who wants to help maintain muscle.
- People suffering from a neurodegenerative disease may find some benefit.
- People who have a naturally low Creating intake from their normal diet.
My personal experience with Creatine Monohydrate is that it is a good solid workout supplement if used correctly.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day and try using Arginine before your workout, along with Creatine, to really get a good workout and a great muscle pump.
So.. what Creatine do you use?
Let me know in the comments below.
If you found this post interesting you may also like my post on 10 Workout Supplements every gym user should know about.
Wishing you Health and Happiness.