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Creatine: A Complete Study

Creatine is probably the number one supplement used for performance enhancement by fitness enthusiasts: that is probably common knowledge, but did you know that this little substance goes further than a ‘power up’ in a powder form? Whether it’s gloating gym goers declaring the heroic boost Creatine has given their muscle mass, or fleeting adds popping up with tubs of the stuff whilst scrolling through your fitness blog, this article will give you the low down on what it is and how it can affect you and others. It may already be a part of your routine; Creatine isn’t just a supplement, it’s also an active ingredient in most nutritional sport supplements and comes in creams for aging skin. Let’s dive in to better understand all there is to know about Creatine.

What is Creatine?

Creatine, which is naturally produced in our bodies, shares similarities of those that are amino acids, in the sense that they are both key foundations for how protein is used within our bodies. It’s mainly stored within muscles but can be stored in our brains. It helps produce ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), a main source of cellular energy which is really helpful for our bodies when heavy lifting and doing high intensity exercises. What does that actually mean? Because it’s an energetic catalyst it can boost muscle growth, so when you take Creatine as a supplement and combine it with a workout regime it increases muscle mass and strength. Studies and users alike have reported sustaining high intensity exercises while supplementing Creatine, as much as a few seconds could be added to your optimal performance. For some, that may be a major win and can have amazing outcomes, but is it really all you should expect from a fitness aid that you pay for and commit to? This is where we go deeper; tests have dubbed that Creatine can increase muscle fibre growth significantly than training alone! Even more so, there have been results of a 5-10% boost in strength when Creatine was combined with a weight training program. Although we want you to become wide eyed about a possible new product to get you that extra bit further, you be interested in knowing Creatine itself doesn’t build muscle, although it does hold water in the muscles and produces knock on effects to make those bad boys grow and work to increase your ability, what we are saying is exercise will need to accompany it in a form that best matches your capability. So, what about those who aren’t that into fitness? How will this help them? Creatine is a supplement that increase a substance already found in the body, it helps with muscle growth accompanied with a fitness regime and has proven results in improving strength.

Who benefits most from Creatine and who shouldn’t take it?

Over the years Creatine’s use has been targeted mainly at people interested in improving their fitness or ‘bulk’. However, people who aren’t committed to fitness regime can also benefit from supplementing Creatine. If you’re interested in beginning your fitness journey, creatine can help make those first few steps feel easier, for example: the faster the rate of muscle grows, the more energy you use; the more unwanted weight you lose, (or the more muscle weight you gain) the better you feel! In a nutshell, Creatine is beneficial for building muscles as well as cutting the unwanted fat. The best creatine for bulking will help you gain muscle weight and on the other hand, the best creatine for cutting will help you lose fat. Even if you don’t want to build muscle you just want your performance to improve, Creatine can aid this. Professional athletes even use it, so don’t feel like you wouldn’t benefit because you might be at the end of your game, reports have shown it can help even then. What if being fit and able is just a dream? Although it’s not a miracle cure, it has been known to aid in the affairs of neurological diseases, such as fibromyalgia (a chronic pain disorder) that may affect your ability to even begin to exercise. Although it’s mainly suggested to improve muscles as part of pain management and doesn’t combat pain, the help Creatine can give in making those newly forming muscles go faster, it means sufferers aren’t as in pain for as long as they would have been without it and therefore it aids positive thought processes too, a helping hand goes a long way. Creatine is not magic in a bottle, so ‘healthy’ adults will most likely have zero effects in the neurological department. People who seek a healthier lifestyle may find interest in starting Creatine as a supplement, for example, vegetarians and vegans may find improvements in memory and other cognitive functions, as meat tends to be a more primary source of naturally produced Creatine, thus solving vegetarians/vegans low natural Creatine stores. Emphasis for non-fitness related Creatine use is put toward the elderly, mainly those who suffer with age-related muscle loss and their increased risk of developing neurological disorders. Although there are positive links between mental health conditions and the use of Creatine, e.g. depression suffers may find it useful, there are warnings that it is not suitable for use in some circumstances. Bipolar Disorder, in particular, has been factored as a risk as the ‘loading phase’ (see later on in the article) of supplementing Creatine has resulted in induced Manias, as little as 4 days after starting it. Don’t take it if you’re pregnant or breast feeding (I’m sure some of you are used to hearing this), although there’s no substantial evidence it causes harm, it is better to be on the safe side. Enjoying exercise whilst pregnant is important, but we recommend more gentle regimes, you might want to consult your practitioner for information of appropriate workouts. Creatine has been suggested for effectiveness in surgical recovery, ideally after your muscles get damaged by a scalpel one of the first things you need to do after the first recovery period (basically once it’s safe to do so) is repair and build up that damaged muscle and repair it, which is where Creatine comes in, it may speed up the process and assist in getting you back to normal. It makes sense when you hear it but even if you know a fair amount about Creatine it might not always pop to mind! If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have surgery in or around your abdomen, you may want to have a glance at the known possible side-effects of Creatine, as it could cause unnecessary discomfort. There are more theoretical basis’ for medicinal uses of Creatine, such as its aid in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Diabetes. Be aware that there are contradicting reports on whether Creatine is actually safe for diabetics as there as links to increased risk of kidney disease in those who have diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2). Creatine could increase the impact that risk has and therefore increase the chance of having problems with the kidneys, so therefore we advise to consult with the medical consultant who manages your condition before starting Creatine and the same goes for those who take medication like anti-inflammatories, that can have links to increasing the risk of Kidney Disease or problems. Whilst Creatine is the most tested supplement in the world with tests lasting up to 4 years with no effects, it’s always safer to ask your practitioner before starting something new if you have a pre-existing condition. Creatine is the most tested supplement in the world and its main use is to help improve results in muscle gain rates and high intensity workout endurance. Although Creatine can benefit athletics, people into fitness and people starting out, it is not suitable for everyone and anyone with a pre-existing condition should consult a professional.

What Types of Creatine are there?

  • Creatine is naturally found in meat and in your body usually your muscles.
  • Creatine Monohydrate – the most commonly used form, powdered and reported to have 5% impurities but there are brands who claim to improve this
  • Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) – the science behind it means less water retention however its usefulness is debated as alternative studies concluded the combination worsens Creatines effect in the blood.
  • Creatine Hydrochloride – although untested its’ water solubility reduces side effects such as an upset stomach caused by taking the supplement.
  • Buffered Creatine – has added alkaline powder in order to improve stability in the stomach but its fitness outcomes are, along with Creatine Magnesium Chelate, on par with Creatine Monohydrate .

These are collectively the main types; however, you might find independent shops and distributors stock different types or have different names, they could be the same product but just ‘jazzed up’ a little bit. The most effective type of Creatine is Creatine Monohydrate and is usually in a power form, it can be accompanied by other substances but the effectiveness isn’t necessarily the same or better. Thus, if you see a product in shop labelled as the best Creatine Monohydrate Powder, do check the substances accompanying. Just to assist better, this is what you get if you simply search for ‘the best creatine monohydrate 2019’ on the internet.

Creatine Monohydrate by BulkSupplements. ... Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder by Optimum Nutrition. ... Muscletech Platinum Creatine Monohydrate Micronized. ... Creatine HCl Powder by Kaged Muscle. ... MuscleTech Cell Tech Creatine. ... BPI Sports Micronized Creatine. ...

Apart of these brands, GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate is widely popular because of its purity, potency and freshness. Over the period of last several years, creatine pills or capsules have gained a great recognition. The best Creatine pills are sold in the form of 100% pure creatine or mixed with other substances like vitamin, amino acids and more.

When is it best to take it and how much should you take?

It’s debatable when best time to take your dose(s) of Creatine is but results were seen in one study that taking it immediately after exercise had better results than before or nowhere near exercise, it’s questionable, though, the in’s and out’s of the experiment, such as, were the individuals aware of what and when they were taking it as mentality could have an effect on results. Let’s say the people who took their dose before exercising could subconsciously think ‘I don’t need to put in as much effort as normal because the Creatine will help’ and therefore won’t build as much muscle as the person who’s smashing it just to get to that Creatine boost at the end. Baring in mind these were the results of only one test, and there is insufficient or inconclusive results on other tests, we say that Creatine can be taken before or after exercise on exercise days and to be taken with a meal on rest days. It’s less important on rest days to time your dose of Creatine, but in order to maintain the Creatine levels ready for leg day, it’s advised to take it with a meal. Although there are rumours of better results when it is being taken with carbs, don’t get excited and use it as an excuse to break that low-carb diet just yet, as there’s no evidence this has any effect on absorption, it could however lead to weight gain. Eating it with protein goes hand-in-hand with the carb rumours, but protein is less likely to give you pounds in the wrong places. Creatine can be taken in regular amounts of 3/5g per day for as long as needed, however, people can benefit from a short period of increased dosage a.k.a a Loading Phase. For up to a week, 20g Creatine is taken over the course of a day, usually 4 doses of 5g per day, or just 20g in one go. Without a Loading Phase it may take 3 to 4 weeks to max Creatine stores within your body. However, the problem with a Loading Phase you may come across is that ‘saturation points’ are known to occur within a few days of the Loading Phase starting, due to our muscles’ capacity to hold Creatine, but that doesn’t mean you won’t notice differences and improvements, they just not might happen as quickly as they were. Keep going! As mentioned, Creatine has gone through more testing than any other supplement with up to 4 years with no affect, so this is what is recommended to be safe: - 25g per day for 14 days - 5g per day for 18 months - 10g per day for 5 years Take immediately before or after exercise and with a protein-based meal on rest days. Take no more than 20g per day and no less than 3g per day.

Are there any Side effects and is it truly safe?

Some side-affects are associated with taking Creatine as a supplement such as stomach pain, nausea, loose and frequent bowel movements, muscle cramping and/or weight gain. These are pretty standard possible side-affects of taking anything new, so trial and error may win here. Of course, if you notice anything that isn’t right then stop the supplement immediately and contact a doctor. Risk of creating an Irregular heartbeat has been a cause for concern in some studies, but more information and tests are needed to confirm whether this is a risk factor. We advise anyone with a heart condition to contact their consultant before trying anything new. Dehydration being a risk contradicts some reports of being able to ‘blitz in the heat’ with little or no risk to cramping and dehydration, but you shouldn’t try it out to test the theory. If it’s hot drink plenty of water and try to keep the amount of water you do drink more than the amount you sweat out! Joking aside, you really should hydrate more than usual when first trying Creatine as dehydration is possible but not certain. Why risk it? On a whole, when thinking about how safe taking Creatine as a supplement is, a lot of it comes down to how confident you feel taking it, if it worries you, don’t, but research it. It is, however, allowed by many Olympic and athletic committees and associations, to help give an idea on how safe it appears to be. If you’re still not convinced, check your favourite sports team to see if they allow it being used by their professional athletes or even ask the physicians at your gym or health centre. Stomach issues are the most possible side effects but dehydration is something that can also occur and can be dangerous. On a whole, Creatine is determined safe when used appropriately.

Conclusion

Regardless of what your perception of Creatine was, we hope to have offered insight into the life of Creatine and get down to what it really can achieve for a variety of people and fitness types. It may not be a genie that grants you big biceps but there’s some real evidence of giving you a bonus on top of the work you already do, if only your boss had the same idea! Creatine, being the supplement that helps accelerate muscle growth, can aid the results of your workouts and get you that one step further to achieving your goals. Whether you are a Loading Phase kind of Creatine user, or a steady-as-you-goer, Creatine is better to be taken immediately before or after exercise and with protein as part of a meal when it’s a rest day. Be wary of stomach complaints and take no more than 20g per day. Despite all the showmanship of other types of Creatine, Creatine Monohydrate is the best to buy and do so in powdered form. If you are looking for authentic Creatine Monohydrate, you can check our store. Nutrabay is home to some of the most reputed supplementation brands from all over the world. When you buy from Nutrabay, you are always getting genuine products at the best prices.

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