I can’t tell you how often I get questions about creatine.
It’s not a lie, at least 3 times a day! What is it? What are you doing? It is safe? Is it like steroids? How much should I take? For how long should I take it? What is the best type? Who makes the best brand? How should I take it?
etc etc etc
So I thought, why don’t I create an article dedicated to this, in my opinion, “super supplement” to help clear up all the confusion and help my guys get the most out of it?
So let me go straight to that.
RULE #1: STICK TO PLAIN CREATINE MONOHYDRATE
Don’t be confused by all the clever new marketing angles for creatine. You’ll find versions like creatine ethyl ester, creatine alkyl, creatine (insert super scientific-sounding word here). Guys, this is all a way for supplement companies to come up with clever new ways to make you think there is a new hybrid version of creatine that will help you pack on 20lbs of muscle in just 4 days. Forget it. Has no sense. The ethyl ester version actually claims to produce its effects without the muscle-hydrating effect of the original creatine monohydrate… but that’s EXACTLY one of the benefits you’re taking the supplement for in the first place. To hydrate your muscle cells to create a more anabolic environment in the long run. Not to mention, this water retention in the muscles is responsible for the often dramatic lean mass weight gain that creatine users will see from the product.
RULE #2: SKIP THE CREATINE LOADING PHASE
People who “load” creatine or take 5 grams 5 times a day for 5-7 days are often the ones who experience the side effects of muscle cramps, dehydration, and GI upset. It is not surprising. Try stuffing 25 grams of any sand-like powder into your stomach and see what happens. You probably won’t like it too much. So what is to be done? Easy. Studies have shown that taking a steady dose of 5 grams per day will produce the same maximum stores of creatine in your body after just 17 days. So what is the tradeoff? Only a difference of 10-12 days. I’m sure everyone can put in a few extra days and your body will be much happier than you are.
RULE #3: LEAT IT IN YOUR POST-WORKOUT MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKE FOR MAXIMUM ABSORPTION
Frankly, you have to be a bit of a biochemist to figure out how to make creatine mix with water (or juice, if you need a little more carb to get the supplement into your muscles) cleanly. You can stir that sucker for minutes and you’ll still find plenty of white “sand” in the bottom of the glass. It is not too palatable and not too effective to get the real benefits of this supplement. Instead, mix it in the blender with your favorite meal replacement and not only will the blender do a better job of it than it could have, but the protein/carb combination will also help to increase the absorption of the supplement more quickly so that have more potential benefit.
RULE #4: IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO ACTIVATE AND DEACTIVATE CREATINE
Although creatine is certainly an effective supplement for adding lean muscle mass (over time), providing short-term energy (via its transfer from ATP to ADP), and increasing body weight rapidly (via its hydration effects). muscle), is not a synthetic or unnatural supplement that can do long-term harm. Every study so far has shown that this supplement is safe for long-term use. Only those with damaged, diseased, or compromised kidneys have been warned about taking it, as their kidneys are responsible for helping to remove the excess that isn’t used (as it does with all other vitamins and minerals that are delivered to the body through from food and supplements). Since creatine is a natural metabolite that is already produced in your body, you are simply increasing those levels with your supplementation.
RULE #5: LOOK FOR 100% HPLC CREATINE MONOHYDRATE
Again, this goes back to the whole idea of hype. You’ll benefit most (and so will your wallet) by sticking to the basics. Make sure that no matter which brand you choose, you get 100% Pure HPLC Creatine Monohydrate. The HPLC part refers to the way the supplement is grown and purified. It is very specific and will produce the highest quality pure creatine. But that’s all. No more fancy science is needed. A good brand of 1000 grams of creatine shouldn’t cost you more than $30, so beware of those who ask for more!
That’s all. I hope this helps clear up the confusion that continues to surround this supplement. When taken as advised in this article, creatine monohydrate is truly (along with whey protein, meal replacements, glutamine, multivitamins, and fish oil) one of the best supplements any athlete will take, Bodybuilder, AthLEAN-Xer, Fitness Enthusiast, or anyone else. who wants to look and be lean, strong, ripped and muscular can take.
Be sure to let me know how it works for you!