It’s been bodybuilders’ best friend for years, but just what is creatine, and should the regular gym goer be using it as a supplement?
What exactly is it?
Found naturally in muscle cells, creatine is a great asset in the recovery of muscles. This fast-paced recovery also leads to muscle and strength gain.
Most people won’t even realise they probably consume creatine each day through various meats and the amino acids they have.
Taken in by the liver and kidneys, it is then passed through to the muscles in the form of creatine monohydrate.
The supplements, in essence, help you convert more creatine, going straight to your muscles and this can be a great training aid.
How does creatine work?
As previously mentioned, the creatine is transported to your muscles, helping aid recovery. It also has several other factors that will help you when working out and throughout the day.
> It allows you to work harder and for longer in each training session, helping with muscle growth.
> It can help sleep deprivation. Although not recommended all the time, those who lead busy lifestyles and a lack of sleep may feel less groggy in the mornings due to the increased creatine levels.
> More anabolic hormones will stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth
> Boosted cell signalling helps repair and growth
> A positive impact on the brain
> Lowers blood sugar levels
It’s a highly discussed topic, but strictly speaking, there are little negative effects to using creatine supplements.
Weight gain can be expected, but this is down to enhanced muscle mass. So the only advice would be if you were looking to lose weight or diet then it may not be the best idea.
Water retention is increased during use, which may become an issue if you play fast-paced sports as your performance could be affected and slowed down.
When should I take it and how much?
There isn’t a defined level on what to take. If you stick to the labels on your products then that should suffice.
Also, try not to overload on the protein side when it comes to eating. The foods that contain high levels of creatine are; steak, fish (tuna and salmon especially) and eggs.
It all depends on your workout levels, and you should get a good idea whether it is working dependent on your muscle increases. Your recovery times will also be a good determiner.
If you’re looking for the ideal creatine supplements, then we stock several at GHN Nutrition. Including;