Creatine can be taken safely under the guidance of an expert. It is produced naturally by the body and is taken through supplements. Let’s see what and how creatine works.
WHAT IS CREATINE
Creatine, in the form of Creatine phosphate (CP), has an essential role in energy metabolism as a substance for the formation of ATP, especially during short-duration, high-intensity exercise.
transports the energy produced by mitochondria directly to the working parts without invoking a long series of chemical steps. It’s a brilliant system.
Creatine is the material that keeps all of our cells supplied with energy through a very efficient mechanism, keeping intracellular ADP levels very low. This is important because as this concentration increases, cellular respiration decreases and can trigger the need for fast energy. By keeping ADP levels low and recycling ADP back into ATP at the site of work, you can produce peak power for a longer period of time.
Creatine monohydrate, time and time again they have proven its effectiveness at safely at increasing strength and muscle cell volume.
HOW MUCH TO TAKE
There are a variety of successful dosing protocols, but the most common and well-studied is to front load with a large dose, followed by a maintenance dose.
The goal with supplementing creatine is to saturate your muscle creatine stores. The fastest way to achieve this saturation is to load with a higher dose of 20-25 grams over 5 -6 days. Spread the dose out with 4 or 5 servings taken throughout the day.
For example, if you choose to load with 20g of creatine a day, take 5g servings spread out 4 times a day. After the 5 – 6 days loading phase your muscle creatine stores will be saturated and you can drop down to a daily maintenance dose of 5 grams.
Cycling creatine supplements for around 8 weeks at a time is common. Here is an example of a popular and effective creatine dosing and cycle plan.
8 week Creatine Cycle
Week 1: 20g creatine monohydrate loading (5g servings 4 times a day)
Weeks 2 – 8: 5g creatine monohydrate daily
No creatine for 1 month followed by another 6 week creatine cycle
WHEN TO TAKE
When you are in a loading phase you will want to space 4x 5g servings throughout the day. Taking one large dose may cause some users gastrointestinal distress, so it may be best to spread a 20g dose into smaller 5g doses taken throughout a day.
One 5g in the morning with breakfast, 5g early afternoon with lunch, 5g late afternoon and 5g in the evening with dinner.
What Should I Mix creatine with?
It doesn’t matter what you mix your creatine with – water, fruit juice, whey protein shake – it will be digested, absorbed and utilized by the body all the same.
In fact, the water retention side effect from creatine is desirable, because it increases the volume of water within the muscle cell, resulting in muscles feeling fuller, and denser. So one is suggested to keep hydrated with at-least 4 L a day.
What are the side effects?
Studies have found creatine to be very safe, with no significant side effects shown, if taken under guidance and in the guided doses. With that said, if you’re suffering from anything serious, like liver or kidney disease, or high blood pressure, it’s recommended that you avoid taking creatine.