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LEVEL 01: CREATINE

All You Need To Know About Creatine And Its Supplements

Want to give your performance a boost? Want to run faster or farther, or jump higher, creatine is the option suggested for you.

How creatine works?

Creatine is a molecule produced in the body and is therefore non-essential. It stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine (Creatine phosphate) using this creatine. Phosphocreatine releases energy by transferring the phosphate group to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to aid cellular function during stress. The same effect also causes strength increases after creatine supplementation, and can also benefit the brain, bones, muscles, and liver. This mechanism is the reason for maximum benefits that can be availed using creatine.

What does creatine have to offer?

Though the discovery of creatine as a performance enhancer can be traced back to the 1970s, since a few years, creatine has become a supplement staple for people looking to build strength and lean muscle mass. They consider it as a performance booster. However, many people are still skeptical of its benefits, and still not familiar with what creatine has to offer!

Amplify your strength

Are you trying to build strength but find you are not getting any stronger? Are you afraid you have peaked? If so, creatine might be able to boost you to the next level. According to a study done in California, phosphocreatine is build by your muscles after consumption of creatine. This gives you the ability to perform better at shorter, intense, strength-building exercises [1]. If your gym time consists of many explosive, heavy lifts with fewer rep counts, consider taking a creatine supplement.

Maximize muscle growth

According to Washington State University researchers [2], like protein, creatine can also help in muscle growth. Their study determined that people who supplemented workouts with creatine were able to gain significant muscle mass and strength in myogenic satellite cells, which are important in the regeneration and overall maintenance of skeletal muscle.

Hasten recovery and reaction time

The recovery time your muscles need during a workout is decreased or minimized by taking a creatine-rich diet or creatine supplements. Italian researchers [3] discovered that jumpers and sprinters who took creatine supplements significantly improved the first 30 seconds of their performance by roughly 10%, thereby making a difference in the reaction time.

Raise testosterone levels

When you reach your thirties, your testosterone levels start going downhill. This causes a decrease in energy, endurance, strength, mental sharpness, and sex drive. Though testosterone replacement therapy is an option for this, it has loads of shaky health consequences. So, creatine may be a better option. A study in New Jersey showed that, following a 10-week resistance training program, participants who took a daily creatine supplement significantly increased their resting testosterone levels [4].

Boost mental sharpness

Creatine not only enhances your physical performance, but also improves mental acuity. In a study done in Australia, 5 grams of creatine supplements were given to 45 study participants daily for a six-week period. It was found that many of the participants processed information more quickly and demonstrated improved memory [5].

Enhance productivity

According to British study done on kayakers, creatine supplements improved productivity in Kayakers significantly [6]. Significantly more work could be achieved in their paddling. This suggested that creatine provides a performance boost for physical activity. Thus, creatine help you make the most of your time everywhere, whether you are working at home, or hitting the iron in the gym.

What are the sources of creatine?

Creatine can be found in some foods, mostly meat, eggs, pork, salmon, tuna, beef, and fish. Creatine supplements are also available over-the-counter and online. Some bestselling supplements are: Optimum Nutrition (ON) Micronized Creatine - 150 g, 300 g, 600 g; Optimum Nutrition (ON) Gold Standard Pre-Workout - 300 g; RSP Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate, 500 Grams.

How to take creatine supplements?

There are many different forms of creatine available on the market, but creatine monohydrate is the cheapest and most effective. Another option is micronized creatine monohydrate, which dissolves in water more easily and can be more practical.

Who should not take creatine?

  • Dangerous interactions between drugs, including diabetes medications, acetaminophen, and diuretics, and creatine.
  • Taking the stimulants caffeine and ephedra with creatine can increase the risk of side effects.
  • Creatine isn't recommended for people with kidney or liver disease, or diabetes.
  • Children under age 18 and women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid taking creatine.

Caution: Stomach cramping can occur when creatine is supplemented without sufficient water. Diarrhea and nausea can occur when too much creatine is supplemented at once, in which case doses should be spread out throughout the day and taken with meals.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10609446
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12750586?dopt=Abstract
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9298778?dopt=Abstract
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17136944
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691485/pdf/14561278.pdf
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691485/
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