What you need to know about creatine
Here you will learn the basics of creatine, certainly enough to get you started.
Well, now you’re going to learn all about this sports nutrition wonder supplement and your gym work will be all the better for it.
So, let’s start at the beginning.
What is creatine?
Creatine helps your muscles to produce energy and is conveniently located in muscle cells to do exactly that. In other words, your body produces creatine naturally. If you can find a way to create more creatine than your body can make on its own, your muscle energy will be the winner.
Hence creatine supplements.
How do creatine supplements improve training?
Quite simply, creatine helps to increase the phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate) stores in muscles, and the excess is used to produce the ATP energy you need for intense exercise.
A creatine-loaded workout will:
· Increase your energy levels for a longer, more intense workout
· Help muscles repair faster
· Assist muscle growth
· Increase anabolic hormones
· Improve water retention
· Enhance protein synthesis
· Reduce myostatin which inhibits muscle growth
Creatine is an excellent supplement pre-workout and post-workout for increasing muscle mass and muscle strength. It’s a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement, which means it can help boost muscle growth, reverse weight gain and reduce fatigue.
Creatine is also good for your brain
Surprise, surprise; creatine isn’t just a muscle food. Studies show it can also be great for brain health. Creatine has been shown to have positive effects on general brain function and memory. If that’s not enough, this wonder supplement can help with:
· Motor neuron disease
· Parkinson’s disease
· Alzheimer’s disease
· Huntington’s disease
· Ischemic stroke
· Brain injuries
· Spinal cord injuries
How long do creatine supplements take to start showing results?
That’s a long question and here’s the short answer: not long at all if you do what’s called a creatine loading phase. A creatine loading phase is a bit like bingeing on the first three seasons of Game of Thrones to get up to speed with what everyone else has been talking about. But in this case, you’re loading – saturating actually – your muscles and bingeing on creatine phosphate.
The result is a massive reservoir of muscle-building energy, and there’s a pretty simple formula to get your body primed for creatine-enhanced growth.
When you’re starting out on your creatine journey, most trainers recommend 20 grams every day for up to 7 days.
From there you can drop it back to about 4 grams per day to maintain high levels in your muscles, but you need to be taking creatine supplements even on rest days.
Why? Because it helps with muscle recovery as well.
Talk to a personal trainer or gym instructor
That’s always a good idea before you start gulping down any new supplement, especially if you’re new to working out.
That said, creatine has been researched with more vigour than most supplements, and even four-year-long studies have failed to find a single side effect.
If you’d like to become an expert on all things fitness – including creatine – now is a great time to start a nationally recognised course right HERE.
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