Creatine or Creatine Monohydrate: Most athletes, at one time or another, have toyed with the idea of supplementing with creatine. Creatine use is wide spread among athletes at the professional and amateur levels and is quickly gaining acceptance among younger athletes at the high school level. Yet, despite creatine's increasing popularity, a lack of accurate information about this important nutritional supplement exists for the layperson. Moreover, misinformation and rumors about creatine and its alleged side effects flood the internet and popular press. There is an obvious need for unbiased and responsible information about creatine for the general public
Creatine is made up of three amino acids - Arginine, Glycine and Methionine. Our liver has the ability to combine these three amino acids and make creatine. The other way we get creatine is from our diet.
The whole idea behind taking creatine as supplement is that if you workout
you burn up a lot of creatine. If you take a creatine supplement such as
creatine monohydrate you will have more energy - because the energy cycle can go
on for a longer time. Your muscle's creatine supply is not limitless. The
average human has between 3.5 and 4 grams of creatine per kilogram of muscle.
Once you use up the creatine in your muscle you have to rest your muscles and
wait before you can exercise again. Human muscle can store up to 5 grams of
creatine per kilogram. So, by taking a creatine supplement you can raise your
creatine levels from 3.5 to 5 grams of creatine per kilogram, this will extend
the period you can exercise before having to take a rest and fatigue build up.
Creatine will not help you lose fat directly. However, Creatine will help you tone and firm, and assist you in pushing your self to your limits. In the long run, it's the building of muscle that causes an increase in your metabolism and helps burn calories and fat.
How to get the best gains from Creatine
By Lee Hayward
Thanks to Total Fitness for this information
Creatine is probably the most talked about supplement on the market. It is one of the few supplements that can produce noticeable gains in lean mass, strength, and energy in a very short time. Most people find that within a week of taking creatine their muscles become fuller and they get better pumps when working out.
Creatine is a natural substance produced in our bodies to supply energy. Creatine is formed from the amino acids arginine, methionine, and glycine. Creatine is used to produce chemical energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The average person produces approximately 2 grams of creatine per day. This is enough to maintain a creatine balance.
Creatine supplementation raises blood creatinine, but it has never been shown to be toxic or harmful. Creatine is found in the foods that we eat especially protein foods such as meats and fish. Vegetarians usually have a very low intake of creatine.
Muscles consist of approximately 70% water. Creatine helps to draw water into the muscle cells producing what is called cell-volumization. This makes the muscles feel full and pumped. Studies show that when a muscle cell is volumized it helps to stimulate protein synthesis and minimize protein breakdown.
I am going to outline how I use creatine to get the best results. Obviously, this is not the only way to use creatine. Different people will have their own unique methods. But I have used the creatine cycle described below numerous times and have achieved great results from it.
I think best way to take creatine is to mix a level teaspoonful of creatine (approx. 5 grams) with a glass of kool aid or some other high sugar drink. The reason for the high sugar is to cause your body to release insulin; this will allow your muscles to absorb the creatine much better. There have been several studies done which prove that taking creatine with insulin releasing carbohydrates (sugars) increases the uptake of creatine by the muscle cells.
When you start taking creatine do a loading phase by taking 6 servings (approx. 30 grams) of creatine in divided doses throughout the day for a week, and then reduce to a maintenance phase of 1 - 2 servings (approx. 5 - 10 grams) per day.
Be sure to take a serving of creatine right after your workouts because the metabolic environment created by a hard workout will allow your muscles to absorb the creatine really well.
Continue the maintenance phase for about 3 weeks and then stop taking the creatine all together for a full week. I personally find that after a month on creatine the effects are not as noticeable as they were at first. This is because the muscles get saturated with creatine and the results start to plateau. When I stop taking creatine I may loose a couple of pounds of body weight from water loss but nothing too serious.
After a week off from creatine repeat the loading phase of 6 servings per day for a week, and then a maintenance phase of 1 - 2 servings per day for 3 weeks.
Your body's natural creatine production will eventually stop if you don't take some time off from creatine supplementation. Because of this you will get better results by cycling creatine, then if you just took it all of the time. Each time I do the creatine-loading phase I find that my muscles fill out and I experience the full benefits of the creatine supplementation.
The Creatine Controversy
Creatine Monohydrate, aka creatine, has been shadowed by controversy for the last decade. Those that support creatine use in athletics, often do so blindly without acknowledging possible ill side effects. Conversely, those who are against its use are often not well informed and formulate rash judgments. Either scenario is disconcerting. Also be aware that many creatine informational sites are no more than back doors to nutritional supplements dealers and in this respect their objectivity may be in question. There is a clear need for objective information on this issue. Although creatine's effects on athletic performance have been well documented since the turn of the century, it has only recently come into public view following the 1992 Olympics. With the help of creatine many British athletes excelled in the Barcelona Olympics, which is understandable since much of the early creatine research was conducted in the UK and Sweden. Allegations of the Soviet block countries utilizing creatine prior to this time are still a matter of conjecture.
Creatine is a multimillion-dollar industry and its popularity is only increasing. Creatine is commonly employed in professional and amateur athletics and is increasingly becoming more popular in high school athletics. Face it. Creatine is here to stay! Chances are good that you, or someone you know, may be considering creatine supplementation in the near future. Otherwise you wouldn't be here-right?.
The creatine field is changing so rapidly that current information is outdated in a matter of weeks. It is therefore of utmost importance to get the most up to date information concerning creatine. The information in this site will be updated frequently as to reflect the latest findings. So visit us regularly.
Creatine is currently not considered doping by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Additionally, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not consider creatine a drug, but rather a nutritional supplement, and, therefore, is not subject to the same level of scrutiny as other agents used to enhance athletic performance.
There is a lot of misinformation circulating about creatine. Rumors abound as to possible side effects arising from creatine use. We have heard allegations of increased aggressiveness, hair loss, stunted growth, stimulated growth, and breast formation in men resulting from creatine use. Some side effects have been substantiated in the scientific literature while other have not. Furthermore, not all of the side effects reputedly connected with creatine use are deleterious. Others, on the other hand, need to be taken seriously. Potential adverse side effects would be most critical in children and women who are pregnant or nursing.
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