If you’ve ever wanted to add more lean muscle mass to your physique, creatine may be just the product for you. Often thought of as a hardcore muscle support for men only and not suitable for most women, creatine can actually be beneficial to anyone who is looking to increase total performance, speed up recovery and gain lean muscle mass.
What does it do?
Creatine (methyl guanidinoacetic acid) is a combination of three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. Creatine is naturally produced in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. A normal, active person produces about two grams daily, and most people consume an additional gram or two from their diet. Creatine is stored in the muscles as creatine phosphate. During exercise, as the stored ATP begins to run low, creatine phosphate (CP) is then broken down into creatine and phosphate, replenishing ATP for greater energy. This amazing amino acid works to increase your body’s ability to produce muscular energy. Therefore, taking creatine is most effective for those who are training intensely or performing explosive activities because the body is exerting force for the purpose of gaining strength and power.
How do I know if it’s right for me?
Research shows that creatine supplements are most effective for people who want to gain muscle strength, muscle tone, or engage in explosive sports like powerlifting, rowing, or sprinting. Creatine volumizes the muscles, increasing muscle tone, which may increase the metabolic rate and accelerate fat loss. Volumization means the storage of extra water in the muscles, allowing the user to have harder muscle contractions, or more strength.
How should I take it?
Scientific research shows that the best way to increase the uptake of creatine is by creating an insulin spike. Insulin is an extremely anabolic hormone that transports nutrients into the muscles. The best way to create an insulin spike is by taking a serving of creatine monohydrate powder and chasing it with a glass of nonacidic juice (grape juice is the most popular), or by using creatine products that are mixed with simple carbohydrates such as Dextrose, Waxy Maize or Maltodextrin. Furthermore, to really boost performance in the gym or on the field, creatine should be taken with Betaine and Beta Alanine.