Creatine is a huge money maker in the supplement world today. It, next to caffiene, have been the only two proven products that actually been shown to work. The rest of the none sense on the shelfs are just marketing hoop-la. If used correctly during the year, creatine can greatly enhance one’s performance.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is naturally occuring within the body and helps to supply energy to the muscle. We generally get creatine from fresh meat, but our bodies actually produce creatine from amino acids in the kidney and liver. 95% of creatine is stored within the skeletal muscle and the rest is stored in the brain and heart. Increased levels of creatine within the brain have been showing some recent benefits. There are studies being done on the effects of creatine and the imporovement of mental health of Alzheimers patients. Creatine has also been showing great progress in helping those with muscular degenerative diseases.
Benefits for active people?
Creatine has been shown to do two obvious things. One being that the recovery time between workouts is less and the other being increased strength gains. Now creatine does not give you energy like that of caffiene (caffiene is not energy. Energy comes from calories). The energy production is done on the cellular level, which is where everything needs to start. When the cells are working properly it is a chain reaction all the way up to your actual movment/performance.
Benefits for Athletes?
Directions for creatine are to begin with a loading phase of 5grams (1 heaping teaspoon) 4-5x’s a day spread equally throughout the day for 4-5 days. Then draw back dosage to 5-10grams a day. It is suggested to take 0-1 servings on rest days and 1-2 servings on workout days. The 0-1 serving will allow your kidneys and liver to rest it’s activity. Still in the early years of creatine research, so there is no solid evidence of bodily injury due to creatine use. Either way it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.
Creatine has been shown to drastically increase strength levels within a months time as long as it is accompanied by a sound strength and nutrition program. If you are in a peak phase of olympic lifting, Track and Field or any other type of event that trains year round for a 1-2 week peak phase. It’s a great idea to start creatine loading phase 3-4 weeks out from the date of competition. If you are in a sport that demands a few months of consistant play (football, soccer etc) then it’s best to take creatine throughout the season (you may not need to do the loading phase here, instead ingest 1-2 servings of creatine. One in the morning, the other after practice/game).
Each individual is different and results may vary. Therefore, consult your doctor before doing any supplement and don’t take my opinion as the final answer. I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist. So, do further research!