Creatine – Frequently Asked Questions!
One of the best supplements on the market at the moment is without a doubt creatine (Cr). The supplement has proven benefits for muscle growth, as well as our cognitive development. If you would like to know more about creatine, be sure to read the answers to frequently asked questions below!
What Is Creatine?
Creatine or Cr a nutrient that can be found in the human body. Cr consists of three amino acids, more specifically arginine, glycine and methionine. The combination of these three amino acids is very useful for the human body, given the fact that the formed compound can provide more energy to the muscles.
Energy for our muscles is delivered by a compound called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Adenosine triphosphate is created by the combination of adenosine diphosphate and an additional phosphate group. This additional phosphate group can be delivered by creatine.
What Is Phosphocreatine?
Phosphocreatine is found in the vertebrate muscle. It is a compound that enables the body to store phosphates. When additional energy is needed, phosphates are released and bound with adenosine diphosphate to create adenosine triphosphate.
What Is ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate?
Adenosine triphosphate is a substance in the muscle. When adenosine triphosphate is broken down by enzymes, energy is released in the body and enables cells to perform important functions such as muscle contraction.
Can the Use of Creatine Supplements Increase My Performance?
Cr supplements do not improve your athletic performance directly, but it can increase your performance indirectly. When an athlete uses a Cr supplement during their training, the athlete will get more energy and will be able to train longer. The use of Cr supplements has also shown to increase muscle mass. The combination of these two benefits can have a good impact on your performance over a period of time. Hence why it is said that Cr supplements have an indirect influence on performance abilities.
When athletes use a Cr supplement in addition to their training routine, athletes will also notice that their muscles need less recovery time. Athletes who often struggle with sore muscles, or cannot train as intensively as they want because of muscle soreness, can therefore greatly benefit from a Cr supplement.
Can Creatine Only Be Obtained from Cr Supplements?
Cr supplements are not the only sources of creatine, because athletes can also obtain the substance from specific foods. However, most people can only obtain 1 gram of creatine from food consumption per day. This is why Cr supplementation is often recommended for athletes looking to increase their Cr levels.
Athletes who tend to consume a considerable amount of red meat may get the most Cr from their food. Two kilograms of red meat will approximately deliver 2 grams of creatine. Herring can also be an option if you prefer not to eat red meat on a daily basis. Herring contains 4.6 grams of Cr per 2 kilograms, so herring can also be a valuable food source for athletes.
Athletes who already consume fish and red meat will get great results from Cr supplements, but vegetarians will see the biggest difference. Due to the fact that most vegetarian meals do not contain creatine, Cr supplements will have much more effect on their training routine.
Cr supplements are completely safe for vegetarians as well as vegans. The supplement is synthetic, so no animal sources were used during its creation. Cr supplements are therefore the perfect solution for vegetarians and vegans who want to bulk up.
Can Cr Supplements Become Poisonous When Used Long-Term?
Most Cr supplements are used for six to eight week cycles, so there has not been a lot of research in regard to long-term Cr supplement use. That being said, the human body can easily handle a daily Cr dose of 5 grams and some people even use 20 to 30 grams during the loading phase.
In order to protect yourself against side-effects, it is recommended to use Cr supplements for their intended purpose. Always follow the directions on the supplement and do not try to elevate the dose without medical advice. The human body only absorbs a certain amount of Cr, so taking an extremely high dose will not make the results come any quicker.
Still, there has been an incredible amount of research done on creatine and it has been deemed safe for daily consumption. Given the fact that the compound can be found in the body naturally, there is no reason why Cr supplements could have a negative impact on your health.
Do Cr Supplements Have Side Effects?
One of the common reported side-effects of Cr supplementation is muscle cramping. The reason for that can be found in the function of Cr, given the fact that the compound is responsible for the transfer of water to the intramuscular compartment. Athletes who experience muscle cramping while using a Cr supplement are most likely dehydrated. For that reason, it is important to consume plenty of water during your training routine.
To avoid muscle cramps while using Cr supplements, be sure to drink a pint of water with each dose you take. In order to be fully healthy, we need to drink at least 4 to 5 pints of water a day. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most people.
Athletes should also look out for dehydration symptoms during training sessions. Some symptoms indicating dehydration are dizziness, light-headedness, headaches, fatigue, dry mouth, dry eyes and dark coloured urine. If you experience any of these symptoms while training, it is important to drink water right away.
When Should I Take My Cr Supplement?
There is still much discussion surrounding the topic of supplement timing. However, the majority of scientists support the theory that it is best to consume Cr supplements after a training session. According to some studies, taking a Cr supplement after a workout will not cause nausea, promote muscle recovery and give you additional energy for your next workout.
The dose of creatine can vary as well and depends on your weight. To obtain the exact dosage for your Cr supplement, please refer to the directions on the manufacturers website or on the packaging of the Cr supplement.