Creatine is one of the most popular supplements on the market. It’s also a naturally occurring amino acid present in our own bodies and obtained through the consumption of fish, poultry, milk products, nuts, seeds and egg whites. The majority is situated in skeletal muscle with approximately 5 percent in the brain and heart. The liver can also produce creatine by combining arginine, glycine and methionine.
So what’s it for?
The main benefit of creatine is its ability to help the production of energy. The ATP-PC system gives a rapid source of energy in anaerobic activity.
Another advantage discovered through recent study is the ability to buffer lactic-acid build up; particularly helpful to both strength and endurance athletes. Glycogen breakdown has the side effect of lactic acid growth. This is responsible for the burning sensation and fatigue of the muscle. Hydrogen ions are released by lactic acid and may develop in the muscle tissues.
There’s evidence that creatine helps to set the entire body in a more anabolic state where protein synthesis can occur. The greater the protein synthesis, the greater the muscle increase.
Types of creatine supplement available
Each molecule is composed of 88% creatine and 12% water. This really is the most typical type of creatine supplement available.
Creatine phosphate More expensive and although it will contain phosphate, there is not any evidence to suggest that it is more beneficial. It is also just 62% creatine and 38% phosphate, so would have to be consumed in larger quantities. But, it contains only 40% creatine.
It is important to remember that producing the maximum quantity of nourishment is only one consideration. Absorption plays a key role. Those who favour creatine citrate point out that it’s a 90% absorption rate, whilst monohydrate is just 40%. (The vast majority of studies to date have been carried out on creatine monohydrate.)
Different Kinds of supplement
Powder – the hottest and most affordable form and mixed with water or juice to generate a drink. However, there are downsides with absorption rates. Since the solution passes through the stomach the acids begin to digest the creatine until it has had the opportunity to make it to the muscles – as far as 50% can be dropped.
Serum form – has a more efficient delivery and so less glycogen is missing in digestion and more absorbed in the muscles. This offers the dual benefit of needing to take less and being able to take it closer to your workout intervals. The significant disadvantage to the liquid form is the creatine needs to be stabilised or it will begin to breakdown into creatinine after about twenty minutes.
Pills – these work in precisely the same manner as the powder supplement but do not require mixing. The obvious disadvantage with this kind is the inability to take a tailored dose.
Effervescent powder – similar to powder with the advantage of greater absorption rates. It has the exact same associated dosage issues as Insulin pills.
Once taken in powder form, creatine remains in the blood flow for approximately 1-1.5 hours. Creatine has to be absorbed into the muscles to be able to stimulate growth. Therefore, if you deplete the supply from the muscles when exercising and there’s nourishment available from the blood stream, the muscles may replenish their supply from the source. It’s highly advisable to take creatine around one hour before your training session. This will allow the time for the supplement to eventually become available to the muscles through the bloodstream. Creatine will then be available before, during (within the muscles) and afterwards (inside the blood) the work out.
The nourishment supply from the muscles is not infinite. On average we have between 3.5 – 4g of creatine per kilo of muscle. Studies have demonstrated that we are able to save roughly 5g thus taking a supplement will raise your levels.
Manufacturers of creatine supplements usually recommend a loading stage. A weight gain of 0.6-1kg a week could be expected using this technique.
The aim of this loading phase is to saturate the muscles. A upkeep period then sustains this amount and replenishes daily degradation. Many physicians recommend that this care phase lasts no longer than one month. There are few studies on the long-term impacts of the sustained use of creatine supplements and additionally, there are no reported benefits in consumption beyond this. Any weight and muscle gain can be maintained through physical training.
Studies have been undertaken to discover if this loading stage is essential. They demonstrate that higher profits occur over the initial fourteen days for those who load. But following four weeks both groups are going to be in an equal level. Loading will simply permit an individual to reach that level two weeks before.