Of all the workout supplements on the market, whey protein is probably the most common one we rely on to gain muscle and burn fat. Whey protein remains the bedrock of supplements, and other compounds like creatine remain part of a shadowy, uncertain nutritional lexicon that seems to be the domain of big, beefy muscleheads, and not your average gym goer.
But if you’re someone who hits the gym often, and your physique goals are aligned with building lean muscle mass and boosting your strength levels, creatine is your ticket. Here are some answers to the questions you might have before incorporating creatine into your regimen.
Photo credit: Labdoor
What is creatine?
Creatine is a compound of three amino acids that your body naturally generates. Comprising of glycine, arginine and methionine, creatine is also found in high protein sources of meat like red meat, as well as fish.
SEE ALSO: Find The Best Protein Powder For You
How will creatine work for me?
To go in-depth into how creatine works in your body involves a ton of biochemistry and jargon. Putting it simply, creatine binds to phosphates in your body to boost your body’s natural energy reserves, atop acting as a fuel for your body during anaerobic activity such as weightlifting. Taking creatine thus amps up your energy levels during a workout, and the added fuel allows for you to lift more, and lift heavier. Creatine also hydrates your muscle cells, allowing for greater protein synthesis that will contribute to growing lean muscle mass in the long run. Creatine is also ideal for high intensity training, so if you're a fan of HIITs (High Intensity Interval Training) or play sports like football, creatine will improve your performance capabilities.
Photo credit: Fitvation
How and when is the best to take creatine?
Recommended dosage would be about 2-5 grams a day. Many advocate that creatine works best when your muscles are saturated with it, which would involve taking a high dosage of 15-25g for a week. Loading on creatine allows your muscles to receive it more quickly, before reverting back to a maintenance dose, but the long term benefits of doing so are scarce, so you’re better off with a small dose a day, and keeping it steady for the best results. Creatine enters your muscle cells best with insulin, so it’s best to mix it in fruit juice for maximum absorption. Taking creatine immediately post-workout is also most optimal, as your muscles are primed to take in more nutrients.
What creatine should I take?
Stick to creatine powder, which your body absorbs best. Taking creatine in an isolated form, like Lush Protein's Creatine Monohydrate, is the most ideal for beginners. If you're someone who's been hitting the gym and dedicated to upping your performance to better your physique, try the BPI Sports Best Creatine, which comes with six advanced forms of creatine and improves muscle recovery rates. Sportsmen who are keen to attain explosive energy levels during performance can look to MusclePharm's Creatine, which also helps to boost your stamina in the long run.
- July 05, 2016
- Beatrice Bowers