April 7, 2019
Creatine is a widely researched and very effective supplement to use when you workout. My Protein has several products that contain creatine and this article aims to cover why it may be useful to add it into your diet.
How It Works and What it Does
When our bodies workout we burn energy in our cells. I will try and simplify this process so it’s striaght forward to understand. The energy molecule we use is called ATP. When we burn this we take the useful part away and use that as energy. We are then left with ADP floating around in our cells. This waits around until we build up enough reserves to turn it back to the useful ATP. Our bodies are pretty good at recycling ADP already but if we add creatine into the mix we get much better at it.
Creatine acts to speed up this recycling and helps provide extra substrate to produce more ATP more efficiently.
So this is what is happening in your cells. On a whole body level this means that during fast pace exercise, like weight lifting and sprinting, your muscles will recover much quicker. You will be able to lift more or add in that extra sprint compared to when you haven’t taken creatine.
Creatine has also been linked to cognitive benefits so helps you stay aware, focused and more likley to perform better when you workout.
All this bodes well for creatine as a useful addition to your diet if you aim to improve your workout performance. It is very easy to supplement as it comes in powder form, tablets and capsules.
It is not dervied from animal origin so is suitable for a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Pair it with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise
It is important that you supplement creatine alongside a diet that has enough good quality protein included. This allows your muscles to grow and repair alongside the high energy consumption.
If you are training to compete athletically then you will appreciate the importance of using supplements that do not contain any naturally occurring banned substances. My Protein does a form of creatine that has been batch tested for these and falls in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines so is safe for professional athletes of all levels. It’s called Creatine Elite and can be found here.
My Protein also do a product called Creapure which is the purest form of Creatine Monohydrate avaliable on the market. It comes in capsule form so easy to take. If you really want to maximise the creatine benefits then this is a good choice.
One potential issue with creatine is that some people find they get stomach cramps after taking the powdered version.
This issue can be managed by taking it with enough water. Another option that negates this side-effect is to take it in capsules rather than the powdered form.
My Protein does a slow release capsule variety as well which can also help space out your creatine intake throughout the day.
Creatine supplementation is most effective when taken long term.
When you first begin using it it is best to start on a loading dose of around 20g per day broken up over 4-5 servings for the first week. This allows creatine to build up in your system and then you still receive sufficient benefit at 3-5g per day thereafter.
The best time to take creatine is after you workout so your muscles can repair effciently. This ensures you are ready for your next workout.
One last point to note with creatine is that it increases your muscles water retention. This helps muscle growth but you do need to ensure you are adequatly hydrated before and after a workout. If weight loss if your goal then don’t be alarmed if the number on the scale starts to rise. It’s only water weight that will lead to higher lean body mass and not fat gain. If your body has increased muscle mass it will burn fat more effeciently so will aid weight loss in the longer term.
So, in summary, creatine is an effective supplement that helps you perform better when you exercise at a high intensity level. It is a supplement to use long term and around 3g per day is enough for most people. My Protein does a range of products to suit everyone and more information on these is avaliable on their website.
Possibly one of the nicest things about regular creatine monohydrate powder is that it is flavourless. You can just mix it with a small amount of water, and in one gulp, you have had your creatine for the day!
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