Most Popular Supplement

imagesThe effects of creatine are nothing new. As one of the most researched supplements on the market, it should be a part of any serious lifters supplement stack.

Not only has it been unofficially proven to work by bros at your local gym, it is also a clinical superstar producing real, substantial results when it comes to muscle mass and strength gains.

Let’s look at not only the tried and true benefits of creatine, but also what new information has been found about this super strength building supplement.

What else does it have to offer your blood, sweat and tears in the gym and how can you benefit?

CREATINE: A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Creatine is a supplement used by many athletes and bodybuilders to help increase performance of high intensity training. Made of 3 amino acids (methionine, arginine, and glycine), creatine helps replenish our ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) stores once they have been depleted. This, in turn, allows us to train harder and longer and recover quicker between bouts of exercise.

It increases strength levels, muscle mass and even aids in recovery between sets of exercises. As a natural substance found in our muscle cells it is also made by the liver and we also ingest it from our diet.

Some dietary sources include fish and red meat; however, supplementing is the easiest and most convenient way to achieve optimal levels since food contains very little. For example, a half-pound of meat can contain only 1 gram of creatine only. So, supplementing is needed to reap the full benefit.

CREATINE DOSAGES

There are two schools of thought when it comes to dosing. The traditionalists out there stress that a loading phase needs to precede a maintenance phase. This loading phase can contain up to 20 grams of creatine powder per day divided into four 5 gram doses. One advantage of this method is a sudden onset of muscle fullness and a rather quick weight gain.

The other school of thought is to simply start with a maintenance dose of 3 to 5 grams, twice daily – once prior to training and once again post training. Which is superior? Many studies have pointed that the loading phase is unnecessary in longitudinal trials. In other words, the same end results were recorded with both protocols.

CREATINE MONOHYDRATE

Another factor to consider is the type of creatine to take. With so many forms flooding the market (citrate, ethyl ester, nitrate, malate and pyruvate just to name a few) which is the most effective?

The bottom line is that research, again, dictates that good ole-fashioned creatine monohydrate is still the most effective form. Not only is that good news to cut down on confusion, it’s also great news for your wallet since you can still get creatine monohydrate at a great price at most supplement outlets.

As science tries to make an even better version of creatine, just stick with the simple stuff for the best performance results.