Creatine Monohydrate is one of the most studied supplements out there. So why is it still so misunderstood?
My belief is there is a stigma around creatine, because it is generally thought of with adding strength and size, and it has been a staple in many bodybuilders routines. I think this play into the false idea that creatine is a “steroid” or non-natural product. In fact, creatine is well-researched and proven very safe and effective for most populations. It is more closely related to the vitamin category, than any other supplement. Creatine is actually naturally produced by your own body, and can actually be found in foods like meat, fish and eggs.
- How does it work?
Creatine helps to create ATP, which is cellular energy. What does this mean? This means by adding creatine into your supplement protocol you can produce more energy in your muscles, therefore being able to train harder for longer. The results of training harder for longer? More lean muscle mass. This may also help when it comes to short duration, high intensity athletics, such as sprinting, or even football, and basketball.
- How much do I take?
Generally speaking 5g/day, everyday (non-training days included) is an accepted dose. For people with higher muscle mass, taking in 10g may produce more of a benefit.
- When do I take it?
I suggest pre, intra or Post workout. Timing is not a huge priority but, since creatine helps bring water into the muscle as well taking it Pre or Intra may have some extra performance benfits. Plus it can contribute to an awesome pump!
- Will I gain water weight?
Yes. Remember water weight is NOT body fat, while the scale may move it will NOT have effect on actually body fat percentages. Creatine also uses water to get in the muscle, so this water weight will be intra-muscular which can provide a benefit. So there is no need to worry about this water gain!
- Anything else I should know?
Creatine can cause cramping, make sure to increase your water intake when taking creatine to stay well hydrated. The biggest thing to remember is creatine must be taken DAILY, even on off days, to take advantage of its benefits. Creatine Monohydrate is the standard, and most recommend type to take. Creatine HCL would be a second recommendation if the monohydrate bothers your stomach.
Creatine has even been studied lately in helping elderly maintain muscle mass, aiding in skeletal muscle growth for those with chronic heart failure, and more. Its more than a muscle building supplement its truly a performance boost and potentially health boost in those with elect conditions.
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