FAQs on creatine muscle supplements

By on October 16, 2013

What are creatine muscle supplements for?

Creatine muscle supplements are one of the strongest and most talked about muscle building supplements on the market. These supplements exist to increase strength, muscle mass and aerobic performance.

There are a number of different creatine muscle supplements available to purchase, but the most effective and cost efficient one is creatine monohydrate.

Creatine supplementation is ideal for use by anyone who is looking to maximise muscle and/or strength, or by athletes who want to improve fitness and aerobic performance.

This heavily researched supplement has proven to significantly increase concentration of creatine in muscle cells.

What is creatine and what does it do in the body?

Creatine is a nitrogenous acid made up of a combination of three amino acids. These acids include glycine, methionine and arginine.

Around 95% of creatine that is stored in our bodies can be found within skeletal muscle, where it exists as creatine phosphate. The remaining 5% is stored within the heart, brain and testes (if you have any).

Using creatine muscle supplements considerably increases the concentration of creatine in muscles and it acts as a phosphate donor within our bodies to help reform ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) during exercise.

ATP is a molecule that serves as our body’s energy currency while using phosphate to power certain cellular processes (anything that requires energy). During exercise ATP is broken down to ADP (adenosine di-phosphate) and loses one of its phosphate molecules.

The purpose of creatine supplementation in the body is to donate phosphate to ADP in order to restore ATP, which as a result can improve fitness performance and increase strength and power.

What do creatine muscle supplements do?

Creatine muscle supplements aim to increase the body’s phosphocreatine and creatine stores by around 10-40%. These increased stores serve as energy fuel during exercise.

Anyone looking to improve and build muscle mass, strength and anaerobic performance can use creatine muscle supplements to help them achieve these goals quicker.

The fluid content in muscle cells is increased by creatine supplementation, which leads to leaner body mass. ATP stores are reloaded, enabling you to go harder and faster during your workout/training session.

How do creatine supplements work?

By using creatine muscle supplements, ATP energy is stored within your muscle cells, which as a result will help you go harder and last longer during a workout. This will help you to improve athletic performance and increase workout activity so that you can reach your fitness goals quicker. By reloading your ATP stores through creatine supplementation you enable your body to carry on when normally you might need to slow down or stop.

Are creatine supplements best for particular types of training?

Creatine supplements are useful for a range of training purposes. As a muscle builder, it can help with anaerobic training programmes such as weight training and sprinting. It is best used for training that requires maximum power in short spurts with minimal recovery time.

Creatine supplements are a strong fuel source for rapid exercise due to the intensified contraction in the muscle. Use it for gym workouts and weight lifting as well as for stop and go cardio sports. Endurance athletes can also benefit from supplementing creatine if they are looking to increase speed or improve performance levels.

Will taking creatine supplements make me bigger?

Yes, one of the benefits of using creatine supplements is that it will increase the body’s muscle mass. In a nutshell, it will make your muscles appear larger and more defined.

A primary appeal of creatine supplementation is that it will make you bigger and stronger, which is why it is commonly used by bodybuilders to increase lean body mass. Muscle mass will increase because the supplement increases fluid content within muscle cells.

How much weight am I likely to gain when taking creatine muscle supplements?

It is common to gain approximately 5-10 lbs in a three week period of taking creatine supplements. This is mostly down to water retention, as the fluid content within the muscles will increase.

Results can be achieved quicker through loading, where you should take between 15 – 30g of creatine supplements per day for a period of 4 – 5 days. This helps to see the benefits of creatine take effect more rapidly, which should lead to a slightly quicker weight gain than normal.

Can creatine supplements make you fat?

No. Creatine supplements that are taken to maximise your fitness goals will not increase body fat. One of the benefits of taking creatine supplements is that it can increase metabolic rate and fat loss. If teamed with a normal supplementation cycle and taken alongside an intense workout/training routine, no fat should be stored in the body. However, fluid is retained within the muscles through creatine supplementation, so some weight gain can be expected.

How common are creatine supplements in sport?

Creatine supplements are commonly used amongst athletes as it can help them to improve maximal strength and anaerobic performance. Creatine supplements are regularly used for anaerobic performance gains, including cardio exercise (such as sprinting). They are also extremely popular amongst bodybuilders. This is because they help both athletes and bodybuilders to go further during high intensity training.

These supplements are commonly used by any athlete who wants to increase strength or training stamina. It will help sprinters to sprint at a faster rate or weight trainers to achieve a higher rep total. Some weight class sports such as boxing will not benefit from consistent use of creatine and therefore will have to cycle off the supplement from time to time.

How should creatine supplements be used?

Creatine supplements should be used daily during periods of intense training. There isn’t a specific time of day when you should to take it, but suggested use states that if you take it post-workout, the body’s insulin will help to drive more creatine into muscles. On top of that the body is likely to absorb nutrients more efficiently after a workout and your creatine phosphate stores will be immediately restored, making it an optimum time to use the supplement.

The benefits of creatine are maximised when taken alongside beta-alanine and HMB as well as alongside a standard daily supplement process of multivitamins and protein.

Should I use protein with creatine supplements?

Taking creatine supplements with a daily supplement process of protein through whey/and or casein can maximise its benefits. There are no set rules that state you have to take creatine and a serving of protein together, but taking them both around the time of a workout/post-workout can kick start the metabolic process at an even higher rate.

What should I look for when choosing a creatine supplement?

There are a few different options available when looking for the right creatine supplement for you. However, it is well known that creatine monohydrate is the most effective form of creatine available for providing consistent results.

Creatine monohydrate is the purest creatine around and as a result its benefits have proven to be more successful than those of any other supplements on the market.

It can be bought in various forms of flavoured powders or capsules, but for even faster results you can spring for a micronized form of creatine monohydrate. This is made up of molecules that have been divided or cut up in order to help creatine get into the muscle cells faster.

Other creatine supplements available include a serum and powders that are bonded with other molecules for slightly differing benefits, such as improved mixing ability or taste.

Do you recommend creatine powder or capsules?

Yes, both creatine powder or creatine capsules come highly recommended to anyone who is looking to maximise muscle, strength or increase fitness goals/performance gains.

Creatine monohydrate is easily the most recommended supplement out of all creatine powders and capsules, as it is strongly considered to achieve the most effective results. It can be bought in creatine powder form or capsule form, depending which you find easier to take.

What are creatine supplements made from?

Creatine supplements are made from creatine, which is an organic acid made from 3 amino acids including glycine, methionine and arginine. In our bodies it exists as creatine phosphate.

Creatine supplements are typically produced as a flavoured powder, but can be bought/made up in different forms to achieve slightly different solubility or effectiveness. Some of these will have other molecules and acids attached to the product, whereas creatine monohydrate is the purest creatine supplement around.

What’s your highest quality creatine supplement?

Based on evidence from research and previous users’ outcomes, it is strongly arguable that creatine monohydrate is our highest quality creatine supplement. Producers have yet to bring a higher quality supplement to the market as creatine monohydrate delivers consistent results at unfailingly low prices.

For easier solubility, users should consider micronized creatine monohydrate, which is a higher quality form of this top rated supplement, made with smaller, cut up molecules that saturate muscle cells with ease.

What do I need to consider before taking a creatine supplement?

You need to make sure that you consider whether your fitness goals will truly benefit from taking a creatine supplement. It is a strong and fast working solution for anyone hoping to improve strength, muscular endurance or anaerobic ability/performance.

Some fitness goals may be more suited to regular use of creatine supplement than others, such as body building and anaerobic gains. Weight class athletes will find that they may have to cycle off creatine every so often, which will need to be considered in advance.

Are there any creatine supplement side effects?

There is little scientific evidence to suggest there are any side effects of taking creatine supplement, although some users have argued that there are a couple of minor side effects that may occur.

If creatine supplement hasn’t properly dissolved during the mixing process, users could experience some gastrointestinal discomfort. This is due to the body’s inability to absorb it properly, which is why you should aim to achieve a fully soluble mix in order to avoid gas or cramping.

However, there is no hard science to prove that creatine supplements have any harmful side effects whatsoever. As one of the most researched sports supplements of all time, nothing is recorded to suggest that it causes muscle tears or harm to the kidneys.

What is the right dosage for creatine supplementation?

There are two primary dosage methods for users participating in creatine supplementation. One of these is a daily dosage cycle and the other is known as loading.

For a daily cycle of creatine supplementation users should take around 3-5g per day. This will saturate the muscles in creatine and allow the stores to build up over the course of a few weeks.

Loading however, requires the user to take 15-25g per day for approximately 4-5 days in order to saturate the cells more rapidly and see faster results. After loading is completed the user should continue with a normal daily dosage cycle. Users should drink around 4 ounces of water for every 3g of creatine supplement used.

Are creatine supplements expensive?

Compared to other muscle building supplements on the market, creatine supplements are considered to be the best value for money.

Creatine monohydrate is thought of as the top creatine supplement as it is the purest of its kind available while remaining inexpensive.

Micronised creatine monohydrate is slightly more expensive than the standard powder form, but it is again great value for money due to its added benefit of being easier to dissolve.

Are creatine muscle supplements safe?

Yes, scientific studies have proven that the use of creatine muscle supplements is safe. Creatine muscle supplements simply provide a larger amount of creatine within our bodies in order to restore ATP stores during exercise or training. Creatine is already present within our bodies as a natural amino acid. There is no scientific evidence to prove that taking creatine supplements can have harmful side effects.

How long have creatine supplements been around?

Creatine phosphate itself was first discovered in skeletal muscle in 1832, but creatine supplements first hit the UK market in the 1980s. However, creatine supplements have become more popular since creatine monohydrate was introduced to the market in 1992. It has since become one of the most widely researched muscle supplements in sports nutrition history.

Where is creatine found naturally?

Creatine is located naturally in our bodies, where it exists as creatine phosphate. Around 95% of it is stored in our skeletal muscle and the remaining 5% in the heart, brain and testes.

We also naturally consume creatine through food sources, such as meat and fish. On average most people ingest 1g of creatine from food each day. 1lb of beef equals approximately 2g of creatine, whereas fish contains over 2g per pound.

Can using creatine supplement become harmful over a period of time?

There is no evidence to suggest that long term use of creatine supplement can become harmful. Recommended use states that you can load on up to 20-30g per day without harm. You can also continue creatine supplementation daily for as long as you wish depending on your fitness goals. There is no rule suggesting that you need to take a break or cycle off the supplement.

So what about the Creatine vs Creapure argument?

Creapure is simply a branded form of creatine monohydrate manufactured by Alzchem® in Germany. Creapure® is regarded as the purest and highest quality micronized creatine monohydrate available on the market today. Creapure® is totally free from impurities and is 99.99% pure, while other creatine monohydrate products are usually around 99.9% pure.

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