Whether you are new to lifting and exercise or are a seasoned athlete, the chances are you’ve heard about Creatine. Maybe you’re thinking of experimenting with it yourself. Afterall, it’s supposed to be able to boost your work capacity and muscle output – all of which naturally lead to good things for your athletic performance and physique.
But maybe you don’t know the whole picture of what supplementing with Creatine can do for you, how much dosage to take, and what some potential side effects are. Well, you’re in luck! I’m here to shine a bright light on all of these topics around the use of Creatine – let’s get started!
What is Creatine?
First up, something you should know is that Creatine is not a synthetic compound, nor a steroid as some might think. Instead, it is a naturally occurring amino acid, that is the building blocks of protein in the tissues of the muscles. Your body naturally produces creatine in your liver, pancreas, and kidneys. You can also obtain it from food sources, such as red meat and fish.
Why Take Creatine?
To understand the benefits of taking Creatine supplements, your first need to appreciate how creatine works in the body.
All cells – and that means all organs, muscle tissues, etc. – in your body are powered by adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Also commonly known as energy. So, when you're walking, you are using ATP. Squatting? ATP. Scrolling through social media – yes, that requires ATP too.
The bottom line is that your body can run out of ATP (i.e., energy) – particularly when intense, prolonged muscle use is involved (e.g., sprinting, lifting, or cycling at max effort).
This is where creatine comes in and saves the day. Creatine is stored in your muscles – as phosphocreatine – and your body can quickly make use of its phosphate group to boost new ATP energy molecules production.
Benefits of Creatine & Dosage
Now let’s talk about what you all are here for: how can creatine benefit you?
Research studies have shown that Creatine can boost muscle growth by pulling more water into the muscle initially and then long term from the increased work capacity allowed. Creatine has also been correlated with increase in strength from an increase of ATP production (energy increases). And lastly, studies have actually seen correlations between Creatine intake and brain function. Which makes sense, since our brain uses a large amount of ATP to function each day.
Now let’s talk about dosage – this is where a lot of individuals go wrong.
If ATP production depends on phosphocreatine availability, that must mean that the more, the better… Right? Not really. The truth is that you probably don’t need as much as you think you do.
That said, there are two schools for thought when it comes to creatine dosage:
- Creatine loading: The first believes that you should consume 20 grams of creatine per day to ‘load’ your muscles – then continue with 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day afterward.
- Equal dosage:The second believes that there is no need to creatine load. Just take 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day – and your creatine stores will be full in 3 to 4 weeks.
Are There Side Effects?
You may have heard that creatine is bad for your kidneys. This is likely due to confusion between creatine and creatinine, a metabolic byproduct. Multiple studies have found that creatine is perfectly safe with no negative changes in renal biomarkers, such as blood urea nitrogen and glomerular filtration rate. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that creatine had no negative impact on markers of kidney function. Long-term studies on athletes have also found that creatine does not cause any harm to the liver or kidneys.
In addition, you should always contact your doctor if you are interested in taking any new supplements if you have kidney disease, liver disease or diabetes.
If you are looking for the best Creatine product in the market, then look no further than Ten Performance’s Pro-Creatine. This powder is manufactured using the cleanest ingredients and is hand-filled to avoid using of flow agents. Buy Pro-Creatine now and enhance your performance levels.
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