Creatine is one of those supplements that we hear about all the time, but when you get right down to it, not many people know what it is, how it can help them and if there are any dangers that they might experience when taking it.
We would like to provide an in-depth look at creatine today. We would like to go over some of the basics with you so that you have a better understanding of what it is all about. And we would like to cover some of the advanced details so that you are fully informed about creatine and what it is, what it does and how it can help you.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at creatine and find out more about the wonderful benefits that it offers to athletes, bodybuilders and those looking to gain strength and muscle mass.
What Is Creatine?
This is the obvious question that everybody wants answered, so we might as well begin at the beginning.
Creatine is a substance that is formed in the human body and it is created from the amino acids arginine, methionine and glycine.
On average, the typical human body can store up to roughly 120 g of creatine. The human body stores this creatine as creatine phosphate. There are certain foods that also contain high amounts of creatine and they include salmon, herring and beef as the most common.
Here’s the problem with attempting to get creatine from food sources…
A person would literally need to eat pounds upon pounds of these foods in order to get the same amount of creatine that they can get in 1 teaspoon of creatine powder. So, as you can imagine, it makes a lot more sense to get your creatine in supplement form as opposed to forcing yourself to gobble down pounds of beef, salmon and herring day after day.
While you certainly aren’t going to mind eating your beef and fish on a daily basis, you do not need to do so to the point where it’s going to make you sick just to get the right amount of creatine in your body to build muscle mass. That’s a foolish way to look at things, so consider investing in a creatine supplement instead in order to get the most creatine for your time, effort and energy.
What Does Creatine Do for the Human Body?
Next, and probably most importantly, we are going to look at how creatine works in the human body and what it actually does for you.
For the most part, creatine is available and active in the human body because it helps us to generate energy. We store creatine in the human body so that we can call upon it when we need energy.
When our levels of creatine are depleted – otherwise known as ATP levels – then it would be in our best interest to replenish our stores through a supplement. Research shows us that ingesting creatine will help to increase the amount that we have, and this will lead to the greater generation of energy.
So, it only makes sense to take this supplement if you are looking to improve your performance in weightlifting and sporting activities. You’ll have more energy available to lift weights and this will help you get stronger and bigger and to attain the body that you desire.
But taking creatine as a bodybuilder is not the only option. Athletes like to take this supplement because it is a great way to get an added energy boost. This will help to provide you with a leg up on the competition, and some sports do not have any problem with athletes taking creatine as a way to give them an added edge.
This is not an illegal substance by any means, although some sports do frown upon it at this time. So keep in mind that your sport may not like the use of creatine, so you should find out more about it before you begin taking the supplement.
When Should I Begin Taking Creatine Supplements?
Ultimately this is for you to decide. Only you know when using creatine is the right choice.
But here’s the thing…
If you are lifting weights and hoping to get bigger and stronger quicker, then the sooner you begin taking creatine, the sooner you’ll have more energy to work out harder and longer.
So always keep that in mind, and seriously consider taking a creatine supplement when it’s going to help you achieve your goals and dreams.
Top 10 Creatine Supplements
Creatine is a powerful post-workout supplement your body uses to support muscle growth and the health of muscle tissue by promoting oxygen flow. Muscles recover more quickly from exertion when bodybuilders take this supplement as part of a regular workout diet. It’s best taken after a workout with food and water, preferably when muscles are hydrated. Creatine monohydrate is the best and simplest form and that’s what you should be looking for in a supplement.
Top Ten Tips
Don’t get excited at the price of some supplements; at least not until you see what you get for the money. There’s a big variety in price-to-volume ratios. Meanwhile, some products are capsules and others you add to food or drink.
Ten: Beast Sports Nutrition Creatine
You can pay anything from $25 to $50 for the distinctive blue canister containing 60 servings or order a large can with up to 360 servings in order to cut cost per volume. Beast Sports’ formula dissolves quickly in water and is purported to act quickly although you should allow about an hour or more in reality. Their ad says you can push your body to more extreme limits and bounce back with this blend of 4 types of creatine.
Nine: Arnold Iron Cre3 Creatine
You can purchase a 30-serving container in various flavors for around $40. There is Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, Fruit Punch, and others, but what about quality? Schwarzenegger’s formula uses ION-3 Nitrate Technology according to the ads, a system that helps you build muscle, absorb creatine quickly without loading, and should help you recover from your pumping routine rapidly. Actually, this sounds familiar: don’t most other brands say the same things? As long as it works that’s all that matters, and a silhouette of the old Arnie body from pre-Terminator days does wonders for goal setting.
Eight: EFX Kre-Alkalyn Creatine
This is a purple pill of which you receive 240 for about $50. EFX carries a variety of products but this one is a monohydrate without stimulants (caffeine, for instance) or additives. The company claims you will not experience bloating, something that often happens when customers consume caffeinated products.
Seven: Controlled Labs Green Magnitude
This one is also a drink powder which dissolves right away and supposedly tastes really good. There is no nasty after taste and no caffeine to dehydrate your muscles or cause bloating. Try one of their juicy flavors: Watermelon, Sour Green Apple, or Electric Lemonade; 80 servings for about $50.
Six: Universal Nutrition
Use this creatine supplement to increase your lean mass strength. Ratings from consumers and bodybuilders are positive. According to the experts, the best monohydrate creatine powders used to make American supplements come from German sources and this is among the products which contain the best stuff. Add a teaspoon to your favorite drink. A 1-kg container should set you back around $40.
Five: Transparent Labs Strength Series Creapure HMB
Enjoy effective muscle support within a drinkable format (or you can add it to a meal) without artificial sugar, dyes, or fillers. The company suggests adding their formula to juice, water, or protein. Transparent Labs says their formula is easily absorbed because of BioPerine which improves absorption, but monohydrate creatine usually isn’t difficult to absorb. Just allow some time post-workout to feel your body take a deep sigh of relief. A thirty-serving containers is priced around $40. Bodybuilders love this stuff.
Four: Promera Sports Con-Cret
The container for this product adopts an industrial motif to indicate this is hard-core stuff. You should expect to develop muscles as hard as concrete yet the flavors are far from gravely. Choose lemon lime, pineapple, snake fruit, watermelon, blue raspberry, fruit punch, or unflavored creatine powder in a 48-serving format (take 1 to 2 servings per 100 pounds) priced around $50.
Con-Cret contains pure creatine hydrochloride. Choose your serving size according to body weight. Consumers should notice they don’t have to load or cycle, they recover more quickly than before from physical stress, and they don’t experience any GI problems from their zero-calorie drink mix. In other words, it is the same story as almost all the rest of the best.
Three: Dynamatize Creatine
Priced roughly $15 for 300g, this is among the most affordable and least gimmicky of creatine products. It contains only the monohydrate version without flavoring to increase energy so you do not feel as tired after a tough workout as you would have done previously. Dynamatize comes in three sizes: 300g, 500g, and 1000g for those who really like the product or feel like sharing. Big guys will be taking more per serving too, so 1000g containers are more economical.
Two: Muscletech Creacore
You probably wondered where the “extra-strength” products were. There is always one and here it is: Muscletech Creacore Double-Strength Concentrated Creatine. They promise you will get twice the concentration of creatine over the leading brand. Actually, this is one of the leaders according to specialists and fenugreek extract is said to be part of the reason. Fenugreek promotes muscle growth as proven in scientific studies but can potentially cause you to smell strange if taken regularly. You will have to judge for yourself and also decide if results are worth the risk. Expect to experience big growth without the need to bulk up on carbs, better uptake, and each 293g (little more than half a pound) container holds 80 servings and comes in several flavors. There’s Sour Apple, Orange Fusion, Lemon Lime, and Blue Raspberry.
Number One: Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder
Each serving of Micronized Creatine Powder, made from monohydrate creatine, contains 5g of 99.9% pure Creapure (that German brand mentioned above). That is literally all you get: no calories or flavor. Why pay for additives when anyone can add their powder to a glass of milk with a banana? Use Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Powder to build a smoothie, pour it into a glass of juice, add it to soup, or sprinkle it into your oatmeal after a workout. It mixes quickly, gets great reviews, and is extremely affordable. You’re not paying for celebrity endorsements or fancy packaging here: just pure creatine.