Muscle Mass Magic: CREATINE 101
Probably the most scrutinized and studied supplement of the modern era has to be without a doubt Creatine.
When you take a look at the supplement industry, consumers are presented with new products all the time. There are also some tried-and-true products that have been in people’s protocols for some time now. With each new product come new questions surrounding the legitimacy of its claims, its effectiveness and also its safety.
Creatine has been studied in the long term, short term and even intermittently with each study claiming Creatine to be safe and effective for muscle growth, energy and repair. Yet, the debate rages on.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic amino acid that occurs naturally and helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscles, by increasing the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Made in the liver, approximately 95% of the body’s Creatine ends up being stored in skeletal muscles
approximately 95% of the body’s Creatine ends up being stored in skeletal muscles
and the remaining 5% is found in the brain, heart and testes. Once it’s used, Creatine is converted to a waste product called creatinine and excreted in urine.
When Was Creatine Discovered?
Creatine was identified in 1832 when Michel Eugène Chevreul discovered it as a component of skeletal muscle, which he later named creatine after the Greek word for meat, kreas. Since then, it has fascinated scientists and muscle fans alike with its significant ability to enhance skeletal muscle metabolism.
Where Does Creatine Come From?
Creatine is primarily produced from the liver at a rate of approximately 2 grams/day. This is the body’s contribution to skeletal muscle metabolism, but this number can be greatly affected by a number of factors. Since Creatine is found in skeletal muscle, the food we eat (meats) can give us another significant dose.
Foods such as red meat and lean cuts of pork can give you additional 2-3 grams of Creatine in one serving.
Foods such as red meat and lean cuts of pork can give you additional 2-3 grams of Creatine in one serving. On top of that, choosing to supplement with a good Creatine product like ALLMAX Creatine Monohydrate can take your Creatine concentration levels up as high as you want.
The Different Forms of Creatine
Creatine Monohydrate was the first and most publicized form of Creatine. More studies have been done on this than any other Creatine product currently available, dating back to the early 80s. The other forms of Creatine that exist include:
- Creatine Citrate
- Creatine Phosphate
- Creatine Malate
- Creatine Esters
Each has specific binding properties to additional molecules and also different effects on skeletal muscle. Which one is best to use? Well, not everyone responds the same to Creatine, so trying each one would probably make sense to see which one works the best.
Who Should use Creatine?
Without a doubt, bodybuilders should have Creatine in their supplement regimes. There are far too many positive reasons to consume Creatine to ignore it. Also, hard-trainingathletes who put their time in the gym as well as on the field or in the arena should use Creatine to help with their performance.
athletes who put their time in the gym as well as on the field or in the arena
Those just starting out probably don’t need it right away, as I see some real benefit to training using food as your only source of energy in the beginning phases, but once you have established a solid foundation by all means give Creatine a try to see how you respond. Like I’ve already stated, there is no need to be concerned about its safety, so why not?
How Do You Use Creatine?
There is a lot of evidence supporting the idea of a loading phase. A loading phase would consist of ingesting Creatine between 10 grams/day to 20 grams/day for the initial 5-7 days of use.
ingesting Creatine between 10 grams/day to 20 grams/day for the initial 5-7 days of use.
This has shown to significantly increase the amount of Creatine that skeletal muscle is able to maintain and hold on to. Once the loading phase is done, a maintenance schedule of about 5 grams/day should be followed to keep Creatine concentration levels high within the muscle.
In university, I was fortunate enough to be involved in a Creatine study that looked at how much Creatine the muscle is able to hold, using a loading phase and a non-loading phase (basically just using 5 grams/day right from the start) and how much was excreted through our urine and if using too much was just not efficient and was actually a waste of Creatine.
The findings concluded that loading did have a significant effect on muscle Creatine concentration levels. Creatine should be loaded initially to load the muscles with the maximum amount of Creatine into the muscle, then reduce the intake to 5 grams/day to maintain for a total of 6 weeks and 2 weeks of a washout period where you take no Creatine.
The rationale behind this is that the body naturally maintains a state of homeostasis,
The rationale behind this is that the body naturally maintains a state of homeostasis, thus when additional Creatine is added the rate at which the body takes up and stores Creatine declines over time. This is why the greatest gains are typically made at the early part of the loading phase. Using the 2 week washout period allows the body to return to a baseline state where increased gains can be made during the subsequent load and maintain phase.
Pros and Cons of Using Creatine
Trainers using Creatine can expect many things to happen. You can expect to feel more energy in your muscles for prolonged training purposes. You will also feel full, meaning your muscles will have a pumped- up feel to them even when you haven’t trained. You can expect to experience an increase in strength and also an increase in endurance.
You will notice weight gain from the additional water you will be holding in your muscles, which is a good thing,and also from the muscle you will put on.
Finally, you will notice your recovery times are quicker, so you can hit the muscle more often.
As far as the negatives associated with Creatine use, some have reported stomach upset, cramping and bloating but no significant findings have been documented for any short-term Creatine use and I believe any adverse reaction to using Creatine probably comes from not being properly hydrated. Keep drinking water throughout the day and I doubt you’ll notice anything that would turn you off from using this supplement.
Choosing the Right Creatine
If you do choose to use Creatine, you want to make sure you are using a product that has only the purest pharmaceutical grade Creatine in it. For that reason, you should be looking at any of the Creatine products made by ALLMAX Nutrition, specifically speaking the Creatine Monohydrate, Creatine Krush, or C:VOL. And, for an extra kick in your Creatine supplementation, I think it’s very worth while taking a look at QUICKMASS.
It contains a unique patent-pending proprietary blend of Creatine called NP5 Technology, which includes creatine ethyl ester Malate, insulinogenic agents and enzymes that allow the body to utilize calories more efficiently, triggering faster gains in lean body mass. To get big, you have to eat big, and consume as many muscle-building calories as possible. With 1010 calories per serving, glutamine and creatine, you can’t go without QUICKMASS if you are really serious about your gains.
Plain and simple, if you want to see noticeable gains in size, strength and performance you need Creatine. It’s safe, highly effective and has a ton of research to back up its claims. Take a look at QUICKMASS as it has everything in it you need to get huge. Train hard, use the aforementioned products and prepare yourself for gains you’ve never experienced before.
What are you waiting for?
- Balsom PD, Soderlund K, Ekblom B; “Creatine in Humans with special reference to creatine supplementation”; Journal of Sports Medicine; October 1994; volume 4; pgs 268-280.
- Bemben MG, Lamont HS; “Creatine supplementation and exercise performance: recent findings”; Journal of Sports Medicince; 2005; volume 35; issue 2; pgs 107-125.
- Terjung RL, Clarkson P, Eichner ER, Greenhaff PL, Hespel PJ, Israel RG, Kraemer WJ, Meyer RA, Spriet LL, Tarnopolsky MA, Wagenmakers AJ, Williams MH; “American College of Sports Medicine roundtable. The physiological and health effects of oral creatine supplementation”; Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Mar;32(3):706-17.