Creatine is one of the most popular and proven performance enhancing products of all time. Creatine supplementation has been around for well over 20 years and has the most research supporting it’s benefits. However, there still is a lot of misinformation and confusion around this super supplement. So what is creatine? How does it work? And what are the benefits? Today we take an in-depth look at creatine.
What is creatine?
Creatine is an organic compound that is comprised of three amino acids – glycine, arginine and methionine. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting and intense exercise through the phosphagen energy system. During high intense exercise your body rapidly breaks down ATP (adenosine tri -phosphate) to release energy, which results in ADP (adenosine di-phosphate). For the body to continue to exercise at this intensity, creatine binds onto the ADP to reform ATP. This allows for a few extra seconds of high intense performance and delays fatigue.
How does creatine work?
Creatine is mostly stored in the muscles (about 95%), and is sourced by the body to help resynthesis ATP to prolong high intense activity. The amount of creatine produced by the body and sourced through food is quite low, which is why using a creatine supplement can be quite beneficial. Creatine supplementation does not result in an acute boost in performance but rather through chronic supplementation of creatine (if taken every day), individuals can maximise their creatine stores and improve their athletic performance and body composition.
What are the benefits of using creatine?
Creatine can help increase strength, power and muscle mass. Numerous studies have shown that creatine supplementation results in increased strength, faster sprint times, increased power output, and improved body composition. Because of it’s ability to help improve athletic performance, creatine is a popular supplement used by sports people and gym goers who are aiming to make gains. Also it must be noted that it is perfectly fine for both males and females to use.
How to use a Creatine supplement?
The most common protocol is to load with creatine monohydrate where you take 20 grams per day for 5–7 days, split into four 5-gram servings throughout the day.
Following this loading phase you then take 3–5 grams per day to maintain high levels within your muscles. As there is no benefit to cycling creatine, you can stick with this dosage while you are training.
The alternate is to bypass the loading phase and simply consume 3–5 grams per day. However, it may take 3–4 weeks to maximise your stores with this approach.
Is Creatine safe to use?
Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements available, and studies lasting up to four years reveled no negative side effects. There is also no evidence that creatine harms the liver and kidneys in healthy people who take normal doses (however those with pre-existing liver or kidney problems should consult with a doctor before using any supplement).
Although people associate creatine with dehydration and cramps, research does not support this link. In fact some studies suggest it can reduce cramps and dehydration during endurance exercise in high heat.
Scorpion Creatine Monohydrate supplies a high quality 200 mesh pure micronised creatine for maximal absorption and effectiveness. Try Scorpion Creatine Monohydrate today!