In order to continue seeing results in your training, you need to continue increasing the intensity of your workouts while maintaining a proper diet. A supplement regimen can greatly enhance your efforts, helping you reach and exceed your goals much faster. The supplement many active individuals are turning to these days to do just that is creatine, and we couldn't agree with them more.
Produced naturally within the body, creatine monohydrate is a chemical. Creatine is produced by the liver, kidneys and pancreas and then stored within the muscles of the body. If you're engaged in intense physical activity on a regular basis, you levels of creatine may decrease. Low creatine can also occur in those with muscular diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. You can supplement your body's natural creatine by consuming meat or fish and also through supplements, which we'll get to in a bit.
Now that you have a better understanding of what creatine is, let's talk about what it does. There are several reasons creatine has become a favorite supplement among bodybuilders and amateur athletes looking to get better results at the gym. Here are our top five:
1. Improved energy and stamina.
Creatine is needed to produce phosphocreatine, which is necessary for the production of adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP. ATP is considered energy for the muscles, promoting proper muscle contraction and relaxation. Making sure you have adequate creatine means being able to push your muscles further, longer and creatine has been shown to give the muscles an extra burst of energy before exhaustion. A 2012 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition confirmed these benefits.
2. Faster muscle recovery.
Creatine assists the muscles in functioning optimally in times of stress or strain, but it's equally as important in times of rest to allow the muscles to repair themselves. Faster muscle recovery means less soreness after training which gets you back to the gym faster.
3. Growth of lean, strong muscle mass.
These actions -- assisting the muscles during both exertion and at rest -- result in the growth of strong muscle mass for lean and toned physique. Creatine is commonly used by bodybuilders and athletes looking to push past their current threshold and get bigger, faster.
4. Improved concentration.
Users of creatine often report feeling more alert and focused and able to better concentrate on the task at hand, improving their mental performance as well as the physical. A study conducted in 2003 in Australia found daily supplement of creatine by both men and women did in fact improve brain function.
5. Boost testosterone.
In men who have low testosterone, creatine supplementation may boost levels of the male sex hormone, which can decrease with age. Low testosterone can result in symptoms like fatigue and loss of muscle mass and strength.
About Creatine Supplements
As previously mentioned, you can get creatine into your diet through the consumption of red meat and fish. However, it's not always easy to get the desired amount. Creatine supplements are available in powder and capsule form to help you get the benefits of creatine more easily.
The average recommended dosage is about 5 g (5,000 mg) per day. Creatine, depending on the supplement, can be taken throughout the day or before and/or after training. Most products suggest cycling, which means taking the creatine supplement daily for a set period of time and then taking the same amount of time off. The typical time interval is four weeks on and four weeks off.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn't use creatine supplements and neither should individuals with kidney or liver disease or diabetes. Creatine supplements may interact with caffeine or other stimulants as well as diuretics, acetaminophen and medications for diabetes management. The potential side effects of creatine, when taken in excess of the recommended dosage include headaches, fatigue, anxiety and digestive issues.
Creatine continues to be studied for its short and long-term benefits. Shop for creatine supplements and everything else you need to stay well and meet your fitness goals at eVitamins for big savings. We'll be back tomorrow.