Creatine was discovered in 1832 and named after the Greek word Kreas, meaning flesh.
Creatine is a naturally occurring organic acid in the body. It supplies energy to muscle cells for anaerobic activity, or short bursts of energy. Such as weight lifting and sprinting. It is also used to treat muscular, neuromuscular and neuro-degenerative diseases.
Creatine fills the muscle cells with water. This gives the body energy to perform work like weight lifting harder and longer. With the added strength it enables you to max out your muscles more effectively and gain more muscle mass, as a result.
Benefits of Creatine:
-Aids muscular growth
-Improves brain function
-Reduces recovery time
When used properly and in cycles, creatine is relatively safe. However certain side effects have been documented:
-Increased risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) due to increased water retention
-It is said to be a myth but many people experience bloating and feeling “watery” when they are using creatine.
Creatine is supplied by half our own bodies and half by fish and meat. Vegetarians have lower levels of creatine but when they take creatine as a supplement, their levels are actually higher than in meat eaters. The main reason meat eaters just don’t eat more meat is because a lot of the creatine is actually destroyed in the cooking process. Meat is also high is saturated fat and cholesterol. Adding more to the diet would work against their fitness goals.
Creatine should be used in 3 cycles called loading, maintenance and rest.
Week 1-Loading: During the loading phase you want to boost the concentration of creatine in your muscles by taking approximately 20g/day in 4-5 servings.
Week 2-4-Maintenance: During the maintenance cycle you will want to keep the creatine in your muscles by taking approximately 5-10g/day in 2-3 servings.
Week 5-8-Rest: No creatine
Creatine works best with simple carbs, such as fruit juice. So when you take your creatine, mix the powder with grape juice or a similar type of juice that rates high in the glycemic index (GI) chart.
Before taking any supplement talk to your doctor and read labels very carefully. Instructions and dosage can differ from brand to brand. Be careful about anything new that you put in to your body. Always do your research by reading health articles from trusted sources and by asking people who have successfully cycled creatine themselves.