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What is Creatine?

What is Creatine?

What is Creatine and should I take this supplement?

Firstly I want to say that Creatine is not a magic pill, it is not a drug. With that in mind it will not make you lose weight rapidly, it will not replace a good training program and diet and it will not result in MASSIVE gains of lean muscle. So what is creatine and what will it do for me? I hear you ask.

I will explain what Creatine is using finance as an example…

Our currency of energy within our body is called Adenosine Tri Phosphate (ATP). This currency lives in our bodies banks, termed Mitochondria.

When our bank lends energy to the body it loses money. It goes from a well stocked ATP to a less stocked Adenosine Di Phosphate (ADP). Its like going from pounds to pennies. Pennies are ok, but we go further with pounds! Our ATP loses a Phosphate molecule in this process meaning it has to borrow one from elsewhere to continue financing in pounds, not pence.

Along comes a lender called Creatine Phosphate (CP). They are able to lend the bank a Phosphate molecule.

The bank needs this loan to continue lending its energy currency. It accepts the loan and just like magic the stocks improve due to this phosphate molecule, moving back up a level from ADP to ATP. They have now gone from pennies to pounds.

The mitochondrial bank of ATP is now in a position to lend again, and on goes the borrowing and lending process continuing the cycle.

However the cycle can only continue until CP runs out of stock and can no longer lend. The body then cries out for energy, which obviously it will not get until CP has restocked.

Taking Creatine will increase stock in the CP system. This means it can lend more, thus providing the body with more energy!

So there we have it, a concise guide to energy systems! I probably could have saved text and just said taking Creatine gives you more energy, oh well. If I have confused you even more, that’s finance for you. It is important to note that this energy system is a short term energy system; you may have come across the term anaerobic before.

What are the benefits of Creatine?

Firstly if your diet is poor and you are not training adequately (think cheating the weights up instead of lifting them) you are wasting your time going for Creatine. You may as well use the shake weight or tug toner in your training routine. If you haven’t sorted the essentials out first then there is little benefit in spending money on a supplement like this.

Creatine has been shown in various journals and studies to help with the following:

  • Increases strength at a greater percentage than non Creatine users.
  • Increase lean mass (muscle)

There are other benefits but I’m assuming you are not reading this to find out how creatine may influence brain function.

Is Creatine safe?

I first supplemented with Creatine when I was 14/15. I took my chances due to my competitive streak.  I couldn’t tell you the brand but it was cheap. Cheap does not necessarily mean good. For example that cheap multi vitamin you got? The one with zinc oxide? Thats barely absorbed by the body. So cheap doesn’t always work out. However in the case of creatine it just isn’t expensive. Plain, simple creatine monohydrate is all you need. Forget the over hyper super transportable pump promoting creatine ethyl esters. There crap. Creatine Monohydrate is research proven.

The reality is Creatine has had a lot of research done it. There are lots of research papers in journals and also dissertations held by many universities up and down the country.  It probably has more research done on it than aspirin. Look at the side effects of many pills and potions stocked at your chemists and you will realise they are far worse than Creatine. I’ve not heard any negative side effects of creatine other than improved performance. (Caution if taking close to a weigh in….it can cause a weight spike, I guess that would be considered a negative).

What sports or activities is Creatine best for?

If you are training short duration, high intensity sports or activities – power-lifting, sprinting, or other activities with an explosive power or strength demand (body-building also) it will help you. If you are running a marathon it won’t be all that great.

How much creatine should I take?

You can take around 5g a day or you can choose to load 4 x 5g a day for 5 days, then maintain at 5g a day. It doesnt really matter, you will still reach peak saturation either way….one just takes a tiny bit longer. I think a highly personalised research based dose from memory is 0.03g/kg body weight. Obviously the supplement goes a lot further without the optional loading phase – so that may sway your decision.

Where can I buy Creatine from?

Creatine supplement

Buy creatine here

So you can get it from myprotein. The image above will take you straight to the site....it costs a few pounds and is way more cost effective than a lot of the supplements that promise gains and fail to deliver.

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Steve Bridgeman Personal Training
Phone: 07730609165
Location: Gym and Tonic, Bredon, Tewkesbury
Website: www.sb-pt.co.uk
Email: steve@sb-pt.co.uk

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