One of the most important sports qualities is the duration of working capacity, i.e., work hard and long. In bodybuilding, this kind of property can be described as the additional performance of one or two repetitions in a working set, namely, this is one of the incentives for muscle hypertrophy. This exact property can be reached by using creatine. More about that below!
What is it
About 95% of the creatine reserves in the human body are stored in the muscles and this is no accident, because during an intense load we need not only a lot of ATP as a source of energy, but also for this energy to be delivered very quickly to the place of its use. Creatine, stored in the form of creatine phosphate, is an urgent source of replenishment of spent energy.
The history of it goes back over 180 years and was discovered in 1832 by the French organic chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul and today this supplement is one of the most studied (about 200 studies annually) with proven effectiveness. This kind of supplements became famous after the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, when it became known about the use of this substance by the winner of the 100-meter race Linford Christie and Sally Gannell.
The most common form of this supplementation is creatine monohydrate, and hundreds of studies confirm its effectiveness.
During the time that reviewed supplement is used in various sports, different schemes for its use have been proposed.
At first, the method of loading creatine at 20–25 grams per day, distributed in several stages during the first 7 days, followed by a transition to a maintenance dose of 3-5 grams per day, was popular. This method really allows you to quickly accumulate the substance in the muscles, but according to studies, taking a moderate dose of 3 grams per day also fills creatine phosphate stores, but only in 3-4 weeks. By the way, a large load of doses of 20-25 grams per day can irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
According to scientists (quote), the recommendations for taking creatine with carbohydrates, or carbohydrates and proteins, seem to increase muscle absorption of creatine, although the overall effect on performance is likely to not be higher than what is observed when using creatine monohydrate alone.
Creatine and Health
Now about how taking creatine monohydrate supplements affects your health. What will science tell us? ⠀
Side effects with prolonged use. Taking supplements up to 30 g / day for 5 years did not have any harmful effects on human health.
Susceptibility to this supplement. It can be different and is explained by the fact that there are people whose creatine depots are full, and this is about 30%, according to scientists. They will receive a less significant increase in productivity.
Obviously, if the main supplier of it to the human body is meat and fish, then vegetarians/vegans involved in strength training should compensate for the lack of creatine from dietary supplements.
Creatine and the brain. Researchers believe that elevated levels of this supplement increase brain activity and accelerated ATP resynthesis is especially important for various stresses – lack of sleep, hypoxia, and fatigue. In short, neurons should always have enough ATP, and this supplement guarantees this.
Creatine and kidneys. Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine and creatine phosphate that forms in the muscles. It is excreted from the body by the kidneys. So, a change in the big side of such a biomarker as the level of creatinine in the blood can really indicate the incorrect functioning of the kidneys, BUT according to this indicator, it is evaluated under normal conditions – when you are not taking the supplement.
If the body receives additional doses of this supplement from the outside, then the level of creatinine cannot but increase, but it does not have negative effects from taking creatine in healthy people.
Additionally, see our material about the pre-workout complex. Find out whether it is working, and whether it is harmful.
What is more, why not read about whey mass gainer work? Is it safe?