Is Creatine Safe? Should I Try It?
Written by Shannon Clark Tuesday, 11 January 2011 22:13
If you're interested in building more lean muscle mass and making the most out of your workout program, there's a very good chance that you've become interested in what all creatine has to offer. Creatine is currently one of the more popular muscle building supplements on the market and is used regularly by both those who are striving to build more lean muscle tissue as well as those who are looking to lean down and further define their body.
But, is creatine for you?
That's the question. If you are serious about your training you're also likely serious about your diet and supplementation so finding out the need to know information about what this particular supplement is all about will help you make the right decision.
Let's go over a few of the key factors that you must know about.
The Benefits Creatine Provides
The very first thing that you'll want to become familiar with is all the benefits that using creatine will provide you. Many people don't properly understand what creatine does in the body and think that just by using it, they will build muscle faster.
While creatine does help you build muscle, it isn't some magical ingredient where if you take it, you'll automatically grow.
The way creatine works is by saturating a molecule in the body known as creatine phosphate. This creatine phosphate is necessary to be formed into a high energy compound known as ATP. It's this ATP then that fuels your muscle tissues as you go about performing your workout session.
When the ATP runs out, that's when fatigue hits and your intensity drops way down.
So essentially, what creatine is going to do is make sure that you can work as hard as possible for as long as possible as you go about your workout session. It's through this increased work load that you will see greater gains in muscle size and strength.
Creatine alone won't produce it – your hard work that's made possible with creatine will.
The Potential Side Effects Experienced
So what side effects might you see when using creatine? Overall creatine proves to be a relatively safe supplement for most people to use and many report virtually no side effects from it. The one side effect that you may begin to experience however is some water retention as it will cause the body to store excess water.
This is often illustrated when you first gain a good 2-5 pounds when starting it – something some people often mistake to be newfound muscle mass.
If you maintain a high intake of water over the first week of using it though, this water weight and any bloating that's come on with it should subside and you won't have to deal with that any longer.
The second side effect that may be seen at times is a small amount of muscle cramping. This is usually moderate though and nothing that's going to stop you from your workout sessions. Most people don't even experience it at all, but do realize that you may and will have to deal with it.
The Proper Creatine Usage Strategy
So if you've decided that you do in fact want to use creatine, what's the best way to go about using it? What you'll want to do is start with a loading phase where you take five grams per dose, four times per day. Make sure one of those doses is coming around the workout period for best results.
Then after those initial five days are up, you'll move into a maintenance phase where you take 5 grams per day thereafter. This five grams should be taken either before or after your workout session along with a fast acting source of carbohydrates. Many people will use juice with their creatine but dextrose, malto-dextrin, or waxy maize works great as well.
So there you have all the need to know information about creatine. When you use it properly and understand how it's going to help you progress then you can definitely see good results from it.
Those who just think taking it without putting in any extra effort will deliver faster gains though will be heavily disappointed. Creatine is simply going to aid your efforts and help you realize better success when that program is already in place.
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