Creatine has been recognised as a supplement that enhances the growth of quality muscles and can fuel your workouts. Its impressive results have led to many bodybuilders adding this supplement to their daily diets. But there are many myths surrounding this supplement, and those are the ones we want to bust through this article.
Is creatine suitable for anyone and everyone? Contrary to what many people popularly believe, creatine will provide benefits to not just men but women who engage in strenuous workouts as well. Because of the many myths that surround creatine, studies done around the world have revealed that this supplement has very few short-term side-effects. These are cramps, an upset stomach and dehydration, which is why health experts recommend that if you are taking creatine you increase your water intake.
Creatine is not a hormone, so don’t let that myth bother you anymore. Today creatine is sold in many advanced forms, mixed with other amino acids and sometimes even alone. But rest assured; creatine will live to the promises it makes for enhanced muscle growth and improved strength and endurance.
So what exactly will creatine do for a person who engages in weight training exercises or endurance sports?
- Creatine Enhances Athletic Performance
Creatine will greatly enhance your body’s ability to perform any high intensity workout. Whether this is a sport or weightlifting at the gym, the 11b muscle fibers in creatine will instantly get to work on the muscles and make sure they don’t get fatigued easily. The muscular contractions of muscle fibres is improved, and an athlete will be able to pump more weights, sets and reps to each exercise and be able to work out for a longer duration of time.
- Creatine Speeds Up Recovery
While creatine has several pre-workout benefits, it is not without post-workout benefits either. Santos and Colleagues studied creatine in 2004 and found out in their study that creatine reduces muscle cell damage and improves endurance levels significantly. It also reduces muscle soreness and promotes a more complete recovery from extensive workouts.
- Creatine Improves Anaerobic Capacity
It has been noted that creatine will improve muscle volume and performance. A study done by Ziegenfuss and his fellow researchers found out that in just three days, creatine will result in increased muscle volume and athletic performance.
- Creatine Will Increase Muscle Mass
The volumising effect that creatine has on muscles is well appreciated in the bodybuilding community. What creatine essentially does is inflates the muscle cells which immediately appear more pumped up. This is not just for aesthetical appeal, but it also helps in better protein synthesis.
- Creatine Enhances Methylation
As creatine assists in production of more energy which results in improved performance and muscle gain, it gives an anabolic boost through systematic methlation. This reduces the drain on kidney and liver, because it draws heaving from the S-Adenosyl Methionine or SAM reserves and improves their function to synthesise creatine from all amino acids.
- Creatine Also mproves brain function
Known widely as a supplement, that improves muscle mass and muscle gain, creatine is also known for treating neurodegenerative, muscular and vascular disorders. It works as a neuro protectant, which increases the functioning of nerve cells in the body and improves the overall brain function. This was proved by researchers Wyss and Schulze and their finding were published in the world renowned Neuroscience Journal.
- Creatine Also Improves Bone Healing
Injuries are a part of extensive workouts. And while most athletes suffer from muscular/ ligament injuries they also have their fair share of bone injuries and fractures. Researchers at Institute of Cell Biology, Switzerland have found that creatine has healed bone fractures faster and even has the ability to cure osteoporosis. Since cell energy is vital for bone regeneration and repair, creatine is of importance as it enhances the cellular energy production naturally.
- Creatine Affects Glucose Tolerance
In athletes, one of the biggest issues comes because of insulin insensitivity, especially for those who are obese and have high levels of blood sugar. It has been noted the creatine supplements can increase the glut-4 or glucose transporter that transports glycogen to muscles and improves the overall glucose tolerance.
- Creatine Can Reduce Age-Related Muscle Loss
As we age, the muscles in the body break down and the anabolic hormones in the body resulting in muscle development are also reduced. One such hormone is testosterone, which is a growth hormone that plays a vital role in muscle development. Intake of creatine will result in a better anabolic performance and will not only reduce muscle wasting, but when combined with isometric exercises creatine supplementation can result in muscle development even in old age.
- Creatine Improves Muscle Mass In Vegetarians
Creatine greatly helps to build more muscle mass and improve athletic performance. Meat packs a lot of creatine naturally, and since vegetarians don’t eat meat, they miss out on the advantages of creatine unless they add this to their diet in the form of supplements. Vegetarians notice more lean muscle mass gain, better performance for workouts and better endurance levels when they take creatine regularly.
Who Should Take Creatine Supplements?
Creatine supplements are good for you if:
- You exercise five times a week.
- Lift weights and want to gain muscle mass.
- Are older and suffer from muscle wasting.
- Have neurodegenerative diseases.
- Don’t eat meat and need creatine supplements.
What Forms Of Creatine Are Best?
With so many kinds of supplements in the market that offer you creatine, it can be a daunting process to choose the right ones. After all, if it says ‘creatine’ as one of the ingredients, is it worth your money?
We tell you the five forms of creatine are best for you.
1. Creatine Monohydrate – 88 per cent pure creatine in this supplement makes it the best choice. It is also the most commonly found creatine supplement and still is the No 1 in the world market.
2. Micronised Creatine – This is creatine monohydrate that has been broken down to smaller molecules for a faster absorption rate. It reduces the bloating effect that may see in creatine monohydrate and is more effectively utilised by the body.
3. Creatine Phosphate – Though creatine always needs to bind with phosphates to be effective, it isn’t always best to take creatine phosphate. It has only 62.3 per cent pure creatine, as opposed to the 88 per cent offered by monohydrate. Yet, it might be a good choice for you if you feel the bloat from monohydrate, even though this one is more expensive.
4. Creatine Citrate – This is regular creatine that is bonded with special cells for better absorption rate. It mixes well and has 400mg of active creatine in every gram.
5. Creatine Ethyl Ester – The future of creatine, these are absorbed 10 times faster into the body because of increased solubility.