Creatine monohydrate is one of the most widely used nutritional supplements in the sports world. The supplement is particularly popular with strength athletes as creatine provides increased muscle mass and muscle strength.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a substance produced by the body. The body needs about 2 grams of creatine per day. Someone who eats meat and fish regularly gets 1 gram of creatine from food. The body produces the other half from the amino acids arginine, glycerol, and methionine.
For this, it is important that sufficient essential proteins are eaten and that the diet contains sufficient B vitamins. Otherwise, the conversion will not take place. About 95% of the creatine in our body is in the muscles in the form of creatine phosphate. This is approximately 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Vegetarians and vegans generally have less creatine because meat and fish are not eaten.
What does creatine do?
Creatine or creatine phosphate supplies the muscles with energy during short-peak performances, for example, during sprints or short explosive strength training. During these exertions, the muscles derive energy from the breakdown of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The stock of ATP in the body is low and just enough for a maximum effort of about 10 seconds. However, the body can replenish ATP through the use of creatine phosphate. As the creatine phosphate increases, the body can store ATP longer. Brief, intense efforts can then be sustained for longer.
Why Use Creatine Supplementation?
Athletes often take creatine supplements to increase the creatine in their bodies. Creatine monohydrate is the standard form in dietary supplements. To quickly recognize an effect, the guidelines of 20 grams of creatine per day or 0.3 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight per day are often followed. This is not only unhealthy but also unattainable. Supplement then offers a solution. The most commonly used form of creatine is creatine monohydrate. Creatine supplementation can increase the amount of creatine phosphate in the body by about 20%. In practice, lifters can only get 1-2 extra reps off their sets. They can give their muscles an increased growth stimulus that increases muscle mass and strength. Sprinters can also benefit from creatine. Only endurance athletes do not benefit from it. Only endurance athletes do not benefit from it.
How do I use creatine?
There are two ways to increase the amount of creatine in muscle cells. Both methods ultimately lead to the same result.
● Fast charging method
The fast-load method uses 20 grams of creatine daily for 4 to 6 days. This amount is divided into 4 servings of 5 grams to be taken with the 3 main meals and at bedtime.
The chemical formula of creatine
Because of this quick method, the creatine level increases rapidly. A disadvantage is that the weight can also increase. The charging phase is followed by a maintenance phase of 2 to 4 weeks. This requires 2-5 grams of creatine per day. In this way, the increased creatine content in the muscles is retained. Of course, since it makes a difference whether someone weighs 60 kg or 110 kg, the dosage can also be determined according to weight. In the loading phase, 0.3 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight is used daily. In the maintenance phase, 0.03 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight is recommended daily.
● Slow charging method
With the slow loading method, the creatine content in the muscles is built up in 30 days. About 0.05 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight is used daily. On average, this is 4 grams per day. This amount can B. be taken directly after training. The guideline for the maintenance phase is the same as for the fast-load phase, which is 0.03 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight.
Is Creatine Safe to Use?
So far, no negative effects of long-term creatine use are known. However, it is recommended not to use creatine for several weeks after 6 weeks of creatine supplementation. The reason is that there is a concern that supplementation will cause the body to lose its ability to produce and transport creatine on its own. Taking breaks ensures the body remembers to produce and transport creatine. It takes about 4 weeks for the creatine concentration in the muscle cells to return to the old level.
Does creatine work for everyone?
Optimum Nutrition Creatine increases muscle mass and muscle strength. However, the effects of creatine are not felt by everyone. About 20-30% of athletes don’t notice anything. This is because the body can only absorb a certain amount of creatine. When the maximum amount of creatine is already present in the muscles, the body stops absorbing creatine from supplements. It makes no sense to offer extra.
In practice, vegetarians and vegans respond well to creatine monohydrate. This group hardly gets any creatine from their diet because they don’t consume meat or fish. It doesn’t matter if you choose creatine capsules or creatine powder.
Cons of Creatine
Along with the positive effects of using creatine, there are also several disadvantages. Many athletes report that the amount of fluid in the body increases. This is particularly evident in the fast-charging phase. In this phase, the creatine dose is quite high. This is important for weight-class sports or bodybuilding. In addition, athletes report suffering from muscle tension and sometimes get muscle spasms when using creatine. However, researchers could not find any connection. If someone wants to use creatine for the first time, it is recommended to go for the slow-loading method. The body can then slowly get used to the new situation.
Which dietary supplements support sports?
In addition to sufficient sleep for a good recovery, a well-timed and varied diet is extremely important for an athlete. In addition, vitamin and mineral support may be desirable.
Athletes have an increased need for vitamins and minerals. A good multivitamin supports the body in all kinds of processes.
Magnesium is an important mineral for athletes. Athletes also have an increased need for magnesium. Magnesium supports energy levels and helps with fatigue. The mineral is also good for muscles and the ability to concentrate. We offer different forms of magnesium for every health goal.
Women have a higher iron requirement than men. Certainly, for sports with weight classes, endurance sports, and if the woman is a vegetarian, the mineral iron is a good supplement. When someone is low on meat, getting the recommended amount of iron from their diet is difficult.
Guarana is high in caffeine. Various studies have shown that caffeine has a positive effect on endurance performance. Vitaminesperpost.de contains various caffeinated food supplements such as energy formula and yerba mate. Whether caffeine and creatine work well together has yet to be determined. Various studies contradict each other.
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