A French scientist first discovered creatine in 1832, but it was not until 1923 that scientists discovered that over 95% of creatine is stored in muscle tissue. The first published report of creatine having bodybuilding effects was The Journal of Biological Chemistry in, get this, 1926! Although we’ve known about creatine for quite some time, the first real use of it to enhance performance was the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.
So, what is creatine? Our bodies naturally make the compound, which is used to supply energy to our muscles. It is produced in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and is transported to the body’s muscles through the bloodstream. Once it reaches the muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles’ ultimate energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Creatine is 100% natural and occurs naturally in many foods; therefore, it can never be banned from any sports or international competitions (unless they banned eating meat)Many foods especially herring, salmon, tuna, and beef contain some creatine. However, the very best source of creatine by far is creatine monohydrate because it contains more creatine per weight of material than any other source.
Creatine is bodybuilding’s ultimate supplement, and for good reason. For one thing, creatine can significantly increase lean muscle mass in just two weeks. It is also responsible for improving performance in high-intensity exercise, increasing energy levels, and speeding up recovery rates. It’s no wonder athletes who use it have such of an edge over those who do not. Creatine’s ability to enhance energy reserves in muscles comes from its muscle protein synthesizing action, while minimizing protein breakdown. This occurs because creatine has the awesome effect of super-hydrating muscle cells with water. It enhances muscles’ growth too-making muscle fibers bigger and stronger.
Many studies have been done on creatine to figure out why and how it works so well. There have been over twenty double blind studies conducted on creatine in the past five years. They proved that creatine increased energy levels, resulting in increased strength, endurance levels, and recovery rates. Another unexpected benefit attributed to creatine was discovered as well: creatine accelerates fat loss, while building lean body mass!
How much should be taken? Are there any side effects? The best part about creatine - no adverse effects have been reported in any studies. NONE! Creatine is totally safe and effective. Creatine has never been shown harmfully toxic. Nevertheless, just like with anything, it is not recommended to over-supplement once your muscles are saturated with creatine-there is no reason to. This means, stick to the recommended dosages, drink plenty of water and be prepared to experience fantastic muscle, strength, energy, and endurance gains!
Excellent results have been observed in taking creatine monohydrate in two different ways. The first way is called loading. This method works very well for anyone who has never taken creatine before. Just as the name implies, it involves loading up or saturating your muscles with creatine. During the first four days to a week, take 20 to 30 grams per day. Mix it with non-acidic juice or water. Grape juice works well. After this loading period, take a regular intake of between five to fifteen grams per day to keep your muscles saturated (no need to over do it). The other method is a more gradual approach to supplementing with creatine monohydrate. Over the course of an extended period, one basically skips the loading phase and just supplements with five to fifteen grams per day, everyday. The best results have been noticed when creatine is combined with a high carbohydrate base, such as dextrose (glucose) and taken about one-half hour before training.
Creatine High Points: •Increase Muscle Hardness • Increase Protein Synthesis • Increases Muscle Strength • Enhances Recovery • Increases Muscle Cell Hydration • Enhances Immune System • Enhances Glycogen Stores