Creatine is a compound involved in the production of energy in the form of ATP. Roughly 95% of the body’s creatine ends up being stored in skeletal muscle and the rest is found in the brain, heart, and testes. Once it’s used, creatine is converted to a waste product called creatinine and excreted in the urine. Creatine supplements like hgh-x2 are extremely popular amongst bodybuilders and other weight trainees looking to improve their performance in the gym and achieve better results.
Creatine is a great way to increase your strength, muscle mass, and athletic performance amongst other things. If your diet, training, and rest are already perfect, creatine could be exactly what you need to reach your goals faster. Small quantities of creatine can actually be found in red meats, however, during the cooking process, most of the creatine is lost. Creatine is also produced naturally in the body from three amino acids that are naturally found in animal protein (L-arginine, L-glycine, and L-methionine).
There are several forms of creatine available, the most popular are Creatine Ethyl Ester, Creatine Monohydrate, and Creapure Creatine.
Creatine Ethel Ester-
Creatine Ethel Ester (also known as CEE) is a derivative of the supplement creatine used to aid athletic performance and increase muscle mass (amongst other things). Creatine Ethel Ester is usually available in capsules and powder form. Some people believe Creatine Ethyl Ester is superior to Creatine Monohydrate, saying it has a better half-life and absorption rate, however, this has not actually been proven and could be nothing more than marketing schemes. Studies have shown that some of the creatine in the form of ethel ester may turn into creatinine, in fact, 50% of it can turn to creatinine at the point of absorption. Creatine Ethel Ester claims a lot of great things, however, it is arguable that these claims can not be verified.
You should aim for 5g of CEE a day in 2.5g doses, on a day you are training you should take 2.5g around 30 minutes before your workout and 2.5g again after your workout, on nontraining days take 2.5g twice throughout the day at regular intervals i.e. first thing on a morning and 8 hours later. There is no need to cycle Creatine Ethyl Ester unless told to do so on the instruction of the particular brand you are taking. There is no need for a loading phase with CEE.
It is a common misconception that Creatine Monohydrate needs to be taken straight before a workout for you to reap the benefits, this is not at all true, creatine does not have an instant effect on the body, it needs time to raise the creatine levels in your body, these will go back down shortly after you stop taking creatine. If Creatine Monohydrate is not dissolved fully before consuming, you will not absorb it properly, it will not be used and will go straight through you, maybe even causing stomach discomfort on the way. This is why is it important to make sure your Creatine Monohydrate is fully dissolved before consumption. This is why many people think that creatine does nothing for them, they simply add creatine to their cold post-workout shake not allowing it to dissolve, the correct way to do this is to add your Creatine Monohydrate to warm water, this allows the creatine to dissolve much quicker and more efficiently.
You should be consuming up to 5g of Creatine Monohydrate a day, although Creatine Monohydrate can be consumed at any point during the day it is most beneficial to take straight after a workout, on nontraining days try to consume your Creatine Monohydrate first thing on a morning, although if these times are not suitable for you, any other time will still be helpful. if you weigh more than 220lb you may want to up your dose from 5g to 10g daily.
Creapure Creatine is a micronized version of Creatine Monohydrate. What gives Creapure Creatine an advantage over standard Creatine Monohydrate is how quickly it dissolves, if you compared standard Creatine Monohydrate and Creapure Creatine you would find creature dissolves much faster and more efficiently, the output of this allows your body to use and absorb more creatine as opposed to just passing it through your body. Apart from that the same rules for standard Creatine Monohydrate apply to Creapure Creatine, taking 5g daily for most people or 10g daily if you weigh more than 220lb.
Possible side effects of creatine?
Creatine really is a safe supplement, some people claim that creatine can cause all sorts of major problems such as kidney failure amongst other things, however, this is not at all true, these are the kind of rumors that fly around the internet, there are no studies at all to support any dangerous side effects of creatine. However at worst some people may suffer from the following, although if you dissolve the creatine properly before consuming it you should find you get no side effects, make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day though.
-Loss of appetite
Should you cycle creatine?
Although there is nothing wrong with cycling creatine, it is not actually necessary, however, if you cycle creatine it takes around 30 days for the creatine levels to return back to normal, you could cycle 30 days on 30 days off, 60 days on 30 days off, etc.. but if you are cycling creatine it does take 30 days to return back to normal creatine levels, however, there is no need to actually cycle creatine.
Creatine supplements advise taking 4 servings for the first 5 days before sticking to maintenance levels, taking one serving a day (5g for most people). However is the loading phase necessary? No, it was originally thought you needed to load in order to raise the tissue levels of creatine, more recent studies have shown that you will reach the same tissue levels if you simply take the maintenance dose. So loading creatine can cause tissue levels to be raised quicker, but taking only one serving a day will do the same thing, it will just take slightly longer to do so. Supplement companies still promote a loading phase because it causes you to run out of your creatine supplement much faster and therefore making you buy more, meaning more money for them!. My advice would be to take the maintenance dose of 3-5g a day as you will still receive all the benefits and your creatine supplement will last longer.
Is creatine stable?
Creatine should be consumed reasonably fast after mixing, the longer you leave your creatine mixed in water, the more time it has to convert to creatinine. To prevent this, simply mix your creatine supplement a few minutes before consuming.
Does creatine cause stomach bloat?
Creatine is a safe product with a chance of mild side effects at most, as mentioned earlier if creatine is not dissolved properly it does not get absorbed, this is because water is drawn into the stomach (where the creatine is) to help dissolve it properly, or even just to push the creatine out of your body, this will only happen if the creatine has not dissolved.
How does creatine actually make the muscle grow?
For starters, creatine helps you push out those extra few reps which break your muscles down that little bit more resulting in them rebuilding bigger and stronger than before. As most people know, taking creatine causes your muscles to hold more water throughout the duration of the time you are consuming it, but how does this help? when your muscles retain extra water due to creatine intake the cells within your muscles are “volumized” or “super-hydrated” this helps by increasing the protein synthesis within the cells resulting in greater muscle growth.
Is creatine suitable for young people?
People are always asking me ‘I’m a teenager, is it safe for me to use creatine?’ and the answer is yes, as mentioned earlier, creatine is a safe supplement to take, we already consume creatine through red meats, however, if you are still unsure about taking creatine, start off with very low doses 1-3g before eventually upping the dose to 5g. If you are much younger than 15-16 I would not advise taking creatine, this is not because it isn’t safe, but because there really is no need for you to be taking many supplements just yet.
Does creatine have benefits for women?
Creatine can actually be especially helpful for female athletes, this is because as a whole, women generally have a much harder time increasing muscle strength and muscle mass, creatine could be exactly what you need to reach your goals faster.
Will taking Creatine Monohydrate even when I am not training help me?
As mentioned earlier creatine levels within the body take time to raise to a beneficial level, taking Creatine Monohydrate is not a ‘quick boost’ of creatine, you must be taking creatine every day to increase creatine levels and be able to reap the benefits.
So how long does it take before I see results from taking creatine?
Although this varies with each individual depending on how good their nutrition training and rest are, it generally takes a couple of weeks for creatine levels to be at their highest, this is when you should notice the biggest difference, specifically in performance and strength. However, if you want to raise the creatine levels within your body even faster, then consider the loading phase, taking 5g of creatine 4 times a day for the first 5 days.