Creatine Monohydrate

Introduction


Creatine is almost certainly the most effective, legally available, supplement of all time. It uses include speeding the production of muscle mass, and decreasing recovery time after high intensity training.

As a direct result of its’ popularity, creatine has a world of myth and misinformation surrounding it. This article aims to clear up some of this uncertainty, and to furnish you with the facts about creatine.

What is Creatine?Reflex Creatine Monohydrate


Creatine is a nitrogenous, naturally occurring, amino acid, that helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, but primarily to muscle. This is achieved by increasing the formation of adenosine triphosphate. Creatine is stored by the body, with the average person storing around 120g – 160g of creatine, of which around 1.5% is broken down every day.

Depleted stores of creatine can be replenished from the food you eat, although this is minimal and is estimated to equate to around 2g per lb of red meat. The remainder of the creatine required by the body is synthesized. Creatine is a non essential amino acid, meaning that it is produced locally by the body from L-Arginine, L-Methionine and Glycine.

A much more effective way of sourcing your required creatine is through effective supplementation. Supplementing your diet with creatine allows the body to maintain its creatine store, which in-turn provides you with more ‘energy’ for your training. Creatine is also an aid to protein synthesis, meaning that nutrients in the blood stream are delivered to the muscle cells more efficiently.

How should I take Creatine?


Most creatine products recommend that you work through a loading phase for the first 5-days of supplementation, and this is for good reason. Years of research have proven that the most effective way to increase the amount of creatine stored within muscles, is by using a 5-day loading phase. The loading phase ranges from taking 10g per day, divided into 2 doses, to 20g per day, divided into four doses. This is dependent on the particular creatine product that you are using. Exact advice can be found on the label.

Once the loading phase has been completed, the normal dose of creatine is 5g daily.

Which Creatine Product is Right for Me?


The supplements market is saturated with creatine products and choosing the right one for you, often by wading through hype and marketing talk, can be quite a task!

Creatine uptake is regulated by the amount of insulin in the bloodstream, and so any creatine product containing large amounts of glucose/dextrose, known to boost insulin levels, can be regarded as having an enhanced rate of absorption.

Creatine in its purest form is not broken down in the stomach, so any claims by supplement manufacturers that their product reduces the degradation of creatine in the stomach can immediately be dismissed as nonsense.

The purest form of creatine monohydrate available is manufactured by AlzChem AG, and is known as Creapure®. Creapure® is 99.99% pure creatine monohydrate and is the only creatine in the world to be consistently tested to ensure that it is free from impurities and by-products of the manufacturing process, such as:

The advantages of creatine supplementation apply across the board, from sprinters through to bodybuilders. The effects of creatine for those looking to improve their strength, power and lean mass are pronounced, and quickly become apparent once creatine supplementation has commenced.

Creatine monohydrate has been the subject of countless scientific studies, and has been proven time and time again to greatly improve power, strength and recovery time and increase lean mass. It is often said that there are no miracle supplements in the bodybuilding world, but creatine monohydrate is about as close as you can get. Especially since creatine is so cheap.

Does Creatine Cause any Side Effects?


There are lots of myths surrounding side effects that are allegedly caused by creatine supplementation. It has been rumoured to increase the risk of injury, cause dehydration and muscle cramping, but none of these allegations are true. The only well known ‘side effect’ of creatine has always been an increase in lean muscle mass. Any individuals exhibiting these side effects whilst supplementing with creatine are no more likely to have developed them than if they were not taking creatine at all.

It has previously been reported that long term supplementation of high quantities of creatine may increase the rate of production of formaldehyde in the body, potentially causing an array of undesirable effects. This risk is purely theoretical and is unsubstantiated in that even under continuously heavy creatine supplementation, urinary excretion of formaldehyde does not exceed what is considered normal.

What About Creatine and Water Retention?


Another fabled effect of creatine, is that the majority of the gains in muscle mass seen whilst supplementing with creatine, are mostly caused by water retention. It is true that creatine supplementation causes an increase in the total amount of water stored by the body, but research has shown this to be directly proportional to the overall weight gained (lean muscle mass). We already know that muscle consists of approximately 80% water so, for example, of a 5lb increase in muscle mass, 4lbs of which would be water.

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