Creatine – how effective is it for muscle building?

Creatine is not a steroid! Creatine  is made out of three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine.

Creatine is produced in the liver and is transported to the brain and muscles that have high energy demands, such as skeletal muscle.

The International Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) allow the usage of creatine, and it is widely used among professional athletes.

Creatine allows the body to produce more energy, and with more energy you can lift one or two more reps, or lift a few more kilograms.

It also hydrates the muscle cells, it holds more ions in muscle cells, and increases protein synthesis. In other words, it helps to increase muscle building efforts.

  1. Load with Creatine for 5 days
  2. Maintain 5g per day thereafter
  3. Take creatine after a workout, with a meal, or with high sugar drinks (juice / honey) to spike your insulin levels

Loading phase – loading creatine

To get the full benefit of creatine, you must saturate your muscle cells with it. Using a loading dosage of 15-25g per day for 5 days, one can quickly saturate the muscle cells in this time period. Then use a maintenance dosage (3-5g) for the remainder of their time taking creatine.

When is the best time to take creatine?

Reading the label is best, however, several articles claim that post-workout is best because your body absorbs nutrients better after a workout, it refuesl your body’s creatine phosphate stores,  Insulin helps drive more creatine into muscle cells, and when eating after a workout, insulin levels spike.

Does taking creatine before a workout provide more energy?

No, your muscles are already saturated and it takes a week to build up to this level. Taking creatine before a workout will have no direct effect.

Can I store it in liquid until I drink it?

No, you need to dissolve creatine and drink it right away. Creatine degrades over time in water into the waste product creatinine, which will simply be excreted.

What is the best way to take creatine?

As discussed above, taking creatine after a workout, with a meal, has been recommended. as insulin levels tend to increase when eating.

Creatine is absorbed better by spiking insulin levels. To spike insulin, your body needs to be running low on carbs, and then receive a sudden intake of sugars. Some examples of “good” sugary carbs to consume after a workout are honey and fruit juices. The spike created will increase protein synthesis.

How much sugar / juice should I drink with creatine?

Again, suggestion is drinking grape juice.

Juice loaded with sugars may not be suitable if your goals differ, but you should take 100g of juice for every 5g of creatine.

Research shows that you can take your creatine with protein for the same results. A new study reports that taking 5g of creatine with 50g of protein/47g of carbs produced the same results as taking 5g with 96g of carbs.

 

 

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