Creatine Monohydrate is a naturally occurring acid found primarily in red meat, particularly beef, and fish. However although we can obtain it from our natural food sources, to see performance enhancing benefits we must consume it in larger dosages which is why Creatine is such a popular and effective supplement amongst athletes, bodybuilders and other sports men and women. Creatine is made from a combination of three amino acids: arginine, glycine and methionine and is therefore nitrogenous. It’s important to maintain a positive nitrogen balance to promote muscle growth and development through regular protein sources which can then be broken down into the essential amino acids needed for repair, recovery and growth.
How does Creatine work?
Using Creatine Monohydrate as a supplement source has been shown to significantly increase the concentration of creatine in skeletal muscle where it is stored as creatine phosphate. In the skeletal muscle it releases the phosphate to drive anaerobic activity (short bursts of powerful movement such as sprinting), where the molecule Adenosine Tri Phosphate (ATP) uses that phosphate to power certain cellular and metabolic functions. Legal Steroids Europe
ATP is broken down to Adenosine Di-Phosphate (ADP), where it loses one of its phosphate molecules, thus providing energy to power your cells as we workout. When ATP stores become depleted, performance levels and the intensity of our workouts will drop. Creatine phosphate helps to restore ATP which is why Creatine boosts performance, strength and power. Athletes and gym users looking to increase strength will benefit most from Creatine. Athletes such as Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell and Colin Jackson back in the early 1990s were the first athletes to see real results from using Creatine and since then more and more athletes have used it as a safe, legal (it is considered 100% legal by the World Anti Doping Agency) way of getting stronger and boosting their performance.
Contrary to the popular belief that Creatine needs to be cycled, it actually doesn’t. Typically, Creatine supplementation involves a loading phase, 20g per day split between 4 servings, for 5-7 days then followed by a maintenance phase (5g a day) for a particular phase of training such as 6 weeks. Recent research has suggested that the loading phase just is not necessary although this hasn’t fully been proved so whilst some nutritionists will now say not to use a loading phase, others are still firmly in support of it. The key is just to be patient and do what you feel works best for you. During a loading phase, many athletes will take Creatine four times a day with a carbohydrate such as Dextrose due to the enhanced uptake into the skeletal muscles.
When taking Creatine, I like to use it before and after my workouts by taking 5g in the post workout protein shake. If you use a pre workout formula such as PhD V-MAX Pump, you may automatically get your Creatine from it as it already contains Creatine alongside BCAA and Beta Alanine to promote strength and muscle gains. If you don’t, you can use another 3-5g with water. On days when I’m not working out, I will just take 5g in the morning with a protein shake. You need at least 75ml of water for every gram of Creatine you consume and about 3ml of water for every gram of Carbohydrate so it can be stored as glycogen in your muscles.
Creatine comes in both tablet and powder form. I believe powder should be used as preference purely because it can enter the bloodstream quicker and can easily be taken with other supplements such as Dextrose in a protein shake before and after your workouts. It can usually be bought in 250ml / 500ml or 1kg size containers. You can find 6 of our recommended Creatine supplements at the top of the page.