Creatine is one of the most controversial of sports supplements, causing confusion and worry amongst uses. So what is Creatine and is there really a need to fear Creatine? Continue reading to find out…
Creatine is a substance we all have naturally occurring in our bodies and can also be found in foods like fish and meat. Creatine is synthesised in the liver, pancreas and kidneys and is created from three amino acids Arginine, Methionine and Glycine. After Creatine is formed, it is transported via the bloodstream to the body’s tissues including, the heart, brain, skeletal muscle. Once in the tissues, Creatine is then combined with a phosphate molecule to make a substance called Phosphocreatine (PCr). This then is ready to provide rapid, short term energy during high intensity exercise.
What all the above means is Creatine provides you with rapid short term energy!
Creatine is most suitable for those who are engaged in short, rapid bursts of high intensity activity such as:
When the body is put thorough high intensity physical activity Creatine is used as the main energy source. Creatine Monohydrate is the most common form of Creatine used and the form which most the scientific literature is based upon. ‘Monohydrate’ refers to the addition of a water molecule, this increases stability.
There is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Creatine as it is not classed as an essential nutrient. However, the general guidelines are stated below:
Loading phase: 3-5 days taking approx. 20-30g daily (split into 5 doses a day)
Maintenance Phase: 5g daily to maintain saturation
POPULAR CREATINE MYTHS
Creatine causes Kidney and Liver damage:
There is in fact no evidence to support the above statement. Indeed, Creatine is not suitable for anyone with a pre-existing liver or kidney condition, or if you suspect you may have any undiagnosed problems relating to the liver or kidneys.
Creatine causes water retention:
This is false. Creatine monohydrate relies on insulin to carry it into the muscle cells to perform; if insulin is absent then it will sit outside the cell leaving a bloated puffy appearance/feeling. This is usually why some Creatine supplements will have some carbohydrates added.
Creatine causes cramping:
This is not a side effect of Creatine use however, if due to dehydration. Anyone supplementing with Creatine should ensure they consume three litres of water a day. Creatine causes muscle fibre to retain water, an effect known as “volumising”. This triggers the muscles to grow and gives a fuller appearance.
There is not truth in this, Creatine is not a steroid.
Indeed, Creatine is found in foods such as meats and fish however, you would need to consume vast quantities in order to obtain anywhere close to the levels consumed via supplementation.
Creatine causes weight gain:
When taking creating monohydrate weight gain is likely during the loading, and it is often the desired effect for some. However, for those not wanting the weight gain, regular use at 5g per day would prevent any dramatic weight gain.
Please note if you have any existing or suspected medical conditions, consult your healthcare practitioner before use of any supplements. Not suitable during pregnancy and lactation.
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Creatine 1000mg tables
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