If you spend a lot of time in the gym, you have probably heard about creatine for building muscle. Creatine is among the most extensively studied supplements for sports performance. It is not prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which means that athletes will not be censored for taking it, and generally safe when taken by mouth in the recommended amounts. Naturally, creatine is found in muscle tissue and is involved in metabolism. Research shows that it works best for anaerobic (not oxygen-consuming) sports like sprinting, jumping, and weightlifting. There doesn’t seem to be any benefit for using creatine for aerobic (oxygen-consuming) sports like swimming or running.
Do I need a Supplement?
Not necessarily. Your body makes creatine from amino acids. Your body gets amino acids when you eat protein.
You can also eat food high in creatine. Foods high in creatine include meat and fish.
You won’t get the sports performance benefits from creatine unless you’re taking it in higher doses. The easiest way to do that is by taking a supplement. It comes in a variety of flavors, like lemonade, mango, and fruit punch. Some supplements also contain protein powder. If you’re looking for a creatine supplement, make sure it is third-party certified such as NSF Certified for Sport. Ask your TNT provider which type of supplement is right for you. You might be able to save some money on a supplement by asking your TNT provider to recommend one to you on Fullscript!
How do I take Creatine?
Most studies have a “loading phase” of 20 g/day for up to 7 days. After the loading phase, only 3-5 g/ day is needed to be effective.
Drink water to avoid muscle stiffness.
Creatine might not work as well if you take it with caffeine. It can cause dehydration, diarrhea, or muscle cramps. You also might gain water weight. Rarely, creatine causes serious health problems.
Read more about creatine and other ergogenic aids on the NIH website.
Here are some healthy recipes to get you started on natural sources!
In summary, creatine is a useful ergogenic aid for certain types of exercise that don’t require oxygen. You can find creatine in foods like meat and seafood, but you need higher doses of creatine to see the benefits in your workout. This is where supplementation is handy. It will take some time for you to see the results of taking a creatine supplement. Look out for side effects and be sure to always choose a supplement that has been third party tested. Consult your dietitian or doctor before starting a supplement to make sure that it is safe for your medical needs.