What is Creatine ?
Creatine is not a doping product. It is a dietary supplement that helps the body produce energy for muscle contractions. Associated with taking simple sugars, it allows you to train longer and do more intense workouts while improving recovery.
Creatine is certainly one of the best known bodybuilding supplement, but also the most misunderstood. Best known as everyone has heard. The most misunderstood because very few people know about its mode of action, usefulness and confused creatine and doping.
What is the Creatine
The first important point to note is that creatine is not a doping product, it is simply a dietary supplement (which is an amino acid), as well as protein powder or vitamins. It is not prohibited for sale or consumption. Subject to compliance with the dosages and be a healthy adult, creatine is completely safe, potential side effects are minimal.
Creatine supplementation is intended to boost the stock of creatine in the body at their maximum level. Indeed, the body uses creatine found in the diet to produce energy for muscle contractions. If the stock decreases (due to sustained physical activity), the body is no longer able to work at 100% capacity, because its energy reserves are no longer available.
Once digested, creatine is transported to the muscles where it participates in the synthesis of ATP, which provides energy to the muscles. That’s why in order to facilitate transporting to the muscles, the creatine should be associated with large amounts of sugars. As a result, it increases the available energy in the muscles, so to make long training sessions more and more intense, with more series. The recovery is also greatly improved as well as decreasing the aches.
How should creatine be taken if I’m a beginner or new to creatine?
If you’re new to creatine, your supplementation plan needs to be individualised depending on your desired outcome. Going back to the research conducted in this area supplementation durations range from 5 days – 6 months, all of which have shown positive changes,with a strength related training and supplementation cycle typically lasting between 6-12 weeks. For this two supplementation regimes are used:
1. Loading and maintenance: used for a rapid creatine uptake in the short term, helpful when gains are required in a short supplementation cycle, for example 4 weeks.
Load Phase – Take 5g, 4 times throughout the day, for the first 5 days.
Maintenance – after the loading phase, take just 5g for the remaining supplement cycle if muscle size and strength is your goal. If you are just looking for strength/power/performance gains without an increase in size take a maintenance dose of just 1 x 5g per day.
2. Maintenance – this method is often favoured for a longer term supplementation plan, for example 1-6 months. For this method supplement with 3-10g creatine daily for the total period selecting higher doses if muscle gain is also required (6-10g) and lower doses if you are just looking for performance gains (3-5g).
Muscle gain with creatine:
We often talk about ephemeral gains with creatine, which is partially false.
Upon entering the muscles, creatine is also entering the water: the cell volumizing. It leads to a fast mass gain 2-3 kg. At the end of the treatment, the water disappears, so those few pounds are lost, but all the gains made during the workouts stay, whether in strength or mass.
Note that creatine is stored in the muscles, so the more muscle mass, the greater creatine is stored and used, therefore its effects are felt. Therefore it is not very useful for beginners, because muscle mass is too low to take full advantage of the properties of creatine.