THE TRUTH ABOUT CREATINE
Article by a supplement nerd and NOT a sponsored supplement company!
Lets get right into it! Im sure you have read many articles by now telling you what creatine is, the type of loading phase you should do and why their brand is better then others. But very few articles actually answer the questions you want to know.
Q: What brand of creatine monohydrate is best?
A: Believe it or not, creatine powder comes from the same facility as the brand next to it on the shelf. Companies slap a label on it and call it their magic mix. Something to be careful of though, companies can make a creatine supplement cheaper by adding in fillers and flavors. A pure creatine monohydrate should list that and only that on the label. The difference between the Allmax brand, Rivalus, Muscle Tech on the shelf is the colour of the label and not the product inside.
Q: Should I take another form of creatine?
A: A buffered form of creatine like a kre-alkyn or ethyl ester form is suggested if you have a sensitive stomach or hold onto water easily. I wouldn’t say these are superior in the way they are absorbed, especially because the majority of studies have been on creatine monohydrate and not on a buffered form. However, they have been proven to reduce unnecessary water retention when taking creatine. This is why these forms are usually suggested for females and very lean males.
Q: Do I need to have an insulin spike for creatine to work? What does this even mean?
A: Creatine does require an insulin spike, this is why a lot of people will take it post workout or at least half post workout. For creatine to get into the muscle it needs a “carrier”. Any form of food source will spike insulin. However, for some people who enjoy training fasted and want the benefits of creatine, you can buy products that use russian taragon. Russian taragon mimics an insulin spike in the body without the need for food.
Q: Creatine doesn’t seem to work?
A: A lot of people make the mistake of not drinking enough water. You can’t expect it to carry into the muscle and hold without enough water. DRINK UP! At least 3L a day should be enough to gain the benefits of creatine. Another important point is that you need to be CONSISTENT with creatine. If your body is not saturated with it by taking it every day its pretty much pointless. Take the full amount on training days and half on non training days.
Q: What other health benefits does creatine provide?
A: Creatine has been proven to help boost cognitive function. Improve dopamine levels and slow the progression of parkinson’s. Other studies have suggests that taking creatine may treat other diseases like alzheimers, ischemic stroke, epilepsy or brain or spinal cord injuries.
For older adults, supplementing with creatine for 2 weeks significantly helped improve memory and recall ability.
Q: Should vegans or vegetarians take a creatine supplement?
A: Did you know that meat is the best dietary source of creatine? Taking meat out of a diet can impact each person differently. One study showed that vegetarians found a 20-50% increase in some memory scores. This study was not done on vegans and may show a greater increase, especially over a longer duration.
Either way, if your a vegan or vegetarian your not getting creatine from other sources so supplementing is a good idea.
Q: Creatine is bad for my kidneys!
A: If you have kidney problems then DON’T use creatine. There are LOTS of things you shouldn’t have if you have kidney problems. If you’re the average joe with healthy kidneys and want a cheep supplement that actually helps then take creatine.
Overall Its Safe!
- Drink lots of water
- Don’t excessively drink alcohol or do anything extremely hard on your kidneys and liver (no brainer)
- Don’t do a loading phase just be consistent
- Don’t take more then whats recommended
*** Reminder—>> you don’t need creatine to see gains at the gym, its not magic – you still need to train hard, train smart and eat proper macros!***
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