Looking to go longer, harder and faster in the gym? Want more strength? Creatine might be the answer.We stock Kinetica Creatine buy here
You’ve heard about it. Perhaps you’ve overheard guys at the gym talking euphorically about it. Perhaps a mate has recommended it to you. But what is it, what does it do and, more importantly, should YOU be taking it?
Knowledge is power. While weight lifters at the local gym have talked about it, and while the science behind creatine checks out, no one should put anything into their body without doing proper research first, especially when it’s to do with muscle building.
Creatine is naturally produced in your body from amino acids – the building blocks of protein. It’s also found in protein-rich foods such as meat and fish. However you would need to eat a lot of meat and fish to obtain an decent amount of creatine. This is where supplements come in.
Creatine might be an amino acid and, yes, our body craves amino acids. But you still need to exert some care where supplements are concerned.
That said, creatine isn’t exactly scary. It comes in packets of flavoured powders, it increases the amount of energy your body can produce pretty damn quickly, thus allowing you to go harder and for longer.
Creatine is at its best when used for explosive activities and high intensity training, such as sprinting and weight training. On the other hand, it might not be much use for aerobics or endurance performance exercises.
Here are some of the key benefits of creatine:
Creatine Gives You More Strength
Many of you are probably reading this because you’ve heard that creatine gives you a massive increase in strength. It might not turn you into the Incredible Hulk just yet but, yes, creatine makes you stronger.
Here's the science bit...get ready. Creatine helps to regenerate a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), your body’s main source of energy. When creatine stores in your muscles are depleted, the production of ATP stops and your energy is dramatically decreased. Supplementing with creatine increases the available fuel to power ATP, which can increase muscle strength, size and power output.
As mentioned earlier, creatine is ideal for short strength-building workouts. If your usual routine at the gym includes heavy lifts, you might want to add creatine to your diet.
Creatine Reduces Tiredness
We all have those days when we wake up just not feeling it. We’re unfocused, moody and tired.
Just 30 minutes into the day, we can already tell that we’re not going to get anything productive done, let alone hit the gym.
Creatine can help to alleviate tiredness and fatigue. A study has found that creatine can boost energy levels while reducing fatigue. It’s also been found to improve energy levels for athletes who are taking cycling tests and can help to keep our stamina up when we’re working out in hot temperatures.
Creatine Can Boost Reaction Time
Especially if you’re a sprinter, every single second counts. If you take creatine, you should add around 10% onto your reaction time, which can be the difference between a win and a loss.
And hey we all need to find a way of gaining an edge, right?
Creatine Gives You a Boost In Testosterone
One for the men. Testosterone goes down when we get into our thirties. This means that you’ll lose a bit of your sex drive, your mental sharpness will decrease and your energy levels won’t be what they were.
If you wanna ramp your testosterone levels right back up, creatine can help. Following a 10-week resistance training program, participants who took a daily creatine supplement significantly increased their resting testosterone levels, according to a North American study.
If you are concerned about your testosterone levels, check it out with your doctor first.
If you don’t need to use creatine, don’t use it. When would this be the case? Hey, if you’re already massive and can clearly gain strength without supplements, there’s absolutely no reason to take it.
It does enhance strength. But it’s also been linked to a number of side effects, including kidney and liver damage, gastrointestinal issues, cramping and dehydration. But this is rare and generally when taken incorrectly.
Creatine can also cause weight gain. If you don’t workout adequately, this could be a problem. Weight gain is inevitable and it will happen pretty fast. Water is the initial gain but because you’ll be able to handle increased workloads, you’ll soon be gaining more muscle, too.
Creatine works by pulling water into our muscle cells. In turn, this boosts protein synthesis and muscle fibres will grow. However, you’ll only build more muscle if you take advantage of all that new energy and actually workout. If you stay at home and relax, you may put on water weight.
If you’re under 18, it’s not worth the risk taking creatine as there are few studies available that show it’s safe for youngsters. No one is sure what effect it could have on growing bones and muscle, so it’s worth avoiding for now.
What Will Creatine Do For You?
This is a tough question to answer because, like many things, it all comes down to how your body reacts to the supplement. Some of us won’t respond at all to creatine, but you should know within at least a week whether or not it’s working out for you.
For example, your training volume will increase if it’s working. If, on the other hand, you don’t feel like doing any more training than usual, creatine probably hasn’t had an effect.
That said, your diet can effect how quickly or slowly creatine impacts your body. Vegetarians don’t get much creatine via their diet, so the supplements tend to work much quickly on them than they do on meat eaters who already get a high amount of creatine through the likes of beef and turkey.
Moreover, you need to supplement your creatine with a healthy, balanced diet. If you’re taking creatine but subsisting on a junk diet, you won’t reach your goals anyway. Creatine only works when combined with a proper diet and workout sessions.
Finally, What Creatine Should You Buy?
Avoid liquid creatine as it’s inconsistent and has very mixed reviews from the gym community. Instead, shop for creatine powder (100% creatine monohydrate). Mix it with something you like the taste of, preferably fruit juice because its sugar content puts your insulin levels on high alert, which means your muscles can absorb more creatine.
Should you take creatine at all? Well hopefully you’re in a better position to make an informed decision now. Our online store stocks some of the best creatine around - see Kinetica 100% Creatine for more.