Bodybuilding and supplements are synonymous with one another, in fact, there are people out there that believe that the actual sport of bodybuilding is now considered less of a priority than the sale of sports and bodybuilding supplements. Of course, the reason for this, or at least, the reason why so many people think this is all down to money, because the supplement industry is literally worth billions and is probably one of the fastest growing and most competitive industries on the face of the earth. When you purchase any bodybuilding magazine, you may as well be purchasing a supplement advertising magazine because literally more than 50% of their content is nothing but pure ads trying to sell you the latest supplement to hit the market. Now, don’t get us wrong, many of these supplements do indeed work very well when used correctly, but the problem is knowing which ones work, and which ones you should purchase. In terms of popularity, at the top of the mountain you have whey protein, who truthfully will rule the supplement world for the foreseeable future. Second in popularity and sales however, is create. There are many creatine supplements now available, so for that reason we’ll be looking at the best creatine stacks in a bid to determine what actually works depending on your training goals and targets.
What is creatine?
Creatine is actually a naturally occurring amino acid that is present in our own bodies, as well as certain foods, particularly red meat such as beef. It is beneficial for sports and exercise because it helps to generate ATP, which stands for Adenosine Tri-Phosphate. ATP is a natural source of energy used by the muscles in order to make them function. Obviously the more ATP they have, the more energy they will have, so they will be able to function more efficiently. So, if we can naturally synthesize it internally, why do we need it in supplement form? Well, the basic reason is the fact that the amounts we can produce naturally just aren’t enough to make any real difference when it comes to our training. By using a creatine supplement however, your muscles, or rather, the cells within your muscles, become saturated with the molecules, and therefore help improve muscular function.
What are the different types of creatine supplement?
Just to make things even more complicated for those of you who don’t happen to be sports scientists and nutritionists, choosing the best creatine supplement is made even more difficult because of the fact that there are so many different types of create supplement currently available, with each one possessing its own unique benefits and drawbacks. The main creation supplements you are likely to come across include:
Creatine monohydrate – Creatine monohydrate is the most common type of creatine supplement and as considered to be creatine as its most basic form. Not only is it the most common, it is also the most popular, so that should give some sort of indication as to how effective it really is as a supplement.
Creatine hydrochloride – Creatine Hydrochloride is basically creatine monohydrate which has been specially bound together with hydrochloric acid. This is to enhance digestion and absorption, as, once ingested, the creatine is converted into a simple form via the acids in your stomach after being consumed. The main reason why this assists with absorption is the fact that the hydrochloric acid makes the creatine far more water soluble than regular monohydrate, which means that it is broken down and digested much quicker.
Creatine Ethyl-Ester – Creatine Ethyl-Ester, or CEE for short, has been specially designed so that, once it is consumed, it is quickly broken down and converted into creatinine, a pro-nutrient which has been found to prove highly beneficial when it comes to ATP production.
Creatine Malate – Creatine malate is creatine which has been bound together with malic acid, which provides significant improvements when it comes to aerobic performance. The malic acid and the creation work together to enhance ATP production, which in turn helps increase energy levels, fight fatigue, and prevent the build up of lactic acid which can lead to painful muscle cramping.
How to find the best creatine stacks and supplements
Now that we know more about what creatine is, how it works, and some of the different creatine supplements that are currently available, we’ll now look at how to find the best stacks and supplements.
Be wary of “proprietary blends” – If you see the words “proprietary blends” on your potential creatine supplement, you will need to execute a certain amount of caution as to whether or not you purchase this product, because proprietary blends should generally be avoided. The reason for this is that, by saying that a product is made up of a proprietary blend, companies can get away with not listing the exact dosages of each ingredient. So, if a product is a proprietary creatine blend, for all you know, your 1000g tub of creatine could only contain 5g of actual creatine, with the other ingredients being made up of cheaper amino acids, and even rice flours (yes, they are allowed to do that).
Always choose reputable brands – This is not only beneficial from an athletic standpoint, this is also beneficial from a general health and well-being standpoint as well. Anybody nowadays can create their own supplement line with the right tools and ingredients, which means that finding effective products is significantly more difficult than it was fifteen years ago or so. By choosing a cheap product from an independent seller, you have no idea how much creatine is in the product, and which other ingredients are in the product. When it comes to sports supplements, always choose reputable brands that have been tried and tested over the years. That way you know exactly how much of each ingredient you’re getting, and exactly what is contained within your supplements.