What is Creatine Monohydrate?
Creatine is a natural compound that is found within your body, and provides you with energy to perform an extreme exercise. This includes all types of exercise - from running to weight training. It is found in most meats and fish, although in fairly small quantities. Creatine is important because it plays a central part in "generating" energy for your body (once creatine gets into muscle tissue it is converted to creatine phosphate which in turn regenerates ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate) which is the energy origin used by your body). ATP is especially important when performing intense exercise, and naturally, your body only has enough creatine to generate around 10seconds worth of energy - this is why you can't train at maximum intensity for very long. Supplementing it increases this time, which in turn increases your performance. Creatine is also the most studied sports supplement in the world and accounts for around 10% of the entire supplement market sales.
What Does Creatine Monohydrate Do?
Creatine has many reported (and proven) benefits. For bodybuilders, it increases strength, allowing for heavier lifts, which leads to larger muscles. During the first 5-10 days of creatine supplementation, creatine will draw water into muscle tissue which can lead to very quick gains in muscle size - this can also cause an increase of up to 3kg of weight. This effect does reverse once creatine supplementation is stopped - but by this point, new muscle tissue should have also grown which will stay. Apart from this effect, creatine has also been linked to increased energy levels, recovery rates and endurance levels - all of which are especially beneficial to all athletes and even occasional sportspeople.
Creatine Monohydrate - Ingredients
Creatine alone does not have any other ingredients, although you can buy "designer creatine" in which it is combined with other substances. When buying creatine, you may find it labelled as "creatine", "creatine monohydrate" or even "micronized creatine monohydrate" - all of these are the same product if bought from a reputable brand. You may also see it branded as "Creapure". As the name suggests, this is an exceptionally pure type, which is very vigorously tested and can be trusted to be of the highest quality.
Creatine Monohydrate - Directions For Use
Can be used either continuously or cycled - some people choose to take creatine for around six weeks then take a 1-2 week break, in the belief that the body 'gets used' to the creatine and can be shocked into more growth by doing this. Other people simply choose a dosage of creatine (typically 5-10g per day) and use it continuously. There is little evidence to which method is more effective, although you can save some money by cycling creatine (due to using less). In addition to these methods, some people employ a "loading" phase with higher doses, either at the start of their cycle or when they start using it to saturate their muscles. While this does lead to muscles getting fuller quicker it is not necessary (the maximum level will be reached in a slightly longer time). If you require very fast results though, then loading with around 20-30g for around one week can be effective.