Updated: Jan 18
Creatine is the most thoroughly researched supplement available on the market. Involved in over 150 studies, there is very little not known about it. Our body naturally produces small amounts creatine and it is stored in our muscles for bursts of strength we may undergo, for instance, while exercising.
Supplementing creatine has been a part of many professional athletes' regime over the decades since its synthesis.
The benefits of creatine
The main benefit of creatine supplementation is that it increases the levels of creatine available in your skeletal muscles. This extra amount increases the potential power output of your muscles. Basically, it has the potential to make you a little bit stronger for a short period of time.
Other benefits have recently been discovered as well, showing that creatine can act as a cognitive ability enhancer, and it can have an antidepressant effect in women.
The benefits of creatine can include, for instance, the following:
● Increased energy production in muscle cells
● It can help you to add muscle mass
● Improved high-intensity exercise performance
● It may help with Parkinson’s disease
● Increased levels of phosphocreatine in your brain, which helps to fight neurological diseases
How to use creatine and what to expect
One of the many perks of creatine is its undeniable simplicity. The recommended dosage is usually between 2 and 5 grams daily. A dosage above this amount has been shown to have no extra benefits at all, but on a good note, it will not have adverse effects, either.
There is no perfect time to consume creatine, as it can be taken at any time once a day. However, there are some beliefs that it is more beneficial to consume after a workout, though this being said, it has not been proven in any scientific studies as of yet. Any form of micronized creatine is suitable for supplementation - your job is simply to ensure that the product you buy is high-quality and manufactured by a reputable company.
What to expect
As supplements will not show any benefits immediately, it can take up to 3 or 4 weeks of usage to notice an increase in physical strength. Sometimes, you may notice feeling thirstier than normal, but this is no cause for alarm.
It is said that this effect is caused by the increased muscle water retention creatine causes. If you stop using creatine, it can take another 3 or 4 weeks for your body to return to normal levels.
Overall, creatine supplementation is worth looking into if you train consistently. Take into account, though, that before you start supplementing your diet with creatine, you should consult our physician. In addition, your personal trainer can answer some questions you may have about supplements and getting started.