Archive for the 'Creatine Articles' Category

Mixing Creatine

20060809 15:46

A common question asked when taking creatine is: What do I mix it with? Is it ok to mix creatine with other supplements? Should you take it with water, with food, or with juices? Can you take it with protein? Throughout the following article I will outline some of the common and productive ways to take creatine.

Water is the most abundant natural resource on the planet. Water is also tasteless. If you are taking creatine monohydrate, odds are it is tasteless as well. So wouldn’t it be logical to take creatine with a class of water this way you don’t have to deal with the awful taste in your mouth? Well, that is not necessarily the case.

Research has shown that grape juice contains simple sugars that cause insulin to be released into the body. Insulin production is necessary to help transport to creatine into the muscle fibers. Just because creatine works well with grape juice, do not assume it works with all juices. Creatine mixed with citrus juices, such as orange juice, can be rendered useless because it will be converted to createinine which the body can not use.

Another option is to take creatine with Gatorade or other sports drinks. Sports drinks are loaded with electrolytes and help replace everything the body loses during an intense workout. If you plan on mixing creatine with Gatorade, it is recommended that you do it in the Gatorade powder form, not the pre bottled stuff. Gatorade powder has dextrose in it which helps replenish electrolytes.

What you mix your creatine in also depends on the flavor you buy. Supplement drinks can taste awful depending on the flavors and liquids you mix. You do not want to mix chocolate flavored creatine with grape juice. And you do not want to mix citrus flavored creatine with Gatorade. If you buy flavored creatine it would be best to mix it with water to help retain the flavor.

As far as mixing creatine with protein, there seem to be some conflicting reports. Some experts encourage it, while others oppose. The experts who approve the mix say the protein helps with creatine absorption. The people who oppose say that creatine and protein use the same transport and that they will compete with each other once in the body. The best way to figure it out is to try it yourself to see what works best. Start off with taking creatine before your workout, and protein after your work out.

Creatine Side Effects

20060801 22:35

One of the biggest concerns when starting a new supplement is what are the side effects? People worry about hair loss, acne, rage, and even testicle shrinkage. Luckily creatine is not a steroid, so you do not have to worry about any harmful or adverse side effects. In this post I will outline some of the negative (if any) and positive side effects or using creatine to help boost your energy and build muscle mass.

Negative Creatine Side Effects

No serious side effects from creatine have ever been recorded in research. A common misconception is that creatine is an abusive steroid-like substance that can kill you. With a little education, most people can realize the falsity of their claims.

The most common ‘negative’ side effect is an increase in water weight. An increase in water weight can make you appear to be bloated. It will look like you just got done eating Christmas dinner. And because your muscle will retain more water, they might feel softer to the touch. Your muscles will still be hard and impressive to a normal person, but after you rest for a few hours and try to flex, your muscles might not be as rock hard. There are possibly other unknown negative side effects associated with creatine, but due to a lack of research there isn’t much available.

Another negative side effect of creatine is when you get off the cycle. If you take creatine for 4 months and then stop taking it, you will notice a sharp decrease in your energy level and appearance. Your body might ‘deflate’ slightly as you lose the excess water weight.

Positive Creatine Side Effects

Now onto the good stuff. Do you ever feel fatigued or tired? Do you wake up and decide you don’t want to work out because you’re too tired to lift weights or go run? Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions then creatine is for you. Creatine is an energy booster. It’s not like drinking coffee or an energy drink, by taking daily creatine supplements your body will get used to having more energy throughout the day, leaving you enough energy to wake up, hit the gym, and provide that boost you need to lift an additional rep.

Another positive side effect of creatine is how it will make you look bigger. I am assuming that is a look you want if you are reading this blog. When you take creatine your body retains more water, making you look fuller. It will make your chest and arms appear to be bigger because of the water in the muscles.

By taking creatine you will be able to work out longer and lift more reps than usual. This is a very positive benefit of taking the supplement. You will gain weight (some water weight but most muscle weight). If you are a skinny person now and are looking to bulk up, then it is highly recommended that you take creatine along with other supplements to help speed along the process. Not only will you increase your weight rapidly, but you will gain more confidence as you watch your body bulk up.

If you take creatine and begin experiencing any serious negative side effects (I’m talking about chest pains or something), I recommend that you stop taking it immediately and consult a physician. Overall creatine can be a very safe and productive supplement. It is one of the few out there that have little to no negative side effects.

Be sure to check out umm.edu for more information on creatine side effects and how it MAY effect your body.

The Loading Phase – Creatine loading and use – Creatine Cycling

20060731 23:31

So you want to take that plunge into the deep end of the pool. You want to go where no scrawny man has ever gone before. You want to stop listening to what your mom says is good for you, and become a man that makes his own decisions. You want to bulk up and get in shape and do it in a way that will produce quicker and more noticeable results. You want to take creatine.

Despite what all the moms say about creatine, it is actually one of the few supplements out there that works and doesn’t harm you in the process if used correctly. Your body uses creatine whether you put it in your body via powder form, pill form, or red meat. Creatine simply gives you more energy that allows you to push that extra rep or two up. Those extra few reps will produce bigger gains over a length of time.

The first step in taking creatine is the loading phase. I would take what the creatine bottles say with a grain of salt. Always read the directions on the package before you use anything, but also realize that these companies are out to make money. They sometimes fudge their dosage amounts so you run out of product faster and have to order more.

Creatine is used in cycles. The typical cycle will last about 8-10 weeks depending on the individual. The first week of ever cycle consists of what we call a loading phase. During the loading phase, you will take more creatine than usual to get your body ready for it. It is recommended that you take 20 grams/day during the loading phase. You can break this up into 4-5 times a day depending on when you eat your meals and when you work out. It is also important to take creatine up to 2 hours before you work out because it will take time for the muscles to absorb it.

There are several ways you can take creatine. Some people take it in the form of pills, while the majority of us use the powder form. I always buy flavorless because I generally put the scoop right into my mouth and wash it down with a tall glass of grape juice. It is also ok to mix creatine with protein or to put it in shakes or a glass of water. The problem with creatine is that is doesn’t dissolve well. That’s why I recommend you just put the scoop on the back of your tongue and swallow it, that way you don’t lose any of the creatine in the bottom of your cup.

Packages might tell you to take more than the daily loading phase dosage, but don’t listen to them. The body will just excrete any excess creatine and it will be wasted. Creatine can be a great tool in aiding you in your journey to get in shape. The loading phase is very important in the cycle, so be sure to follow the recommended dosage amounts and try not to skip any servings. If you miss your morning scoop, do not take 2 scoops at the next scheduled time.

What is Creatine..?

20060731 12:58

Creatine, a nitrogenous organic acid, is a natural component of skeletal muscle in vertebrates, including human beings. It helps to supply energy to our muscle cells, and when taken as a dietary supplement, increases the body’s capacity for work. As the creatine supplement is popular among athletes that want to gain muscle mass and improve their performance, there is an ongoing debate surrounding the use of creatine supplements today. Even though sport-governing bodies have not banned the supplement yet, some countries have placed a strict ban on its use.

Creatine was first identified in 1832 by French scientist and philosopher, Michel Eugene Chevreul, who named it after the Greek word for flesh, kreas. Soon afterwards, a German scientist, Justus von Liebig helped promote a commercially available extract of meat, on the grounds that it would give the body strength for extra work. The secret ingredient in this enigmatic meat extract was, of course, creatine!

This important acid can be found in our muscle tissues, supplying much-needed energy for muscle contraction to our bodies. The acid finds a way in each time we consume meat or fish; in fact, almost half of the creatine stored in our bodies originates from food.

Creatine functions as part of a coordination based on arginine/phosphoarginine and operating in lots of invertebrates. By the presence of this energy shuttle, the ATP/ADP ratio is kept high. This ensures that the level of free ATP energy stays on top, while also minifying the loss of adenosine nucleotides; thus also preventing cellular dysfunction.

The human body mainly synthesizes creatine in the liver, using parts from three amino acids, namely arginine, glycine, and methionine. Ninety five percent of this creatine is later stored in our skeletal muscles, while the brain, the heart, and the testes get to keep the remaining five percent. It’s important to note that genetic deficiences in the creatine biosynthetic pathway may often result in severe neurologic imperfections.

The endogenic synthesis of creatine in the human liver is adequate for normal functioning of the human body. In other words, vegetarians do not suffer from creatine deficiency even though vegetables do not contain creatine. However, scientific studies show us that an addition of creatine intake to a vegetarian diet does indeed enhance physical performance. Chemical synthesis with plant-derived amino acids is the method employed in obtaining vegetarian creatine; in fact it is the only method we know of at this time.

Scientists continue to investigate the benefits of creatine supplementation in treating muscular, neurological, and neuromuscular diseases. Studies have already revealed that creatine is effective in extending the lives of mice with the degenerative neural disease: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; and can cause modest improvements in the power output of people with a range of neuromuscular disorders.

In the human body, creatine is broken down to creatinine, before taking the exit route which eliminates the acid through the kidneys. Creatine also acts as a means of diagnosis as doctors and health facilities determine kidney functioning by routinely measuring blood creatinine. As an e.g. renal failure is indicated by high creatinine serum levels.

Leaving out the cases of creatine abuse, studies have shown that short-term creatine supplementation in healthy individuals, increasing the activity of myogenic cells, is actually quite safe. Yet, there is still a debate over the incidence of muscle cramping which may result as a side-effect of creatine use. Moreover, scientific research has also revealed that creatine supplementation increases both total and fat-free body mass.

Following the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, creatine received great mass media attention when it was discovered that a number of the athletes had used it as a supplement. The Times in August of that same year reported that the 100 meters gold medal, Linford Christie, had utilized it as a dietary supplement prior to the Olympics, while an article appearing in Bodybuilding Monthly labeled the 400-meter hurdle gold medalist’s victory as a product of creatine use. It was further brought to public attention that quite a few medal-winning British rowers had used creatine while preparing for the Barcelona games.

This media attention, which generated in 1992, is still in full-swing, what with the controversy surrounding the usage and banning of creatine as a supplement, and the worldwide attention the debate has awakened.


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