Choosing a body building supplement is not always easy, just because there are so many possibilities. Before you go to the store or go online with credit card in hand to order a truckload of products, check out our guide to creatine. Who should take it and who should not?
Why Take Creatine Body Building Supplement?
One reason for taking creatine is that it gives many of the same benefits as a protein supplement. It is excellent for increasing muscle mass. It is also a natural substance that occurs in the body, so we are not introducing anything new to the body here.
Vegetarians tend to be low on creatine so this is definitely something to consider if you are a vegetarian bodybuilder. Of course you would want to find a vegetarian form of this body building supplement. But it is not only for vegetarians! Anyone wanting to increase muscle mass may benefit from this if not contraindicated for medical reasons (see below).
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine increases the availability of ATP or adenosine triphosphate. This is the main energy source that muscles use for their power. So if you have more ATP available, you can perform more reps and lift more than you otherwise would. This means that you can grow your muscle faster.
In other words, creatine does not directly bulk the muscles, but allows your training to be more effective.
How To Take Creatine
Creatine is found in significant quantities in red meat. It would be possible to increase your creatine levels by eating a lot more steak, but of course that comes with a lot of fat and other substances that you might not want in your diet. For this reason, many people prefer to take it in isolated form as a body building supplement. In many cases it comes with aminos, dextrose and other good substances for increasing muscle mass.
There are several different types of creatine body building supplement. Creatine monohydrate was the first type to be developed and is still very popular and effective. Creatine phosphate and citrate are newer variations that are usually more expensive if you compare creatine content gram for gram. That does not necessarily mean they are more effective.
Whatever type you get, it is usually best in powdered form. It is flexible when you want to experiment with your dosage (difficult to do with tablets or capsules) and easily absorbed. You will see liquid creatine on the market but be aware this can be very unpredictable in terms of the amount of creatine that it contains.
The best way to take creatine is to cycle it. Four weeks on and two weeks off is a recommendation that you might want to try.
Who Should Not Take Creatine?
Creatine is not recommended for people with kidney or liver disease. It may affect insulin action so it is best not taken by those with diabetes or other blood sugar related disorders. Like many supplements, it is not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers because it cannot be proved safe for them.
Early fears that creatine was dangerous for the general population have been shown to be unfounded by a large volume of research now. It has been shown to be safe for normal healthy individuals. However, anybody considering taking a body building supplement should check it out with their medical advisor.