9 Things you Should Know before Taking Creatine Supplements

supplement with creatinePhoto credit: pixabay.com

Creatine is a very popular supplement used by athletes and people who need to bulk up, because it is involved in building muscle mass. However, before you jump on the creatine bandwagon, here are 9 things you should know so you start off on the right foot:

  1. Is creatine right for endurance athletes? People who gain the most benefit from creatine supplements are those that need to increase lean body mass for activities that require intense bursts of energy, such as sprinters or weight lifters. It is not really effective for endurance athletes, like runners or cyclists, who focus more on aerobic sports.
  2. What is creatine? It is a protein derived from three amino acids – glycine, methionine and arginine and is mainly stored in our muscles.
  3. How does creatine work? Creatinine is a source of fuel for short bursts of intense exercise and allows you to have a longer and better workout with more reps.
  4. Can creatine helps to lose fat? Yes, but only indirectly. Creatine helps to build muscle mass so you can work harder, and the harder you work out the more calories you burn and the more fat you lose.
  5. How much creatine should you take? You need to load up on creatine at first, taking between 10 to 20 grams each day for up to 2 weeks – this is called creatine loading. Once at this level, then switch over to a maintenance dose of 3 to 6 grams a day.
  6. What is creatine cycling? This is where you back off from the creatine supplements for a few weeks so your body doesn’t become resistant to its effects. There is no medical research to support cycling and most people don’t bother.
  7. Should it be taken before or after a workout? Most people take it after a workout because your body already has enough creatine stored in its muscles from the previous week’s supplemental doses. This is because it takes about a week for your muscles to be saturated with creatine, so taking a dose before a workout doesn’t serve any real purpose.
  8. Does creatine make you retain water? Yes, it does, which is why weight lifters and other competition athletes cycle off creatine prior to weigh-ins to off-load the water. Also, remember that when you take creatine supplements you need to drink at least 100 ml of water for every 3grams of creatinine.
  9. Are creatine supplements safe? As with any supplement, it is always best to talk to your doctor, particularly if you are on any medications or have any existing medical conditions.

So if you are in the market for creatine, there are lots of choices of creatine supplements from Supps R Us that are easily available online.