What is creatine and how can it help you achieve the results you’ve been dreaming of? We’re here to break down how exactly creatine can help you in your fitness journey and the different ways you can take it. If you’ve been on the lookout for an effective supplement to help you reach your body composition goals, creatine could be just what you’re looking for.
What is Creatine?
Let’s talk science! Creatine is naturally found within your muscle cells and is the substance that helps you lift heavy during your gym session.
Your body produces it during high-intensity exercise and its purpose is to increase phosphocreatine levels in your muscles, which is the key energy source for heavy lifting and intense exercise.
A creatine supplement helps increase these levels so you can store energy within your cells.
As a result of this, the body creates the molecule ATP. When you have more ATP, the body can perform better during exercise. Sounds a little confusing? Don't worry, the body does most of the work for us, we just need to supply the good stuff.
The body is extremely complex, and these processes are constantly occurring without us realising. When you introduce a creatine supplement, you’re giving your body a little bit more to work with. The body does so much for us, we might as well give it a helping hand!
The Benefits of Creatine
So, what’s all the fuss about? Why are so many athletes incorporating creatine into their regimes? Having these additional stores of energy can improve health and physical performance in several ways.
- Muscle growth
- Increased athletic performance
- Reduces breakdown of protein
- Overall support in reaching desired body composition
When you take a creatine supplement your muscles are able to handle more volume and mass. Essentially, you can train harder for longer. So yes, creatine does help with muscle growth! Creatine can be especially great if you’ve hit a plateau and you’re needing some extra support in reaching your dream body composition goals. Typically, when you’re struggling to gain muscle, the body has adapted to the exercises you’re doing and the weight you’re doing them at.
As a result of taking creatine, you’ll be able to increase your volume during training sessions, which will help you produce some serious results in the gains department! Whilst supporting your performance in the gym, creatine is also working its wonders within your cells. It can help improve cell-signalling, which is the process of forming new fibres, repairing muscle and as a result, making gains. Not only are you being supported in the gym, but your hard work is being solidified on your rest days.
To top it all off, creatine may also help reduce the breakdown of protein. As you probably already know, to make muscles you also need protein. However, the body sometimes breaks down the protein you take and it is not used effectively. Creatine can help prevent this! It’s no wonder why so many athletes and avid gym goers have creatine as a staple in their routines.
Is it safe?
With any supplement that is said to improve athletic performance, comes this question. It’s important to know what you’re using and have the knowledge to filter out what won’t work for you and what will.
Out of all the studies that have been conducted on the use of creatine, the conclusion is that yes, it is safe. Because creatine is already found in the body, you don’t have to worry about introducing something entirely foreign into your system.
It has been used for over a century, and with the extensive research into the benefits, you’ll likely be happy with the results too. However, everybody is different, and what works for you may not work for someone else. But if you’re looking for a safe and effective supplement to support your fitness journey, creatine is a great first step.
How and When to Take Creatine
When you get your creatine supplement, it will typically come in powder form that can be incorporated into a drink or a simple to take capsule. Studies have shown that it’s best to take it before or after exercise to achieve optimum results.
When you initially take creating, you can also do what is called a loading phase.
This is when you increase your dose for 5-7 days and essentially load up your creatine stores in a short amount of time. Or, you can take creatine as usual and do the same thing incrementally. Either way, you’ll likely get the same results. Loading, however, may speed up the process.
What Creatine Should You Take?
Now that we’ve got all the information out of the way, here’s the exciting part. What creatine should you get? It's all about quality when it comes to any form of supplement. Having high-quality ingredients is better for your body and will most likely provide better results.