Creatine is an organic compound that is an essential part of the biochemistry of humans and most animals. Meat is a good source of dietary creatine. If our dietary intake of creatine is not adequate, it can be synthesized in the liver, kidneys or pancrease from the amino acids arginine, methionine and glycine. 95% of creatine reserves are stored in skeletal muscle. Creatine functions as an energy source for muscle. When a muscle begins to work ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the first energy source utilized. The supply of ATP is exhausted after only 10 to 15 seconds. As the muscle continues to work CP (creatine phosphate) serves as the energy source, until it runs out after another 30 to 40 seconds. Beyond this point, glycolysis provides energy for the working muscle, with lactic acid as a byproduct.
Dietary supplementation of creatine monohydrate boosts the amount of creatine phosphate stored in muscle. The extra CP allows the muscle to work harder longer. A greater load can be placed on the muscle during training. The muscle adapts by growing larger and stronger. In addition, creatine phosphate binds water. This effectively increases muscle volume.
II. creatine & sports
Improvement in some types of athletic performance with intake of supplemental Creatine Monohydrate is well documented in the scientific literature. Since creatine enhances muscle performance from 10 to 40 seconds after the muscle begins to work, it improves performance in sports that involve short bursts of power, such as: sprinting, hockey, weight lifting, bodybuilding, football and speed skating.
IV. is it safe
Creatine monohydrate supplementation has become widespread over the last several years. During this time, the only associated safety issue has been for those with pre-existing kidney disease. Consumption of creatine, beyond the threshold of what can be utilized by the body, must be filtered from blood by the kidneys. For this reason it is not recommended to take creatine beyond the indicated dosages. There was a report, carried by all major newspapers and TV networks, of creatine monohydrate being associated with the deaths of three college wrestlers. The conclusion of the FDA's investigation into these cases was that creatine did not contribute significantly to the cause of death. The wrestlers were practicing extreme weight-loss measures in order to make weight for competition.
V. side effects
Powdered creatine monohydrate is the most common form of the supplement. Liquid creatine also exists. Creatine can cause stomach cramps or diarrhea. It is better tolerated when not taken on an empty stomach. Also, small doses of creatine are better tolerated. Muscle cramps are also commonly reported. It is advised to drink plenty of water while supplementing creatine, to avoid cramps.
The recommended dosage for creatine monohydrate is 5 to 10 grams per day, depending on bodyweight. No more than 5 grams of creatine should be consumed at one time. Some proponents recommend a loading phase, at the beginning of creatine supplementation, to hasten results. The loading phase dosage is 10 to 20 grams per day.
VII. mixing it
Powdered creatine monohydrate does not dissolve in cool water. The powder will quickly sink to the bottom. creatine monohydrate does dissolve in hot liquids such as coffee. It can also be suspended in a thick blender shake. Creatine monohydrate is tasteless.
VIII. timing intake
Creatine is easily absorbed from the gut into the blood. The amount of creatine taken up into muscle cells from the blood depends in part on the level of insulin. More insulin will increase creatine uptake. Insulin levels are high after a meal; especially a high carbohydrate meal. Insulin levels are also high after exercise. So the best time to take a creatine supplement is with a meal or after a workout.
The vegetarian diet is naturally low in creatine; as meat is the best source. Therefore, creatine supplementation will work at least as well for vegetarians.
X. age & sex
Creatine supplementation is not recommended for children. For adults, creatine can be taken at any age. The benefits and function of creatine is similar in the elderly. Creatine functions the same in women and men. The only difference in supplementation would be in dose size. The dose should be in proportion to an individuals muscle mass.