1. What Is It?
Creatine is an organic acid that can be found in skeletal muscle.
The greatest natural sources of creatine are animal skeletal muscle, in particular wild game, red meat and fish. Creatine is also manufactured in the human body through the interaction of the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine in the kidney and liver.
Creatine is also produced as a free form supplement. The most popular form of supplemental creatine is arguably Creatine Monohydrate.
2. What Does It Do?
Creatine increases the synthesis of a compound called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is your body’s primary source of energy for the phosphate energy system; the energy system which your body uses to power short, sharp muscle contractions and other anaerobic exercises.
Creatine allows your muscles to contract with more power for an increased number of repetitions, increasing your anaerobic exercise capacity. Creatine, therefore, allows you to train harder, for longer, and stimulate more muscle growth, resulting in an increase in muscle strength and size.
3. How Much Do I Need To Take?
Typically speaking, consuming 5 – 10 grams of Creatine Monohydrate per day is adequate regardless of your size. Some may argue that someone with considerably more muscle mass may require more but generally speaking 5 – 10 grams will elicit the full benefits of Creatine Monohydrate.
4. When Do I Take It?
To take advantage of the performance-enhancing effects of Creatine Monohydrate, it is best taken twice per day – first thing in the morning and post-workout.
To ensure maximum absorption of Creatine Monohydrate, be sure to take it with carbohydrates. Creatine Monohydrate can be mixed with water, or with any other type of supplement, and consumed. The most efficacious dose is 5 grams taken twice per day.
Creatine Loading: Some users may wish to complete a Creatine Monohydrate “loading cycle” once every 8 weeks, taking up to 30 grams per day split into six 5 gram doses for an entire week to completely saturate the skeletal muscle with creatine. The effectiveness of such a loading cycle is inconclusive.
We prefer to approach Creatine Monohydrate supplementation as consistent as possible. It is a daily supplement you consume day in day out, regardless of whether you are training or having a rest day.
5. How Long Does It Take To Work?
Combined with a sensible diet and workout regime, you will experience significant results when supplementing with Creatine Monohydrate within the first 2 weeks of use. You can expect to experience an increase in anaerobic work capacity, strength and muscle fullness.
Consistency will always provide the best results when supplementing with Creatine Monohydrate. While some argue the ‘loading phase’ can speed up those benefits take effect, at the end of the day it will require consistent day in day out consumption of Creatine Monohydrate to maintain those benefits.
6. What Are The Top Products?
The top products containing Creatine Monohydrate are: