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In the supplement world, there are some that have faded and some that have stood the test of time. There can be a lot of gimmicks out there that don’t actually produce the promised results. However, there is one that’s a must have staple in your supplement routine. That supplement is creatine!
Creatine is a compound that’s actually found naturally in your muscle tissue. Its purpose is to serve as an energy substrate when you perform physical activities. Most often it’s used when you do any sort of fast, intense, or powerful movements. Things such as sprinting, lifting heavy weights, or performing plyometrics all fit in this category.
Creatine is usually the first to go as an energy source, however, we can improve upon this by using supplementation. As you supplement with creatine, you build up larger stores in the muscle, which then gives your body more to pull from when needed!
There are a few forms of creatine that you can find, but the most common and well researched is creatine monohydrate. This is just a concentrated powder that you can use in shakes or whatever liquid you would like!
So, why should you take creatine? You’re probably wondering what benefits you can expect if you start to supplement with it. Well, here we go!
Creatine is great for building strength and power! This makes it the perfect supplement for anyone who’s trying to make some gains in the gym. You’ll not only notice that you improve your strength, but also your endurance on intense exercises. Weights that you would normally be hitting for 2-3 reps, you will eventually be hitting for 5-6 with creatine supplementation. Muscle size is also going to increase as you supplement with creatine. This happens for two reasons, which we’ll dig into later in the article!
Therefore, you can expect to see changes in your strength, power, endurance, and muscle size. Who wouldn’t want that? Creatine is the perfect supplement for improving performance!
How Does Creatine Work?
Now, how does creatine work? Like stated earlier, you already have creatine in your muscle tissue. When you supplement it, you build those stores up in your system. This allows your body to put it to work.
As you perform your movements and exercise, the body will pull from your creatine stores to create energy. The more creatine you have, the more power and force you can create.
When supplementing creatine, you should also note that it isn’t an immediate change. Creatine takes some time to build up in the body. This just means that you need to give supplementation about 2-3 weeks before you notice a change. Some individuals perform a loading phase with creatine, that involves taking higher doses for about a week. This just helps saturate the system faster. However, you can totally micro-dose your creatine use. All that means is that you take about 5g of creatine daily over a period of time.
Some people suggest taking a rest period away from creatine after a couple of months, however, there is no research suggesting that this is needed.
How Creatine Builds Muscle
With the added endurance and strength, your body is going to be able to work harder for longer periods of time. This in turn, is going to cause your body to work with more volume, which leads to more hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is just the breaking down and building up of muscle tissue. More work equals more muscle mass, and this can be achieved by supplementing with creatine!
Creatine is something that can build you natural muscle mass. In addition, it’s going to increase your strength and power output. Creatine is a natural substance and actually present in your body already! You can get it from eating animal products or bring it in as a supplement.
It’s a supplement that takes a little time to start working so keep this in mind when you start it. After roughly 2-3 weeks you’ll start to see changes in the amount of weight you can lift, the amount of reps you can perform, and the amount of muscle that you have!