Creatine is one of the most researched supplements to date. It’s naturally occurring in red meats, seafood and even our bodies and can actually assist in rehabilitation efforts.
Naturally In the Body
Our bodies average 120 mmol/kg dry weight, and while creatine loading, we have about 140 mmol/kg dry weight.
We use three different energy systems while exercising, but ATP-PC is the primary source while lifting and performing explosive movements in the power and max strength categories. The next two are Glycolytic/Lactic Acid (10 seconds – 2 minutes of exertion) and Oxidative/Aerobic (exertion longer than 2 minutes).
Adenosine triphosphate-phosphocreatine (ATP-PC)-
- Breaks down high-energy phosphates in our muscles.
- Used in the first 10 seconds of exertion.
- Takes 3-5 minutes to be 100% refilled.
For those who are starting, you may consume 20g spread throughout the day, or 5g 4 times per day as a “loading” phase.
When I loaded, I aimed for 10g per day mixed with my preworkout a half hour prior to lifting.
After the loading phase of 5-7 days, you may consume a maintenance amount of 3-5g per day.
You DO NOT necessarily need load it, as studies have found similar increases in the intramuscular creatine stores after 28 days when comparing loading with a maintenance dose. Loading will essentially increase the amount in your muscles sooner.
Benefits of Supplementation
Most Common Form
This is the most common, and my personal go-to as it is the most studied form. It is made up of a creatine molecule connected to a water molecule, and sometimes the creatine is removed, making it creatine anhydrous. This can increase muscle strength and the water volume in muscles which can increase hypertrophy because of the cellular signals for swelling.
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