Creatine Monohydrate: what you need to know to use it effectively

Creatine Monohydrate

Are you looking to increase your muscle endurance, do lengthier, and more effective workouts?  Many athletes come to a point when they hit a plateau when workouts no longer seem to have more results. One way of breaking out of the plateau phase is supplementing your diet to boost muscle endurance to expend higher energy, which gives you room to vary and lengthen your workouts. Boosting your creatine levels with supplements is probably the most effective change you can make to your diet when you need to see noticeable results in a shorter time.

What is creatine?

This is an organic molecule made of amino acids methionine, glycine, and L-arginine. Creatine is part of the compound phosphocreatine, which in turn makes Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).  Your muscles breakdown ATP to provide the energy needed for expansion and contraction.  Your body stores phosphocreatine in the skeletal muscles, liver, kidneys, and brain. Your levels of ATP positively correlate with the intensity of energy use. The problem is that ATP is expended very fast, which is why you need high levels of creatine. Supplementing with creatine monohydrate is an effective way of boosting ATP levels.

Creatine loading 

It is possible to load up creatine levels just as you do carb-loading before a high-intensity workout, but creatine loading takes longer. Most athletes find that creatine loading is most effective when taken at an initial 20g for 5-7 days, then 2-5g daily depending on energy demands. Loading helps saturate creatine levels, which is what you need, for example, to break away from a plateau.

Best taken with post-workout meals

Some studies have shown that creatine is more effective when taken with carbs and proteins after a workout.  The effectiveness of creatine absorption from post-workout meals is probably due to its positive correlation with proteins which many athletes take in shakes, wheys, and snacks post-workout.

Different people respond differently 

Creatine supplements work differently in different people depending on muscle fiber types and initial creatine levels. People with a higher percentage of type 2 fibers and an initial low level of creatine have been found to respond better to creatine monohydrate supplements. The level of response can be tracked by weight and muscle gain in the first 3-4 weeks.

Creatine benefits 

Some of the proven benefits of supplementing with creatine monohydrate include;

Creatine monohydrate supplements have been around for some time; the sports and medical community have perfected its safe use. But always remember to have expert advice when initiating a supplement regimen. 

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