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Creatine 101: The Basics

By: moklesur@bringtheshreds
October 8, 2019

Today we are going to be talking about creatine! It seems to be a huge topic in the fitness industry. Do we need it? When do we take it? I am here to answer all your questions and give you some basic knowledge about creatine for all you beginners. It is one of the most studied and research supplements out there. Creatine is derived from amino acids. It’s naturally produced in the body and is synthesized in your liver, kidneys and pancreas. It stored primarily in your skeletal muscle it increases of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) within your muscle. In layman terms, it gets you stronger. If you’re in the gym, it can help you get that one more rep. Creatine is found in red meats such as steak. However, if you’re looking for the more positive benefits of creatine, you can supplement with it. Creatine is 100% safe to take.

The Different Types of Creatine

There are so many different types of creatine to take out there. There is Ethyl Ester, creatine phosphate, creatine citrate, kre-alkalyn, etc. There are a ton of different types of creatines out there. Why is this? The simple fact, it is because supplement companies want your money.

Which Type Should You Take?

Research recommend that the most beneficial type of creatine. It is also your cheapest and that is creatine monohydrate. Go for a creapure, micronized creatine. it is dirt cheap, effective and you don’t need to spend a lot of money on it. My favorite is the powder Creatine by Optimum Nutrition. You can get this brand of creatine for maybe $40 for 2000 grams.

How Many Grams Should You Take A Day?

Research shows you can take around 3 to 5 grams a day. It is safe to take daily. Regardless of what the label says, you do not have to “cycle” it. You will see on almost every creatine product on the back of the label say there is a “loading phase” and to take 20 grams every day for the first week or 2. After that, there will be a “maintenance phase” where you take around 5 grams a day for a week or so. Then it says to stop taking it and wait another week or 2 and repeat back to the “loading phase”. They have you taking way more than you need because they want you to use their product and take your money. I highly recommend skipping the “loading phase” because there is no reason to do so. Start at the “maintenance phase” at 3 or 5 grams a day and continue doing so daily. You’ll be saturated in about a month. Product labels are going to tell you that you need to get saturated with 20 grams a day immediately. Again, just ignore that because they want you to take loads of it because the more you use it, the more you will buy their products. However, after you finish your creatine tub, you can take a week or two off it and then get back on it.

What Are the Side Effects of Creatine?

There are a lot of myths with creatine. Research shows that creatine doesn’t have any negative side effects. If you want to take creatine, go ahead and take it because there are a lot of benefits. You have improved performance, increased strength, and increase power. You will longer and larger work volume, muscular endurance, hydration levels, anaerobic power. The list of creatine goes on and on. It even goes as far as improving functions associated with neuromuscular diseases. As mentioned before, it is safe, effective and beneficial to take. What creatine does not do is cause cramping, water retention, impaired kidney function and bloating. There are a lot of myths out that talks about feeling bloated or having water retention after taking creatine. If you feel bloating from creatine, it might be taking either bad, low-grade type of creatine or one that is mixed with a sugar product such as dextrose. Some examples are ones that contain 50 grams of dextrose and only 5 grams of creatine. Some other brands of I will not mention contain purely sugar. If that is the case, that is where the bloating is coming from because of all the sugar that you’re taking in. Also, the reason why creatine does not cause water retention is because the water that comes from the creatine is being drawn into your muscle cells. Creatine is intracellular, it is not subcutaneous which is underneath your skin. An example is when you take an abundance of sodium, above your daily intake you become vascular, but it goes away, that is water retention under your skin that you can sweat out. Creatine water is going into the actual muscle cell, so it’s not giving you a bloated or soft look. If you’re on a diet and want to get lean creatine does not going to cause water retention. It is safe to take on a diet and trying to lose weight.

When to Take Creatine and With What?

Common questions are can you take it with milk, with your whey protein post workout, with water, juice or even coffee? Or how about at night? The best time to take creatine is whenever you want, with whatever you want and however you want. You’re not going to damage the creatine using different types of products with it. One of the misconceptions is if you take it with juice, the acid from the juice is going to react with the creatine and will not absorb it correctly or kill the effects of it. We’re forgetting that our stomach has strong acids in there. Once consuming creatine, it’s reacting with acid either way.

In Conclusion

Creatine is safe and effective! It improves strength, work volume, power, muscular endurance, performance and much more! Pick creatine monohydrate. Take 3-5 grams per day. Take it whenever and however you like it. And there is no reason to do a “loading phase” or “cycle”. I hope this article helps. Some of this information is basic but for the beginners, I hope I answered some of your questions or concerns when it comes to creatine. Until next time, STAY SHREDDED.

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About Louis

Bring The Shreds was founded by Louis Ha. Louis is an online fitness coach and entrepeanuer based in the Bay Area. Read more of OUR STORY

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