Ah, simple creatine, the other white power powder (editors note: this is quite racist). One of the most studied supplements on the planet, this stuff really fucks. Now I know you guys don't really care much for studies and I don't blame you, I've always been a fan of personal experimentation over some nerd's data sets. Anyways here's a list of shit creatine has been proven to do through nerd based science:
1) Increase muscle mass
2) Increased energy (more ATP)
3) Can raise levels of IGF-1
4) Increases ballistic potential (because of ATP)
5) Can fight diabetes T2 and lower blood glucose
6) Fights some neurological issues (via an increase in phosphocreatine)
7) Increases the speed of muscle growth
8) Improved cognitive function
9) Possible testosterone increase
10) Increased bone density
11) Heart health (shown to lower LDL)
12) Reduces muscle loss
That's a big ass list of really important shit, right? So I'll be expanding on a few of these but I really want to focus on what it is, the dosage, type, and how it works. I'll also go over a few possible cons to taking creatine, and explain how that could possibly not be an issue at all.
- What is Creatine?
Without getting too deep into this shit, creatine is a substance that is found mostly in your muscle cells. It helps your body recycle ATP (cell energy) by turning ADP back into ATP. So the more you get the more energy you can make. Now most is stored in your muscles but some is in your brain as well, hence the cognitive benefits. What happens when you take creatine muscularly speaking, in a HUGE nutshell, is that your muscles pull in more blood/liquids. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (plasmic = plasma/blood, think pump muscle) has a direct link with the level of liquid you can push into your muscles; so more blood (liquid) means more nutrients, more nutrients means more growth and recovery.
- How much do I take?
5 grams a day. That's basically it. The whole loading phase basically does in 1-2 weeks what a 5g dose does over 3-4 weeks. Taking 20g a day during the loading phase is basically just to saturate your muscles to their max in creatine then you revert to your maintenance dose of 5g. Loading phases are often linked to the reports of bloating.
- What type should I take?
Long story short: stick to monohydrate. All these ethyl esters, hypochlorites, and citrate/nitrate/malates will work just fine but monohydrate is the most studied, most used, and generally the cheapest. Save your money for steak to get even more creatine, since one pound of red meat has about 2-4g of creatine.
You get the creatine you fucking deserve.
- Anything I should worry about?
Bloating seems to be the biggest issue, but as I said earlier, that is usually linked to the loading phase. Since creatine pushes a lot of water to your muscles if you aren't drinking enough water (and I mean water, not fucking soda or tea or coffee) dehydration might be an issue. This can lead to severe charlie horses in your calves late at night that cause you to scream silently into your pillow in immense pain. All of the reports of kidney and liver problems are not supported by nerd research.
- So here is the TL;DR
Take 5g of Creatine Monohydrate daily (anytime that works for you) and in 2-3 weeks you'll feel the effects.
Bork Lazer says: "Eat up weakoid"