One of the most researched and proven supplements to improve athletic performance and increase strength.
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What is creatine?
Creatine is a substance that is naturally found within the body. However, most people consume it in their diet from red meat or seafood and plenty of other people also supplement with creatine, both in pill and powder form.
Your body converts creatine into phosphocreatine and is stored in your muscles where it is used for energy. This helps to produce a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), this then provides the energy required for muscle contractions. The more ATP you have, the better your body can perform during high-intensity exercise, this is especially important for high-performance athletes in explosive sports such as weight lifting and sprinting.
Supplementing with creatine
Creatine is an excellent supplement to add for anyone looking to increase strength, muscle mass or explosive power. Creatine will not directly increase muscle mass but will leave you better equipped with the tools to do so.
However, it is important to cycle on and off creatine, extended periods of use could lead to abnormally high creatinine levels which may be a sign of poor kidney health. For optimal health and benefits, cycle off creatine for a month every 2-4 months.
The dosage will vary from person to person when it comes to the size of the individual as well as the form of creatine. More soluble variants such as creatine hydrochloride (HCL) and free acid creatine will require a lower dose than creatine monohydrate. For best results, consume your creatine with a quick digesting source of carbohydrates to improve effectiveness.
What are the benefits of creatine?
Creatine is one of the most evidence-based supplements in the world. It has proven effective in improving athletic performance and strength. Whether it be for amateur, high-school, professional athletes, or any individual wanting to increase strength and hypertrophy, creatine is an excellent supplement to take advantage of.
How is creatine made?
Creatine is naturally made in the body but the synthetic form which we consume in supplements is made by combining sarcosine and cyanamide, not to be confused, with cyanide. Individually, these ingredients are not fit for human consumption, when combined, they are perfectly fit for humans to consume, and because they are not derived from animal products, creatine is perfectly fine for vegetarians and vegans to consume.
The first step that takes place, is that these chemicals are combined together and heated under pressure to take on a crystal form. This crystallized creatine is then refined to remove any unwanted particles and finally goes through a milling process. After this process, you now have creatine monohydrate that is ready for consumption.
What are the different forms of creatine?
There are several different forms of creatine, but there are 2 that stand tall above the rest. Creatine monohydrate and creatine hydrochloride (HCL). A few of the other forms of creatine that are less common include creatine AKG, creatine citrate, creatine ester, creatine gluconate as well as creatine phosphate.
Creatine monohydrate is the most common form of creatine on the market. It has had the most research, proven effective and is also one of the cheapest forms of creatine available. An excellent way to increase strength and performance at a low cost.
Creatine HCL is one of the newer forms of creatine on the market and is often the preferred choice of creatine due to its increased potency, solubility and lack of bloating that are commonly associated with other sources of creatine.