Do you know how to properly select and supplement creatine?


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What is Creatine?

Creatine is a compound that can be produced by the body itself, and it can also be obtained through food intake, such as beef, fish, milk, etc. However, even those creatine-rich foods do not contain creatine to maximize our body’s creatine stores. Therefore, in order to maximize creatine stores in the body, it is often more efficient and practical to consume creatine in supplement form. For example, a scoop of 5g of creatine monohydrate is equivalent to eating 1.1kg of steak (raw weight). And if you eat 1.1kg of steak, first of all, the price is more expensive, and secondly, the calories are higher, and eating this way every day will also have a certain impact on your health.

Most of the creatine in the body (95%) is stored in skeletal muscle, the rest is stored in the brain and testes. The creatine pool in a 70kg human skeletal muscle averages about 120g and can be increased to about 160g with supplementation. This number will fluctuate based on each person’s weight (light/heavy) and muscle mass (less/more).


Should creatine be taken before or after exercise?

Creatine can have different effects when taken at different times. In fact, this is exactly what we expected. To be clear:

Creatine can be taken before and after training. Time: Half an hour to 1 hour before training; supplement within 2 hours after training, the sooner the better, it is strongly recommended to supplement with sugar-sweetened beverages to improve the absorption rate of creatine. Once creatine is taken, it is necessary to drink at least 1200 ml of water per day on the basis of the original normal water intake in order to fully utilize the hydration effect of creatine.

If the goal is to improve muscle strength and explosiveness, it is recommended not to ignore pre-training creatine supplementation. If you want to improve muscle circumference and increase muscle volume, creatine supplementation after training is particularly critical.

When using creatine for the first time, pay attention to the combination of the shock period and the maintenance period. During a 1-week shock period, take 5 grams of creatine 4 times a day. If you train twice a day, you can take creatine before and after training. If you train once a day, once before and after training. There is no time limit for the other two times, as long as they are separated by 4 hours. The purpose of the shock period is to quickly saturate the body’s creatine in a short period of time. Without a shock, it takes about 30 days for creatine to saturate in the body. After the shock period, maintain 5 grams of creatine per day.

If you use creatine for a long time, pay attention to 1 week of impact, 6 weeks of maintenance, and then stop for 2-3 weeks. Then begins a new cycle – shock and sustain.

In the normal training cycle, you should also pay attention to creatine maintenance supplements on days when you are not training to ensure the concentration of creatine in the body. If you stop training for more than 20 days, you should stop taking creatine first, and then re-supplement creatine after normal training begins.

How to choose creatine?

The creatine we usually say is ordinary creatine monohydrate, which is currently the best creatine because it is the most studied, the most effective, and the cheapest creatine. As for the effects of other new creatine products (creatine hydrochloride, zinc magnesium creatine, creatine-HMB, etc.) so far, there is still a lack of scientific basis, especially the lack of long-term and observational data on senior sports people. Therefore, buying ordinary creatine monohydrates is currently the most cost-effective.

But there is one thing to note, which is the purity of creatine, which is less than 90% likely to be maltodextrin. Although fast carbon can help creatine absorption, maltodextrin is much cheaper than creatine. Adding maltodextrin to creatine is still calculated according to the price of creatine, which is an IQ tax.

What should you pay attention to?

  1. Creatine with fast sugar (such as glucose) can better absorb and utilize creatine than supplement pure creatine. Sufficient fast sugar can increase insulin in the body, increase the storage of creatine in muscles, and improve protein synthesis;
  2. Creatine will not damage kidney function, but excessive consumption of creatine will increase the burden on the kidneys. For people with healthy kidney function, creatine is safe and effective;
  3. Since the use of creatine will cause weight gain, it should be used with caution for athletes who need to control or lose weight;
  4. If the muscles become sore, stiff, and stretched after creatine supplementation, it may indicate insufficient hydration. Especially athletes who train in hot and humid environments should pay attention to timely fluids to ensure muscle hydration and prevent muscle spasms and strains. ;
  5. The water temperature should not exceed 40°C. If the water temperature is too high, creatine will be destroyed. First, water and powder, shake vigorously for 30 seconds, and drink it as soon as possible.
  6. Do not take with orange juice or those containing caffeine, because the former contains acidic substances that will degenerate creatine, and caffeine will affect the hydration of muscle cells.

Creatine supplementation side effects.

Supplementation with creatine has been shown to improve the ability of trainers to exercise at a high speed, which has been confirmed by most research results, but there are some side effects of creatine supplementation that are worth noting. Because creatine needs to bind water in the body, large doses of creatine may cause muscle stiffness, cramps, and weight gain. Therefore, when supplementing with large doses of creatine, we must pay attention to liquid supplementation to reduce muscle stiffness and spasm. At the same time, trainers should pay attention to adequate preparations, pay attention to muscle stretching, and avoid muscles during high-intensity exercise. strain. In addition, because high-dose creatine may cause weight gain, creatine should be used with caution for those who engage in weight-critical sports.

After reading the above content, do you have an understanding of Creatine?

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