Creatine supplements are very commonly used by many people. What is the reason for this? What makes these products such a popular choice? What are the most common types of creatine available on the market at the moment? What should you pay attention to during dosing to get satisfactory results? Does creatine cause any side effects in terms of the way our body functions? You will find out all about this in today's guide!
What is creatine?
Creatine is an organic compound - known since 1832 - which is made of protein fragments. It is made of three amino acids - arginine, glycine and methionine. Mainly creatine is found in muscle tissue (definitely more than 90%). It is also present in the brain, heart, liver, kidneys and testes - but much smaller quantities. This organic compound is responsible for several processes in our body. It is mainly responsible for the storage of appropriately large amounts of ATP energy. In addition, creatine is responsible for inhibiting myostatin (a protein that limits muscle growth) and stimulates protein synthesis.
Choosing the best creatine
You already know that creatine occurs naturally in the body but in relatively small amounts. It should not be surprising that creatine is therefore often supplemented, especially by people who train professionally or amateurishly at the gym. Do you wonder what is the reason for this? If you choose the best creatine, then you can count on rewarding results. Such supplements lead to an increase in muscle mass and strength. Remember that an insufficient amount of this organic compound causes a lack of phosphocreatine. This means lower ATP levels in your muscles, which leads to faster fatigue and slower recovery after exercise. Thanks to supplements, you can deal with these aspects.
Properly dosed preparations may help to reduce unwanted body fat faster. Creatine also has valuable antioxidant properties. In addition, it contributes to much faster recovery of damaged muscle fibres and improves the process of wound healing. It is worth knowing that on the market there are supplements with creatine available in various forms. People interested in buying it may decide on a product in the form of powder, capsules, tablets or liquid.
How can creatine be supplemented? Monohydrate is the most frequently chosen product. Not only because of its numerous advantages but also because of its favourable price. What should you know about it? Monohydrate is formed by combining water molecules with creatine. The functioning of this supplement is based on desired pro anabolic reactions. Systematic use of creatine monohydrate leads to an increased amount of ATP, which results in a bigger strength and muscle mass. At the same time, we get rid of unwanted body fat.
It is good to mention that creatine monohydrate influences the formation of protein molecules, which begin to affect the structure of fibres responsible for building muscles. As a result, they are not only bigger but also denser. What else can you expect? Regular supplementation with creatine monohydrate leads to greater body efficiency. The organism is much less susceptible to fatigue. As a consequence, you can complete a given training unit in 100%, which contributes to faster results. What is more, creatine monohydrate accelerates regeneration and means that we do not have to worry about soreness. This is possible because the supplement influences the maintenance of appropriate pH levels in cells.
Creatine malate is an alternative to monohydrate. What are the characteristics of this supplement? Creatine malate is formed by combining one creatine molecule with two malic acids. This form of supplement is considered to be very stable. Thanks to the regular use of creatine malate, gradual muscle growth can be achieved, which will be characterised by a more compact structure which is very important for many people. Muscle tissue develops slightly slower (in comparison with the use of monohydrate), but you can count on more long-term results.
What are the other advantages? By supplementing creatine malate you can strengthen muscles without increasing the total body weight. This is very important especially for women. In addition, creatine malate accelerates the reduction of unwanted body fat. It is worth mentioning that this dietary supplement does not retain water in the body, which is also desired by many exercising people. According to many opinions, this form of creatine supplementation is the most convenient. Why? Creatine malate is very easily soluble in water. Moreover, it is absorbed very well, which also has a significant influence on the mentioned advantages.
Other ways of supplementing creatine?
Apart from monohydrate and malate, there are also other preparations providing creatine to our organism. Nevertheless, they are much less popular and less frequently used. This group includes e.g. creatine citrate which is formed as a result of combining one creatine particle and three citric acids. Creatine citrate improves strength, stamina and also accelerates regeneration. Supplements such as creatine hydrochloride (e.g. OstroVit CGT 600 g or OstroVit Creatine HCL), creatine stacks and matrix (np. OstroVit Five Stars Creatine).
Creatine - dosage is the key to success
How should creatine be supplemented correctly? The dosage depends on several factors. It is mainly about the advancement level of a given person. The weight of the body is also important. The correct supplementation (in connection with appropriate training and a balanced diet) allows us to achieve the expected results.
When it comes to creatine monohydrate, permanent supplementation is the most popular choice. In this case, you need to take about 0.03-0.05 g per 1 kg of body weight. As for creatine malate, it is recommended to take 5 g per day. Professionals who train several times a day take even more than ten grams of this preparation. Please note that the doses of creatine supplements also depend on whether we train or rest on a given day.
The values we have presented here are only a general outline of how creatine is usually supplemented. Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions in the first place. Each package comes with instructions that explain how to take the product on workout and non-workout days.
Creatine - side effects
Following the manufacturer's instructions will ensure that you achieve the desired results and, what's more, that there are no side effects. What is important to note is that popular creatine supplements are carefully examined and tested before they are released for sale. This means that there are no complications in terms of the proper functioning of the body.
However, taking too high doses sometimes leads to certain side effects. These are mainly problems with the digestive system like Stomach aches and diarrhoea. Sometimes dehydration and muscle cramps may occur. Improper supplementation sometimes contributes to a greater tendency to muscle strains. It is worth emphasising that such situations occur very rarely and in most cases are caused by taking too high doses of creatine.