Creatine is an amino acid found naturally in the contemporary diet, in foods such as meat, fish, berries and some vegetables. Creatine Phosphate is an important energy substrate in the muscle, involved in the production of Adenosine Tri-Phospate (ATP). ATP provides energy for short bursts of muscular contractions, in activities with an explosive and powerful modality.

Creatine Monohydrate is the most common, yet best documented form of supplemental creatine. It is not unusual to gain 1-2kg of water after a few days of creatine usage, as long as you have a caloric surplus and drink a sufficient amount of water. The weight gain is caused by muscle cell volumization, consisting of increased glycogen stores and fluid, further increasing the muscle’s strength and power potential. In practical terms, creatine allows you to lift heavier loads for more repetitions, leading to better gains in muscle mass and strength. It has also been shown that creatine works on a cellular level on something called satellite cells, increasing the potential for muscle growth over time, thus giving a higher net protein retention (muscle mass) when combined with an effective training program vs. training without creatine supplementation. There are also recent studies showing creatine having stimulatory qualities on optimal brain function, and it will be interesting to see future studies on this.

Scientific Muscle uses only creatine monohydrate of pharmaceutical quality, ensuring a product void of impurities as can be found in cheaper brands.

3-4 weeks of consistent creatine usage will maximize muscular creatine stores, whether you go with a loading phase (5g 5 times per day for 5 days) or the regular maintenance dose of 5-10g per day (1-2 teaspoons). The loading phase will provide faster and more dramatic results, so feel free to go this route if you prefer.

On training days it is recommended to mix 5g of creatine in a protein shake, ingested 30 minutes prior to workout, as studies have shown the increased blood supply to improve creatine uptake by almost 300%! You can also split the dosing into 2.5-5g pre-workout and 2.5-5g post-workout in a carb+protein shake. On resting days, ingest creatine with a meal or mixed in a protein drink.

It’s a common, yet slightly erroneous recommendation to do 6-8 week cycles of creatine followed by a 3-4 week period off. This recommendation was a cautionary one since we didn’t know anything about the long term consequences of creatine usage, but now recent studies spanning 5-7 years show that creatine supplementation is completely safe. Another reason was based on some studies observing a downregulation in creatine uptake after 6 weeks of use, which was misinterpreted by some people into believing that additional creatine would have no benefit.

The actual interpretation is that creatine uptake is downregulated when creatine stores are full, but you still need to continue supplementation to maintain maximum creatine stores. The recommendation for optimal results is to simply use a daily maintenance dosage of 5-10g throughout the year.










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