I don't know about you guys but I'm sick of people asking creatine questions thats been answered a thousand times.
Creatine is an amino acid. It is normally produced in the body from arginine, glycine and methionine. Creatine plays a vital role in cellular energy production as creatinephosphate (phosphocreatine) in regenerating adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in skeletal muscle. Without ATP, muscle contraction is not possible. Oral administration of creatine increases muscle stores and may increase muscle strength and improve exercise performance. In the diet,creatine is found in meat and fish - although cooking destroys most of it. Creatine claims to increase energy, power output, and enchances muscle size and strenght.
A significant gain in physical performance in high-intensity exercise has been shown with creatine doses of 20 to 30 g/day, but more recent research is indicating that similar performance benefits are possible with much lower doses in the range of 2-5 grams/day though benefits may take longer to be noticed).
Taking very large doses of creatine daily seemed to increase the strength of muscular dystrophypatients' muscles by about 10 percent. Although that may be considered a relatively small gain it may be very important to that person who can now pick up a glass of water. Ten grams of
creatine per day for 5 days followed by 5 grams per day for another week have produced increases in muscle strength in the legs, hands and feet of patients with muscular dystrophy.Such patients usually have lower creatine levels than healthy people, so boosting muscle stores may help augment cellular energy production and support muscular contraction.
The most common regimen for creatine supplementation follows a two-phase cycle with a 5-10 day loading phase (20-25 g/day) followed by a variable length maintenance phase (2-5 g/day)to maintain muscle saturation. It is unclear, however, whether the loading phase is actually
needed to achieve the same end result. Creatine absorption appears to be enhanced when the supplement is taken with a high-carbohydrate drink such as fruit juice.
Purchasing creatine involves three basic choices:
1. 100 percent pure creatine monohydrate - It's a white powder(not unlike baking soda) that is basically tasteless and odorless.You can mix it in water, juice,protein shake, etc. Do not,however, mix creatine with a citrus drink. The combination of creatine and a citrus drink may result in some
breakdown of the product, converting creatine into creatinine,hich is useless to your body.
2. Creatine and sugar (premixed) - A 1996 study showed that ingesting a carbohydrate solution with creatine promoted a 60 percent greater increase in total creatine concentrations in the muscle, compared with taking creatine alone.(14) Sixty percent is a big difference.However, the subjects who took the creatine and carbohydrates were pounding back 93g of carbs four times per day for five days. 93g of carbohydrates is an additional 1,488 calories per day, or 7,440 calories for the five-day experiment. Any way you look at it, that is a good way to get fat. So, if you are going to follow the protocol of this study and suck back four sugar shakes per day for five days, that's where I would leave it. In other words, if you are not concerned about how big your gut gets in a week's time, and you want to load creatine, this is a proven method. After the loading period is over, if you wanted to continue with this type of
drink, I would reserve the 93g of sugary goodness for your post-workout meal only. Post-workout is when your muscles are begging for sugar like a crack addict looking for a fix. If one were to critically compare this study to commercial creatine premixes,most supplement manufacturers would fall short on the amount of sugar in one serving. The sugar increases insulin, which transports creatine into the muscles. For now, suffice it to say I have tried many premixed creatine drinks and can say with a great degree of certainty that they do work better than creatine
alone. Like I said, though, if you want to follow this protocol,reserve this drink reserved for a post-workout shake,and you won't have to worry about bustin' your gut.
3. Creatine and insulin mimicking agents - Agents that mimic insulin, such as Alpha-lipoic acid, have an effect similar to sugar on your body. When you consume high levels of simple sugars,your insulin goes through the roof. The insulin is responsible for getting nutrients (i.e. creatine) to the muscles. So these products theoretically punch up your insulin without the 93g of gut-busting sugar. The concept is fantastic, and I believe they work. A 1998 study confirmed that "insulin can enhance muscle creatine accumulation in humans, but only when present atphysiologically high or supraphysiological concentrations."(15) What this means is high insulin levels need to exist to enhance creatine's effects.Using insulin mimickers instead of sugar is an area moving to the forefront of "making creatine better."
Here are some other great web sites dealing with creatine:
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