Creatine FAQI'm not sure what happened to the last Creatine FAQ, but I'll try to cover the basics, along with the science of Creatine. This thread is meant to be short and to the point, not 20 paragraphs full of how energy from cellular respiration effects protein synthesis via ATP.
Q. How does Creatine work?
A. In simple terms, Creatine increases your energy output by replenishing ADP bonds faster then normal.
Let's explore the science behind this though, shall we? Let's start with the blank foundation, and build are way up.
Adenosine Diphosphate (the orange and blue shapes on the bottom left of the diagram), also known as ADP, bonds to phosphate molecules to form ATP once it has 3 phosphate molecules bonded in a chain. That why it's called ATP(Adenosine triphosphate), because it's bonded to 3 phosphate molecules. (Top of diagram) ATP stores it's energy in between these phosphate bonds, and isn't released until the bonds are broken (When your lifting dat heavy azz weight). What Creatine does is replenishes the broken off phosphate molecules that you lose from lifting that heavy azz weight, giving you a higher amount of ATP output. (Giving you more energy in other words)
Q. So how exactly do I take Creatine?
A. Creatine Monohydrate comes in a tub, and is just basically tasteless, odorless powder. You can either stir it up in water, or you can just eat the powder, and chug down some water with it. (like taking a pill) It all comes down to personal preference. What you do need to do is make sure you are drinking plenty of water while your on Creatine. (Atleast a gallon a day) You should notice pretty immediate weight gains within the first week. Don't go around thinking it's muscle gains though. That is just your body retaining more water.
Q. What side effects does Creatine have?
A. Positive side effects would include a slight increase in strength, and a slightly improved recovery periods. Neutral/Negative side effects include the infamous 'Creatine Bloat' in which the user experiences increased water weight. (the ability to retain water)
Q. How much Creatine should I take a day.
A. 5g a day is plenty.
Q. My Creatine didn't come with a scooper, how much is 5g?
A. 5g = 1 tsp
Q. Is Creatine worth buying?
A. If you have the money to shell out, it is worth buying IMHO. You won't die without it, but it'll help speed up the process of building that aesthetic body you always wanted, only a tiny bit in the long run though.
Q. Will Creatine affect my growth?
A. No, Creatine will not affect your growth.
Q. What kind of Creatine should I buy?
A. Buy 100% Creatine Monohydrate, don't fall for supplement companies claiming they have the 'best' Creatine. Go for the most cost effective brand you can find, but make sure it has good reviews. :P
Q. Do I need to load/cycle Creatine?
A. Short answer, no. It may take a bit for the Creatine's affects to take place, but loading will help these affects take place faster. All it does is help you reach your saturation point faster, but is completely unnecessary, and can easily be done with a daily intake IMHO. If your looking for fast results, loading does have a place.
Q. My friend said you could die from Creatine because it takes water away from your kidneys.
A. Well, first off, your friend is an idiot. Secondly, there are no recorded deaths caused by Creatine, nor or there any harmful side effects.
Q. When should I take my Creatine?
A. It doesn't matter TBH, although a good amount of people like to take their's post workout.
Q. What if I only workout 3 days a week, will it have any effect on my body?
A. Nothing major, increased strength and a Creatine gut. :P
Q. I don't have enough money to buy Creatine anymore, what do I do when when I stop taking it?
A. Continue to do what your doing and don't worry about it.
Q. My friend says Creatine is a steroid.
A. Creatine is naturally found in the body, and also in meats & such. How can adding 5 lbs to your bench be considered a steroid?
Q. Will Creatine help me gain muscle?
A. Maybe not directly, but it will help you lift more weight for more reps. More weight for more reps will result in increased progressive overload, leading to you body changing and building muscle.
Q. Can I split my Creatine serving in half? (Ex. 3g in the morning and 3g post workout?)
A. Sure you can.
Q. I hear the pills are better then the powder.
A. Science says otherwise.
Q. It's been a week, and I still see no side effects.
A. It'll take up to a month before you will start to see the side effects. It's different for everyone.
Q. Is Creatine illegal?
A. Creatine is illegal in France, and is not allowed in the U.S. Military.
Sources / Studies
Thread: Creatine FAQ