Creatine is an important supplement if your goal is to improve your overall gym performance. It can increase your muscle mass at the same time improve your strength and exercise performance. Moreover, it provides another health benefit – protecting you against neurological diseases.
Many people think that creatine is unsafe to use with many side effects. However, creatine offers outstanding safety profile since it is one of the most studied supplements in the world. You must know that creatine is a substance that is naturally found in your muscle cells. It helps the muscles generate energy especially during high-intensity exercise of heavy lifting.
There are many factors that affect the creatine store of your body – meat intake, exercise, muscle mass, and hormone levels. Creatine can also be made synthetically thus the existence of supplements. Here are some things that you need to know about supplementing creatine. When should i take creatine? If you decide to take creatine, you should know that there are three main options – shortly before the exercise, after the exercise and splitting throughout the day. There was a study conducted by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2013 tackling when is the best time to take it.
At the end of the study, a greater decrease in fat mass and a greater increase in lean mass were seen in the group that consumed 5 grams of creatine after exercise. However, there are some studies that stated no difference between taking it before or after the workout. With this, it is unclear whether there are any differences between taking it before or after a workout. Supplementing will be according to your preference.
How about supplementing on rest days?
You will have rest days. Even so, you need to supplement. The goal here is to keep the creatine content of your muscles raised.
What is the dosing?
You must remember that when starting to supplement, you should initiate it with “loading phase”. This involves taking high amounts (approximately 20 grams split into 4 servings throughout the day) for about five to seven days. It will be followed with a daily “maintenance dose”, which is about 3-5 grams. Absorption of creatine may be improved with a protein-based meal.
Are you really excited to learn more about creatine? The first question you would arise in you is that how long does it take for creatine to work? The effects will depend on the type of creatine you are taking, how much you are taking every day, type of workouts you are doing and whether you are taking it with food. There is no clear time period but you have to know that the benefits will come gradually over time. Some say within a month you will notice an improvement while others claim that it took them a year to fully develop their muscles. Whatever the time period, it is crucial that you are patient and consistent.
Are there side effects?
It was mentioned earlier that creatine is one of the most studied supplements in the world. When it comes to side effects, there are studies that show no negative effects of creatine supplements for up to four years. There is also no evidence that it can harm the kidney and liver of healthy people who consume normal doses.