When it comes to boosting muscle growth and increasing athletic performance, creatine monohydrate has so much to offer it’s hard to know where to start.
It’s one of the most popular supplements on the market, it’s cheap to buy, and it’s scientifically proven to work. Both men and women can use creatine.
It’s also worth noting many important athletic organizations, including the International Olympic Committee, allow competing athletes to use creatine.
So if you have a big competition or important sporting event coming up, and are looking for something that can help increase your chance of success, you can use creatine monohydrate without having to worry about facing a ban.
So, should you be using creatine?
Take a look at a few of the benefits it can provide and decide for yourself:
- More energy
- Enhanced performance
- Bigger muscle pumps
- The ability to train longer and harder
- Improved sprint power
- Strength gains
- Muscle growth
- Faster metabolism
- Fat loss
What Does Creatine Do?
Creatine helps increase the body’s stores of adrenaline triphosphate (ATP). This important energy-carrying molecule captures the energy provided to the body by food and then releases it to power the body’s various biological activities.
The takeaway point bodybuilders need to remember is, every time muscles are put to use ATP is being expended. The presence of extra creatine helps maintain ATP levels a little bit longer.
This makes it possible to push out a few extra reps during sets and to get some extra weight on the bar a little bit sooner. Supplementing also provides extra energy for quick, intense movements, but this ability is more likely to be beneficial to people pursuing alternative sports.
The properties of creatine are the reason that it is often used to provide increased energy in stimulant-free pre workout alternatives.
Is it Safe to Use?
Despite various attempts at scaremongering, including claims that using creatine supplements can damage important organs, the results of numerous clinical trials and scientific evaluations show it is safe to use. They also show that it works.
How Does Creatine Improve Muscle Mass?
If you use creatine monohydrate, you will quickly find you are able to increase the intensity of your workout and train harder. Presuming you are eating a healthy diet, getting sufficient rest, and obtaining enough protein, the fact that you have pushed your muscles harder should necessitate increased anabolic activity and corresponding increases in muscle size and strength.
Supplementing with creatine is not an excuse to cut back on the other things you do to build muscle. It’s a way of supporting those efforts and obtaining extra benefits.
When your muscles are sufficiently loaded, you may also find you have a faster recovery time between sets and, if you normally require a few days rest between your full-body workouts you could find you are able to reduce this to a single day between workouts.
Should you wish to do so, this will allow you to clock up extra hours in the gym every month, obtain faster strength gains, and increase your muscle bulk even faster.
Why Does Creatine Provide Better Muscle Pumps?
Most bodybuilders hope to experience a good pump and, during an interview in the movie Pumping Iron, Arnold Schwarzenegger compared the pump to having sex.
Supplementation with creatine can help bring on a better pump by increasing muscle water volume and because glycogen binds to water, it becomes possible to get a bigger and better pump.
However, although the desire to pump-up can be motivating, this popular swollen muscle sensation is unlikely to directly encourage muscle growth.
If getting a better pump is your primary goal, you also need to be aware the biggest pumps are likely to occur during the first few days of use and will then level off as your body adjusts to the presence of extra creatine.
How Does Creatine Boost Fat Loss?
Although taking creatine monohydrate can help the body to burn its stores of fat, it does not work in the same way as diet supplements do and should not be considered a weight loss aid.
When bodybuilders or other athletes incorporate into their existing routine, it indirectly increases the likelihood of fat burning by helping to increase muscle mass.
All the tissues in the body, including muscles and fat, draw a certain amount of calories per day. Muscle tissue has a higher calorie draw than fat, so it’s obvious the presence of extra muscle tissue will increase the amount of calories the body is burning a day.
If the body runs short of calories, it will start breaking down fat to get the extra calories it needs. Creatine also encourages fat loss by elevating the metabolism because cells that are well-hydrated are usually more metabolic.