Is Creatine Really Worth It?

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Quite popular amongst athletes, fitness buffs, fitness gurus and strength and conditioning coaches, creatine is, arguably, one of the most popular supplements ever!

Evidence in support of effectiveness of creatine is strong – thousands of professional and amateur athletes, weekend warriors and regular exercisers have found that out from personal experience. More importantly, irrefutable proof of creatine’s efficiency abounds in scientific literature as well (Buford et al., 2007; Terjung et al., 2000; Branch, 2003; Rawson & Volek, 2003).

In my view, creatine is one of the very few supplements that really work. When combined with an effective strength and conditioning program and protein supplementation, creatine is useful in improving body composition, muscle strength, power and sprinting ability – improved performance in almost all sports after use of creatine has been observed. Thus, whether you are into short, intense activities like track and field, wrestling or are a strength athlete or just a fitness buff looking to improve your fitness parameters, you cannot afford to miss out on the benefits that creatine supplementation offers.

How Should I be Taking Creatine?

Creatine is available for oral ingestion in the form of creatine monohydrate – as powder, pills, liquid formulations or bars. Here are some pointers on how to take creatine:

• daily dose of 5 g per day (recent thinking is that the loading dose of 20 g/day x 5 days offers no benefit and therefore isn’t required)

• creatine absorption is better when taken in combination with a sugary liquid (grapefruit juice)

• can be taken either pre-workout or post-workout

• taking protein supplements in combination with creatine may further improve the benefits

• after a 12-16 weeks’ cycle of creatine ingestion, take 4 weeks off

To conclude, creatine is one of the very few supplements that really work. When combined with an effective strength and condition program and protein supplementation, creatine is useful in improving body composition, muscle strength, power and sprinting ability – improved performance in almost all sports after use of creatine has been observed. Thus, whether you are into short, intense activities like track and field, wrestling or are a strength athlete or just a fitness buff looking to improve your fitness parameters, you cannot afford to miss out on the benefits that creatine supplementation offers.

To know more about how creatine functions and benefits of supplementing with creatine, follow this link.

References

Branch, J. D. (2003). Effect of creatine supplementation on body composition and performance: a meta-analysis. Int J Sport Nutr.Exerc.Metab, 13, 198-226.

Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M. et al. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr., 4, 6.

Rawson, E. S. & Volek, J. S. (2003). Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. J Strength Cond.Res., 17, 822-831.

Terjung, R. L., Clarkson, P., Eichner, E. R., Greenhaff, P. L., Hespel, P. J., Israel, R. G. et al. (2000). American College of Sports Medicine roundtable. The physiological and health effects of oral creatine supplementation. Med Sci.Sports Exerc., 32, 706-717.

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Source by Dr Deepak Hiwale

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