If you came across this article after hearing about creatine from people at your gym, the chances that you have a perception of it similar to that of a lifesaving drug are high. I don’t blame you at the very least! Nor is it a matter of concern whether you conceived misinformation. To put it truly into words, creatine is, as a matter of fact, similar to a lifesaving drug for gym freaks. It has been called the number # 1 supplement for increasing energy more times than any other competitive supplement. However, countless times it has also been the case that the use of creatine has not proven to be the best for certain people (It is still uncertain as to whether that is a myth since there is no scientific evidence backing the approach up). All I intend to do is lay the facts and figures in front of you in a manner that will make you able enough to conclude for yourself.
Keeping in mind a widely known proverb, actions are louder than words, I decided upon the actuality that the best way to go about this concept is to combine both; actions as well as words. Allow me to elaborate; I am going to explain, as best as I can, the reality-based experience of how it is like to use creatine. Having said that, I believe it is crucial to understand what and why a product should be used (that being creatine) without the interest of a seller or marketing company romanticizing its effects. On that note, let’s get rolling!
What is creatine?
Biologically, creatine is a substance naturally found in our muscle cells as well as in some parts of our brain. Its sole purpose is to aid muscles in their ‘ workout tasks’ such as weight lifting or performing other demanding exercises such as planks and pull-ups. Creatine produces energy in the muscles and is also found in the foods we eat. Therefore, the creatine supplement only gives a boost to the already present chemical inside our body, negating the common misconception that the additional supplement gives birth to its production in the body of a gymnast.
What is creatine used for?
As you may have guessed creatine has a lot to do with sports and gym enthusiasts whereas, very little to do with the people who are not largely a part of such activities. This is also one of the many reasons why the target audience of creatine manufacturer companies is gym rats. That explains why there’s always a shirtless guy who is heavy lifting in the creatine supplement advertisement. Following the same trend, creatine is responsible for increasing the muscle mass in athletes as well as improving the entirety of their performance. What more could one ask for? Ah yes! Physical strength. Not too surprisingly, creatine (as a supplement) is also the answer to that. Researches have shown that the intake of creatine in an individual right before a workout session has improved his/her physical strength noticeably if put in comparison to when there was no prior use of the supplement.
As if this wasn’t enough, creatine is known for having other appreciable benefits as well, not only to namely athletes but also to other everyday people. Examples of these would be; lowering and countering blood sugar levels in one’s body, bettering the quality of life in considerably elderly citizens, and lastly, treating liver diseases. However, there is not much scientific evidence as to whether the latter is true. Nevertheless, people who use creatine as a supplement have provided positive feedback, aside from those who have had alcohol-based liver diseases.
Moreover, as I mentioned above that creatine is also present in our brain (despite being considered minimal), it would only be fair if its beneficial approach is applicable in that department as well. Swearing not to disappoint, creatine as an additional supplement has worthwhile effects on our nervous system as well. While it is true that it is beyond the supplement’s capacity to work as a sole treatment, it can, nevertheless, somewhat better conditions such as; epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and the functioning of the brain of an individual of age.
How does creatine work?
Let’s have a quick overview regarding exactly what supplement, as well as the natural substance in your body, runs. Around 90 to 95% of creatine is present in your body muscles having taken the shape of phosphocreatine. Throughout the day, it stores in your body depend on various factors like hormonal balance, mainly testosterone (more particularly in females), the amount of exercise you perform in a day, and lastly, your natural muscle mass. Therefore, when you take creatine as a supplement, directly or indirectly, you are adding to the amount of phosphocreatine.
What the hell is phosphocreatine? That is probably what you are thinking of right now. Don’t worry, I’ve got you completely covered. To put it simply and make it sound less mind-clogging, phosphocreatine is the storage room of your body. It stores the energy of your body in itself and produces ATP. ATP is a high-energy molecule. Consequently, the more ATP your body muscles contain the better you will be at doing your workout routine or a gym session. In conclusion, it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that ATP is ultimately your body’s superhero!
Another engrossing naked truth is that creatine (as a supplement) brings immediate benefits for people who initially have a low level of the chemical inside their body (primarily, muscles). In comparison, workout enthusiasts who have a higher muscle mass and strength will find that the additional supplement had an almost negligible impact on their workout routine. Henceforth, you should plan your dosage as per your already persisting body type.
After conducting detailed desktop research, I have gathered authenticated information regarding the use of creatine and how it has an impact on one’s body and lifestyle. Most of the results are in light of how an individual who has yet not used creatine feels in a gym surrounding as well as the hurdles that are faced.
First and foremost, the day-to-day diet of someone who does not take creatine as a supplement is a primary factor that determines their gym performance. This is for the reason that creatine requirements of their body will be met by the quantity of food that they eat as well as the quality. The highest content of creatine found in any food is in red meat. For someone who works out at the gym on a regular or weekly basis without taking any supplements, meat should be a crucial part of their diet. This concept also further justifies the fact that vegetarians lack creatine in their body muscles as well as other parts of their body i.e. liver, kidney, and brain. In terms of physical health, unlike what is the case along with supplementation, there is no such rapid weight gain without creatine. Despite that, there may eventually be a gain in overall body weight if he/she is regular with the set routine and additionally has a pre-workout schedule as well.
Further into the bargain, as I referred to the fact that 5% creatine is present in the brain, it isn’t impossible to imagine that it would also alter the way a particular individual feels about their physical progress. With respect to that, it has been observed that people tend to catch feelings of demotivation and disappointment rather quickly at an insignificant failure to succeed at doing a particular workout.
Once a gym-aholic begins supplementing, the findings are known to be differing from one week to another. Notwithstanding that, it is fundamental that the taker does not stop supplementing the chemical in between. The changes will only be evident if consistency is maintained throughout till the end or if it is incorporated in one’s diet as a continuous addition.
For the reason of making it less laborious for you to wish through the details, I have divided the generalized progression people move swiftly through in subheadings based every week.
Once a person has started supplementing and a week has passed to the consistent use of creatine, results tend to unwrap and unleash themselves gradually. Initially, there is no conspicuous change in body weight as a whole. Singularly, if the taker is already kicking off with a sufficient amount of creatine in their body. Gym energy, on the flip side, is apparently and better than what it was previously (before the use of creatine) as well as a slight increase in muscle mass. The growth would only be noticeable after taking a measurement and comparing it to the prior mass.
It is from this week onwards that the effects of supplementation become even more obvious. At this point, your gym mates might approach you with the sheer curiosity of knowing what it is that is helping you gain more energy during your workouts. For someone new to the use of supplements, you will practically be able to tell the difference by now. There may also be a slight (although obvious through the naked eye) change in your muscle mass. Most importantly, you will start to feel a bulge in your chest and upper limb muscles. The only persistent downside at this point would be body weight. Conventionally, there is no surge in the overall weight. To explain the idea better, if you kicked off supplementing at the weight of 74 kg, the chances that you would be 76 – 77 kg are oddly slim. However, don’t be disheartened, the tree of patience bears the sweetest fruit!
This is when it starts to get real. Are you starting to feel the energy? Perhaps a slight buzz and overwhelming excitement in the air? Yes, that is creatine trying to make you aware of its unmistakably perceptible presence. Up till now, it has almost become a trend that after an entire week (from the previous day of observation of creatine results) your body mass will get a little bit further on the ladder each time. The alteration in size of your upper body muscles, as well as hip muscles, will be the target of creatine supplementation more than any other (up till week 3). The two new findings that are expected to differ from the previous week are; the motivated and challenge accepting mindset as well as the increase in overall weight. The credit of being comparatively stimulated and prompt goes entirely to creatine (and somewhat to you for making this decision in the first place).
Aside from the increase in body weight and muscle mass, as much as five pounds since the beginning of supplementing of the chemical, the culture of week 3 is being followed.
The Final Week
By now, I can bet you feel it in the air as well as internally. Taking creatine has been one of the best decisions you made so far in your gym life and you couldn’t be happier about it. It isn’t just that you feel physically elated and strengthened but also that mentally, you start to feel like you are crushing it at the gym (you certainly are, there is no second-guessing that). Life is as good as it gets and there is nothing more you could ask for (working out wise). And everyone lived happily ever after!
Drawbacks of creatine
Everything has its pros and cons, creatine is no different. That depends on you is how well you balance both of its aspects and deal with them accordingly. There are seldom any chances of you facing any back locks as far as you are actively supplementing. Nevertheless, as soon as you stop you will gradually start to feel the weight you had formerly gained, drop. It is for this reason that health and physical trainee experts advise people to either be mentally prepared to lose the water weight or to keep up with the consistency of the supplement’s consumption.