Anyone who is a serious bodybuilder has probably heard the praises of this popular supplement and wondered to themselves; does creatine actually work?
What is creatine?
Creatine is naturally produced in the body as a combination of amino acids and it is one of the best supplements for muscle growth next to protein. It’s found in the liver, pancreas, and the kidneys. It’s important to recognize that this natural substance is not a steroid and can be found in many foods as well. Red meat and fish are good sources of creatine. However, for those who are working hard to get ripped as they follow a weight lifting regimen, they’re not going to get enough creatine in their system from natural sources alone.
This is where the supplement comes in, produced as a powder and sold in many locations that target bodybuilding. Boosting levels of creatine in the body means boosting the presence of amino acids, important protein sources that build muscle. Since acquiring muscle mass and sculpting the body is the primary goal for bodybuilding, creatine is aimed at helping these athletes to reach their end goals more quickly.
Does creatine work? According to menshealth.com, this supplement does have positive results, although they are not as noticeable as the use of human growth hormone for muscle building of major proportions. Creatine benefits include allowing a person to work out longer and harder and recover slightly quicker.
Benefits of Creatine
Bodybuilders and weight lifters can increase the number of repetitions of all of their targeted exercises. They have the potential to push their bodies further, past the limits they would be able to achieve without the added push from creatine. Lean muscle mass will continue to build with an additional workload over time. Heavier weights can be used as the body gains strength. In addition to packing on the muscle, the body’s metabolism will be pumped up as well, burning off unwanted fat. The result is a lean, mean bodybuilding machine with more muscle and fat that melts away for optimal results.
How fast does Creatine work?
Questions are certain to arise before using any supplement, such as how fast does creatine work? Most see results in a period of two to three months. How fast does creatine work will really depend on the individual, the workout regimen, the addition of other sources of creatine, and if optimal conditions are maintained for bodybuilding. Creatine will help a person to have excellent body sculpting, but it is only one component of a workout regimen. It’s necessary to use a combination.
A few facts about Creatine
It’s important to know the facts about creatine. It is not considered a steroid nor is it banned by the Olympic committee in regards to being a legal and safe supplement. It will not work as if by magic. Individuals who use this supplement need to include it as part of their complete regimen, one that includes regular trips to the gym and a healthy diet that is geared toward bodybuilding. That means an emphasis on protein, whole grains, fresh produce, plenty of water, and no junk.
As far as an exercise routine, resistance training produces the best results. That means athletes will need to keep lifting those weights and hitting the machines that improve strength and endurance. There will be weight gain with the use of creatine, but that weight is muscle, not fat.
Is Creatine safe?
In short, yes it is entirely safe for a healthy and functioning human being.
However, before beginning use, it is also advised to talk with a doctor. There are risks for those with high blood pressure, diabetes, problems with the kidneys or liver, people who take various prescription medications, and those over forty. A physician will be able to determine if it is safe and recommend proper amounts of the product as well.
One will only be able to find out the benefits of creatine by following a safe regimen that is consistent. Results will vary for every individual. Those who already follow a bodybuilding routine that includes creatine from natural sources may not notice as much of a difference.
How much creatine should I take?
A general rule of thumb is ten grams a day for five to seven days a week. It is helpful to keep track of results in a journal, noting weight gain, increases in repetitions, improvements in muscle definition, and enhancement in levels of strength. A photographic timeline can help as well, showing pictures from beginning to end that will answer the question, at least for you personally: does creatine work?