How familiar are you with creatine? For those of you aren’t so familiar with it, it’s a naturally-occurring substance that’s present in our muscles.
It’s also what helps our muscles to produce the energy that’s required to lift heavy weights or take part in high intensity exercise.
Due to its energy-boosting properties, creatine is also available as a supplement that’s widely-used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase muscle mass and strength and aid overall endurance and performance. Keep reading for more details about this powerhouse substance:
Q. What is it?
We’ve briefly touched on what creatine is above, but to be more specific it’s a substance that turns into creatine phosphate the moment it enters our bodies.
In turn, creatine phosphate helps make a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides the energy for muscle contractions. It can also significantly help the body recover between exercise too.
Creatine is thought to have been discovered in the 1970s, when scientists realised that taking it in a supplement form might enhance physical performance. By the 1990s, athletes started to widely realise this fact and, before long, creatine was a majorly popular sports supplement.
One of the reasons why it’s so popular is not just because of its extensive strength and repair properties, it’s widely accessible in all sorts of forms, ranging from powders and tablets, such as Lab Series Creatine Monohydrate,to energy bars and drink mixes.
Q. Why do you need it?
Believe it or not, creatine’s consumed by most people on a daily basis, without many even realising it. That’s because it comes from protein-rich sources of food, such as fish and meat.
For instance, when you eat a steak, your liver and kidneys take in the amino acids to make creatine, which is then transferred to your muscles as creatine monohydrate. Creatine’s frequently used for a number of reasons, here are three of them:
- Build muscle mass – when combined with resistance training, creatine supplements reportedly help people gain nearly twice as much muscle. This is thought to be due to the fact it enables them to perform at a higher level – whether that’s completing more reps or lifting heavier weights.
- Enhanced strength – it’s widely reported that creatine can contribute to overall strength over time. It’s thought that taking it as a supplement can increase muscle-creating creatine by up to 40% which, in turn, improves overall strength (PubMed Central). Feel the power!
- Greater brain energy – creatine’s also said to provide energy to the brain. This is largely because when we’re tired, it can negatively impact our mental performance and mood. And this slump is partly due to a drop in creatine levels in our brain.
Q. How do you take it?
The consumption of creatine is very much dictated by the form it’s taken in. For instance, powder-form creatine should be dissolved in water or juice.
Warm water or tea makes the dissolving process easier. Note – creatine monohydrate dissolves more slowly in cold water or other cold drinks, but is not any less effective.
It’s also just as effective to take creatine capsules or chewable tablets. Lab Series’ Creatine Monohydrate is available in bottles containing 90 tablets, which equates to 18 servings. The highest quality creatine monohydrate tablets on the market, they provide a huge 1,000mg in every tablet. It’s recommended five tablets are taken a day, with no need for loading or cycling.
What do we mean by loading?
Trainers normally recommend a creatine loading phase, which helps rapidly maximise muscle stores. And it’s during this phase that people usually consume a relatively large amount of creatine in a short period to rapidly saturate their muscles.
For instance, this could involve taking 20 grams of creatine every day for five to seven days. After this period, creatine levels can then be maintained by taking 2 to 10 grams each day.
Would you like to start incorporating creatine into your exercise regime? Order a bottle of Lab Series’ Creatine Monohydrate today.