What Is Creatine?

Many people have a lot of misconceptions about what, exactly, Creatine is. This substance has a reputation for being used by bodybuilders as part of a sports nutrition program that increases health and maximizes athletic performance. While this is true, Creatine is not just for bodybuilders. In fact, many different types of athletes and even regular people seeking to improve their health comprise this substance into their diet. As long as it is used correctly and in the proper amounts, it can be a wonderful and incredibly helpful tool. You should be sure to carefully research Creatine and to speak with a doctor before you incorporated it into your nutritional program.

Creatine is a supplement and can best be described as an acid. In the body, it acts as a high powered energy source for the skeletal muscles, making it highly desirable for any kind of athlete, especially those involved in intense or high energy sports. In addition to increasing energy and performance, the supplement also helps users to gain muscle mass in conjuction with a muscle building exercise routine followed on a regular basis. Creatine will not do all of the work for you; you must still follow a healthy eating plan and exercise regularly, but it can help you to see better results more quickly. Athletes use Creatine in a number of different forms. The most common include a powder form that is mixed into a drink or as a manufactured capsule. It is recommended that any form of Creatine be taken with food containing carbohydrates, usually right before exercising.

According to scientific studies, using Creatine for as little as two weeks can show an improvement of 5 to 15% in workouts that include periods of work followed by rest, known as anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise, which is a more intense form of exercise without rest, can be performed with more power and energy when Creatine is used. The substance can also help to increase healthy weight gain in those athletes who need to "bulk up.

Most athletes will take Creatine in one of two proven ways. They will either go through what is known as a "loading phase," in which they take twenty grams of Creatine for a week followed by taking three to five grams of Creatine for a period of two to three months, or they will skip the loading phase and take anywhere from three to ten grams during a two to three month period. If you are interested in taking Creatine, you can speak to a doctor, nutritionist, or to a knowledgeable sports coach about which method would probably work best for you and be the safest. It is advised that all creatine users take regular breaks, usually of one or two weeks, from using Creatine to avoid developing an increased tolerance to the substance. The longer it is taken, the less effective it becomes.

Most major sports teams and organizations allow the use of Creatine, since it is a natural substance and not comparable to anabolic steroids, which have a very negative effect on the body. However, you will need to check with your sports league, team, or other organization to be sure that Creatine use is considered acceptable. If it is, then you should talk to your doctor before you begin using the substance. He or she will need to perform a health checkup to ensure that it is healthy for you to use Creatine. While you are taking the supplement, regular health monitoring is important in case any adverse side effects (rare) or other complications begin to develop.