Creatine is one of the most commonly used supplements in the fitness world. It is also known for being widely tested and actually effective. So what is it exactly and how does it work?
There are some myths out there about creatine and some may feel skeptical or afraid to take it. Let’s take a look at the facts together and see if it is worth the money.
What does it do?
Creatine – or the nitrogenous organic acid helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle. This is achieved by increasing the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Creatine is completely natural, it is present in meat and around 1% of human blood is creatine. It is only reasonable that it was named after the Greek word ‘meat’ (kreas).
The benefits of creatine in fitness and bodybuilding are size and strength of the muscle. The volume of the muscle is enhanced by creatine holding water in the muscle cells making them look fuller.
On the other hand the ATP, which creatine helps form and accumulate, is responsible for better performance. According to research a significant increase in strength were observed in individuals supplemented with creatine and of course that resulted in more intense workouts and muscle growth.
Myths and Safety
There are myths out there that creatine isn’t safe for the kidneys and the heart or it may cause muscle cramps and pulls, dehydration, and diarrhea. These stories are anecdotal as creatine is one of the safest supplements out there. Multiple studies show that there are no major health risks or side effects associated with creatine.
Some people think they will get ‘fat’ or bloated from creatine if they don’t work out enough. Again, this is a myth and if you don’t do the work in the gym it will simply not work. There is no bloating effect since the water is stored inside the muscles.
Types of Creatine
Creatine Monohydrate is the most common and cheapest type of creatine that has been used for supplementation for years. It is easy to buy and does the job pretty well.
-Almost all studies concern creatine monohydrate and prove it effective
-Doesn’t require a loading phase
-Not very soluble in water
-Only about 1% absorbed into the body
-Not effective in about 10% of the population
Micronized Creatine is creatine monohydrate where the molecules of creatine have been divided or cut up. This increases their surface area 20 times, increasing absorption and reducing possible stomach discomfort.
-Effective even on non responders to monohydrate
-No bloating or stomach discomfort
-Purer than monohydrate
-Requires a loading phase
CEE (Creatine Ethyl Ester) is a creatine molecule with an ester attached which allows for almost 99% absorption into the body.
-Very effective for all users
-No bloating or stomach discomfort.
-No loading phase required
-Horrible taste but capsules can be purchased
Tri Creatine Malate is a compound of molecules created from malic acid and creatine. Tri Malate has 3 monohydrate molecules.
-Faster recovery and less fatigue
-More water soluble and absorbent
-Cell Volumizing effect
-Health effects unknown
Of course, there are many other types of creatine supplements on the market and the research and development is constantly moving forward. Our recommendation is that it’s great to use creatine supplements and you should try them out and see what works for you personally.