Micronized Creatine Monohydrate has been consistently shown to increase both strength and muscle mass. Micronized Creatine’s smaller particle size means quicker digestion and faster utilization.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a substance found naturally within the human body. Although found in numerous organs, the majority of creatine is stored within the skeletal muscle cells. Put simply, creatine or creatine phosphate is used to restore the cells energy source, a compound called Adenosine Tri-Phosphate or ATP for short. The remarkable thing about muscle creatine stores is that they can be increased simply by supplementing the diet with additional creatine (Hultman et al., 1996). Therefore creatine supplements provide you with a means of increasing your muscle creatine stores.
Can creatine make you stronger?
A number of studies have suggested that creatine may enhance muscular strength within a very short period of time. In fact a recent study compared the maximum amount of weight able to be lifted for one repetition in the bench press exercise prior to and after seven days creatine supplementation (Volek et al., 1999). This strength based test commonly referred to as a "1RM" is a measure of maximal muscular strength. After only seven days of creatine supplementation, muscle strength had increased significantly.
Does Creatine help build muscle?
Numerous studies have reported that when combined with a resistance training program creatine can enhance the gains in fat free mass and lean body mass to a degree that is significantly greater than would be associated with training alone (Volek et al., 1999; Bemben et al., 2001). This is likely attributed to a combination of factors including: 1. Cell volumisation - Creatine causes the water inside the muscle cell (intracellular fluid) to increase, which causes the cell to swell (Bemben et al., 2001). This is believed to be an anabolic signal, which may promote protein synthesis (Haussinger et al., 1993). Cell volumisation can be indirectly detected by an increase in muscle cross sectional area within a matter a days after beginning creatine supplementation (Ziegenfuss et al., 1997). This may be subjectively felt as a "tightness" or "pump" in the muscle by many users. 2. Enhanced Training Capacity - Creatine enhances the resynthesis of the cells energy source, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This can allow a higher training intensity to be maintained which may ultimately lead to a greater stimulus for muscle growth (Volek et al., 1999).
What is the best way to use Creatine?
There are two main ways to use creatine that both have scientific backing. Method 1. Creatine loading Creatine loading consists of ingesting a relatively high dose of creatine (20g) per day for five days. This 20g dose is divided into five-gram dosages and consumed at four equally spaced intervals across the day. Research has shown this method to be a rapid way to increase creatine concentrations within human skeletal muscle (Hultman et al., 1996). After the five-day loading period you move into a phase known as maintenance. The purpose of the maintenance phase is to simply maintain the increased muscle creatine stores that were achieved during the loading phase. Most scientific studies use between 2 and 5 gram daily dosages during the maintenance phase (Hultman et al, 1996; Bemben et al., 2001). Method 2. Continual low dose Instead of loading you can basically just go straight into maintenance and consume a continual low dose of creatine (3 grams) once per day (Hultman et al., 1996). When compared to loading you will ultimately increase your muscle creatine concentrations by about the same amount, only this method will take a little longer. Using this method it will take approximately one month to achieve the same muscle creatine concentrations as is possible with a five day loading period (Hultman et al., 1996).
Is creatine best consumed before or after exercise?
A small amount of research has indicated that the uptake of creatine into the skeletal muscle may be augmented by exercise (Harris et al., 1992). Therefore consuming creatine post exercise is possibly more efficient than other ingestion times. However, regardless of when creatine is consumed, as long as it is consumed consistently in line with scientific recommendations, athletes should receive benefit.Read more