What is creatine
In terms of chemistry, creatine is a nitrogenous compound, the necessary amount of which our body can obtain by synthesizing the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine in the liver and kidneys. The human body has about 120 g of creatine (in a 70 kg person), which is mainly concentrated in skeletal muscle. Meat, especially beef, chicken or rabbit, is a natural source of creatine. Therefore, vegetarians and vegans may experience lower creatine stores in the body.
Creatine represents one of the most popular and best researched sports supplements, which helps to produce energy more efficiently through the regeneration of the ATP molecule, which is the basic energy unit in the body.
Types of creatine
Creatine can be encountered in several forms:
- Creatine monohydrate is the most common and cheapest form of creatine, but it is considered the "gold standard" as it delivers all the desired results. The disadvantage is poor water solubility. Trademark Creapure guarantees 100% purity and quality of the product.
- Creatine HCL is a combination of creatine and hydrochloride and is a very soluble form of creatine. You will pay extra for this product compared to the classic monohydrate, but the higher effectiveness has not been proven.
- Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) is characterized by the binding of creatine to the ester, which increases its absorbability and reduces its ability to retain fluid. However, according to the results of studies, the effects are not much different from regular monohydrate.
- Creatine mixtures combine several types of creatine, usually enriched with other amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Effects of creatine
The use of creatine is widespread and popular among many athletes from different sports. The most important effects of creatine include:
- increasing muscle strength,
- through more effective training, it can promote muscle mass growth,
- delaying muscle fatigue,
- increased speed of movement and longer endurance in speed performance,
- a slight improvement can be expected in the first few metres of sprint performance, and
- an improvement in the overall recovery of the body.
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements with no serious negative effects shown. However, there may be minor digestive problems associated with it (especially at high doses in a saturation week) or slight weight gain due to the binding of water to the creatine molecule. The possibility of liver or kidney damage due to creatine use has been refuted.
Dosage of creatine
The simplest option for taking creatine is in amounts of 5‑10 g per day, which is a slower but long term effective solution that is also body friendly. On training days, it is advisable to take it along with protein post‑workout. On non‑training days, it should be taken in the morning or anytime during the day, but ideally with a meal containing protein and carbohydrates.
The second option is specific dosing, consisting of a saturation and maintenance phase. The saturation phase should last about a week, during which 20‑25 g of creatine is taken, divided into 5 g doses. The maintenance phase then lasts 3‑4 weeks, during which only 5 g of creatine per day is taken.
Most often it is possible to meet creatine powder, which allows individual dosage. Creatine tablets and capsules are also gaining in popularity, which make dosing easier and are easily portable in a tablet tray. Try creatine from Vilgain, Nutrend or Extrifit.