Creatine: Yay or Nay
Creatine is a chemical that your body produces naturally, but it has become one of the most widely recognized supplements on the market. Creatine by fitness standards is used by people who want to gain mass, but it may also be taken for a creatine deficiency in those who have muscular diseases. So, why is it so popular, and is it important? Creatine is popular because it has improved performance in athletes and produces a larger muscle “look” by allowing the muscles to become saturated in water. It is also allowed by the NCAA and International Olympic Committee, giving new customers more confidence in using creatine supplements. Creatine does not, however, allow you to produce more muscle without the workout component. You still need to put in the effort, but once you do, the muscle growth will be rewarding. If you’re looking to add some more weight, look larger, and add some more strength from the gym, creatine might be an option for you. If your short term goal is attempting to have a more cut, defined, and lean appearance, creatine may not be the right supplement for you.
Things to consider: Creatine allows the muscles to absorb more water than normal, giving the larger appearance, but it also makes you dehydrated. Copious amounts of water should be consumed to keep hydrated, and creatine should be cycled like other supplements. Doing a month on, month off routine will allow you to safely take creatine. So is it safe? Yes, while taken in moderation and with a plan!
Personal experience: While at the Naval Academy, I took creatine with the month on, month off program. I saw a considerable change in muscle size (the gains I wanted!) but as soon as you stop using creatine, your muscles will begin to look smaller, even if the muscles are technically larger than before, because you were used to seeing swollen muscles. Additionally, I was drinking about 32ml (a Nalgene bottle) of water every hour when I was taking the pills. I have tried GNC Amp Creatine monohydrate pills, BSN Cellmass, and Cellucor M5 Reloaded.
I saw the best results with the pills, but the pills were large and tasted like cardboard. I moved to powders because they have a matrix that includes creatine, but it’s not as concentrated or bland. The best flavor was from the Cellucor M5 reloaded. They no longer make this particular version, but the blue raspberry was amazing and I noticed considerable gains. So try Cellucor’s products and you may get an updated or similar product.
The Verdict: YAY
I hope this answers what you wanted to know about taking creatine and its benefits without getting too deep into the micro-cellular level of how creatine works.
For more info, be sure to check out Men’s Health article about creatine here: http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/creatine-q-a
And check out Jeff Cavaliere’s endorsement from Athlean-X:
I do not own the images used in this article nor am I affiliated with the brands identified. All images were found using Google images and the rights to the images remain with their original owner. Consult your physician or health care provider before taking any supplements to see if they are right for you. Supplements are not intended to cure or prevent any diseases or injury. Results may vary.