Creatine can actually be found in some foods including meat, eggs and fish. It is a molecule that we produce in the body. It stores high-energy phosphates groups in the form of phosphocreatine. The phosphocreatine then releases energy to help cellular function during physical stress (weight training). In turn, this results in strength increases after creatine supplementation. Supplementing with Creatine can also be beneficial to brain function as well as bone, muscle and liver health.
The most commonly known form of supplemental creatine is Creatine Monohydrate. For years there have been people who came out to say that creatine is harmful to the liver, its not for women or that its a “steroid”. There is actually ZERO evidence indicating that a pure, good quality creatine powder is harmful to the human body when ingested at the right amounts. We PRODUCE creatine in our bodies, it has been shown that supplementing with creatine will INCREASE the amount of phosphocreatine in our bodies.
In all honestly, if we did NOT produce any creatine in the body then it would be referred to as a vitamin like supplement, much like Vitamin D, A, C etc.
To supplement with it, 5 grams per day is the recommended rule of thumb for everyone. There are more specific measurement methods like a ‘loading phase’. This is beneficial for those who do not eat a lot of red meat, fish or eggs. Those foods contain creatine so if you do not have a diet rich in them, loading on creatine in the beginning can help. This ‘loading phase’ only lasts 5-7 days.During this time, you are ingesting a higher amount of creatine to increase the amount in your body. After this period you would essential taper down to only 10-20% of that original amount.
You can calculate how much you need by following these steps below:
- 200lb Male (91kg)
- Shoot for .3 grams per kilogram
- 91/.3 = 27.3 grams
- Take 27.3 grams (or 27g even) for 5-7 days
- After that period – take 2.7-5.4g/ PER DAY (10-20%)
There are some side effects when taking too much though. You can get stomach cramping and/or headaches from creatine if you are not properly hydrated (shoot for ½ oz of fluid per pound of body weight). You can also have these same issues and others like diarrhea and nausea when ingesting too much creatine.
By NO MEANS is creatine a steroid, it has no relation to a steroid and is structurally made completely different. Creatine is just something that simply WORKS and we know exactly why it works. It is one of the most researched supplements for a reason, creatine and caffeine are two of the most well known and studied supplements out today. As a healthy, active adult, creatine is safe and completely fine to take everyday for both males and females.
I would highly recommend supplementing with a good quality, pure creatine powder. Creatine Monohydrate is cheap and effective. Micronized creatine is also fine, its a finer powder that dissolves in water better!
Post Courtesy Of:
Head Strength Coach / Director of Nutrition & Education