There are two supplements that have more research supporting its efficacy than any other supplement out there, Creatine is one of them and another is protein powder.
Most of us believe that creatine can help with increasing muscle mass, strength and exercise performance, however, studies show that creatine does a lot of interesting things beyond these.
Since there are a lot of questions about creatine on r/fitness, Eric Trexler wrote a long article(like 8,500 word long) on strongerbyscience. However, like regular folks, we don’t have enough time to read that long article but if you’re a fitness nerd, you can check out this article.
But if you want to read a short version of this article, you’re at the right place.
Lesser-Known Benefits of Creatine
Most of us know that creatine can help you increasing your exercise performance but there are some unknown benefits that very few people knows.
- When you consume creatine, phosphocreatine donates its phosphate group to reform ATP from ADP, and a hydrogen ion is consumed in the process. This process known as hydrogen buffering and with the help of that creatine supplementation helps to delay fatigue during intense exercise.
- Creatine is widely known for its increase body mass benefit and most of the time this increased body mass can relate to water retention in the muscle. However, a meta-analysis done by Chilibeck et al shows that creatine may promote increases in lean body mass by directly affecting myostatin, myogenic regulatory factors, IGF-1 and satellite cell activation.
- There are some research that indicates that creatine may lower high blood sugar levels, improve muscle function in older adults.
Types of Creatine Supplementation
While there are 5 other types of creatine, the creatine monohydrate form is highly researched and considered as a gold standard form of creatine supplement.
Besides Creatine Monohydrate, these are the other forms of creatine supplement you can find in the market:
- Creatine ethyl ester
- Creatine hydrochloride
- Buffered creatine
- Liquid creatine
- Creatine magnesium chelate
The reason why creatine monohydrate is better than the other form of creatine supplement is it is quite effective when it comes to saturating muscle creatine storage and increasing performance.
Maximizing Muscle Creatine Saturation: Loading, Cycling, and Timing
A general approach when it comes maximizing muscle creatine saturation is doing loading of creating which involves consuming high creatine doses(20-30gms per day, split between 4-5 doses) for 4 to 8 days in a row.
After this phase, your muscle creatine storage is saturated and then you can maintain does at 2-5gms per day.
This method is highly effective but not necessarily required.
You can achieve the same saturate muscle creatine storage after 3-4 weeks of supplementation consuming 3-5gms per day as shown in this study on muscle creatine loading.
You can certainly go for the loading method if and only if you really need to maximize your performance within seven days of supplementation.
However, keep in mind that mild gastrointestinal discomfort is often observed with this method.
I often heard from people that you need to cycle creatine in order to prevent long-term downregulation of creatine production.
Now it is certainly true that creatine supplementation with typical doses will reduce short-term production of creatine, however, endogenous production starts producing creatine when you stop taking creatine.
In fact, a study done by Richard B. Kreider and his colleagues have found no evidence between long-term creatine supplementation and impairing creatine production after stop consuming creatine.
Side Effect of Creatine
If you asked someone or do a quick google search or watch youtube video about creatine side effects, you will found
- Muscle cramping
- Kidney issues
- liver issues
- weight gain are listed most frequently
Fortunately, there are several hundred creatine studies that have been conducted over the last few decades and some studies lasting up to five years. So we know what creatine does and does not.
There is one study which is most comprehensive when it comes to creatine side effect research where they measured 52 blood markers and observed it for 21 months of creatine supplementation and found no adverse effects.
In healthy individuals, there is no evidence to suggest that creatine causes damage to the liver or kidneys. However, supplementation should be discussed with doctors if you have any pre-existing kidney or liver problems.
Creatine has no side effects. Although Creatine is often believed to cause cramps and dehydration, research has not supported this.
Two Best Creatine Supplement to Buy
What Makes Creatine Supplement Best:
When it comes to choosing the best creatine supplement, there are few things you need to look at.
- First and most important one is the ingredient, the product should have only one ingredient which is creatine monohydrate.
- Second is the price tag, you don’t want something like Beast Creature Powder Creatine which costs $30 for 30 servings.
- Since you’re consuming creatine daily at least 10gm, you need a creatine supplement that has many servings with a low price tag.
- Third is flavour, many people prefer to have flavour in their creatine(But I do not!)However, a creatine supplement with added flavour will reduce it’s serving size like if you take 5gm of creatine per serving, you will get only 3.6gm or something.
- BulkSupplements’s Creatine Monohydrate:
If you check above best creatine supplementation creataria with this product, the Bulk Supplement’s Creatine Monohydrate is best.
It offered all things someone wants in the best creatine supplement like low price tag, and flavourless.
Whether you’re trying creatine monohydrate for the first time or consuming for a long time, BulkSupplement offered it’s package from 250gm to 5kg.
You can read more about it here on Amazon.
- Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate:
ON’s Creatine monohydrate is also highly consumed among gym bros as it offers all the benefits someone wants in the best creatine monohydrate product.
Unlike BulkSupplement, it comes in servings which means you can buy from 30 to 400 servings of Creatine Monohydrate.
P.S. You need to buy 5gm of scoop as it does not come with the scoop.
Creatine is one of the most-effective, safest, and affordable supplements in the market.
It improves quality of life, brain health, and exercise performance in older people. Supplementing may be especially useful for vegetarians and older adults who don’t get enough creatine in their diet.
Creatine monohydrate is the most effective form. You can try creatine to find out if it is for you.