Creatine Q&A

If you don’t already know, CrossFit Albuquerque now offers creatine. Creatine has been a hot topic in supplementation for years. All-in-all, it has proven to be an effective supplement and should be one worth considering. Below are some creatine FAQs:

  • What is it?

The word creatine is derived from the Greek word for meat. It is a naturally occurring nitrogenous organic acid found in the skeletal muscle of vertebrates. Unless you are a vegetarian, up to half of the creatine that is stored in your body can come from meat and 95% of it is stored in our skeletal muscles.

  • What is creatine’s function and why should I supplement with it?

Creatine is stored in the muscles and is used as a form of energy called phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine is associated with power output in prolonged muscle use. When this is depleted within the muscle, muscle fatigue is triggered. Increasing creatine within the body has been proven to help increase phosphocreatine output during anaerobic activity. This is known as the ATP-CP energy system within the body. This means that an increase in creatine leads to an increase in muscular endurance, as well as an increase in strength and power.

  • When should I take it?

Long story short, here is what the researchers are saying: “We think that taking creatine after a workout is better than before, but we really need to study more in order to prove that.”

  • How much creatine should I take?

All of the standard creatine advice seems to hold up in recent studies. Optimal dosing still appears to be between 2-5g per day. You can “load” for the first 5-7 days to help saturate your cells, but beyond that there’s no benefit to taking large amounts. You may consider saving your money and taking the smaller dose when and how you please. It’ll still offer maximum results.

Another common practice proven to be effective is to supplement creatine with a simple carbohydrate such as grape juice. The simple carbohydrates help create an insulin spike, and this helps deliver the creatine to the muscles at a much faster rate for quicker and more efficient absorption.

Also keep in mind, due to its nature creatine is most effective when staying fully hydrated. It will not be beneficial if you are not drinking plenty of water.

Ultimately, there is a ton of research out there supporting and proving the benefit to supplementing with creatine. If you have more questions, refer to the references below or ask Whitney next time you come in for a workout.

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