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  • Bodybuilding Supplements – Does Creatine Work?

    By Travis Steffen on Monday, June 29, 2009in Supplements  

    crimagesWhen it comes to the best muscle building or natural bodybuilding supplements, creatine is basically the gold standard. Creatine is supplemented in the diets of many bodybuilders for numerous reasons such as speeding up recovery rates, improving performance and increasing energy.

    What is Creatine?

    Creatine is a naturally occurring compound produced by our bodies, used to supply energy to our muscles. It is produced in the liver, kidneys and pancreas, then transported to the muscles through the bloodstream. Once creatine reaches the muscles it is converted into creatine phosphate which is used to regenerate the supply of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) . Simply put, creatine increases the amount of energy that is available to our muscles, potentially allowing us to work harder and/or longer. By increasing the intensity, effort and volume of our workouts, over time we can generate more muscle mass.

    Creatine is supplied by our diets mainly through the skeletal muscle found in meats and fish. Two to three pounds of uncooked meat or fish contains approximately 5 grams of creatine. Keep in mind that heat is responsible for the degradation of creatine, so the cooking process will reduce the supply. If dietary creatine is restricted, the body can produce it from amino acids made available during the digestion of food. Since the body will produce creatine, it is not considered one of the necessary or essential Muscle Building Supplements, however it has been shown to be a highly effective addition to a well designed nutrition plan and workout program.

    How much should I take?

    Most recommendations are between 20 to 25 grams of creatine per day taken on a cycle system. A cycle system means adding creatine to the diet in certain dosages for a particular number of days in combination with either taking certain days off or supplementing with much smaller amounts of creatine. The professionals at WorkoutBOX can help you decide on the system that is right for your particular needs. 4 to 5 grams should be consumed at a time, spread out over 5 different servings. It is also helpful to add 90 grams of carbohydrate with each serving as this helps encourage the storage of creatine in the muscles.

    Are there side effects?

    There have been very few negative side effects shown with the responsible and knowledgeable supplementation of creatine. The most common complaint is weight gain which initially is attributed to water retention and later from possible muscle growth. Some people experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort or upset if the servings are consumed closer than 3 or 4 hours apart.

    Is Creatine right for you?

    The decision to add any muscle building supplements to your diet is a personal one based on your specific goals and is completely up to the individual athlete. Make your decision based on educated information and follow the recommended guidelines set out for you by a professional. And always remember that creatine will not help you unless you’re working hard already, and you’re following effective muscle building workouts.

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
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