Bodybuilding 5 MIN READ 5178 VIEWS November 15, 2017

Creatine – The Ultimate Supplement Guide

Written By Rohini Nag

This ultimate supplement guide for creatine entails information on various types of creatine supplements and creatine benefits for muscle building and workout.

What Are Creatine Supplements? 

Involved in body composition and muscle size, creatine is naturally produced in the human body. For effective body training purposes, creatine supplements are recommended for sports or bodybuilding workouts. In simpler terms, creatine is directly related to energy as it regenerates adenosine triphosphate (ATP) also known as the powerhouse of muscles.  Creatine cushions the drop levels of ATP while workouts and the form it takes is known as creatine phosphate. The different types of creatine are creatine monohydrate (which is also the popularly known form), ethyl ester and creatine liquids. Creatine supplements pertain to a certain ‘loading’ phase which should be done in consultation with dieticians and/or trainers for athletic performances. 

Types of Creatine Supplements
Creatine essentially helps in muscle building at a faster rate, increases muscle strength that allows you to garner energy for extra workouts.​

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As it taps into your explosive energy, creatine supplements such as its monohydrate form are widely used by fitness experts and known for being effective. Other types such as creatine citrate, nitrate, pyruvate, hydrochloride and ethyl ester can be separated on the basis on how to much to stock up for workouts. Normally, forms such as creatine hydrochloride is a more concentrated form of creatine and thus can be taken in lesser dosage than the common monohydrate (micronized form)— although the benefits or effects of both might be the same. Some other forms of creatine include buffered creatine (higher pH level) and creatine magnesium chelate where magnesium helps in creatine metabolism and can be more effective. 
Forms of Creatine Supplements 

The most common supplement form is the creatine powder. With proven athletic workout booster purely increasing muscle mass/volume, creatine works as an antioxidant too. A widely asked question is— is creatine a steroid? The answer is no, creatine is not a steroid and is produced naturally in the pancreas and liver. Creatine strengthens muscle tissues and membranes. its antioxidant properties reduce toxins in the body allowing muscles to regenerate. Creatine supplements also maintain calcium balance in the body. The various forms of creatine supplements thus obviously include creatine powder, creatine pills or capsules, creatine blends, and liquid. Let us understand each of these forms in detail below:

1. Liquid Creatine: 
Pronounced either way, creatine liquid is a solution that is a water-like suspended form of the monohydrate. It is known to be slightly more effective than monohydrate powder as it requires lesser dosage as it also has higher absorption quality. It promotes easy digestibility of creatine, lesser issues on kidneys and liver and prevents bloating. Bloating issues may arise for women from creatine supplements which is also a popular side effect. Creatine liquid is preferred over creatine powder as per some claims. 
2. Creatine Pills or Capsules:
Another effective means of taking creatine are in the form of capsules which claim to provide full creatine coverage up to a hundred percent. For athletes in longer workouts, either capsules or powder is considered an effective supplement. Capsules are also packed with other vitamins and amino acids. The form of creatine supplements, however, depends on the kind of training and is best taken if advised by physician or trainer.
3. Creatine Powder:
A commonly known supplement which comes in different flavors to make a shake or can be mixed with healthy smoothies. Creatine powder monohydrate is best chosen as post-workout supplementation as muscles need to regenerate from fatigue. Creatine powder is also easily digestible, is effective and most importantly easily affordable. Micronized creatine is also water soluble and is suggested that it may be taken in the liquid form. Other forms of creatine might be expensive depending on their types (see above). 
4. Creatine Blends:
As the name suggests creatine mixed with herbal extracts, essential vitamins and minerals (such as the B complex group) constitute blends which add to an overall strength supplement. With essential vitamins, creatine promotes methylation process of the cells that take an active part in cell growth. Muscle strength and size can increase henceforth as methylation is optimised from creatine and Vitamin B (B6, B9, and B12).
Creatine Supplements Dosage 

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Creatine supplements dosage refers to the stock up or ‘loading’ phase. Loading phase can amount to higher quantities however regular creatine intake/ loading should be spread evenly through diet and workout sessions. Creatine powder shakes before and after workout sessions are best effective. Per day dosage can range between 3-4 grams for an average person who is into workouts/ running or cycling. Taking creatine an hour before workouts show best results, preferably taking creatine monohydrate powder of the plain kind. Creatine supplements are proven safe however if long-term ailments pertaining to kidneys or liver exists it is best not to stock up on creatine or take supplements altogether. It may cause kidney issues due to prolonged doses although, there is no direct relation between liver side effects and usage of creatine supplements. Stomach bloating for water retention might be a common side effect- dose up on the creatine supplement evenly. Keeping all this mind, you must consult a certified health expert or a trainer for creatine supplements dosage and related queries.
Benefits of Creatine Supplements
With its nature directly proportional to energy generation (ATP) in the body, creatine benefits are numerous. It helps muscle regeneration, maintains lean mass, helpful in muscle repair and also known to increase bone density. Some of the most noted benefits of creatine supplements are: 
  1. Antioxidant properties: Creatine supplements can add up to antioxidants that reduce free toxins or radicals in the body. This, in turn, promotes strength for you to elongate workout sessions with more vigor and less fatigue. 
  2. Bone density: Creatine supplements can sometimes prove beneficial for ones with osteoporosis. For women suffering commonly from osteoporosis, creatine can reduce its chances. 
  3. Heart health: Creatine helps reduce serum homocysteine levels which prevent chances of coronary heart disease. 
  4. Anti-inflammatory: Creatine supplements induce anti-inflammation of muscles that might be caused due to exertion during workouts. It helps muscle membranes for recovery after injury. 
  5. Brain functions: Creatine is also known for enhancing cognitive or brain functions and some studies that are in process suggest that creatine intake can help neurodegenerative disorders. Creatine intake also involves increasing memory and overall cognitive functions. 
Lastly, creatine is found in natural foods such as fresh fish and meat and also in cranberries as commonly known. Creatine supplements provide the excess needed for sustaining high-intensity workouts and is a commonly used supplement in the fitness world. 
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