Using Creatine For Muscle Growth
Creatine, chemically known as methylguanido-acetic acid, is an extremely popular supplement used by many athletes as well as aesthetic focused trainees. Creatine is a natural substance and is found in meat and fish, albeit in small quantities. It is also produced in our bodies within the kidneys and liver. Creatine effectively aids energy replenishment, and therefore improves performance for the majority of people who supplement with it.
Benefits to muscle growth
Creatine can enhance performance for the majority of trainees whom supplement with it. In reality this may mean a couple of extra repetitions during the last set, for example. By being able to replenish a muscle’s energy more optimally we can push the muscle past it normal threshold, therefore resulting in greater stimulation. Creatine may also offset the build of lactic acid, enabling the muscle to be exercised more intensely for a longer duration.
Creatine draws water into the muscle tissue, volumising the muscle so it appears larger and fuller. The hydrated muscle cells usually heighten protein synthesis, leading to greater muscle growth and less catabolism of muscle tissue. This process is enhanced by the muscle “pump” phenomenon during exercise, which is usually more intensely experienced when supplementing with creatine.
How to use creatine
Many resources recommend a loading phrase at the beginning of a course of creatine with the aim of rapidly increasing stores. A lower maintenance phrase is then followed. Not everyone agrees with this however, with some believing it is simply a ploy by supplement companies to sell more creatine. In truth, the loading phrase has been shown to have some benefit in studies by increasing concentration levels, whilst some studies have shown little benefit. A trainer would not likely notice much difference either way.
The loading phrase is commonly advised to be around 10-15g per day, split into two or three serving’s spaced throughout the day. It is recommended to take the creatine with carbohydrates to enhance the take up and avoid wastage. This loading phrase would last for 5 days. The maintenance phrase dosage is usually advised to be between 2-5g per day, and this phrase would begin after the loading phrase is ceased. This is the dosage trainees would also take from the start of the course if they do not follow the loading phrase.
Some people advised cycling creatine; taking it for five to six weeks, stop for one or two weeks, and then starting the cycle again. There does not appear to be any benefit in doing so, but some people prefer such an approach.