It seems like creatine is everywhere that people lift weights. Many use it to get more out of their workouts. But what is creatine and how to maximize its use? Is there really any benefit to taking this supplement?
Your body uses three amino acids to form the protein creatine. It is then combined in the muscles with phosphate which forms phophocreatine. Phosphocreatine aids the muscles in regenerating adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This is the substance that your muscles need to do their work. Basically, the more ATP present, the more work the muscles can do.
The amount of creatine you have can be boosted through the food you eat, such as pork, fish and beef, which all contain this protein. But you would have to eat a huge amount to see any real change in your workouts.
Creatine supplements such as NO Xplode have become quite popular at the gym. Studies have determined that creatine supplementation increase your strength, enable you to do more repetitions and also decrease recovery time between sets. Basically, because you can lift heavier weights more times, you can get better results from each workout.
The growth of muscle mass and size using creatine supplements is quite apparent and often seen rapidly. Creatine attracts water into the muscle so part of the size is due to this. The water then causes more protein to be made which also makes the muscle bigger.
Creatine should be taken 1 to 2 hours before your workout so that it is absorbed properly by the time you are ready to use it. Taking it with carbohydrates can also help as the body will release insulin which will aid in more creatine getting into the muscle.
Most recommend taking creatine in two cycles. The first is the loading cycle and lasts around 5 days. You take the supplement multiple times throughout the day. The other cycle is the maintenance cycle where you take it only once daily. This can be for 2 or 3 months. After this, you should take two or three weeks off for your body to retain its normal response.
Another way of maximizing the results is to increase the amount of creatine used by the muscles. For example, NO Xplode completely opens up the blood vessels that feed the muscles. The muscles become stretched and capable of holding more nutrients including creatine. As already discussed, more creatine leads to more ATP which leads to the muscles being able to do more and get greater results.
There are no known health risks to using creatine supplements. There are some reported side effects in some people such as gastrointestinal issues like bloating. However, this may be dependent on both the brand as well as the dosage. Choosing a good product and not using more than the recommended dose should help avoid problems.