5 Essentials to know about Creatine.

Creatine is an organic compound involved in the transfer of energy. It allows you to push your body for longer periods of time and tap into explosive energy when you need it. Studies also show that it increases strength and lean muscle mass. Add creatine to a solid baseline training diet and you’ll recover faster, feel less fatigued and hit the next training session harder.

Read on for:

  1. Benefits of creatine
  2. What is creatine and what does it do?
  3. Sources of creatine
  4. How much creatine do you need?
  5. What should I look for when choosing a creatine supplement?

 


1. Benefits of Creatine

Creatine has a vital role in the provision and transfer of energy required for muscle contraction. It acts as a performance enhancer offering you more power and strength for high intensity workouts. In short, creatine helps you train longer and harder. By heightening the intensity of your workout, it enables your body to adapt, grow and recover much faster. Creatine boosts muscle growth and repair by working as an antioxidant providing a boost in overall strength of up to 15% and lean muscle mass gain.

 


2. What is Creatine and what does it do?

Creatine is a type of amino acid naturally found in human muscle and organs. Your body uses creatine to regenerate the energy source adenosine triphosphate (ATP). When you workout, your ATP levels drop rapidly. Creatine is responsible for restoring those levels. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough, as creatine depletion can lead to reduced muscle power and build-up of lactic acid, resulting in rapid onset of fatigue.

 


3. Sources of Creatine

Creatine is primarily found in whole foods such as beef, pork, salmon, tuna and herring. Milk and cranberries are also a source of creatine. While whole food sources of creatine are the ideal choice when you can, they’re not always convenient, and when you add it up they can be quite expensive. You would also have to eat an incredible amount of meat each day just to get the bare minimum. A quality creatine supplement is far more convenient, costs less per serve when compared to whole foods, and you can easily control how much you’re consuming.

It’s important you balance your supplements with a whole food diet. This includes your snacks and any meal replacements. Stick to a diet of quality whole foods and quality supplements.

 


4. How much Creatine do you need?

Good quality creatine brands provide detailed instructions on-pack about when to take it and how much, depending on your required outcome. Follow those instructions for maximum impact together with a whole food diet.

If you’re training for strength, power and muscle gain at the gym, Horleys CreatineXtreme delivers optimum loading results.  A lower ‘maintenance’ dosage is also extremely beneficial for endurance athletes. To achieve maximum effect, creatine should be taken in a two phase cycle, followed by a resting phase.

 

Creatine Dosage Protocol

Recommended Dosage Timing (summary):

  • 1 x Pre-workout (30 min prior)
  • 1 x Post-workout (30 min prior with protein and carbs)
  • 1 x daily boost serve, taken more than 3 hours either side of exercise

LOADING – FIVE DAYS
3 servings per day

MAINTENANCE
1 (or 2) servings per day

Take a 5g serving 30 minutes prior to a workout, and another 5g after. The post-workout serve should be in conjunction with whey protein (ICE WPI is recommended) and a high GI carb source (Replace sports drink). The third serving can be any time of day, but not within three hours of the pre/post workout serves. On non-training days, space the servings four hours apart. Continue to have a 5g dose either side of your training sessions (or just one dose pre-workout). After 3 weeks, stop using the Creatine completely for five to ten days before recommencing with a loading cycle.

Recommended maximum daily intake: 3 servings

If you weigh more than 95kg, you can take up to four servings per day during loading phase.

 


5. What should I look for when choosing a Creatine supplement?

All creatines are created equal, right? Not exactly, the good quality ones are carefully balanced to suit specific needs and often contain different functional ingredients in order to optimise your results. In addition to containing the highest quality creatine. Use a supplement that also contains Beta-alanine as it works together with creatine to increase lean body mass and reduce body fat by increasing training intensity and volume, and is responsible for delaying the onset of muscle fatigue.

Side effects are rare, however the beta-alanine  is a unique amino acid that may cause a tingling and flushing effect on the skin called paraesthesia. This side effect is rare and not harmful and will lessen over time with continued use.

 

Choose with confidence.

Don’t get stressed out about all the technical details and options out there. A good base knowledge like we’ve covered here should help you to identify and focus on your core need, and prioritise the key factors that’ll help you to make a confident decision.

 

Some last things to consider when you choose your creatine supplement:

  • You would only choose high quality whole foods, so make sure you do the same with your supplements. Don’t compromise and expect the same results.
  • Look for brands that professionals use, that have reputable quality assurance and testing, and are 100% transparent with their ingredients. Make sure you buy only from a reputable company and not a cheap brand that uses fillers.
  • Think of your creatine supplement as your reward for a great workout. If you don’t like the taste, don’t punish yourself! Try another flavour or brand. Treat it as part of your workout.

 

Your body works hard – enjoy it, and feed it with the best you can, for taste and performance.

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