Creatine is a dietary supplement that many athletes consume, especially bodybuilding, muscle-building, and sports athletes, because they need a lot of muscle development.
This supplement helps to gain lean mass, increases the diameter of muscle fiber and improves physical performance, as well as helps in the prevention of sports injuries. Creatine is a substance naturally produced in the kidneys, pancreas and liver, and is a derivative of amino acids.
Supplements with this compound can be taken during 2 to 3 months approximately, under the guidance of a physician, nutritionist or dietitian, varying the dose of consumption between 3 and 5 g per day, considering weight, and normally for a limited period of time.
- Creatine provides energy for the muscle fibers, preventing muscle fatigue and promoting muscle training.
- It facilitates muscle recovery.
- It increases muscle volume, because it promotes the accumulation of fluid within the cells.
- It promotes the gain of fat-free muscle mass.
In addition to having benefits related to physical activity, some studies indicate that creatine has a neuroprotective function, preventing and reducing the severity of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and muscular dystrophy.
Also, this supplement may have positive effects when used as an adjunct in the treatment of diabetes, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, cerebral and cardiac ischemia, and depression.
How to consume creatine
Creatine must be consumed under the guidance of a physician or nutritionist and must be accompanied by intensive training and an adequate diet in order to promote increased muscle mass.
Creatine supplements can be consumed in 3 different ways and any of them can promote muscle hypertrophy, these are:
1. Supplementation for 3 months
Supplementation with creatinine for 3 months is the most used option, starting with 2 to 5 grams of creatine per day for 3 months, followed by 1 month of rest and then, if necessary, starting the cycle again.
2. Supplementation with overload
Supplementation with overload consists in taking 0.3 g of creatine per kg of weight during the first 5 days, dividing the total dose in 3 or 4 times a day, favoring the saturation of the muscle.
Afterwards, the dose should be reduced to 5 g per day for 12 weeks, and the process should always be accompanied by regular muscle training, which should preferably be guided by a physical trainer or physical education teacher.
3. Cyclic supplementation
Another way of taking creatine is in a cyclic manner, this consists of taking 5 grams daily for 6 weeks, and then pausing for another 3 weeks.
Other doubts about creatinine
1. What time of day should it be taken?
Creatine can be taken at any time of day, since it has a cumulative effect on the body and not immediately, so there is no need to take the supplement at a specific time.
However, for greater benefits it is recommended that it be taken after training, in conjunction with a high glycemic index carbohydrate, so that a peak of insulin is generated and, thus, can be charged by the body more easily
2. Is taking creatine bad?
There is no evidence that taking creatine in the proper doses and for the recommended period is bad for the body, since the recommended doses are very low, so the kidneys or liver are not overloaded.
However, its intake should be accompanied by an adequate diet, which ensures the replenishment of energy and proper recovery of the muscles, as well as regular physical activity, mainly exercises to work the muscles. People with renal or hepatic problems should consult their doctor before ingesting this supplement.
3. Is creatine fattening?
Creatine generally does not cause weight gain, however, one of the effects of its use is the increase of muscle cells, causing muscles to swell, but it is not necessarily related to water retention. However, there are some types of creatine that have other substances in their composition, such as sodium, which promotes water retention. Therefore it is important to read the nutritional label of the product and verify which are its components. In case of doubt, consult your doctor or nutritionist.
4. Does it help to lose weight?
No, creatine is indicated to increase muscle size and strength, thus improving physical performance, so it is not recommended to lose weight.