Should I Take Creatine?

Research

“Creatine Monohydrate (CM) appears to be the most effective nutritional supplement currently available in terms of improving lean body mass and anaerobic capacity. To date, several hundred peer-reviewed research studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of CM supplementation in improving exercise performance. Nearly 70% of these studies have reported a significant improvement in exercise capacity, while the others have generally reported non-significant gains in performance”.

“The average gain in performance from these studies typically ranges between 10 to 15% depending on the variable of interest. For example, short-term CM supplementation has been reported to improve maximal power/strength (5–15%), work performed during sets of maximal effort muscle contractions (5–15%), single-effort sprint performance (1–5%), and work performed during repetitive sprint performance (5–15%).

Long-term CM supplementation appears to enhance the overall quality of training, leading to 5 to 15% greater gains in strength and performance. Nearly all studies indicate that “proper” CM supplementation increases body mass by about 1 to 2 kg in the first week of loading. Briefly, short-term adaptations reported from CM supplementation include increased cycling power, total work performed on the bench press and jump squat, as well as improved sport performance in sprinting, swimming, and soccer. Long-term adaptations when combining CM supplementation with training include increased muscle creatine and PCr content, lean body mass, strength, sprint performance, power, rate of force development, and muscle diameter.

In long-term studies, subjects taking CM typically gain about twice as much body mass and/or fat free mass (i.e., an extra 2 to 4 pounds of muscle mass during 4 to 12 weeks of training) than subjects taking a placebo. The gains in muscle mass appear to be a result of an improved ability to perform high-intensity exercise via increased PCr availability and enhanced ATP synthesis, thereby enabling an athlete to train harder and promote greater muscular hypertrophy via increased myosin heavy chain expression possibly due to an increase in myogenic regulatory factors myogenin and MRF-4.

The tremendous numbers of investigations conducted with positive results from CM supplementation lead us to conclude that it is the most effective nutritional supplement available today for increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and building lean mass. “

Usage & Dosage

1, Creatine monohydrate is the most effective ergogenic nutritional supplement currently available to athletes in terms of increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass during training.

2, Creatine monohydrate supplementation is not only safe, but possibly beneficial in regard to preventing injury and/or management of select medical conditions when taken within recommended guidelines.

3, There is no scientific evidence that the short- or long-term use of creatine monohydrate has any detrimental effects on otherwise healthy individuals.

4, The addition of carbohydrate or carbohydrate and protein to a creatine supplement appears to increase muscular retention of creatine, although the effect on performance measures may not be greater than using creatine monohydrate alone.

5, The quickest method of increasing muscle creatine stores appears to be to consume 0.3 grams of creatine monohydrate per kg of bodyweight per day for at least 3 days followed by 3-5 grams per day (total) thereafter to maintain elevated stores.

Sources

International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise

 

 

Dan Sroda

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