How to Accelerate Your Muscle Gains with Creatine
Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or you just saw your first weight rack yesterday, there is one secret ingredient to making every hour and minute you spend training count: Creatine.
This powerful supplement can increase lean body mass, speed up muscle recovery, enhance performance, and even boost cognitive abilities.
Creatine monohydrate is backed by over 650 published studies and has been available to the general public since the early 1990s, making it one of the safest, most reputable supplements around.
Rather than altering the chemistry of your body in potentially harmful and untested ways, creatine supplementation simply increases the amount of a substance naturally produced by your body, giving your muscles more of the energy they were already using for strength and endurance.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid produced from glycine, methionine, and arginine. Your body produces 1-2 grams of it daily and uses it to supply energy to your muscles.
90-95% of your body’s creatine is found in your muscle cells, while around 5% can be found in your brain.
Creatine fortifies your body’s muscles in two main ways:
First, creatine increases the energy in your muscles. It does so by bonding with phosphate molecules to produce a substance called phosphocreatine.
During high-intensity exercise, this phosphocreatine can be used by your body to produce more of a high-energy molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
ATP is often referred to as the ‘energy currency’ of the cell, and it is the main energy source for heavy lifting and high-intensity exercise.
In short, more creatine means more phosphocreatine and more phosphocreatine means more ATP. More ATP means your body can perform better during exercise!
The second way creatine enhances your muscles’ performance is by increasing cellular hydration.
Creatine draws water into the cells, increasing the cells’ volume. This increase in cell volume has been associated with anabolic signals that are believed to be the first step to utilizing protein in the muscles, which promotes muscle growth.
In summary, creatine increases cell volume by raising cell hydration levels, which seems to be a trigger for protein synthesis. More protein synthesis leads to greater increases in muscle mass as a result of training.
Other benefits of increasing your body’s creatine levels include:
- 15% increase in power output
- 30% increase in energy when used in short bursts
- Increased lean body mass
- Increased maximal strength and endurance
- Reduced muscle damage
- More rapid muscle recovery
- Better pumps
- Minimized muscle tightness
- Boosted cognitive ability
- Enhanced working memory
- Increased attention span
Debunking Some Common Myths:
Is creatine a steroid?
No, creatine is not a steroid. This is an unfortunate misconception that stops many lifters from unlocking the benefits of creatine supplementation.
While creatine and steroids can both aid in increasing muscle mass, the ways that they accomplish this feat are very different.
Creatine is naturally occurring in your body. By consuming it as a supplement, you’re simply giving your body more of a compound it was already using for muscle maintenance and repair, which allows your body to do more of… you guessed it… muscle maintenance and repair.
On the other hand, anabolic steroids are synthetic compounds that are not already produced by your body. Steroids have a similar structure to testosterone, and they work by imitating its properties.
Steroids activate the testosterone receptors (AKA androgen receptors) in the muscle cells, starting a chain of metabolic reactions that encourage protein synthesis. This synthetically triggered protein turbo-drive causes rapid increases in muscle strength and tissue production.
Does creatine cause bloating & hair loss?
In short, no it does not.
Bloating is a condition associated with digestive issues, not to be confused with the slight initial swelling of the muscles that is caused by an increase in cellular water content when you start taking creatine.
This ‘swelling’ actually makes your muscles look bigger in a good way.
As for the concerns related to hair loss, creatine does not have any influence on the hormone responsible for hair loss (DHT). There is no evidence that creatine is related to hair loss.
Can females take creatine?
They can, and they should!
Creatine supplementation in females can enhance their strength and exercise performance just like in their male counterparts.
Some research indicates that creatine may also have favorable effects on bone mineral density, particularly in post-menopausal women.
Does creatine cause water retention?
It sure does! While water retention is often portrayed as a bad thing (and it can be in some cases), the water retention caused by creatine is actually one of its biggest benefits!
In the initial phases of supplementation, creatine drawers water into the muscle, giving them a fuller look.
Beyond the aesthetic benefits of having muscles that look ‘fuller’, this water retention improves cellular hydration in the muscles, which promotes an increase in protein synthesis, which enhances muscle size and performance.
Does creatine need to be cycled?
Creatine does not need to be cycled, and in fact, it really shouldn’t be.
The effects of creatine do not diminish over time. Continuous supplementation allows for muscle creatine levels to remain elevated, giving you consistent improvements in exercise performance, muscle strength, and muscle mass.
How do you take creatine?
While some supplements can only be taken for defined periods, creatine is safe to use indefinitely, and the enhancements to exercise performance are sustained over time.
There are a few approaches to introducing creatine into your routine.
1- Just start taking it.
Following the dosage recommendations below, start consuming creatine once every day for at least 4 weeks. This will gradually increase creatine levels in your muscles until you reach maximum benefits in about 4 weeks.
With this approach, side effects are minimal, but the benefits build more gradually. Research suggests that after 2-4 weeks of creatine supplementation, there are noticeable improvements in muscle strength and energy production.
If slow and steady isn’t your style, you can start your creatine supplementation with 20g per day for the first 5-7 days to quickly saturate your muscles in a short period.
After that, maintain muscle saturation by taking a normal dose of creatine for your weight class every day.
Side effects of this approach are mild but may include stomach aches, cramping/itchiness in the muscles, and dehydration. Keeping your water intake high during this time can help alleviate these side effects.
This approach is pretty self-explanatory and consists of alternating periods between taking creatine and not taking creatine.
There aren’t any clear advantages to this approach, and it likely only serves to rob you of the benefits of creatine when you’re in the ‘off’ portion of your cycle.
If you’re looking for maximum performance, give your muscles an extra kick of energy by pairing your creatine with a carb powder such as carbion.
If maximum recovery and stamina are your priority, take your creatine with glutamine so your body can bounce back faster after an intense workout.
Appropriate dosages of creatine are based on body weight. These are the recommendations based on recent studies:
<120 lbs = 3g
121 - 200 lbs = 5g
>200 lbs = 8g
Creatine consumption doesn’t need to be timed around workout sessions. It can be taken at any time of the day and reap the same benefits.
With hundreds or thousands of generic creatines on the market, CreaSyn is specially formulated for maximum performance, safety, and convenience.
CreaSyn pharmaceutical-grade creatine is micronized, meaning that the powder is far finer than typical creatine.
First and foremost, because micronized creatine is so fine, it’s readily absorbed by the body so that energy is released and utilized with maximum efficiency.
Secondly, the fine powder dissolves into your drink smoothly and evenly so that you can get all the benefits of creatine without having to suffer through the clumpy, spoiled milk textured beverage that is created when a gritty powdered supplement doesn’t fully break down.
Another perk beyond the improved texture is that you don’t wind up with wasted creatine that clumps together and sticks in the bottom of your glass because it couldn’t fully dissolve.
In our commitment to the health and safety of our athletes, CreaSyn has undergone intensive 3rd party independent testing for WADA-banned substances and adherence to cGMP guidelines. It is also both vegan and gluten-free.
Creatine is essential for anyone and everyone interested in maximizing their muscle gains and performance, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete. It has been used by the general population for 30+ years and is widely considered one of the safest, most effective supplements on the market.
Creatine empowers your muscles to function at their prime during every workout by strengthening the processes of muscle building and recovery that already occur naturally in your body.
Allmax’s pharmaceutical-grade creatine is engineered to be the most efficient creatine supplement on the market due to the intensive micronizing process used to make the powder ultra-fine and highly absorbent.
Click here to order your creatine so you can get the most gains out of your next workout!