How To Take Creatine

Posted by Zeus in Facts about Creatine on 02-04-2012

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What is the best way to take creatine?

Have you ever wondered how to take creatine? Not to worry, here at top creatine we have you covered!

Creatine is one of the most researched sports supplements. It has been for the last few decades in terms of how safe is it, what are the side effects, what are the interractions etc. Over 10,000,000 lbs is consumed by the US public every year and the number is growing because in addition to the benefits you get from increased athletic performance there are medical benefits of taking creatine for people that suffer from heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, muscular dystrophy and even Parkinson’s disease. So what is the best way to take creatine?

Liquid Creatine or Powder?

Powder is a better option. Some studies concluded that liquid creatine and creatine ethyl ester are unstable and break down in your blood system. Just use pure creatine powder. Some companies add electrolytes and other ingredients, but tests indicate those do little to improve performance.

What should I mix creatine powder with?

Best thing to mix creatine with is juice. Fruit juice because it contains sugar. Sugar in the juice raises insulin levels, which helps increase creatine uptake into the muscle. The best combination is 60 to 80 grams of sugar for every five grams of creatine.

How to know if my creatine is of good quality?

When you mix creatine make sure that it is not too hard to dissolve with your liquid. If it is hard to dissolve or there is residue at the bottom of the glass after you are done drinking, your creatine is not of very good quality. If you see that, change brands and try something else.

Make sure your body maximizes the benefits of creatine by buying creatine that is of good quality and it will be properly absorbed by your body. Buy the best stuff you can afford. It’s your body so this isn’t the time to get cheap.


Mix and consume

You want to mix it with your preferred liquid immediately before you drink it. The more time it takes between the time you mix it and the time you consume it the less effective it becomes!

Mixing Protein with Creatine

Many researching creatine have concluded that adding protein, like whey protein, with creatine and juice and drinking the whole thing is beneficial. Protein helps your muscles ability to better absorb and retain creatine. It is actually ideal to mix protein, creatine and juice within 15 to 30 minutes of your workout and drink it!



How To Use Creatine

Posted by Zeus in Facts about Creatine on 17-03-2012

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Instructions on how to use creatine

You cannot just order and start taking creatine. This will create possible health issues for you. There are 3 different phases to taking creatine:

  1. Loading Phase
  2. Maintenance Phase
  3. Wash Out Phase

Here is how to use creatine:

1. Loading Phase

The loading phase is designed to quickly load your body with creatine. This period lasts 5 days. Take no more than .13 grams per pound you weigh. So if your weight is 210 pounds, take no more than 28 grams per day for 5 days. Do not take it all at once, take it in 4 equal amounts through the day. This period is not really necessary. Some people choose to skip this phase and dive right into the second phase which is the maintenance phase. You would be placing less stress on your kidneys if you skipped this phase. The reason people go thru this stage is because the results are a little better if you start with the loading phase!

2. Maintenance Phase

The maintenance phase in most cases starts after the loading phase. It lasts 1 month. During this phase you considerably reduce the amount of creatine you will be taking compared to the amount in the loading phase. During the maintenance phase you should take no more than 0.0136 grams per pound you weight. It is about 10 times less than the dose you took in the loading phase. So if you weigh 250 pounds, during the 30 days of the maintenance phase you will be taking no more than 3.4 grams per day.

3. Wash Out Phase

This the period that you wash out all creatine form your body. You take NO creatine during this period. This period last between to 1-2 months. Again you take no creatine during this period. This is a MANDATORY phase. You have to stop taking creatine for this phase so you will not create any health problems for your self.

You can start with the whole process again, loading phase, maintenance phase and wash out phase as often as you want!

Best Time to take creatine

The best time to take creatine is right after your exercise for better absorption. Just remember that during the loading phase you split the daily dose in 4 equal amounts. It is only during the maintenance phase that you should take it after your exercise in one dose. Many people feel that taking it half hour before exercise is more effective for them. We are not talking about a huge difference here if you take creatine before you exercise or after. Many people split the dose and take half the amount half hour before you exercise and the other half right after exercise. The important thing is that you take it.


Combinations to avoid when taking creatine

Caffeine: This is controversial. Some studies show that it helps to drink coffee with creatine and some show that it does not. Until we get some more conclusive evidence, keep in mind that caffeine is a diuretic. That means that as creatine is pulling water into the muscle, caffeine is pulling it out, so it might not be the best idea to have caffeine with creatine, certainly large amounts.

Alcohol: Alcohol is also a diuretic, so from that perspective you should refrain from having alcohol while taking creatine.


Drink Lots of Water While Taking Creatine

Drinking lots of water is something we should be doing every day. While taking creatine though it takes a special importance because creatine draws water into the muscle cells, so you have to drink extra water to make up for that! Make sure you drink 8 oz of water for every 12-14 pounds of body weight!



Creatine Side Effects

Posted by Zeus in Facts about Creatine on 07-03-2012

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What Are The Side Effects From Creatine?

Americans use more than 10 million pounds of creatine each year. Creatine is a chemical that is produced by the body and normally found in muscles. You can also get creatine from different foods like fish and meats. You can also get creatine from supplements!

Some of the worlds best athletes take creatine because they feel it helps them with their training. There are plenty of scientific studies done that prove increased performance for those that use creatine.  Creatine is allowed by the International Olympic Committee, NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and all professional sports.

Research shows that creatine is most effective in high-intensity training and explosive activities. This includes weight training and sports that require short bursts of energy, such as sprinting, football, and baseball.

It is one of the most researched substances and there is no evidence that it is harmful to the body if used properly, just like any other supplement. Some people have reported different side effects after taking creatine, so lets explore those!

Creatine has different effects on every individual. Some people just don’t respond to creatine—it’s a genetic thing. How do you know if your body responds well to creatine? In about 2 weeks, if your training volume increases, than it is working for you. If you notice no difference in 2 weeks, than your body will not benefit from creatine!

Going back to side effects, the majority of people do not have any side effects, but some people report the following side effects:

Creatine Side Effect: Weight Gain

It is almost certain that if you use creatine you will gain weight. Creatine causes the muscles to hold water, and as a result you will gain weight. In the first week of taking creatine you will probably gain 2-3 pounds due to retaining water. After that, because you will have more energy to increase your workouts and in the case of lifting weights you will start lifting more weight, you will increase your muscle mass. That obviously will also increase your weight!

Creatine Side Effect: Stomach Pain

There are some people that report having stomach pain when they take creatatine.

Creatine Side Effect: Nausea

Some people report having nausea when taking creatine

Creatine Side Effect: Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another side effect that some people report having when taking creatine

Creatine Side Effect: Cramps

Cramping is another side effect that some people experience when taking creatine.

Creatine Caution:

High doses of creatine is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. There is some concern that it could harm the kidney, liver, or heart function. However, a connection between high doses and these negative effects has not been proven. If you follow directions that should not be an issue.

Make sure though that you go thru a washout period. In other words, if you take creatine for 1 month, make sure you stay of it for 1-2 months and than start again. That is recommended regardless if you have any health issues or not.

Pregnant women or women that breast feed. We do not have a lot of research on the use of creatine by pregnant women or breast feeding women, so play it safe and stay of it!

Don’t use creatine if you have kidney disease or diabetes. There is some concern by the research community that if you have any type of kidney disease, using creatine might make it worst. Additionally, diabetes increases your chance of developing a kidney disease, so stay off creatine also just to be on the safe side!




Types of Creatine

Posted by Zeus in Facts about Creatine on 28-11-2011

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Creatine is extremely popular among athletes. It helps you train harder by giving your muscles more energy among other things. But which type of creatine is the right one for you?

1. Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine Monohydrrate is the most popular type of creatine. It can only be considered as a monohydrate if the molecule of the creatine is combined with water. At least 12 percent of the total concoction is made up of water and the rest is made up of creatine which makes it one of the most effective creatines in the market. However, a disadvantage that you can get from the creatine monohydrate is bloating because of water retention.

2. Creatine Phosphate

If a creatine is bonded with the molecules of phosphate then you can get a creatine phosphate. This should be an ideal supplement that would help the athletes and the sportsmen to meet the demands of an exhausting workouts. However, it is still incomparable to the creatine monohydrate when it comes to being efficient. Moreover, it is also more expensive at the same time.

3. Creatine Citrate

Creatine Citrate is another type of creatine. Creatine citrate can be easily dissolved in water, many users opt for this type of creatine instead. Citrine alone can actually energize your muscles, how much more if it is mixed with creatine? But if you would compare it with monohydrate, the creatine citrate has 40 percent less than creatine and is sold at a very high price as well.

4. Creatine Malate

Creatine Malate is a rare form of Creatine. The reason is that Creatine Malate is Creatine Monohydrate bonded to Malic Acid. In order for Creatine to effectively bond to an Acid, which typically breaks Creatine Monohydrate down to Creatinine quickly, three Creatine Monohydrate molecules must bond to 1 Malic Acid molecule. This is generally difficult to do, and the resulting powder is rather unstable on its own. It also interacts very easily with gaseous forms which will break the bond between the Malic Acid and the Creatine Monohydrate. It is also the most costly form of Creatine to produce because of it’s unstable nature.

The benefit of Creatine Malate, is that it blends with water easily, as the malic acid combines with the water because of the stronger chemical attraction, than Creatine Monohydrate has to water. Meaning it doesn’t break down into Creatinine very easily in water. This helps with gastro-intestinal issues. The second benefit of this, is water bonded with the Creatine Malate is then transfered throughout the body quickly.

The downside to the bonding to water, is that the Malate doesn’t release it’s bond very easily. Meaning that some of the Creatine Malate is simply flushed through the system without entering the muscle cells.

5. Creatine Ester

Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) is a relatively new comer to the supplement scene, but it’s already made a big splash. One of the reasons creatine monohydrate molecules are so hard for the body to absorb is because their electrons have one positive end and one negative end. CEEs counteract that with the ester. CEEs have an absorption rate of almost 99%, nearly a hundred times better than that of creatine monohydrate. That means that you need to consume far less volume to get the same results. That in turn means less bloating and no need for a loading phase. The downside? CEE is much, much more expensive than creatine monohydrate. The chemical process of creating CEEs is more complex. It also tastes worse in powder form.

What Creatine Does!

Posted by Zeus in Facts about Creatine on 16-11-2011

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How does creatine work?

Here is the predominant theory of what creatien does:

In your body you have a compound called ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). Think of ATP as an energy containing compound. What is important to know about ATP is that the body can very quickly get energy from a ATP reaction. The body can get energy from carbohydrates and fat – but they take longer to convert into a useable energy source. When you are doing an intense quick burst activity – such as lifting a weight or sprinting, your muscles must contract and need a quick source of energy. This immediate energy comes from ATP.

When your muscles use ATP for energy a chemical process happens where the ATP is broken down into two simpler chemicals ADP (adenosine di-phosphate) and inorganic phosphate. This process of ATP turning into ADP releases the energy which gives your muscles the ability to contract. Unfortunately, we do not have an endless supply of ATP. In fact, your muscles only contain enough ATP to last about 10-15 seconds at maximum exertion.

Here is where the creatine comes in. The majority of creatine that is stored in the muscles bonds with phosphorus that is stored in the muscles and is converted into Creatine Phosphate. Creatine Phosphate is able to react with the ADP in your body and turn “useless” ADP back into the “super useful” energy source – ATP. More ATP in your body means more fuel for your muscles.

So, in other words, creatine is not directly responsible for building muscle. Creatine has an indirect effect at building muscle and strength.

Here’s what creatine does: It is used to increase the amount of creatine phosphate you have in your muscle tissue. Creatine phosphate is than used to replenish ATP which acts as a quick energy source for activities that require quick bursts of energy such as strength training/weight lifting and sprinting. The more creatine phosphate you have on hand, the more ATP can be replenished during bursts of all out effort.  That means, you can push harder and longer in your workouts, because creatine intensifies the pace of energy production in your muscle cells. Keep in mind that, more power and strength equals more weight being lifted and more reps being performed. More reps with more weight means more muscle.

Creatine has been shown to pull water into your muscle cells, which increases the size of your muscles. In addition, new research has shown that creatine can help buffer lactic acid that builds-up in the muscles during exercise. Finally, excess creatine is eventually converted into the waste product creatinine and excreted from the body.

High-intensity, intermittent exercise like soccer or weight lifting or mixed martial arts needs a rapid transfer of energy, and creatine plays a critical role in energy transfer. Many studies have shown that high-intensity work and recovery after and between bouts of high-intensity work can be improved with creatine. Most of these studies use weight training or limited repeats of sprinting in a laboratory. Low-intensity, long-duration exercise requires a steady production of energy at a slow rate. Creatine does not improve aerobic (cycling or running) performance.

Recovery from high-intensity exercise is enhanced with creatine supplementation. If athletes recover faster, then perhaps they can begin the next exercise session sooner or they can train at a higher intensity. Either method increases the quality of training. This has not been studied systematically, yet the use of creatine as a training aid (as opposed to a performance aid on game day) has been practiced in many sports.

Creatine does not work in everybody. Some people are called non-responders, and there is no way to determine who will or will not respond.

When you take a supplement, your bodys own production of that substance can be reduced reducing the energy-enhancing effects of creatine.

You must be concerned with the purity with any dietary supplements. Control of over-the-counter commercial supplements is not very rigid. Appeals by athletes who tested positive after taking a supplement that contained a substance banned by the NCAA are denied which means that you have to trust the type of the cretine you will take and you have to trust the manufacturer that created that supplement