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!



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!




Creatine Uses Other Than Sports Nutrition

Posted by Zeus in Featured on 21-11-2011

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Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in meat and fish, and also made by the human body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is converted into creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine and stored in the muscles, where it is used for energy.

Creatine is primarily used by athletes to be able to train harder and longer! Few people though realize that creatine has other uses. Some of the other uses are:

Creatine for heart disease

A clinical study suggests that creatine supplements may help lower levels of triglycerides in men and women.

In few other clinical studies of people with heart failure, those who took creatine, in addition to standard medical care, were able to increase the amount of exercise they could do before becoming fatigued, compared to those who took placebo. Getting tired easily is one of the major symptoms of heart failure. One clinical study of 20 people with heart failure found that short-term creatine supplementation in addition to standard medication lead to an increase in body weight and an improvement of muscle strength.

Creatine has also been reported to help lower levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is associated with heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Creatine for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

In one double-blind study, people with COPD who took creatine increased muscle mass, muscle strength and endurance, and improved their health status compared with those who took placebo. They did not increase their exercise capacity. More studies are needed to see whether creatine has any benefit for people with COPD.

Creatine for Muscular dystrophy

People who have muscular dystrophy may have less creatine in their muscle cells, which may contribute to muscle weakness. One study found that taking creatine led to a small improvement in muscle strength. However, other studies have found no effect.

Creatine for Parkinson’s disease

People with Parkinson’s disease have decreased muscular fitness including decreased muscle mass, muscle strength, and increased fatigue. A small clinical study found that giving creatine to people with Parkinson’s disease improved their exercise ability and endurance. In another clinical study, creatine supplements boosted participants’ moods and they didn’ t need to increase their medicine dose as much as those who didn’ t take creatine. More research is needed in this area.

Creatine has been used primarily since the mid 80′s, so it is relatively new and that is part of the reason that many outside of the sport world are not familiar with creatine!

What is Creatine?

Posted by Zeus in Facts about Creatine on 14-11-2011

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Creatine is one of the most common substances used by athletes. There are quite few misconceptions about what creatine is and what it does, so lets start from the beginning.

Creatine is an acid produced naturally in the liver that supplies energy to muscle cells. It is produced in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, out of three amino acids, arginine, glycine, and methionine. Creatine is than transported to the body’s muscles through the bloodstream. Once it reaches the muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles’ ultimate energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Approximately 95% of the body’s total creatine content is located in skeletal muscle. The remaining 5% is stored in our brain, heart and testes. The amount of creatine we have in our bodies varries based on the amount of muscle mass you have and your weight. On average a 160 pound person would have about 120 grams of creatine stored in their body.

In the 1970s, Soviet scientists reported that oral creatine supplements may improve athletic performance during brief, intense activities such as sprints or weight lifting. Creatine gained popularity in the 1990s as a “natural” way to enhance athletic performance and build lean body mass.

Studies claim that about 25% of professional baseball players and up to 50% of professional football players take creatine supplements. According to a survey of high school athletes, creatine use is common among football players, wrestlers, hockey players, gymnasts, and lacrosse players. In 2000, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) banned colleges from distributing creatine to their players.

Creatine is the one of the most popular and effective bodybuilding supplements on the market. Bodybuilders that consistently use creatine report big muscle mass increases.

There is one good reason why three out of four of the ’96 summer Olympic medalists used creatine: it works and it works well. A French scientist named Chevreul first discovered creatine in 1832, but it was not until 1923 that scientists discovered that over 95% of creatine is stored in muscle tissue. The first published report of creatine having bodybuilding effects was The Journal of Biological Chemistry in 1926! Although we’ve known about creatine for quite some time, the first real use of it to enhance performance was the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.

Unlike steroids or drugs, creatine is 100% natural and occurs naturally in many foods; therefore, it can never be banned from any sports or international competitions (unless they banned eating meat). Many foods especially herring, salmon, tuna, and beef contain some creatine. However, the very best source of creatine by far is creatine monohydrate because it contains more creatine per weight of material than any other source.