Does Creatine Work - What Does Creatine Do?
Does creatine work?
So, I'm back after a short break and ready to give you some valuable information from my own experiences and insights.
Creatine. Hmm.... Many people, especially athletes and bodybuilders, have the same itching question: does creatine work? And if it does, then how? What are the side effects?
These questions have a simple, straightforward answer that you can figure out yourself. If... you know how creatine works and more generally - what creatine is.
What is creatine?
Now, there are two ways of putting this: a boring scientific and a simple one.
A scientific explanation would be:
Creatine is a mollecule, composed of oxygen, hydrogen and other atoms. It is created when kidneys mix glycine and arginine to create Guanidionacetic Acid (what?!) and then carries it to liver that transforms the mixture into creatine.
Who needs such complex explanation with unpronounceable names?
A simple way to describe creatine:
Creatine is a substance that is both synthesized in the body and consumed from foods, such as meat and fish. It is estimated that a pound of beef has around 5 grams of protein. Salmon is similar. Also, tuna, chicken and other meats and fish all have high amounts of creatine. Before we get too scientific again, you probably have a simple question:
Why the bloody hell should I care?
That's right! So let's have a look at the effects of creatine to answer the most important question: what does creatine do?
What does creatine do?
If you're an athlete or a bodybuilder, creatine can give you great benefits.
- Build lean body mass
- Increase you power and strength
- Look good ;)
So, how does creatine work?
Well, let's say you're a bodybuilder. To make long story short and simple, that's what happens when you work out:
Your muscles contain a substance called fibre. When you lift weights, your body releases so called Adenosine triphosphate or ATP in short (grrr, getting too scientific again :)), that helps muscle fibres to contract. Now, as you can imagine, the more you lift, the more depleted your ATP resources become. That's where creatine comes in. Creatine replenishes your exhausted ATP resources which means that you will have more ATP, therefore, your muscle fibres will contract more, therefore, you will build more muscle and strength.
I tried to be as simple as I could. Conclusion is - the more creatine you have, the more muscle and strength you should be able to gain.
Creatine side effects?
Yeah, we had to come to this sooner or later. Creatine side effects. Are there any?
It's human nature to think that if something is good, then it cannot be harmful. Can it?
Because of this, many start buying various creatine supplements, pills, powder. You told me more creatine means more gains, right?!
Well, there is a lot of confusion out there about creatine side effects. Some say it puts too much pressure on your kidneys, bla bla bla, etc. etc. etc.
The truth is, IT DOESN'T!!
Simple as that. The reason why so many people are confused about this, is because they don't know what they're doing.
If you spend an hour a day in the sun, you know, getting tan and all that. Is it harmful? NO!
But if you lay in the sun for the whole freaking day, is that bad for you? Absolutely! Who knows what side effects you might get by sunbathing all day long.
You see what I mean here?
Nothing (well, I mean the good things) is harmful as long as you use it in moderation.
Are creatine supplements bad for you? Hell no! Unless, you eat it like crazy. Kilo a day or something. The only other reason you should avoid it is if you have some kidney disease or similar.
So, by saying more creatine means more gains I don't mean that you should take it as much as you want. Follow the guidelines. Those are usually standard. Loading stage: around 20g a day for 5 days. Then around 5g a day after that. Don't use it without stops. Better cycle it. I personally use it for several months, then stay away from it for a week or so. That way you can make sure you don't overwork your kidneys or something else and also get the most benefit from your workouts.
My personal experience and summary
So, now that you now the answer to "what does creatine do", it's time to answer the last question "does it work"?
Speaking from my own experience and from people who I know used creatine, the answer is straightforward: YES, IT DOES.
When I first started taking creatine, I saw the results after just two weeks or so. Not only my size increased, but also my weights spiked up. I gained around 1 to 2cm on my biceps and chest muscles which is extremely good in a few weeks time. Not only that, I also noticed weight gains in the gym. Before taking creatine, I used 26kg dumbbells on bench press, after just several weeks I was lifting 32s for the same set and rep range (probably looks light to some of you, but I like concentrating on the quality instead of quantity ;)).
So, to the question "does creatine work", I would say it definitely does. Just follow the guidelines, be patient and you will see great results.
If you found the information useful and would like to know what creatine gives you the most results, you can follow the link to my other article about creatine supplements review.
Till then, take care and see you soon :)