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Tag Archives: benefits of creatine

  • Top 4 Post-Workout Ingredients You Need to Use

    It seems like everyone is so focused on what to take BEFORE the workout that they often forget it's just as important to supplement your muscles AFTER the workout. Experts agree that the nutrients you ingest within 60 minutes of finishing the workout are crucial to determining your results including growth and recovery. Let's take a look at the top 4 post-workout ingredients that you should be taking right after that intense gym session.

     

    1. Creatine Monohydrate

     

    What is it?

    • A legend in the supplement industry, Creatine Monohydrate is actually produced in the body but only about one gram per day. Studies show that the optimal dose for Creatine Monohydrate is 5 grams after a 20 gram loading period of 2 weeks. You must take this AFTER your workout for optimal absorption as this is how you'll maximize your benefits in the gym. The key is that creatine is best absorbed when taken in conjunction with a high quality protein (more on that below) and fast acting carbohydrates. Taken on its own, its absorption is not nearly as good.

     

    Benefits

    • Higher energy levels
    • Extended fuel source for muscles
    • Allows for more time under tension, which triggers muscular hypertrophy
    • Boosts recovery time (1, 5)

     

    1. Glutamine

     

    What is it?

    • Another amino acid found within the body, Glutamine, like Creatine, is created in small amounts but can result in high level benefits when introduced into the diet via supplementation. The ideal dose is 5 grams but no loading period is needed with Glutamine. Just like Creatine, it's important to take Glutamine after your workout as this is when it can work its magic.

     

    Benefits

    • Promotes protein synthesis (essential for muscle building)
    • Protects from catabolism (muscle tissue breakdown)
    • Supports recovery (2)

     

    1. L-Carnitine L-Tartrate

     

    What is it?

    • This amino acid derivative is making big waves in the supplement industry due to recent studies that highlight its benefits. When you take it after your workout, you'll want to shoot for 2 grams. No loading phase is needed.

     

    Benefits

    • Supports faster recovery times
    • Promotes more time under tension (ideal for muscle building)
    • Triggers a higher level production of growth hormone (needed for muscle building, recovery, and results) (3)

     

    1. Whey Protein Isolate

     

    What is it?

    • This milk-based protein source isn't your typical protein supplement. While whey concentrate and casein are ideal for various times throughout the day, nothing beats protein isolate for a post-workout treat. Protein isolate has been broken down into its most absorbable form. In fact, it scores 101 out of 100 on the bioavailability scale. This means that your body is going to be able to quickly absorb it and put it to good use. If you use any of the ingredients on this list, make sure it's protein isolate.

     

    Benefits

    • Supports muscle recovery
    • Triggers protein synthesis
    • Promotes muscle growth
    • Boosts immunity (4)

     

    Conclusion

     

    While pre-workout nutrition is important to prepare your body for the workload ahead, what you do AFTER your workout is just as essential. Post-workout ingredients can ensure faster recovery and better results. The four ingredients mentioned above are some of the best in the industry. If you have to only choose one, go with protein isolate for the best benefits.

     

    REFERENCES

     

    1. Rawson ES, Volek JS. Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Nov;17(4):822-31.

     

    1. B. Mittendorfer, E. Volpi and R. Wolfe. Whole body and skeletal muscle glutamine metabolism in healthy subjects. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 Aug 22.

     

    1. Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, French DN, Rubin MR, Sharman MJ, Gómez AL, Ratamess NA, Newton RU, Jemiolo B, Craig BW, Häkkinen K. The effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on hormonal responses to resistance exercise and recovery. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Aug;17(3):455-62.

     

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. Antonio, J., Ciccine, C. The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Journal of The International Society of Nutrition 10:36, 2013.
  • Want Muscle Size? Why You Need to Pair Creatine with Glutamine

    Supplementation is no longer considered a luxury option. Chances are that anyone you chat with in the gym is supplementing with something. When it comes to gaining muscle size, everyone knows that having a protein supplement is a requirement.

     

    What if you really want to ensure maximum size gains?

    What can you do that doesn't require breaking the law or endangering your body?

    The solution is simple, you pair up the two biggest names in the supplement industry to see real gains.

     

    Let's take a look at the benefits of creatine and glutamine and why they make the perfect supplement pair.

     

    Benefits of Creatine

     

    Your body naturally makes creatine but it's limited to about one gram per day. Creatine plays an important role in providing energy to muscle tissue. Stored within this tissue, it's released during high energy demands such as exercise. It's then converted to ATP and used as fuel to complete whatever energy demanding task you're doing.

     

    Creatine is also used for muscle recovery. Recent studies show that creatine was successful in reducing inflammation and muscle tissue damage post-workout. (1)

     

    Benefits of Glutamine

     

    The primary reason that glutamine is such a popular supplement is due to its ability to support muscle recovery, especially after intense workouts. Taken on a regular basis, subjects saw a decrease in post-workout inflammation and muscle damage. This benefit is extended on a hormonal level as glutamine is also used to prevent catabolic breakdown of protein in the body. In other words, it's a muscle sparing supplement. (2, 3)

     

    Why You Should Pair Them

     

    The name of the game is performance and recovery. You need to perform well if you want to achieve your fitness goals. This is especially true during high intensity workouts. If you're a bodybuilder, what good is it to throw in the towel halfway through your workout?

     

    More important than performing well is recovering well. Over training will put a stop to any fitness goal faster than you can imagine. The combination of providing your muscles with the fuel they need and the ability to reduce inflammation and support recovery is why these two industry giants need to be taken together.

     

    The Proper Way to Take Them

     

    Despite huge advancements in supplement technology, it's still recommended to perform a loading phase with creatine. The idea behind this is to completely saturate your muscles with 20 grams of creatine per day for 7 to 14 days. You could do 5 grams per day but that will take at least a full month to see the same results. It's best to take creatine following a workout when your body is primed to absorb it all.

     

    Glutamine can be taken at its normal 5 gram serving but if you are a serious bodybuilder or power lifter then you may want to consider 10 grams. It's best to take Glutamine on an empty stomach so do it as soon as you wake up.

     

    Creatine:

    • 20 grams for 14 days
    • 5 grams after that
    • Take post-workout

     

    Glutamine

    • 5 to 10 grams based on intensity
    • Take in the morning on an empty stomach

     

    Conclusion

     

    Creatine and glutamine have been stand alone supplements for decades. There's a reason that they are still around and still the most purchased supplements on the market. They've been proven time and time again to be an effective way to fuel your muscles while aiding in recovery. If you want to see serious results, then you need to be adding these effective and inexpensive supplements to your diet program.

     

    References

     

    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.

     

    1. Piattoly, Tavis. L-glutamine supplementation: effects on recovery from Exercise. Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. (4 – 9) August 2005.

     

    1. Calder PC, Yaqoob P. Glutamine and the immune system. Amino Acids. 1999;17(3):227-41.
  • Creatine Types: Everything You Need to Know

    When supplementation first started to see a dramatic rise in popularity decades ago, your options were limited. Now, you can literally spend days going over all of your options. One of the classic supplements has evolved over time as well. Creatine has become a staple to every type of fitness enthusiast from the athlete to the weekend warrior.  The difference is that you have more to choose from than just Creatine Monohydrate.

     

    Let's take a look at the different types of creatine, their differences, and which one will serve you best.

     

    Proven Benefits of Creatine

     

    Before we discuss the differences between each form of creatine, let's quickly review the benefits that have been shown by science.

     

    Many studies have confirmed that creatine is an effective means of supplementation when it comes to supporting athletic performance. Creatine is used during high energy demands such as exercise. 5 grams of creatine a day has been shown to support these energy demands, improving intra-workout performance.

     

    Creatine is famously used by bodybuilders as a means to support lean muscle mass. Creatine does NOT directly increase muscle size. What it does is improve performance. Through better performance, your strength and power levels will increase. From this, you'll see better results in terms of muscle size. (1, 2)

     

    Now that we have our benefits laid out, let's take a look at the highlights between each type.

     

    Monohydrate

     

    This is the classic form of Creatine. Through leaps and bounds in supplementation technology, we now have a monohydrate without the bloating side effects that were commonly reported years ago. This is the subject of most studies so you can't go wrong with Monohydrate as it's extremely effective and inexpensive.

     

    Micronized Creatine

     

    Micronized is famous for having a smaller particle size. You're still getting Creatine Monohydrate but you'll need less of a dose. You'll notice the serving sizes are very small. It offers the same benefits as Monohydrate and it's been reported by companies to have a better absorption rate but this has never been proven in an official study. It's usually a bit more expensive than Monohydrate.

     

    Ethyl Ester

     

    This is Creatine Monohydrate that has an organic compound known as an Ester attached to it. Does this mean it's better for you? No. Creatine Ethyl Ester has been shown to be less effective than Monohydrate. It's reported to have a higher absorption rate but again, this has never been shown. Price wise, it's usually much more expensive than Monohydrate.

     

    Tri-Creatine Malate

     

    As the name suggests, Malate is made up of three Creatine Monohydrate molecules and they are combined by one molecule of malic acid. So what does this mean for you? Although studies have yet to prove this, it's been reported that the molecule of malic acid greatly increases absorption and assimilation resulting in better recovery, energy, and performance.

     

    Buffered Creatine

     

    You don't see Buffered Creatine as much but those few companies swear that it's superior to Monohydrate. It's claimed to be fully absorbed by the body without resulting wasting of the creatine product. One popular study proved this to be untrue. It was tested against the classic Monohydrate. The results showed Buffered Creatine was inferior to the bodybuilding original. (3)

     

    Liquid Creatine

     

    Finally, we have Liquid Creatine. You'd think being in liquid form would be beneficial for absorption and effectiveness but this isn't the case. Creatine is faster to breakdown in its liquid form, making it less effective.

     

    Conclusion

     

    Despite the big claims made by supplement companies, Creatine Monohydrate is still king. With Monohydrate you know what to expect because all of the studies have been based on it. It's proven and it's inexpensive so what more could you ask for? If I had to pick one more type of creatine to buy, it would be Tri-Creatine Malate but only if it's on sale.

     

    REFERENCES

     

    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.

     

    1. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.

     

    1. Andrew R Jagim, Jonathan M Oliver, Adam Sanchez, Elfego Galvan, James Fluckey, Steven Riechman, Michael Greenwood, Katherine Kelly, Cynthia Meininger, Christopher Rasmussen, and Richard B Kreider. A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 43. Published online 2012 Sep 13. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-43.
  • Benefits of Taking Creatine for Building Muscle

    Out of all of the supplements people can choose to help with their fitness journey, creatine has to top the list. It is the most heavily studied supplement out there, and the benefits are enormous.

    And yet, a lot of people are still confused about creatine and the effects it can have in regards to helping you build muscle mass. So, if you are one of those people, then look no further.

    Today's article was made to help you decide whether or not you want to give creatine a shot, and so that you can get an understanding about what it brings to the table. But before we dive in head first in helping you learn about the benefits, I wanted to take a moment to educate you on what creatine is.

    While this may not be the first question that comes to your mind, understanding what creatine is will help you understand why the supplement is so beneficial.

    What is Creatine?

    The chemical creatine is something that is found in the body, mostly residing in the muscles. Your body makes in during the process of protein metabolism, and it helps to provide energy for muscular contraction, which is how your muscles produce force.

    Creatine is also found in certain foods, including fish and meats. In short, it is simply a chemical that your body already produces, and is also available to you through some foods. So, taking the supplement doesn't mean you will be introducing your body to some foreign chemical. You are simply adding on to the existing levels that your body already produces, or gets from your daily nutrition.

    More Muscle, More Power, More Everything

    Creatine supplementation can improve power, muscular strength, and work capacity1. This means that creatine can literally help you in all aspects of weight lifting in regards to lifting faster, heavier, and longer. How's that for some benefit?

    There is a lot of reasoning that goes into this, and that's the main objective of this part. I just now told you the #1 benefit creatine brings to the table, and it's a big one. But how does it do this?

    Well, if you read the part about what creatine is, then you noticed that it is something that already resides in our body, mainly in our muscles. It is responsible for helping your muscles produce force through contraction.

    So, what happens when you bring in the supplement? More creatine gets shuttled into the body, and allows you to produce more force during your training. But it doesn't stop there. It also helps to increase your workout intensity, since you are able to not only train harder due to more strength, but you also experience increases in muscular endurance.

    In turn, this allows you to place more stress on the muscles than you could otherwise, which results in increased progress (assuming your nutrition is on point). When you put this in the perspective of this occurring during each workout you have, you start to realize the massive effect it can have on building muscle mass over longer periods of time.

    Now, let's add the other factor into the equation: increased muscular power. So, not only can you lift heavier and lift longer, but you are now also able to lift more explosively. When this occurs, you receive an increase in performance.

    Let's take the deadlift for example. Pulling heavy weights off the ground with no momentum involves both strength and power. When creatine is involved, you are not only able to pull heavier weight off the ground, but this also takes effect because you are able to generate that force quicker than you would without creatine supplementation.

    Increase Your Potential

    I just wanted to quickly state that while creatine is an amazing supplement, it doesn't work for everybody. Some just experience bloating, and others don't experience anything at all.

    But if you haven't tried it, you need to give it a shot. By doing so, you could be adding the strongest tool to your arsenal, and significantly accelerating your progress.

    1. Earnest, C. P., P. G. Snell, A. L. Almada, R. Rodriguez, and T. L. Mitchell. "The Effect of Creatine Monohydrate Ingestion on Power Indices, Muscular Strength and Body Composition." Acta Physiologica Scandinavica (n.d.): n. pag. Web.
  • The Benefits of Creatine Supplements

    Creatine is a very popular amino acid supplement. We discuss the benefits of supplementing with creatine and how it can aid with muscle growth.
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