Creatine

Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid thats 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. During high-intensity, short-duration exercise, such as lifting weights or sprinting, phosphocreatine is converted into ATP, a major source of energy within the human body.

It is considered to be an important component in building powerful muscles and is one of the most widely-used sports supplements in the market.

Creatine fuels ATP development which translates to sustained energy and high-powered workouts, more energy for muscle contraction and vastly improved power and muscle size. By taking it, one can work out for a longer duration. It also stimulates muscle growth because it allows more work in the gym as a result of additional energy. Because of this, increased protein synthesis is stimulated. Adding efficient training to the equation will lead to muscle growth.

Creatine also volumises the muscles. This means that when the muscles are on the receiving end, they attract and retain water giving them a fuller appearance. There is also scientific evidence that supplementation causes muscle tears to repair themselves quicker.

As if these werent enough, creatine helps protect cells and tissues from damage and injuries. It also lengthens the life span of cells. Whats more is that it benefits patients who have congestive heart failure. This is because it lessens heart spasms and increases the function of the heart.

Creatine also used to treat muscular dystrophy, hardening of the arteries, stroke and other neuromuscular disorders. Moreover, this supplement is also known for treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which is a fatal disease that disables motor neurons (the nerves which send signals from the brain to the skeletal muscles).

Lastly, it plays an active role in balancing your bodys cholesterol needs by lowering the bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.

In terms of creatine intake, the initial stage is known as the loading stage. If one is a new user, the idea is to consume 20-25 grams daily split up into two to four servings for the next seven days. As an example, a person can choose to consume 20 grams today and split that up into four servings of five grams each. This loading phase will speed up the bodys ability to use creatine, and that translates to faster results.

However, one can take it at a more leisurely pace and eventually do away with the loading phase if he or she is not in a hurry to see results. Studies suggest that even if a smaller dosage is taken daily over a longer period of time, the same results can still be attained. Ultimately, the choice of whether to load up on creatine or not is a subjective issue.

For those who want to do loading, a transition to what is known as the maintenance phase is necessary. People who choose to begin with smaller doses can begin with this stage. The suggested amount in this phase is five to ten grams daily.

There is a lot of debate going on regarding the best timing for taking in creatine. Most studies suggest that creatine is most effective when taken after a workout.
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