What is Creatine Monohydrate?
Consistently in the top 5 recommended supplements for strength and mass, creatine has staked out its position as one of the most important staples for bodybuilders and athletes. This natural metabolite--composed of l-methionine, l-arginine and l-glycine--is largely found in skeletal muscles, where approximently 2 grams a day are metabolized by the typical sedentary office worker. But athletes and bodybuilders who demand optimal performance in their high intensity training need to treat their muscles with far more care than the average joe if they expect to grow and peak.
While we can certainly find this staple in red meat and abundantly in fish, one would have to throw down 2.2lbs of tuna or beef to get the amount of creatine needed for performance enhancement (an amount of meat that contains approximently 4 to 5 grams of creatine). Despite the voracious appetites of most competitive athletes--unless you are on Michael Phelps' 7000 calorie diet--that is a tall order to fill every day of your life. Alternatively, we can feed our muscles the creatine they need quickly with a scoop of Smart Powders creatine monohydrate powder.
How does Creatine Monohydrate work?
Creatine Monohydrate powder delivers its performance enhancing effects primarily through two mechanisms
- Intra-cellular water retention When the creatine arrives inside the muscle cells, it attracts surrounding water and leads to a larger, fuller cells. The end effect of the super hydrated state is a "pumped" muscle and increased strength. There is some research that suggests this super hydrated state may have an anabolic effect by inducing protein synthesis and throttling catabolism (the break-down of muscle tissues).
- Enhancing ATP production By enhancing the body's ability to synthesize Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), creatine can increase tolerance to high volumne training and increase recovery time between sets (allowing you to do more work and train harder).
ATP is the power source of cells, and it releases its energy when it sheds one of its three phosphate molecules (and thereby becomes Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP)). This release of energy only last for about 10 seconds, and the muscle must then begin to burn glycogen to support further muscle contraction. The drawback to burning glycogen is that lactic acid is a byproduct, and we all know that causes a burning sensation and can even force your muscles to stop contracting when it builds up in high concentrations.
By taking creatine monohydrate, you can exceed that 10 second limit, as creatine provides ADP the missing phosphate molecule that it needs to be converted back to ATP. When you enhance your body's ability to produce ATP, you can train longer and harder with larger energy stores. In addition, lactic acid production is minimized, allowing you to take your sets to the next level and reduce fatigue. More strength, volume, energy and recovery will consistently deliver more muscle.
Creatine Monohydrate Benefits
Examining how creatine works, its should be obvious what creatine can deliver to an athlete or bodybuilder with demanding training regimine. This supplement is sought after by fitness enthusiasts looking to:
- Enhanced muscle mass & strength
- Put on lean mass
- Increase muscular energy
- Enhance recovery between sets or workouts
How to take Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine powder should be consumed according a three-phase schedule that can be repeated:
- Loading Phase:
To completely saturate your muscles with creatine, consume 20 to 30 grams (0.3 grams of creatine/kilogram of your body weight) of creatine monohydrate powder a day for at least 5 days (divided in 3 to 4 daily doses).
During this loading phase, it is essential to consume adequate water and extra carbohydrates to aid your body's utilization of the creatine you're supplementing. Otherwise, this large amount of creatine will simply be thrown out by your body in urine and excretion.
For performance atheletes who are attempting to boost performance and peak for competitions, creatine must be consumed serveral weeks before events so your muscles have time to saturate and benefit from creatine during training.
- Maintenance Phase:
After the initial loading phase, a maintenance dose of 2 to 5 grams of creatine per day is required to maintain full creatine saturation within the muscles. The maintenance dosage is primarily intended to replenish the creatine that is degraded daily during training activities.
For most weight-trainers, there are no extra benefits of taking creatine after 1 month. Thereafter, further supplementation may simply be wasted, while all your gains can be maintained by with proper training. Therefore, most people cycle on creatine for 1 month, and go off for several months before re-loading with creating again.
- Wash Out Phase: After the maintenance phase, it is recommended that people cycle-off creatine monohydrate so that the body can recover from the high creatine levels often associated with creatine supplementation. This wash out phase normally lasts at least 1 month. Once the body adjusts and the gains are maintained, your muscles are in prime position to reap the benefits again from a creatine cycle.
While a loading phase is not entirely necessary, if you want quick gains and immediate muscle saturation within a week it is essential. When using a loading phase, noticeable results can be had in just 2 weeks, as opposed to a month if you are to simply skip to the maintenance phase. Of course, if you are not in a hurry to put on muscle mass, we recommend that you to start from maintenance phase only.
Creatine Monohydrate Side Effects
When used at recommended doses, creatine monohydrate is generally safe. Creatine is generally not recommended for people under the age of 18, due to the lack of research of creatine supplementation in teenagers.
Warning: Keep out of reach of children. Always consult a physician prior to using any dietary supplements.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Creatine Monohydrate Powder Reviews
- This product is AMAZING Review by Chad
Price Value QualityThis creatine monohydrate is ridiculously awesome. 1000g of this stuff will last you over half the year taking 5g a day. Not to mention how cheap it is. But don't let that price fool ya. This is the real deal.(Posted on )