As a nutritional supplement, Creatine is useful for both building muscle and losing weight. Creatine is a nutrient amino acid that is made naturally by the body. Creatine is also found in certain foods, such as red meat. When you ingest creatine, your body turns it into phosphocreatine, also known as ATP, which is then used to store energy in your muscles.
Unlike other supplements that may contain unsafe or untested ingredients, creatine is all-natural. Use of creatine for athletes has been around since the 1920's, and creatine is one of very few supplements that are not banned by the Olympic Committee. Use of creatine grew significantly in the 1990's, leading to many safe and effective brands becoming commercially available. There is a large amount of research that has been done proving creatine to be both safe and effective. Professional athletes such as weightlifters, bodybuilders, wrestlers, and others use creatine to increase strength in a natural manner. While some supplements can build up in the body, creatine is naturally expelled by the body when too much is present.
The most important part of beginning a creatine regimen is to drink lots of water. For each gram of creatine taken, be sure to drink at least eight ounces of water to prevent cramping that can sometimes occur. You can purchase two forms of creatine- creatine monohydrate and creatine ethyl ester. Creatine monohydrate is a combination of creatine and glucose or other sugar, which is great for building muscle mass. If you are taking creatine as part of an exercise regimen to lose weight, opt for creatine ethyl ester which is slightly more expensive but does not add any extra carbohydrates. Both forms come in either powder or pill version, and should be taken right before a workout for maximum benefit.
Vegetarians interested in using creatine will be pleased to know that red meat is not the only source of creatine. Since vegetarians do not receive creatine by eating meat, they often display particularly low blood levels of creatine. Several manufacturers offer vegetarian versions of creatine monohydrate, and vegans can contact the manufacturer to ensure no animal-derivative ingredients are present.
The benefits of creatine as a supplement include the development of lean muscle and extra energy to complete more strenuous workouts. With increased blood levels of creatine, the body relies less on glycolysis, which results in decreased production of lactic acid and less muscle soreness after workouts. Individuals hoping to gain weight will be pleased by their ability gain as much as ten or twenty pounds of muscle while using creatine. Those looking for weight loss will enjoy seeing their extra pounds transformed to fat-burning lean muscle. Creatine is a safe and effective way to enhance your workout routine.