The diet of a real bodybuilder is not only boiled chicken breasts with rice, “milk” and raw eggs. With intense regular loads of ordinary food, it is very difficult to replenish the amount of required substances, if real, then (both physically and financially). For example – you need to consume about 2 grams of protein per day (for an 80-pound athlete – this is 160 grams). These are approximately 25 raw chicken eggs – you must admit that this is not the most pleasant “menu”, especially considering that we need such a quantity daily.
For this reason, athletes often just can not do without additional support – special additives. They should not be confused with anabolic steroids (as your relatives and friends might mistakenly consider) – these are completely different things that have nothing to do with each other. Now we will specifically focus on the most effective, effective and affordable drug – creatine.
Taking creatine. Types of Creatine
What is creatine and why is it necessary for the human body?
To begin with – a brief educational program about what exactly is this substance. We omit the definitions that are too complex and not too necessary for the ordinary athlete – we will highlight only the basic and relevant facts.
Creatine is an acid that takes a serious part in the process of energy metabolism. It is synthesized in the body (kidneys, pancreas and liver) from amino acids (glycine, methionine, arginine) obtained from food. The “finished” acid is transported through the circulatory system to the muscles. The supply of substances in our body on average is a little more than 100 grams, while about 2-3 grams are spent per day (for an ordinary person who does not play sports). Intensive loads significantly increase this number, and therefore creatine in bodybuilding is simply indispensable if you are planning frequent and intensive training.
The function of this substance is the main “reducing agent” of ATP (adenosine triphosphate – the main source of energy for muscles). It significantly accelerates its production and provides an increase in stock. As a result, such physical indicators as strength, endurance and speed of recovery after exertion significantly increase. That is why creatine intake is so highly regarded by athletes who want to accelerate progress.
Another very important function of creatine that should be mentioned is to improve the ability to store glycogen in the body. This carbohydrate is one of the main sources of “fuel” involved in high-intensity and prolonged anaerobic exercise. During strength training, you follow 1 approach for several seconds – at this time ATP provides energy to the muscle fibers, which quickly “ends”, requiring recovery. With an increase in the duration of the approach, the glycolysis process is activated, which releases additional ATP molecules from glucose. As a result, we can work longer (although at the same time the level of physical strength is significantly reduced).
To summarize all of the above: creatine, contained and produced by our internal organs from products, is one of the main sources of “fuel” for an athlete. Under loads, it is quickly consumed, and the process of replenishing it takes a certain time.
Improving results: taking supplements
Now that we know approximately how creatine works and why our body needs it, we’ll consider how to improve the effectiveness of training with the help of special additives.
To speed up the process of restoring the natural reserves of creatine and increase their amount, you can (and even need!) To take sportspit. In this case, the role of “assistant” will be taking creatine monohydrate – the most effective, tested, effective and cheap option. Flavourless white powder resembling flour is a fairly common item on the menu of many athletes. Moreover, its reception is relevant for both huge champions and beginners – this is one of the infrequent cases when the supplement is equally useful for almost any parameter.
The effectiveness of such an additive (or alternative options) is quite simple: it provides our body with “pure” creatine, in addition to that which is synthesized by internal organs. This allows you to solve two problems at once:
- Speed up recovery after exercise.
- Increase the natural supply of matter in the body – which will allow you to train longer.
Varieties of additives
Sporting food stores offer their customers various types of creatine, differing in cost and quality characteristics. Consider a few basic options.
As mentioned above – the most affordable and effective drug. The average cost per package (500 grams) is 150-250 hryvnias, depending on the manufacturer. A good and repeatedly tested drug, for example, is products from Biotech.
The additive is sold in the form of a fine powder. In cold liquid (water, milk, juice) it does not dissolve well, leaving a precipitate.
In fact – the same monohydrate, only more concentrated, containing fewer water molecules (6% instead of 12% for monohydrate). The main difference is only in cost – it, of course, will be slightly higher.
One of the first options for creatine supplements. It is in this form (creatine + phosphate) that the substance is contained and used in the body. Phosphate accelerates the neutralization of lactic acid, but at the same time complicates the process of absorption of the additive. For this reason, it is inferior in effectiveness to monohydrate.
Combined Supplements: Creatine + Glutamine + Taurine
One of the modern options. Taurine and glutamine are amino acids that positively affect the absorption of the supplement and increase its effectiveness. This is confirmed both by scientific research and experimentally – by ordinary athletes from their own experience. Naturally, the cost of such an additive will be higher than the price of monohydrate.
Another modern drug, available in the form of a liquid readily soluble in water. It is convenient to take, but its cost is several times higher than the cost of monohydrate (0.5 liter – from 400 hryvnia).
It is used for the production of creatine-containing solid additives: tablets, capsules, chewing plates. It is convenient to use, but it does not have additional advantages over monohydrate (and the prices, as usual, are higher).
The remaining varieties of additives (in total there are more than a dozen) are largely similar, and are mainly the result of modern research. Their cost is significantly higher than the “pure” monohydrate, and the efficiency is almost the same.
How to use?
So many articles have been written on such a widespread topic that even an athlete who has not taken creatine probably knows how to do this. Therefore, we will not particularly focus on this issue.
Describe the use of creatine for our most common variety – monohydrate.
Option One – With Download
20 grams per day for a week (“download”);
5 grams per day – for 3-4 weeks (“maintenance).
The “load” can be calculated more accurately individually (the duration of the phase does not change). The formula is as follows:
0.3 x weight (for example, 0.3 x 75 = 22.5 grams).
This option is most useful and relevant if you do not combine monohydrate with other supplements and / or just start intensive training.
Option Two – No Download
Everything is extremely simple here: we take 5 grams of monohydrate per day for 3-5 weeks.
The breaks between receptions (in both cases) are about the same as the reception itself. Usually month after month. Otherwise, the body “gets used” to the supplement, and its effectiveness decreases.
Is it safe?
Creatine is one of the “oldest” and most proven drugs, so its safety can be declared safely, relying not only on the results of numerous studies, but also on the experience of thousands of athletes. Even with prolonged use, there are no side effects.
However, there are two factors that need attention:
- A by-product of creatine activity is creatinine. Excreted from the body in a natural way (during urination), it is not a danger in itself. However, the additional intake of creatine, of course, increases the amount of creatinine – which creates an additional burden on the kidneys. For this reason, taking the supplement should be done very carefully (and after medical advice) to people who have kidney problems.
- If there are no kidney problems, you should pay attention to the quality of the product. In the synthesis of creatine chemically, compounds (dicyandiamide, dihydrotriazine) can form, the effect of which on the body is not fully understood. Therefore, you should choose only products from trusted manufacturers that meet quality standards.