Multiple research studies have proved that creatine supplementation has a huge effect on athlete’s strength levels and overall gains in lean muscle mass. Not only does it decrease the “burn” effect of cardio and weights which is a build up of lactic acid, the trash our muscles leave after using fuel, but it also promotes speed and endurance as well.
Vegetarians, especially vegans, seem to show a considerably better result which is most likely due to the lack of meat in their diet. Creatine is found in meat and it is not a steroid like many mistakenly think! Creatine has come a long way since the days of monohydrates and citrates. There are many types of creatine products that cater to everyone. Avoiding bloat and cramping side effects which can occur with some people on certain forms of creatine is an inconvenient negative, so it’s important to try out several different types of creatine supplements if you experience these problems.
I have noticed people on different fitness forums criticize monohydrate since it’s been linked to bloating and cramping issues but I personally have never had an issue and found it works best for me versus the other products on the market.
Serums are also available in flavored powders and mixes along with other proteins mixed in like glutamine. The slick and shiny labels of different brands may catch your eye but you should be focusing more at the nutrition label on the back of the product. Make sure to research the product and brand online and take a look at different reviews and ratings on fitness forums and other discussions. Try to avoid added sugars and fillers which are found in many products on the market today. Reading online reviews is one of the best things you can do to read what others have said about the product. Keep in mind that you are different and may or may not have similar results. Test out a specific product for 4-5 weeks and see how it works for you. Write down your body statistics and take photos before starting so you will have some data to compare it to.
Not everyone needs creatine and for those who prefer to avoid taking supplements and opt to get their nutritional needs directly from food, more power to you. Just be aware that when cooking meat, it does destroy some of the creatine that’s in the meat, so sometimes a quality creatine supplement is the way to go for a concentrated source of this powerful substance.
For those who wish to work on recreational gains then creatine may be a great addition to boost your muscle building and strength training success. It might give you the extra endurance you need to smash through personal records during a marathon or lift more weight when you’re training at the gym.
There are those who claim creatine doesn’t work at all and no gains will be achieved from taking it. Again, it is really up to you to try it out for yourself and see how you like it. It is not a drug, so it should not hurt you if taken in the proper dosages. As mentioned before, test out a few products and keep a detailed workout journal along with before and after photos to see how well the creatine supplement worked for you.
I personally believe creatine is an excellent addition to anyone’s program and it’s a great supplement when combined with a strength training plan and nutrient dense diet. I do not feel it is addictive, scary, and destructive nor a health hazard but unfortunately due to the media, there is a scare throughout parents when teens consider using it. If you don’t use it before the age of 18, I don’t think it’s a huge issue but I also think parents who fear this product are ridiculous and we really need to educate everyone on the true facts about this nutritional supplement.
How young is too young when it comes to taking creatine? Again, it’s all relative to the individual and family but I know some who start their kids on supplements at young ages due to their needs. Things like multivitamins and cod liver oils are routine supplements used by the children of many of my clients. Creatine is not far off in classification. I think the teenage years is a safe time to start if they are interested. I know many fitness experts who give their kids protein shakes blended with wonderful fruits, flaxseed, protein, glutamine and creatine. I feel this is perfectly acceptable and much better than a burger and fries at a fast food restaurant!