I read recently that over $100 million dollars worth of creatine was sold the past year in the united states alone. With all the hype and attention given to creatine of late there has also been much misinformation almost to the point where now the popularity is reversing in the face of people not knowing whether it is actually a valid supplement or not!
Here are a few creatine facts that you might already know about but should DEFINITELY know about.
Creatine fact #1
Creatine a natural compound. Yes creatine occurs naturally in the human body and in nature. It is not a laboratory generated chemical despite the fact that some variations and extensions of regular creatine that are laboratory created do exist. In its natural form it is called creatine monohydrate and is found in high protein foods like meat or fish.
Creatine fact #2
Loading on creatine is not totally necessary. While bodybuilders in particular have touted the benefits of ‘loading’ up on creatine by taking large quantities of the supplement in the initial stages, research indicates that a period of loading not necessarily any more effective than normal creatine supplementation.
Creatine fact #3
Creatine does not give you more energy when taken before a workout. For creatine to effect the body in particular the muscle tissue, it has to be saturated with the substance (either from loading or long term use) so a shot of creatine before workout will not increase energy. Consistent usage however increases the levels of phosphocreatine which stimulates the muscles ultimate energy source called ATP and boosts energy levels particularly at an intramuscular level.
Creatine fact #4
There are no side effects to creatine monohydrate supplementation. Despite numerous studies into the so called dangers of creatine, not one study has thus far provided conclusive evidence regarding any effects of any kind as a result of creatine taking. Cramps? False. Dehydration? Nope. Reacts with caffeine? Hearsay. Stomach discomfort? None that you wouldn't have had anyway.
Creatine fact #5
Creatine super supplements are rarely more effective and are overpriced. Outside the normal creatine monohydrate pure supplement, many more expensive variations have popped up promising faster creatine absorbtion and faster results because of an increased concentration of glucose that stimulates insulin production in the body. This one is actually true. However the exact same effect can be achieved by simply taking creatine in water with sugar, sugar cubes or glucose tablets.
I hope these creatine facts have been useful in your choice as to whether to pursue creatine supplementation or not.
Gary Stephens is a bodybuilding writer and runs an informational site on creatine and creatine supplementation for athletes. For more information please see http://www.creatine1.com