Creatine is one of the most popular supplements out there, and for good reason – we’ve studied creatine more than any other substance and time and time again we’ve found that it gives us impressive results, to say the least. Creatine is fully natural and it can be found in red meat and fish. Its effects include reduced fatigue and increased performance when engaged in high-intensity activities, but that’s just page one of the book of creatine. Here are six creatine facts you should know:
1. It Helps You Get Stronger
Creatine is so much more than hype – its results are measurable and very real. But, when you use creatine in conjunction with a strict diet and a good training routine, you will get even better results. This supplement is not a magic potion and will still require a great deal of work to reap its full benefits. It does give you energy, but you still have to get up and do the work. In bodybuilding, it helps most when you can do those extra five reps at the end of your sets – this is where creatine really shines!
2. You’ll Likely Gain Water Weight
Scientists at Quinnipiac University conducted a case study which reveals that when you’re using a creatine supplement, your body retains extra water and will likely gain one to three pounds of water weight. The researchers say this is normal, but that hopefully that extra weight will mean heavier lifts and more lean muscle. Also, when you stop using creatine, the water weight will fade away, but not your gains!
3. It’s Good for Your Brain
Creatine can bolster your memory and improve brain function, but it might also be able to help you with depression. Depression generally makes you unwilling or unable to move, but when you move you feel better, and then you move some more, creating a classic positive feedback loop. Creatine gives you that extra energy so that you’d want to move around.
4. Stick with the Powder
Creatine supplements come in all shapes and sizes, but the predominant forms are liquid, pill and powder. The researchers at Quinnipiac University say that the creatine monohydrate powder works best because the body absorbs the powder more easily. The creatine in candy bars will not provide with creatine of the quality you want to consume.
5. Mix with Water or Protein Shake
You can mix creatine with pretty much anything and it will still be effective, but when you mix it with water or with a protein shake instead of using, let’s say, fruit juice, you will have better effects. Juice has more sugar and calories and provides no aid to the creatine in reaching the bloodstream, which it already does pretty quick by itself.
6. Time It Right!
Taking creatine can be a part of your morning or pre-workout routine, but you can also take it with your post-workout shake. Try to take it an hour before working out, but also consistently enough that your body stays packet with the stuff. Just remember to take it every day and you’ll be fine!