Bulking Up Using Creatine
Developing Mass With Creatine
While everyone knows that there is no such thing as a magic pill that will transform the average human body into an Adonis, we all keep looking for it anyway. Sure, some steroids appear to be that magic formula for getting big, but other than the fact that they are illegal, not regulated and expensive, they are not safe to use. However, creatine is a lot different.
Though still not a magic pill or formula, creatine (or creatine monohydrate) is natural, safe to use and has proven positive results over and over again. Yes, there are a few hang-wringers out there who say otherwise, but the International Society of Sports Nutrition says that the supplement is “extremely safe” and is “one of the most beneficial sports supplements available.” (Healthline)
What Is Creatine
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in the muscle tissues of the human body. It was first discovered in 1832 by the French chemist, Michel Eugene Cheveul who was the first man able to extract the chemical from a living tissue. He called it “creatine” which is comes the Greek word “kreas” which in turn means “meat.” Many years later Harvard University did tests on the substance and found that people who ingested oral creatine would boost the body’s nitrogen retention. (Bodybuilding.com)
By 1996, it is has been estimated that over 80% of the Olympic athletes that took part in the Summer Games in Atlanta had used the supplement.
How Creatine Helps to Build Muscle
In addition to giving people an extra boost of energy while working out, creatine supplementation can increase your body’s creatine and phosphocreatine stores by 10-to-40% says David Sandler, the Director of Education for the National Strength and Conditioning Association. The supplement also pulls water from the body and pushes it into the muscle which aids in giving them a fuller appearance. The substance is good at improving overall muscle strength, giving athletes better endurance, a quicker recovery time and can even help people lose fat without sacrificing muscle.
How safe is creatine use? Very safe says Jose Antonio, Ph.D and professor at Nova Southeaster University and CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. “The science clearly suggests that there are no harmful side effects of creatine supplementation. There is no evidence that it causes muscle tears, harms the kidneys, causes dehydration or myriad other silly myths. If these side effects occur, show me the science!”
How Big You Can Get Using Creatine
According to Stay Fit Central, the most recent research on people, of all ages and physical abilities, found that the average person could see about four pounds of muscle after take creatine for about 30 days. Of course, some gained more while others gained less depending on the unique circumstances. These gains do not include the one-to-two pounds of water weight gain during the first couple of weeks of using the supplement. (Stay Fit Central)
Men tend to gain the most muscle using creatine gaining about four pounds of muscle mass plus an additional two-four pounds of water weight (which does not give a “bloated” look but instead puffs up the muscles). Women on the other hand gain about half as much muscle mass as men do.
Regardless of age or athletic ability, everyone can benefit from the use of creatine. Men over the age of 60 still gained about two pounds of muscle using the supplement and any muscle mass one can keep when one gets older is a plus. One study even found that women over the age of 60 had better balance control.
How to Build the Most Muscle with Creatine
While there are some studies that suggests that people can gain extra muscle by taking the supplement alone, Stay Fit Central recommends that people should lift weights at least three times a week in order to build the most muscle. Be sure to work the larger muscle groups of the legs, back, chest and shoulders. Good exercises for these include squats, presses, rows and the dreaded pull ups, and they suggest that you try to include them with every workout that you do.
There are different forms of creatine, but many experts advise using creatine monohydrate to see the best results. Some studies have shown that liquid forms of the chemical and others like creatine ehyl ester (CEE) creatine HCL didn’t work as well as they often do not contain enough creatine to make a difference.
How to Take Creatine Monohydrate
There are at least two schools of thought when starting out using creatine monohydrate. The simplest to remember is to take just 5 grams of the stuff before or after your daily workout. The downside here is that it will take about a month before you’ll see any results.
The other way is to “load up” on creatine by taking 20 grams of the supplement every day for a week before switching to 5 grams. This will enable you to start utilizing the substance much quicker. Be sure to take carbohydrates with the creatine as they will help your body absorb it quicker. However, some people’s bodies can be sensitive to too much creatine which could lead to some gastric upset. If this is you, be sure to cut down the amount of the supplement you take in during that first week. Also, be sure to take the supplement throughout the day instead of just one dose.
Since creatine pulls water away from the body, it is easier to become dehydrated quicker so be sure to drink plenty of water. Experts suggest taking in about half your body weight in water a day.
It is also recommended that you follow a healthy meal plan with a balance of calories and proteins. Be sure to consume plenty of energy-rich foods like steaks, fish, pork, eggs and healthy fats like avocados, butter and olive oil. Some experts recommend about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This will help you to have the nutrients you need to grow and recover during your workouts.
Healthline – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-safety-and-side-effects#purported-side-effects
Bodybuilding.com – https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/safe_effective_creatine.htm and https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/creatine-q-and-a-top-17-questions-answered.html
Stay Fit Central – https://stayfitcentral.com/ask-the-experts/how-much-much-muscle-can-creatine-build/
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