Nobody could have foreseen such a blockbuster…
In 1992 creatine hit the North American market with a record-breaking price of 150$ for a 500gr tub! Buyers didn’t go for it. But after a smart marketing ploy, some trainees ventured to test the new kid on the block. Soon after, rumours could be heard in just about every gym around the country: «I gained 4 pounds in 1 week» said one trainee. «My bench went up by 20%» bragged another guy.
In no time the sales exploded exponentially. The throne was empty. The King of supplements took it. A cult product was born.
Good to know…
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic amino acid made of L-Arginine, L-Glycine and L-Methionine. Our bodies produce it naturally and we also find it in meat (Kreas in Greek means flesh) fish is also an excellent source. Creatine is not an hormonal compound, nor an hormone precursor. Of all the nutritional supplements on the market, it is without a doubt the best bang for your buck.
But the controversy?
Yes, we must admit that in the first few years everybody was wandering: «Is there any long term side effects?»
Well long term use has been done. There’s no more controversy – there’s only a consensus throughout the scientific community, backed by 20 years of research, literally hundreds of double blind/placebo controlled studies, done by the most prestigious Universities in the world! You would be hard-pressed by denying a meta-analysis.
To put things in perspective, the LD50 (lethal dose for 50% of the tested subjects) for table salt is about one cup on an empty stomach. On the other hand there’s no LD50 for creatine!
How does creatine work
By taking creatine monohydrate (95% of the studies have been done with this basic form) you boost your ATP reserves in muscle tissues. ATP – adenosine triphosphate – is the primary source of energy in muscles.
- 15% to 20% increase in muscle strength in only 6 days!
- The only nutritional supplement that increases muscle tone.
- Fights sarcopenia : wasting of muscle tissue in over 50 years old people.
- Young men who where put in a cast, following an arm fracture, took 20gr of creatine daily. Compared to the placebo group they kept most of their strength and size.
- A group of people from 60 to 80 years old who took 5gr of creatine daily for 3 weeks reported a significant increase in memory.
- Athletes on creatine have seen an improvement in their reaction time.
- A scientific study on rats fed with creatine has shown a 9% increase in lifespan.
- A better immune system: more muscle mass equals more blood plasma. Strong people live longer and are rarely sick!
There’s two ways to take creatine. The most popular, the one I favour, consists in a saturation phase of 20gr daily (4x5gr) for 1 week, followed by a maintenance dosage of 5gr/day.
The other way entails a progressive saturation phase. You take 5gr daily until you reach full saturation – which will occur after 3 to 4 weeks.
The dosages apply to men only. For you ladies, you just have to cut the above mentioned dosages in half, so 10gr and 2.5gr and buns of steel will be yours!
The best time to take creatine is right after training, preferably mixed with whey protein and carbs powder or a fruit. Make sure to buy 99% pure micronized creatine, like the one made by DSL Nutrition.
Creatine can benefit anyone who trains, especially those who play sports where speed and explosion is required.
Watch David Lemieux on You-Tube do a set of bench press with 225 pounds and you’ll be a believer.
Possible side effects
Creatine is not recommended for people who have been diagnosed with kidney problems.
Personally, I’ve used creatine for the last 24 years. My kidneys and liver markers are just fine and my blood pressure is 110/72. As far as I am concerned, the two top supplements you can take with creatine are Whey protein and vitamin D3.
An 8 week trial will definitely convince you!
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