I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the creatine affect – the way creatine monohydrate is supposed to let you work out longer and faster while recovering more quickly than ever before. And you may know someone who claims impressive creatine results in their own training or that of someone they know. But is this impressive creatine advantage for real? Let’s see.
It was a real shock to discover that scientists have been studying creatine effects on bodybuilding along with what causes Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD) since the 1920′s. The first scientific paper on the subject was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry way back in 1926. There have been literally dozens of studies since then, and they document real improvements in strength, endurance, and recovery time when athletes supplement with creatine.
Within just the last few years there have been almost two dozen rigorous scientific studies. These double-blind, placebo-controlled studies verified that there is a real creatine advantage when it comes to athletic performance. Double-blind studies are the gold standard of scientific research, since during the study neither the researchers nor the people participating know whether they are receiving the creatine monohydrate (the form of creatine used by your body), or a placebo (a substance known to have no effect).
Beyond these results, studies showed that consuming creatine accelerates fat loss while building lean muscle. As if all that wasn’t enough, if you are looking to increase the size of your muscles, you’ll be glad to know that increasing the amount of creatine stored in your muscles increases the amount of water in your muscle cells. This super-hydration will increase the size of your muscles by several percent on its own, without taking into account any increases due to harder workouts. The results are in and creatine definitely delivers the goods.
Unlike various performance-enhancing drugs, creatine is a naturally occurring substance found in all of your muscles and many foods, making it inherently safe to use. But nothing is perfect. At the levels needed to get the great positive results we’ve just talked about, there are some reports of side effects.
Specifically, there are anecdotal reports of muscle cramping, dehydration, and diarrhea, along with worries about long-term kidney damage. Despite the rumors and anecdotes, few sports supplements have been studied as extensively as creatine, and no published literature has found creatine to be unsafe in any way.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that creatine doesn’t transform your body. Taking creatine gives you additional strength, endurance, and recovery ability, but those mean little if you don’t apply them. Unless all you are looking for is to puff up the size of your muscles a bit, you have to put in the work. You won’t get the creatine effects that others report if you don’t work for them. Creatine gives you the ability to lift a little more weight, squeeze out a few more reps, run a little longer or harder. You have to use those gifts to work out longer and harder if you want the benefits. If you’re ready to do that, it’s time to find a quality source of pharmaceutical-grade creatine monohydrate and get to work!