Creatine; no other bodybuilding compound has been more studies, more controversial, or more misunderstood that this simple white powder. Creatine emerged in the late 90s and early 2000s as a way to increase muscle mass, speed up recovery rate and help reduce fatigue and soreness after intense workouts. While many of these claims proved to not be entirely accurate and concerns of the use of Creatine, especially when combined with the supplement chromium picolinate with which it was often done, in regards to health issues lowered its popularity for a time, it is back and for good reason. Creatine is highly effective in helping to increase muscle mass, and speed up recovery when used properly as part of a responsible & balanced nutritional supplement program.
The most common forms for taking Creatine is either as a powder, a premade shake, or in recent years a capsule or gelcap. It is most effective when it is taken very close to the end of a workout. Most bodybuilders may not even realize that they are using Creatine already as it is found as an ingredient in their favorite building supplements and shakes. For that reason, it is important that you make sure you carefully review any products that you are using before adding a pure Creatine product to your supplements regimen. Using Creatine offers a lot of great benefits but taking too much can cause some rare problems.
One of the first reasons why Creatine is such a great addition to your muscle program is that it can give you a strength jolt. This is ideal if you have peaked in your strength training efforts. It can help push you over the line to the next level so you can break the plateau. At the same time, Creatine can help improve the muscle response time as well as strength levels to provide you faster starts from the blocks. Some research has shown that you can get as much as a 10% increase in speed in the first 30 seconds of a running activity by using Creatine. Creatine has also been shown to have a positive effect on brain waves as well as helping to increase productivity in activities other than fitness.
Of course, the biggest benefit of Creatine has always been one that starts below the belt. Creatine has an effect on the boosting of testosterone levels throughout the body. This is essential to the building of muscle mass, as well as the definition and toning of existing muscle. The increased testosterone levels have been shown to be in the 20-30% range. In addition to the increase in energy, endurance, strength and mental sharpness, you will also see muscle fiber recovery improve as well as an increase in sex drive. For men who are over 40 and who may be experiencing a natural lowering of testosterone in their system, this can be a big benefit to both their muscle building efforts as well as other aspects of their lives.
Creatine is a great way to boost you muscle building efforts, enhance your overall physical fitness goals and improve your quality of life. It should be used in a responsible manner, and care should be taken to ensure that you are not using too much by accident. Creatine has been long misunderstood, but it is a true muscle building tool that no serious bodybuilder should be without.