Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that is produced in the liver. It is found in the muscle and brain tissue of many animals and has been said to make up approximately 1% of human blood. Creatine generates extra cellular energy in the body and is essential for the development and maintenance of lean muscle tissue.
Although creatine is found in foods like red meat and fish, the quantity of food one would have to consume to reap a beneficial dose of creatine would be counteractive to most workout plans. This is why most creatine-based sports supplements are available as a powder. Creatine is fast acting and powerful, and supplements can be taken reliably as part of a high interval training schedule or a more relaxed fitness and muscle building regime. In this post, we will take a look at some of the key benefits you can see from introducing creatine sports supplements into your diet and workout schedule.
1. Creatine helps you bulk up & build muscle.
Creatine really is a bodybuilder’s best friend. It can be used to make your muscles bigger, firmer and bulkier. It supplies muscle and lean tissue cells with an extra boost of energy, accelerating muscle growth whilst promoting fat combustion and a more efficient glucose metabolism. Creatine is essential for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate, (ATP) which is the main generator of cellular energy and muscle growth. When used as part of an intensive training programme with a balanced, carbohydrate-rich diet, creatine allows you to build muscle and lean mass quickly and easily. Since the body’s ATP stores diminish with age and after intensive exercise, creatine can be used to top up your ATP stores and give you that extra boost when your body needs it most, before or after a heavy workout session.
2. Creatine enhances athletic ability and improves physical and mental performance.
As well as offering you the more aesthetically pleasing side of increased muscle mass and lean tissue, (a toned, bulked up appearance) using creatine can also dramatically improve your strength and athletic performance. Using creatine sports supplements can leave you feeling more capable of taking on heavier tasks and more intensive workouts, as well as lasting longer in the gym. For example, a weightlifter may find he is able to complete twice the amount of reps following a dose of creatine, while a sprinter may find he is faster and able to run for longer. Creatine has also been shown to improve brain function and mental alertness whilst fighting fatigue and exhaustion, meaning that it can offer stamina and support when facing a daunting workout schedule with regular stops and starts.
3. Creatine reduces post-workout recovery time.
Find yourself feeling drained after intensive workouts? Feeling the burn in your muscles? Creatine is very effective in increasing the breakdown of glucose as well as reducing the production of lactic acid during physical exercise. Lactic acid accumulation is a leading cause of physical fatigue and muscle strain, so by using creatine before or after a workout you can reduce the amount of time your muscles need to recover between workouts. This is especially useful when it comes to weight-based interval training.
4. Creatine works quickly and can be reliably taken before or after exercise.
When ingested in powder form, creatine is digested very quickly, and rapidly transported to muscle cells through the blood. Because it gets to work quickly and reliably, creatine can be very effective in giving you a much needed burst of energy at the beginning of a workout. This can come in handy by giving you an early advantage in competitive sport or when trying to beat your personal best in the gym. For best results, it is best to take your creatine supplement before breakfast, or just before a training session. By consuming a healthy diet that is also rich in carbs, your cells will be more receptive to the beneficial properties of the creatine.
5. Creatine is versatile and can be used as part of almost any diet or workout regime.
Because creatine is so effective in building muscle mass and preventing the buildup of lactic acid, creatine-based supplements are amongst the most popular natural sports supplements on the market, being used by athletes at every level and all over the world. Creatine is versatile and its benefits go far beyond athletic enhancement and recovery. As well as proving effective in aiding muscle recovery and post-workout tissue rehabilitation, creatine has even been shown to hold anti-ageing properties, as it can combat muscle wastage and the loss of lean muscle tissue, which naturally occurs with age. It is also effective in replacing depleted testosterone stores. It has also been said to be effective in targeting heart disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Creatine can provide you with the extra strength, stamina and athletic power you need to take any workout to the next level. By increasing the intensity of your workout, you will see more intense results in the mirror and in the gym. For those considering using creatine to build muscle mass, it is advised to regularly exercise your muscles for 3 to 6 months before using creatine supplements for the first time.
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