Creatine is one of those supplements that we, and all goods sports dietitians, recommend to everyone. Along with protein, it is one of the most beneficial and cost effective supplements on the market. Here we will explain three good reasons why you should be adding it to your supplement stack. But first, let’s answer the most important question…
What is creatine?
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound in our bodies. Our liver, and to a lesser extent our pancreas and kidneys, produce creatine using the amino acids glycine and arginine. We also get it from foods including red meat and seafood. Creatine molecules act as storage units for high energy phosphate groups, which are an essential part of our energy production system. Creatine increases the rate at which we can use energy within our bodies. If you want to know more about this science you can check out this blog.
Why should I take creatine?
1. It works
Creatine is one of the most extensively researched supplements available. Research has examined it’s benefits on sports performance, body composition and general health. The evidence supporting the use of creatine to improve sports performance and build muscle is so strong that it is classified by the AIS as a Group A performance supplement. This means that it has a measurably improve sports performance. Creatine has the following proven benefits:
Creatine increases peak power output
It increases strength
Creatine increases muscular endurance and reduces fatigue
It builds muscle
3. It is cheap
Creatine is without a doubt one of the cheapest and cost effective supplements you can buy. If you’re on a budget creatine is for you!
VPA creatine monohydrate comes in two sizes. We sell 200g for $17 which is 43c a serve and and 1kg for $27 which is 14c a serve. Told you it’s a bargain!
3. It is versatile
Creatine is almost flavourless and is sold as a natural powder with no added flavour. It has a slightly bitter taste and sometimes may have a slightly grainy texture but most people find it palatable. Being unflavoured means that it can be added to anything you are drinking. Many people like to add it to their protein shake but it can just as easily be added to juice, or taken in plain water.
OK, so how should I take creatine?
We’ve convinced you that you need it, and now you are wondering how to take it.
For best results, creatine should be taken in a 5-7 day loading phase of around 20g per day. This should be followed by daily supplementation of 2-5g a day depending on body your weight. It can be taken on its own in water or in with other supplements. To read about this is more detail, check out this blog.
The best time to take creatine
The benefits of creatine are best seen when the levels within our muscles are consistently high. This means that it should be taken every day, with the timing of when you do so, being unimportant. Creatine is not a supplement you need to take immediately before you train. Many people add it to their daily routine by taking it with their other supplements in the morning, or simply in water at the same time each day.