Creatine supplements – what you need to know - Alpha Male Nation
It’s no news that a healthy lifestyle comes with a healthy appearance. That one is what most of us long for. It’s true what people say, we are what we eat. Therefore, getting one step closer to the body you dream of starts with what you have in your fridge. Now what about a bodybuilder’s diet? What should it include in order for all nutritional needs to be met? What is the role of creatine? Stay tuned to find out more in today’s post.
Bodybuilding, diet and nutrients
When you embark upon a bodybuilding journey, you must first of all adjust or customize your diet. You might exercise on a regular basis, work hard and still see little results. Wondering why? Check your diet. That’s why the first thing to do is to see your nutrition expert before starting any gym program. Get your body ready for the new effort and help it handle it by eating the right food at the right time.
Now, for visible and fast results, many bodybuilders resort to supplements. It’s not bad, just remember that supplements are not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle and diet. If you do it healthily and you go for that extra help by using quality supplements, you’re on the right path.
The market bursts with all sorts of supplements that promise a lot yet bring little or slightly visible effects. Unfortunately, many products are not tested or have not been subject of scientific studies. However, there are bodybuilding supplements that indeed do their job as real customer reviews point and scientific studies show. Before buying any such products go for a thorough research, gather all the information you need and consult your doctor.
Among the most well-known and popular supplements bodybuilders go for, the following should be mentioned: creatine, casein-whey protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, multi-minerals and fiber supplements. What we focus on today is creatine.
What is creatine?
If we’re to go for the popular term of creatine, they say it’s the king of bodybuilding, and to put it simply, it’s a compound that supplies energy to your muscles. The product is the most research-proven sports supplement on the market today. Hundreds of clinical studies have been carried out in order to see what the effects of creatine are and most of them have concluded that it improves energy and it increases lean muscle mass, muscle strength and size. This means it increases the exercise performance. There are even studies that claim creatine improves memory and intellectual activity, and boosts the immune system.
How does creatine work?
Creatine is to be found in the human body being produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys, and then transported to the muscles through the bloodstream. When creatine reaches your muscles, it is converted into creatine phosphate, a metabolite used to regenerate the energy source known as ATP. During workouts, you’re ATP levels drop and creatine is the one responsible for restoring them.
By having more energy, you can train harder at higher intensity. You can thus go for more reps, heavier loads, which in the end means, bigger muscles. Creatine helps with recovery after workouts as well.
Creatine food sources
Before jumping to shopping creatine supplements, try to include the following foods into your diet: beef, pork, salmon and tuna. These ones are highly rich in creatine. Each of them contains 2 grams of creatine per pound of meat. You can also try herring, cod, milk or even cranberries. The reason why the creatine you take from what you eat might not be enough to help you with your bodybuilding is that a great part of the natural creatine levels in the meat you eat is lost during cooking.
Since a considerable part of the creatine found in natural sources like the ones we’ve mentioned earlier is lost during cooking, bodybuilders, and not only, resort to creatine supplements. Creatine can be found in various forms:
- Powder – which is the most popular form of creatine people go for. It is sold as stand alone product or it comes with flavored powders as a mixable drink.
- Liquid – said or, at least, marketed to be an easier to digest form. Even so, this one particular creatine form of supplement is not very popular.
- Capsules – the creatine capsules have gained popularity. They are either 100% pure or mixed with other important nutrients like amino acids, minerals and vitamins.
- Blends – in this case, creatine is used in combination with other supplements like herbal extracts, minerals and vitamins, and is sold to boost athletic performance and improve digestion.
- Gum- one special form of creatine is the creatine gum which is great because it allows for a slow creatine release.
Who uses creatine supplements?
Bodybuilders, powerlifters, endurance athletes, and team sports players are among the people who use creatine supplements most often since their physical activities require it.
Although many of us would tend to think that creatine supplements are used only by athletes and bodybuilders, the truth is that even people with no such activities include these supplements in their diet. Vegetarians for instance, use creatine supplements since they don’t get creatine from meat sources. Creatine deficiency might lead to numerous health problems. Therefore, creatine intake should not be ignored if you’re not a bodybuilder.
How to choose the right creatine supplement?
As with any other supplements you want to take, make sure you first see your nutrition specialist about this. You should thus get some good recommendations. If you want to do this by yourself, make certain that you gather as much information as possible on the product you want to buy. Check reviews and see what other consumers say about it. You will find different prices for different qualities. Don’t expect to buy some cheap product and turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger over night. Bodybuilding needs time, patience, a healthy diet and commitment. Make sure you check all of them and you’ll get one step closer to the body you dream of.