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Creatine FAQ: Get All the Answers You Need Right Here!


BodybuildingPro.com Supplements Supplement Guide Supplements Intended for Muscle/Strength/Power/Recovery Creatine Database Creatine FAQ: Get All the Answers You Need Right Here!



What is Creatine? Where does it come from?

What role does Creatine play in the body?

Is Creatine a steroid?

Is Creatine monohydrate allowed in drug tested competitive events?

Why do athletes use Creatine?

At what age can a person use Creatine?

What are some of the side effects of Creatine?

Where is the proof?! Are there any scientific studies?

How will Creatine help me gain lean muscle mass? How can I maximize my gains while supplementing with Creatine?

When I stop taking Creatine will my gains be lost?

Is the loading phase with Creatine necessary to experience any benefits?

Should I cycle Creatine? For example, should I take Creatine for 12 weeks, then take 12 weeks off, etc.

What is the best time of the day to take Creatine?

Do you take it on days that you do not exercise?

What are some benefits of stacking Creatine with other supplements such as glutamine, protein powder, etc?

How long is Creatine stable in solution?

Should Creatine dissolve fully in solution?

If I'm trying to lose fat, should I worry about the calories in Creatine?

Will I lose fat using Creatine monohydrate?

What is the effect of caffeine on Creatine monohydrate?

Is Creatine monohydrate recommended for women?

Is Creatine monohydrate effective for vegetarians?

Will my consumption of red meat and fish increase my Creatine level naturally?

Does taking carbohydrates increase enhance the effect of Creatine monohydrate?

Do I have to load again if I missed one or two days of maintenance?

Does Creatine Monohydrate Cause Withdrawal Symptoms

Does Liquid Creatine Work?

What is the Best Time to Take Creatine?

Can Caffeine be Consumed While Using Creatine?

How Long is Necessary Between Loading Phases?

Is it ok to Drink Alcohol While Using Creatine?

What is a Creatine "Non Responder"?

Will Creatine Affect Blood Test Results?

Is German creatine superior to non German creatine?

How long is required between loading phases?

Is creatine beneficial for people with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)?

Creatine serum...creatine powder...Which is the best?

Does creatine react with any prescription drugs?

Can creatine be taken by people with diabetes?

Will creatine cause cramps?


VISITOR REVIEWS OF THIS FAQ!



Answers!



Q: What is Creatine? Where does it come from?

A: Creatine is an metabolite, which is produced naturally in the body by the liver and kidneys, and is found in diet in items such as meat and animal products such as steak and fish.



Q: What role does Creatine play in the body?

A: In the body, Creatine serves as a storage supply for energy after it is changed into a molecule called “phosphocreatine”. Phosphocreatine is especially important in tissues such as the voluntary muscles and the nervous system which periodically require large amounts of energy.



Q: Is Creatine a steroid?

Short Answer: No



Q: Is Creatine monohydrate allowed in drug tested competitive events?

A: In some cases, yes, but in many cases, no. For a complete list of rules, you should contact a representative from the federation you are talking about. Creatine is not illegal in the Olympic games.



Q: Why do athletes use Creatine?

A: Athletes use Creatine because it is known to increase the level of performance by giving them quick bursts of energy. This is especially helpful in Olympic events such as sprinting or weight lifting where recovery from quick bursts of energy would be beneficial.



Q: At what age can a person use Creatine?

A: People of all ages can use creatine. For weight training athletes, Creatine Monohydrate lengthens energy for high intensity workouts. For older individuals, supplementing with Creatine will help with the body’s own supply of Creatine, which lowers with age. The dosage for Creatine in teenagers is normally smaller than that of adults. Be sure to check out all labels before supplementing with Creatine.



Q: What are some of the side effects of Creatine?

A: Creatine Monohydrate is known to increase performance during athletic exercises requiring short bursts of intense energy. Long term studies are still being conducted to try to conclude whether or not Creatine supplementation can lead to long term kidney damage, but the results so far have been inconclusive and point to Creatine being safe. Some users of powdered Creatine Monohydrate reported upset stomachs, gas, muscle pulls or cramps. Sometimes diarrhea was caused when individuals in studies took more than the recommended daily dosage. Once the dosage was corrected and reduced to the appropriate level, symptoms stopped. Generally speaking, the side effects of consuming Creatine Monohydrate are very limited and insignificant when compared to other dietary supplements. Be sure to always take the recommended dosage of Creatine, as more is not better. Your body only has a limited capacity to absorb Creatine Monohydrate and this varies from person to person. Generally speaking, depending on your age, sex and body weight, it is fairly simple to determine a dosage to consume which your body can successfully absorb.



Q: Where is the proof?! Are there any scientific studies?

A: Creatine is one of the most popular supplements in bodybuilding today, and studies have shown why this is the case. Creatine has been shown to significantly increase lean body mass in very short periods of time, often as little as only several weeks. It has also been shown to improve performance in athletic exercises requiring short bursts of energy in periods of high intensity. Perhaps most beneficial, it has been shown to dramatically increase recovery rates between workout sessions when taken properly. Creating does all this by it’s muscle protein synthesizing action, while minimizing protein breakdown. Creatine has the effect of super - hydrating muscle cells with water, and that can explain this occurrence. It enhances the growth of muscle fibers by making them bigger and stronger. Many studies have been done on Creatine in the past few years, and many are currently ongoing. Of the many tests conducted, it was proven that Creatine increased energy levels, resulting in increased strength, endurance levels, and of course, rates of recovery between workouts. Some studies have even indicated that Creatine can help the body accelerate fat loss, while simultaneously building lean body mass.



Q: How will Creatine help me gain lean muscle mass? How can I maximize my gains while supplementing with Creatine?

A: The best advice would be to consume Creatine in a post - workout shake approximately 15 minutes after your workout. Consume the recommended daily dosage and train hard, and very soon you will see great progress in your strength / endurance levels, and also faster rates of recovery. And of course, you will build a lot of muscle in the meantime.



Q: When I stop taking Creatine will my gains be lost?



A: Short Answer: No. You will not lose muscle mass my discontinuing your use of Creatine Monohydrate. However, you will likely experience some losses in strength.



Q: Is the loading phase with Creatine necessary to experience any benefits?

A: This question is still being discussed with many parties disagreeing with each other on the right answer. “Necessary” is a very definite and strong word, and so, it is extremely hard to come to a conclusion. Studies have shown that loading with Creatine may help you to reach the muscle - Creatine saturation point faster than if you just started out with the maintenance level dosage. However, you will more than likely experience great gains with or without Creatine loading. Creatine loading simply increases the speed at which you reach the muscle - Creatine saturation point, and is especially helpful for those with little patience, as the point can be reached in as little as five days, while it may take up to 30 days without a loading phase.



Q: Should I cycle Creatine? For example, should I take Creatine for 12 weeks, then take 12 weeks off, etc.

A: Cycling can be defined as a period in which an athlete discontinues his or her supplement use for short periods of time then resumes the use. Creatine Monohydrate is not harmful to the body and does not need to be cycled. Once again, there are many arguments regarding this topic, and a definite answer will not likely be seen for some time.



Q: What is the best time of the day to take Creatine?

A: Take it after you workout; whenever that may be, and do so on an empty stomach. This will help your body quickly replenish it’s Creatine stores.



Q: Do you take it on days that you do not exercise?

A: Often, yes, and sometimes, no. But it depends entirely on how you are using it. Try to be consistent. Follow the directions on your Creatine label and you will get the best results.



Q: What are some benefits of stacking Creatine with other supplements such as glutamine, protein powder, etc?

A: Stacking Creatine with other supplements have shown, in many cases, to increase the positive effects of all those supplements. Taking Creatine with Glutamine for example, may significantly help you to decrease the time in which it takes you to recover from your workouts, while taking Creatine with protein powder may help you to develop more lean mass. At the very least, no harmful effects have been shown from stacking Creatine with other supplements. However, be sure to check the labels to make sure this is possible in your case, depending on the supplements you are stacking with it.



Q: How long is Creatine stable in solution?

A: Creatine is not totally stable in solution, so it's definitely not a good idea to keep it mixed with liquid for days, but there shouldn't be a problem mixing it six to eight hours before it's consumed. Any longer than that and you may be pushing it. Creatine monohydrate is unstable in a liquid form. In order for the supplement to be stable it has to pass through many stabilization steps which can only be created by educated scientists in a laboratory environment who are familiar with the detailed patented process required to perform this conversion.



Q: Should Creatine dissolve fully in solution?

A: Creatine monohydrate powder does not dissolve completely and it leaves some chalky taste. Stir it to disperse it and quickly drink it before it settles.



If I'm trying to lose fat, should I worry about the calories in Creatine?

A: No. Creatine has no caloric value.



Q: Will I lose fat using Creatine monohydrate?

A: Yes, you should experience some losses in fat while supplementing with Creatine Monohydrate. However, the primary function of Creatine is to help you gain lean muscle mass, so do not expect dramatic losses in fat while supplementing with Creatine.



Q: What is the effect of caffeine on Creatine monohydrate?

A: Some research has stated that caffeine neutralizes the effectiveness of Creatine, while other studies have shown just the opposite. Like so many other questions, more research will be needed before a definite conclusion is reached.



Q: Is Creatine monohydrate recommended for women?

A: Yes. Creatine Monohydrate is safe for both sexes. However, side effects of powdered Creatine Monohydrate have been more predominant for women, and have included water retention, bloating, and stomach cramps. Other forms of Creatine eliminate these problems.



Q: Is Creatine monohydrate effective for vegetarians?

A: Yes. The main reason for this is because Creatine is naturally found in different forms of meat, all of which will not be consumed by a vegetarian. As a result, it is very effective for a vegetarian to supplement with Creatine Monohydrate.



Q: Will my consumption of red meat and fish increase my Creatine level naturally?

A: Yes. However, it would be difficult and impractical for one to supplement with Creatine through natural foods, because the foods contain low amounts of Creatine for the most part. For example, one pound of raw round steak contains about 0.9 grams of Creatine, some of which is lost in the digestion process, and some may also break down during the cooking process. This would equate to eating about 10 pounds of steak a day to maintain a good level of Creatine consumption, and the levels of fat you would end of consuming if you did so would be so high they would cause more adverse effects in your training than they would do good. With this in mind, Creatine supplementation is practical, convenient, and much safer than trying to get the same quantities naturally.



Q: Q: Does taking carbohydrates increase enhance the effect of Creatine monohydrate?

A: Creatine Monohydrate is absorbed best when it is taken in combination with foods containing a high glycemic index. Those foods would contain a high concentration of simple sugars. Research has shown that taking Creatine with drinks such as grape juice (with a high glycemic index) increases the effect of Creatine Monohydrate due to insulin release stimulated by the simple sugars take part in transporting Creatine to the muscle cells. Studies have shown that taking Creatine in this manner dramatically increases Creatine uptake, sometimes as often as 50%.



Q: Do I have to load again if I missed one or two days of maintenance?

A: Not likely. One or two days will not cause much of an upset in your muscle - Creatine saturation levels as long as you are getting some Creatine in your diet to minimize the losses.



Q: Does Creatine Monohydrate Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

A: Not likely. Other than the decreases in strength and energy levels, you are not likely see any affects at all. Creatine Monohydrate is not an addictive supplement.



Q: Does Liquid Creatine Work?

A: Creatine is less stable in solution, and liquid creatine is known to degrade over time. That said, liquid must be consumed immediately to obtain the full quality of the supplement. To be on the safe side, a micronized powder is preferable.



Q: What is the Best Time to Take Creatine?

A: Creatine should be consumed with protein in the 15 minutes immediately following post-workout.



Q: Can Caffeine be Consumed While Using Creatine?

A: Caffeine can both help and harm your creatine results, depending on the type of results you are looking for. For example, stacking caffeine with creatine may help the performance enhancing effects of creatine. If your goals are to run faster, for example, using caffeine combined with creatine may help you to achieve that result best. However, since caffeine is a diuretic, and it will drain water out of your system. Good results using creatine are dependent on drinking enough water. That said, caffeine should not be consumed very frequently, or more water should be consumed to account for the water being drained from your body through caffeine use. However, caffeine does not directly affect the cell volumizing effect of creatine.



Q: How Long is Necessary Between Loading Phases?

A: Between 1-2 weeks is recommended betwen loading phases for creatine.



Q: Is it ok to Drink Alcohol While Using Creatine?

A: Alcohol is not good to drink regardless of whether or not you are using creatine. Although I will not advocate drinking alcohol, I do not want to say everyone should eliminate it altogether. However, alcohol is something in which less truly is more, and that said, it should only be consumed in moderation. Specifically regarding creatine, it is not a good idea. Like coffee, tea or hot chocolate, alcohol will drain water out of your system, and this is the last thing you want while supplementing with creatine, as proper levels of hydration are essential to get the most out of creatine use.



Q: What is a Creatine "Non Responder"?

A: A creatine "non responder" is an individual who correctly supplements with creatine and experiences no noticeable improvements in strength, muscle mass or endurance. However, no studies have been yet reported on this concept, and as a result, it is highly possible that individuals who do not respond well to creatine are lacking in other areas, ie, training, nutrition or overall water intake. Otherwise, a lack of response to creatine supplementation is likely due to genetics if all factors of proper supplementation are adhered to, in which case, alternative supplements should be experiemented with to see if they get results.



Q: Will Creatine Affect Blood Test Results?

There's a compound in your body called creatinine. We measure it in the blood as part of most routine blood work. The value obtained can be correlated to how well your kidneys are functioning. Creatinine is an inactive derivative of creatine. Supplementing with creatine can affect creatinine levels in the blood. This is very minor and if you tell your doctor you are using creatine, the tests will still be easy to interpret for him or herself.



Q: Is German creatine superior to non German creatine?

Yes, because German creatine is micronized. However, micronized creatine is not restricted to solely German creatine. Any type of micronized creatine is superior.



Q: How long is required between loading phases?

It is normally recommended to have one to two weeks between loading phases.



Q: Is creatine beneficial for people with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)?

Studies have shown that creatine may be beneficial for ALS. Studies have shown that creatine can cause an increase in strength in people with such disorders. Researcher M. Flint Beat of Cornell University Medical Center published work on the issue in March of the 1999 for the issue of Nature Neuroscience.



Q: Creatine serum...creatine powder...Which is the best?

This topic is part of a continued debate, and will always be open for discussion. You won't be able to know which one works best until you try them, but regardless of your response to either, they are generally the same.



Q: Does creatine react with any prescription drugs?

No research has shown that creatine will react with any prescription drugs. Current research is always ongoing, but the results always suggest that no reaction takes place. Creatine is naturally produced in the body and is not the same as mixing one drug with another.



Q: Can creatine be taken by people with diabetes?

Creatine alone does not contain any sugar. However, some brands of creatine may add sugar for flavour. Check the label and consult with your doctor before taking creatine.



Q: Will creatine cause cramps?

No studies have shown that creatine will result in cramps. Cramping is normally caused by dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you are on a bodybuilding regiment, one gallon of water per day is normally recommended.



I hope this helped you to determine whether or not Creatine supplementation is right for you. If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to e-mail me at the address listed below.


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