Creatine is a supplement that's commonly used by weight lifters to enhance their performance. It's a natural substance that's found in our bodies and helps produce energy during high-intensity exercises. By supplementing with creatine, you can increase the amount of creatine in your muscles, leading to improved energy production and increased strength during your workouts.
Creatine has also been shown to help with muscle recovery and growth, making it an ideal supplement for beginners who are looking to build muscle and improve their overall fitness level. However, before taking creatine, it's important to talk to your doctor, especially if you have any preexisting medical conditions.
When starting out with creatine, it's best to begin with a small dosage and gradually increase it over time. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), a daily dosage of 3-5 grams of creatine is sufficient for most people. However, some athletes may benefit from a loading phase where they take 20-25 grams of creatine per day for the first 5-7 days to saturate their muscles with creatine. After the loading phase, they can switch to a maintenance dose of 3-5 grams per day.
It's also important to stay hydrated while taking creatine, as it can cause dehydration if you're not drinking enough water. According to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, creatine supplementation can increase muscle mass, but it can also lead to an increase in water weight. Therefore, it's crucial to drink plenty of water while taking creatine to avoid dehydration and to flush out any excess water weight.
Finally, remember that creatine is just one tool in your fitness arsenal. Consistency with your workouts and a healthy diet are also crucial for achieving your fitness goals. According to the ISSN, creatine supplementation can enhance the effects of resistance training, but it's not a substitute for training itself.
In conclusion, creatine can be a helpful supplement for beginners who are looking to improve their performance and build muscle. However, it's important to consult with your doctor before taking creatine and to follow dosage and hydration guidelines. Remember to also prioritize consistency with your workouts and a healthy diet for optimal results.
International Society of Sports Nutrition. (2017). ISSN position stand: Creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(18). doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z
Antonio, J., & Ciccone, V. (2013). The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(36). doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-36
Rawson, E. S., & Venezia, A. C. (2011). Use of creatine in the elderly and evidence for effects on cognitive function in young and old. Amino Acids, 40(5), 1349-1362. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-0875-5