Creatine has a bad rep around it sometimes. I know all through out high school when I was in football I was badly informed on what creatine did. When I first found out that my friends started supplementing with it, that it was comparable to taking steroids and that they we're just filling themselves with water and we're going to look all bloated. Man I have never been more wrong.
I've done the research behind the supplement and I now know why everyone who is trying to put on muscle or be stronger should be using it in their daily stack. I've been using it for a long time now and I've seen amazing results and love the supplement.
If you want to cut the info and just want to know the top products click the link below! If not, read on meat heads!
Creatine is naturally found in the body and is usually stored in skeletal muscle and a little bit in the brain. It is then converted by the liver, kidneys, or pancreas to be used as energy for the muscles. It is a very rapid and explosive energy so it's used for quick contractions and not meant to give your muscles long lasting energy.
The way it works is it gives your muscle cells more ATP which is the molecule they need to contract. By increasing your stores of creatine your muscles cells have more ATP readily available to use. This means when you're in the gym you will be stronger!
Even though it's not a FDA approved drug, there have been numerous studies on it to show the positive effects that it has on athletes and their training.
One of the things I already mentioned is that it will make you stronger in the gym. This is because your cells will have more ATP to make those quick contractions.
Another thing is that it will increase your body mass. There have been many studies done where guy have put on a good amount of lean muscle mass, and fat loss since they started training and taking creatine regularly.
You will also have more water in your cells, which is why some people say you will look bloated or soft when taking creatine. I disagree with this. I've taken it for a while and I don't feel that I look bloated. I feel that I look fuller and bigger but not in a bloated way. You're cells need water to function so drawing water to them is not a bad thing. With that said when you supplement with it you need to make sure to up your intake of water because your body will require more of it now.
You should take 5g daily if you're serious about making gains. Since it is stored in your body it does not really matter when you take it just as long as you're taking it regularly to build up the storage. A lot of brands say you need to do a loading phase where you're taking 20 or more grams a day to build up those stores quicker. I don't think it's necessary, just take 5g a day and your stores will build up quick enough.
The most common form is monohydrate and it usually comes in a powder form and it's what I take. I like to get unflavored and mix it in with my post workout shake or my pre workout. It's simple and cheap and can really help you. Check out the link at the top of the page to see the top creatine supplements according to bodybuilding.com or you can click the pictures below to see what I recommend. Either way I think it is a staple in any stack!