What is creatine Monohydrate? Is it for you?
Creatine is such common place now you'll
see and hear many people taking it and talking about
it. If you've never heard of, or used creatine (monohydrate)
before, you'll find all the key information
you need right here. This is the first part of a series of articles
to educate you about creatine and its uses.
So exactly what is creatine? It
is actually a nutrient found naturally in our bodies, and
it's made from a combination of the three amino acids arginine,
glycine and methionine. The main function of creatine is
providing energy to your muscles for movements, especially
quick and explosive movements. Your body gets its creatine
from food and/or supplements. You can imagine then, that
taking extra creatine monohydrate (CM) will help you out during
workouts. Read more about benefits
of creatine in this article.
See our complete creatine guide here.
How Does Creatine Monohydrate Work?
Simply speaking, creatine increases the
energy of your muscles. It does this by increasing the amount
of ATP. Because your strength depends on ATP, supplementing
creatine enhances your strength.
In a more detailed description, ATP is
the initial fuel for your muscle contractions. (ATP stands
for adenosine triphosphate.) The ATP provides energy by
releasing a phosphate molecule, and it then becomes ADP
(adenosine diphosphate). See how the name went from triphosphate
to diphosphate? This just means it has 2 instead of 3 after
The energy produced by this lasts for
about 10 seconds, after which more ATP must be produced.
This is where creatine phosphate comes in and gives its
phosphate to the ADP making another ATP. This ATP again,
is used as energy. You can think of it as the more creatine
you have (by supplementation) you'll be able to produce
more ATP and thus generate more energy during workouts.
Your ability to generate ATP depends on
your supply of creatine. The more you have, the
more ATP you can make. Having the extra creatine in your
body allows you to work your muscles to the maximum potential
- letting you squeeze every bit out of them. However, you
still lose energy molecules and eventaully, no matter how
much creatine you have, they won't do you any good without
the energy molecules, which depends heavily on Ribose to
manufacture. Read our articles on Ribose
and Creatine Stack here.
Creatine and Your Diet
Creatine naturally exists in your body.
So it's not some miracle drug scientists created. The amount
in your body depends on your body weight and
mostly on your muscle mass. An average 150lb person will
have about 120 grams of creatine, and an average person
uses up about 2 grams of creatine a day.
Creatine is found mostly in meat and fish.
Some good food sources include cod, tuna, salmon,
beef and pork. While these meats contain creatine, it's
not necessarily a good idea to eat too much meat, as most
meats (especially red meat) contain high levels of saturated
fat and cholesterol. (Of course they also contain a good
amount of protein as well.) But you should look to bodybuilding
supplements for those extra nutrition and weight gain elements
instead of trying to eat more meat than normal. You don't
want clogged arteries or too much body fat.
If you're a vegetarian, you would tend
to have less creatine than meat-eaters - simply because
meats are a natural source of creatine as discussed above. While
the average person use up about 2 grams of creatine each
day, athletes, in our case, bodybuilders, use up much more.
Now the dilemma is how to get enough creatine
in your body without eating so much meat you end up with
clogged arteries. What you need is a concentrated source
of creatine without the fat, and this is where CM supplements come in to play. You can get pure creatine supplements at relatively cheap prices nowadays. Click the links below for some great products offered at great prices.
>> Click here for Micronized Creatine
>> Click here for Optimum Nutrition Creatine
>> Click here for Prolab Creatine
CM, like any type of
supplement, gets complicated and confusing when you consider
all the types and brands of creatine there are. I'll try
to keep it simple and straightforward and provide you with
all the creatine info you need to make an informed decision
on your creatine monohydrate experience, and purchase.
First, explore more in depth about CM with the following articles:
Serum vs. Creatine Powder
Use, Loading, Cycling
of Creatine Use and Side Effects