Creatine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the kidneys and liver. It is also found in meat and fish.
This amino acid has been in the limelight since the 1990s as a nutrition supplement that does the following:
- Enhances athletic performance, and
- Increases physical power and strength.
Therefore, it is responsible for building more lean muscle.
Many people, especially men, feel that they need to a supplement of this nature when they start exercising. They think that this is the only way to get the best fitness results as quickly as possible. However, is it always necessary?
Creatine Increases The Body’s Ability To Produce Energy Quickly
The research proves it says Bonnie Singleton in an article entitled Does Creatine Give You Energy?:
“A study published in the April 2010 issue of the journal “Nutrition” set out to determine if low doses of creatine could improve muscle function. After giving 20 healthy young subjects either .03 grams of creatine or a placebo per kilogram of body weight daily for six weeks, researchers found that creatine didn’t produce any significant differences in body composition or strength. However, the group receiving creatine had more energy and was more resistant to fatigue in some of the tests.”
The more energy you have, the harder you will exercise owing to an increase in power. And the harder you exercise, the better results you will see or the quicker you will reach your goal.
Creatine Initially Causes A Quick Weight Gain
This initial weight gain is mostly water owing to the amino acid pulling water into the muscle. This supplement should also be taken with a sugary drink like fruit juice. This is because the sugar in the drink spikes insulin levels, which helps the uptake of the amino acid into the muscle. (Just to let you know, one of Trifocus Fitness Academy’s fitness courses – the Personal Training Diploma – will teach you about the correct type of nutritional supplementation one needs to take in order to enhance athletic and fitness performance. Click here for more information.)
Although it is naturally present in the body, supplementing with creatine could lead to better fitness results depending on several key factors:
1. It depends on your goal
Research has shown that creatine increases strength and power when a person is performing exercises that involve short bursts of energy. For example weight training. There is no study which shows that the amino acid increases one’s endurance. This means it would not be as useful or necessary to endurance athletes looking to increase their endurance levels.
An example of an exercise that can form part of a weight-lifting routine is the Smith Machne Narrow Squat, as performed by our #TeamTrifocus Brand Ambassador Samantha Wonfor:
When you start the Smith Machine Narrow Squat, step under the Smith machine bar. Ensure that is set at shoulder height. Put the bar on the back of your shoulders. Stand upright with your feet narrower than shoulder-width apart.
Carefully unlock the bar on the Smith machine. Inhale and keep your upper body upright. Squat down and backwards by flexing your knees and hips. Your thighs should move just below parallel to the floor. At the bottom of the movement, pause for two seconds. After this, drive the bar back up to your starting position by extending your hips and knees. Exhale while you do this.
There area number of safety tips that you need to follow during the Smith Machine Narrow Squat:
- Select a weight that is appropriate for you.
- Wear closed shoes.
- Push your hips back so that your knees don’t extend over your toes.
- Don’t let your knees cave inwards.
2. Genetics play a role
Some people respond to creatine supplementation well while others don’t. It would be best to test your sensitivity to a supplement of this anture. Decide on whether to continue with the supplementation based on the results.
3. Because creatine is naturally present in meat and fish…
… people who eat more meat and fish may not see as great results from a creatine supplement as people who don’t. Again, it comes back to how sensitive your body is to creatine.
4. Diet and exercise are important
Taking creatine and hoping it will help you reach better results with a bad diet and little to no training is naive. Your diet and exercise need to go hand in hand with the creatine supplementation for optimal results.
Based on the above, it is difficult to say whether creatine is necessary or not as it depends on quite a few key factors as well as a person’s genetics. However, this article should show you if adding a creatine supplement to your stack – and recording the results – will benefit you.