Creatine is a naturally occurring substance that is found in the human body. Derived from the Greek work 'kreas' which means flesh, creatine is found in abundance in red meat and fish. It is the key to building powerful skeletal muscles like huge biceps.
Creatine is stored in the muscle tissues and provides quick but short bursts of energy for any sort of intense exercise. Creatine supplements that produce creatine compounds can be used to load the muscles with more energy in order to increase the capacity to perform high intensity work for longer periods of time.
Creatine supplements are widely used to improve performance and give the winning edge in anaerobic athletic competitions.
Creatine supplements, unlike other supplements that rise and fall with current trends have stood the test of time. Creatine supplements, mainly consumed by sports persons as an aphrodisiac of energy source can be taken as power mixed into a drink; or as a capsule or caplet. One can stir creatine supplement into a liquid drink. This micronized creatine is super pulverized powder that dissolves faster and is ready for complete absorption. Chewable creatine supplements are like eating an energy bar and these supplements are available at full service gyms, workout centers and nutrition centers.
Whatever be the method of consumption, creatine is bio available, as crystalline monohydrate form, the free form in solution and even in products such as meat. It is recommended to consume creatine with high glycemic index carbohydrates or in combination with protein.
Creatine supplements in sports
Creatine is natural and there are no restrictions on its use among athletes. And so it began in the athletic arena in 1993 when a number of athletes who performed extremely well beyond expectation reported that they had used creatine supplements to augment their training regimen.
The primary use of the supplements is to impart strength and bulk building exercises. They are typical athletic aids used for athletic performance enhancement, as a source to build tremendous energy. Most of the athletes who wish to gain muscle mass consume creatine supplements. Common among the supplement forms are creatine monohydrate and creatine ethyl ester.
Creatine supplements can help give 'bursts' of intense energy during short sessions of high intensity aerobic exercise but they have no significant effect on aerobic endurance as such. Sports that are well augmented by the use of creatine other than body building include baseball, basketball, hockey, rowing, wrestling, soccer and football.
Scientific research indicates marginal increase in athletic performance especially in high intensity anaerobic repetitive cycling sprints. As activities such as swimming and running are sustained at a given intensity, they do not allow for significant intra exercise synthesis of additional creatine phosphate molecules. It is anabolic sports that gain most from creatine ingestion, but endurance exercises are not much improved by creatine intake.
How do creatine supplements work?
Creatine supplements help maximize muscle energy by participating in the complex muscle contraction process. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is a key fuel for muscle contraction, during repetitive exercise regimen for body building. The corollary is that the more ATP in muscle, the more high intensity energy for power body building, boosting sports like sprinting, rowing and body building.
For sustained intensity in workouts, improved power and muscle size and longer and stronger exercise regimen, probably creatine supplements should help in a big way.
Creatine supplements for women
Many women believe that intake of creatine can make them bloated and bigger and massively muscular. Creatine supplements can lead to water retention which in turn can possibly lead to acne which is particularly annoying. Short term diarrhea and stomach cramps can also trouble. However, if consumed in appropriate proportions creatine can work wonders for women as well.
Creatine as such does not create muscle mass. It only gives the much needed energy to work longer and harder. There are creatine supplements exclusively designed for women that help minimize weight gain overcoming problems of water retention. Female sports enthusiasts can well combine creatine supplements with whey protein during weight loss regimes and fitness performances.
Creatine serves to enhance performance adding lean body mass. Fine tuned doses of creatine supplements with medical advice should not cause bloating or any stomach discomfort.
It is therefore imperative that those taking creatine supplements should by monitored by a health care professional as medications and adjustments in dosage may be necessary from time to time.