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Should you Take Creatine?


Creatine is both the most popular and most researched supplement there is. It is derived naturally from animal protein sources such as: beef, pork, chicken, and fish. It is more concentrated in beef than other sources. It’s claimed that creatine will help you lift more weight, recover better, and fly like a speeding bullet. The last part may be a stretch, but some make lofty claims of creatine’s effectiveness. It is known to be a great supplement to take if you’re trying to get strong but is it as good as they say?


It Will Help You Lift More Weight

Some claim that by taking creatine, they’re able to squeeze out another rep or two in a set. This can serve a good deal of progress over a years’ worth of training. An increase in strength would allow you to lift more weight, more weight means more load, more load means more gains. Everyone wants more gains. One meta-analysis was able to prove that creatine does exactly that.

A meta-analysis of hundreds of case studies revealed that creatine can increase muscle mass over a placebo-controlled group. The case studies used were with adults 50-70 years old. They were double blind tests of which one group received creatine and the other a placebo. The creatine-controlled subjects increased their muscle mass by as much as 1.37kg or 3ibs over the placebo group1. The increase was equal in both upper body and lower body.

For some time, it was thought that the increase in muscle mas and strength was only in the upper body. After the meta-analysis, they concluded that the increase in mass and performance was equal in the upper and lower body1. This is especially beneficial for an aging population. The loss of lower body strength is more pronounced in aging adults, as compared to loss of upper body strength. This decrease of strength is connected to reduced activity and increased fall risk.


May Make You a Better Athlete

Like lifting more weight, creatine shows that it can increase your all-around power output. Strength and power are different. Strength refers to the maximum amount of weight you can lift/move. Power is weight x speed. Power is best defined as your body’s ability to display strength quickly. One case study took 19 young male soccer players and randomly assigned them to two groups: creatine or no creatine. The study was double blind, two group, and placebo controlled; the golden standard of case studies. The study lasted for 14 days and was used to determine the efficacy of short term creatine supplementation. What they concluded is that the creatine-controlled group increased their peak power output, mean power output and total work over the placebo group 2. This is a great discovery as it would dispel the original notion that you had to take creatine for long periods of time for it to start being effective.


May Increase Restorative Sleep

It has been discovered that creatine may reduce the amount of sleep you need per night.

Sleep is one of the most important things your body can get. Without sleep, your body won’t operate properly. Sleep deprivation has been linked to many illnesses such as: obesity, diabetes, and even psychosis. Most people don’t get the recommended amount of sleep per night. It’s recommended that you get somewhere between 7-8.5 hours of sleep per night. It has been discovered that creatine may reduce the amount of sleep you need per night. Of all the claims about creatine, this one seems hard to believe, but one case study would beg to differ.

One case study found that the need for sleep was notably decreased in creatine supplemented rats. The rats also showed an increase in brain energy and a decrease in brain stress. There still needs to be more studies to see if the same effects are present in humans, however.


Who Benefits Most

Certain populations benefit from creatine supplementation better than others. Some case studies would suggest that older populations are going to benefit more than younger ones. This may be due to the decrease in healthy muscle mass or that they consume less meat than younger people. The same can be said for vegetarians. Vegetarians would see great benefits from creatine supplementation because they consume no animal protein sources. The efficacy will be more evident in them than their meat-eating counterparts.


What This Means for You

Creatine has been proven to have many benefits on both athletes and normal people, alike. If you are looking to combat muscular atrophy due to aging, gain muscle for your sport, or just be overall bigger and stronger: creatine may be for you. It’s no miracle supplement, but creatine is something you should add to your daily stack. Crea-Form combines creatine monohydrate, creatine HCL, and creatine pyruvate for a total of 5g of quickly absorbed creatine. The benefits far outweigh the risk, as it has not been shown that creatine has any adverse effects in healthy individuals. The recommended dose is around 5g per serving. Hard lifters may benefit from taking more, as they will utilize more of it than your average person. If you are not sure as to what creatine is right for you, we recommend Strength. It has 5g of effective creatine monohydrate in it as well as amino acids, which your body needs for protein synthesis. Combine a great workout routine and creatine together and you’ll have the mixture for a strong and more muscular body


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If you'd like recomendations on your creatine intake while creating a healthier lifestyle, check us out at Power 3 Fitness Coaching.


References:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5679696

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28190980

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28397310

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