Creatine monohydrate is the most popular ergogenic aid (performance-enhancing compound) used by athletes worldwide. It is reported that over 90% of athletes at the recent Olympic Games used creatine supplements in their preparation.
Creatine supplements work by increasing total creatine levels (TCr) in muscle cells. It is made up of free creatine (FCr) and phosphocreatine (PCr) (creatine bonded to phosphate). An average person (70kg) has 120g of creatine in their body. 95% is contained in muscle tissue (mainly in fast-twitch muscle fibres) and approximately 60-70% is in the form of PCr and 30-40% is in the form of FCr. Creatine supplements may increase TCr by approximately 30%.
The most common form of creatine is creatine monohydrate (a creatine molecule bonded to a water molecule). However, there are new generations of creatine supplements on the market, which provide different forms of creatine with or without additional ingredients. It is important to note that almost all of the research conducted on the effects of creatine have used creatine monohydrate.
For example, there are, di- and tri-creatine malate/ orotate, which are more concentrated forms of creatine (two or three creatine molecules bonded to malic or orotic acid), creatine ethyl ester (which is supposedly absorbed better than normal creatine along with several other forms of creatine supplements.
These creatine supplements may then be added to lactic acid buffers, vaso-dilating agents, transport systems, etc. to enhance the effectiveness of the product.
However, from a weight-loss perspective, the best creatine supplement to use is simply a plain creatine monohydrate, preferably in a micronised form (it is better absorbed than standard creatine).
Some creatine facts are that it leads to increases in muscle mass and strength. Therefore, creatine supplements may indirectly accelerate weight loss by boosting metabolism. A creatine powder supplement may increase muscle mass because it promotes cell volumisation, which means it increases the water retained in the muscle cells. Cell volumisation also promotes filament thickening of the actin and myosin filaments, which are the protein elements of muscle tissue.
In saying this, women should only use about half a teaspoon (2.5g) a day to avoid the potential weight-gain effect creatine has. Nevertheless, they will get great benefits from it, especially if it is combined with L-glutamine.
Another one of the creatine facts is that it may also be effective in burning body fat by boosting levels of growth hormone (GH) in your body. Growth hormone is the body's most powerful fat-burning (lipolytic) hormone and if you can find ways to boost its production, you will certainly assist weight loss.
Not only this, but GH is believed to be the hormone responsible for slowing down the ageing process. In high dosages, creatine monohydrate may boost GH levels similar to that which results from intense resistance (weight) training exercise!
Whether creatine monohydrate directly burns fat for fuel is unconfirmed, but since it assists in increasing muscle mass and GH levels in the body it certainly can accelerate fat burning and weight loss indirectly.
Another of the creatine facts is that it is a very safe supplement to use despite some articles that indicate to the contrary.
Creatine is certainly a supplement worth adding to the 'must get' list. When it is used correctly, fat-burning and weight-loss results will certainly be accelerated.
If you would like to find out more about creatine, please read a fantastic book by Melvin Williams called, Creatine: the Power Supplement
Also, if you would like to get a tub of the world's highest-quality micronised creatine monohydrate, Creapure, click on the following link: Prolab Creatine Monohydrate Powder,(1000g)
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