Today’s topic is Nutrition! On Wednesdays, we seek to provide you with up-to-date conversations surrounding personal nutrition and dietary habits, as well as tips that we believe will boost your overall well-being! Today’s subject is the mother of all supplements – creatine monohydrate!
Creatine monohydrate is a dietary supplement that is widely used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to improve physical performance. It is a naturally occurring compound that is found in small amounts in certain foods such as red meat and fish. However, to achieve the levels of creatine needed to see a significant impact on physical performance, it is often necessary to take a supplement. Creatine is key to the body’s energy production during high-intensity and short-duration activities, so why not add it to your daily supplement roster? And, let’s be real, who doesn’t want a little extra energy boost in the gym?
Creatine monohydrate is the most common form of creatine supplement that is used to improve physical performance. It is a white, crystalline powder that is dissolved in water or juice and consumed. Creatine monohydrate is considered the most effective form of creatine supplement in increasing muscle strength, power, and endurance.
Other forms of creatine are available, including Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) and Creatine Hydrochloride (HCL), however, research has not shown these forms to be more effective than Creatine Monohydrate. Additionally, Creatine Magnesium Chelate, Creatine Nitrate, and Creatine Pyruvate, among others, have also been formulated with the same principle of enhancing bioavailability, but again, there is not enough evidence that these forms are more effective than creatine monohydrate.
Several studies have shown that creatine monohydrate supplementation can lead to significant improvements in muscle strength and power. One study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Earnest et al., 1995), found that creatine monohydrate supplementation led to an average increase of 8% in muscle strength in resistance-trained individuals.
Another study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology (Kreider et al., 1998), found that creatine monohydrate supplementation led to an average increase of 14% in muscle power in resistance-trained individuals. Creatine monohydrate has also been known to support increased muscle mass. For instance, a study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (Van Loon et al., 2000) found that creatine monohydrate supplementation in conjunction with resistance training led to an average increase of 2 kg in muscle mass in healthy adults. In addition to its effects on muscle strength and power, creatine monohydrate supplementation has also been shown to improve exercise endurance.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology (Green et al., 1996) found that creatine monohydrate supplementation led to an average increase of 15% in time to exhaustion during high-intensity exercise.
It’s also important to note that creatine monohydrate is considered safe for most people when taken at the appropriate dosage and duration as recommended by experts. Adverse effects that have been reported with creatine monohydrate supplementation include weight gain, muscle cramps, and gastrointestinal discomfort, however, most of these side effects can be alleviated by drinking enough water and properly loading and cycling the supplement.
Creatine monohydrate supplementation is an effective and safe way to improve physical performance, particularly concerning muscle strength, power, and endurance. It is also an effective supplement for bodybuilders and athletes looking to support muscle growth. So, give it a shot and unleash your inner beast with the power of Creatine! Until next time…
- Earnest, C. P., Almada, A. L., Mitchell, T. L., & Lindsey, T. (1995). The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength, and body composition. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 9(4), 217-222.
- Green, A. L., Hultman, E., Macdonald, I. A., Sewell, D. A., & Greenhaff, P. L. (1996). Carbohydrate ingestion augments skeletal muscle creatine accumulation during creatine supplementation in humans. American Journal of Physiology, 271(5), E821-E826.
- Kreider, R. B., Fry, A. C., O’Toole, M. L., McCormick, M., Rasmussen, C., Millard-Stafford, M., … & Dernbach, A. R. (1998). Effects of creatine supplementation on muscular performance and body composition. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 30(1), 73-82.
- Van Loon, L. J., Oosterlaar, A. M., Hartgens, F., & Hesselink, M. K. (2000). Creatine supplementation, body composition, and strength performance. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 10(2), 109-125.