Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Creatine and the future

Creatine is probably the most researched supplement of all time. I have always had an interest in this supplement and even did my senior thesis research project on creatine. There have been more studies done on this performance supplement than any other. It currently holds 10% of all the sports supplement industry. It has been proven to be safe and proven to be effective for increasing anaerobic performance. But what is the best way to take it, for how long ect., lets get started.

1. You don't need a loading phase. It's a waste. Your body uses about 3 grams a day. So supplement with 3-5 grams. Post workout.

2. Meat is the only food source. So if your a vegetarian your lacking. The good news is that supplementation has been shown to get your levels to that of meat eaters.

3. If your a big meat eater, you probably won't find a huge difference in supplementation. So try it for a month and if your lifts don't go up, don't waste your money.

4. It takes about a month for your creatine levels to get back to "normal" if you have been supplementing.

5. I came across this the other day, and they credit the great strength coach Tudor Bompa, "Don't use it during maximal strength, explosive periods. Use only during hypertrophy phase. The reason is that the creatine increases cell volume which slows neural drive, which in turn slows speed. Interesting! As a side note this points that creatine should be periodized.

6. Don't take those fancy expensive sugar laden drinks. Take creatine monohydrate. It's pure form is what gets researched and it is inexpensive. Take it with warm water and some salt. Creatine is transported by the NaK (sodium potassium) pump, not insulin.

7. Caffein and glutamine can interfere with absorption.

8. The future of creatine research is not in sports. There is a ton of research going on with various muscular and neurological diseases. Really cool stuff. ALS, Huntingtons, Muscular Dystrophy all have shown a bit of promise. If you have a nerve injury it may show some promise as well!

Hope you learned a bit more about the most popular sports supplement out there!


Mike T Nelson said...

Yep! Great tips. Creatine is great.

Not sure I agree with #5 or #7.
Perhaps at a very high level #5 is true and would have to be done on a case by case basis. Thoughts?

For #7, I have not seen any evidence of this other than a few poor studies done with creatine and caffeine.

Rock on!
Mike N

Jason Ross said...

I definitely think it should be a case by case basis, as creatine seems to be hit or miss for most people. I think people that it helps should play around with when there taking it. My programs don't have a set periods of hypertophy, strengh, power the standard periodized programs popular in the US. Besides a month of GS before the start of the off season, so I can't say I will implement the creatine only during hypertophy. Just thought I would pass that tip along because Tudor Bompa is a pretty impressive coach.