Creatine Part 2: We talked about loading up on creatine in Part 1, and some of the easiest protocols with good old creatine monohydrate. These simple loading parameters will ensure you get the most of your creatine products. Let’s talk about some of the benefits you will get if you stay consistent with your dosing and get a high quality creatine product added to your arsenal.
The top benefit of creatine is considered by most to be an increase in strength once fully loaded. Almost everyone notices a boost in reps or weight used in many major exercises, especially compound movements and dumbbell type presses. This is because creatine adds to the immediate energy system in the body, helping to replenish Adenosine-Tri-Phosphate (cellular energy) via creatine phosphate lending the phosphate part to the Adenosine-Di-Phosphate and keeping the energy cycle going a little longer than with the extra pool of reserve fuel to stay topped off during intense short bouts of physical work.
The next benefit is added bodyweight via creatines ability to increase water retention within the muscle tissues. This can be a double-edged sword though as some people experience bloating or water retention under the skin. Regardless, you should see some level of fullness added to your muscle bellies and potentially fill out those XL T-shirts they always give away free with giant tubs of protein. More water inside the muscle also assists with those wonderful strength gains and endurance boosts.
While some of the weight gain is from water retention creatine has been shown to assist with adding lean muscle mass over time, and this is likely due to a few things. One is that more strength means more weight and muscle overload which will increase fiber thickness and potentially even increase new muscle cell production. This new muscle is likely from something called satellite muscke cells and they will stick around even after the water retention passes as you deload off creatine (takes about 2 weeks on average.)
So, for the gym goer and meathead types these are the main goals creatine can assist with, and offer a speedy option to get to Gainzville as fast as possible. There are other uses and benefits to creatine and we will cover that in a later part of this series. Things like brain health, cholesterol benefits, and anti-aging just for a teaser. Read more about Creatine Part 2.