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Creatine supplementation is one of the most well-researched supplements on the planet (second to one of our favourites, caffeine). Creatine reliably helps improve strength, lean mass, and power output. With a simple dosing protocol of three to five grams per day, creatine offers excellent results at a cost-effective price.
So, what is creatine anyway? Creatine is produced naturally in the body from amino acids. Contrary to popular belief, your body has creatine stores right now, whether you take creatine or not. You see, the creatine energy system is an integral part of your body's energy production. Creatine is stored as phosphocreatine, which ultimately leads to ATP, your body's energy source for everything. Creatine is primarily thought of as an exercise enhancer; however, it is critical to your brain's performance.
Creatine is a saturation ingredient, meaning it is best utilized over the long term. Creatine stores in your muscles increase with continued use.
Creatine's safety is rigorously studied, yet you will still hear some misconceptions out there. Let's break down three myths you're likely to hear about creatine supplementation.
Myth #1: Creatine Causes Bloating
Likely the most common myth about creatine is that it causes "bloating" or water retention that promotes undesirable effects on the look of your body. Physiologically, this is incorrect. Creatine acts as an osmolyte, meaning it attracts water to itself when ingested into your body. Creatine pools into muscles, causing water retention in the muscle cells themselves. So yes, while it's true that creatine causes water retention, it is a desirable effect that is distinct from subcutaneous water retention that you may experience after a high-calorie meal. Inconsistent consumption, however, could lead to this undesirable effect due to sporadic creatine levels in your muscles. Ensuring consistent creatine supplementation is key.
Myth #2: Creatine Is Harmful To Kidney Health
This myth has been promoted by many, including medical doctors, which is unfortunate. This claim comes from the fact that when supplementing creatine, your creatinine levels go up. High creatinine levels are typically an indicator of kidney problems. Creatinine is a waste product of creatine, so the increase in its levels is just an outcome of consuming more creatine, which is not a cause for concern. If anything, these high levels indicate that your kidneys are working correctly and excreting creatine waste products as needed.
Myth #3: Creatine Is Only For Men
Creatine is for everyone. Creatine works the same in women as in men, and it is entirely safe for any sex. Creatine can assist with muscle gain but does not outright add muscle to your body. Only a specific weight training routine and diet will do this. So anyone who doesn't want to get "bulky", doesn't need to worry.
Just Take It!
Creatine is a favourite here at Synergy for its robust, proven effects. You can do a creatine loading phase to reach saturation levels quicker, but it is not one hundred percent necessary. Our best advice is to get in a routine of taking three to five grams of creatine a day to reap the benefits. Also, creatine dosing is not timing dependant. Many will consume around a workout which is a great option, but you can also take it away from a workout window. Remember, take your creatine even on off days.
Still have questions? Stop into a Synergy location to chat with our team or utilize our live chat for a personalized approach.