Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine Monohydrate

Oral creatine monohydrate (CM) not only increases creatine content in muscle (the increase is greatest in exercised muscles) but delays fatigue, improves recovery (by increasing the rate of phosphocreatine resynthesis in muscle) and increases muscle torque during repeated bouts of maximal bodybuilding exercise. Other studies show that oral creatine supplements increase both power output and the total amount of short-term work. Creatine might also independently result in increased body mass, although much of this increase seen in the first few weeks may be due to increased water retention. Although some data are conflicting and more research needs to be done, it appears that creatine monohydrate could be a very useful supplement for bodybuilder.

Creatine monohydrate can be used in 5 gram doses 2-4 times a day on its own (you can take the powder straight, then wash it down with some water) or with some simple carbohydrates (either mixed into a drink or using some juice or a carb drink to wash it down) to increase its absorption. The usual advice is to take 20-30 grams a day for five days, then go on a maintenance dose of 10-15 grams per day. An as-yet-unpublished study shows that the ergogenic effects of creatine monohydrate can likely be obtained by using only 5-10 grams daily without a loading phase.

The bottom line, just like with other supplements, is that you must experiment with different doses to see what's best for you. If creatine monohydrate is going to be useful, you should see some results during the first few weeks of supplementation.

One caveat: Don't take caffeine if you use creatine monohydrate. A new study reveals that the use of caffeine negates the ergogenic effects of creatine monohydrate, which may explain why creatine supplementation does works for many bodybuilders and other athletes.

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