Creatine : To Load or Not to Load

Creatine : To Load or Not to Load

Creatine has turned out to be one of the best bodybuilding supplements. Creatine doesn't seem to have any bad side effects, unless we consider weight gain detrimental. As of now, the International Olympic Committee hasn't banned this performance-enhancing substance. As far as legal supplements go, creatine should be on the top of every bodybuilder's list.

Creatine is derived from the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine. It's normally found in meat or fish in quantities of approximately 5 grams creatine per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of meat. Therefore, you should have to eat 4 kilograms or about 9 pounds of meat to ingest 20 grams of creatine. 20 grams is the initial loading dose often prescribed during the first phase of supplementation.

Creatine is stored mainly in skeletal muscle as free creatine or bound to a phosphate molecule (phosphocreatine or PCr). PCr serves as an immediate source of energy for muscle contraction. Theoretically, then, supplementing with this compound should benefit the ATP-PCr energy system. Most supplements rely solely on testimonials to back up their promises, but scientific research actually supports claims made by athletes who have used this powerful compound.

Which types of exercise are best helped by creatine supplementation? The list is impressive.

1) One-rep max bench press increases.

2) Total number of reps at 70% of one-rep max done on the bench press increases.

3) Jump-squat peak power increases.

4) Cycle power of 10 six-second bouts is better maintained.

5) Isokinetic knee extensions produce a decreased rate of fatigue.

Find out more about creatine ...

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