Creatine has been a popular supplement in the UK for a few years now but just recently it seems to have blown up and I get a lot of my athletes asking me “ Should I be taking it?
In short, my answer is usually YES! Male or Female… just YES!
Here are the things you should know about Creatine:
1) It is one of the most researched supplements within the fitness market. Many have tried to (falsely) claim that it causes damage to the kidneys but through all of the highly detailed research and testing done no adverse effects to health have been found.
2) Its main benefit is an improvement in maximal strength and power. It is NOT a steroid. Creatine is an energy which saturates the ATP stores hence greater performance comes from greater amounts of creatine stored in the body.
3) When taken over time, Creatine can help increase strength, muscle mass and athletic performance.
4) Creatine is naturally found in foods such as fish, beef, pork and lamb but the quantities are small so you will never see a real benefit from food.
5) Despite what some brands say you do not need to complete a loading phase. A daily dose of 3-5g a day will suffice.
6) Beyond the physical benefits latest research also shows there are some amazing cognitive benefits, with improvements in concentration and memory.
7) Some people will be non responders – which means they see no real benefit after 3 months of supplementation. This is usually because their body’s already have a high level of muscle creatine storage.
My Personal Experience.
I started taking Creatine in mid January this year and can honestly say I have seen massive improvements in my overall strength and power – which has a carry over to my endurance sports.
Without specifically training strength in additional way and just following my normal weekly routine of CrossFit, Indoor Cycle, Running and Swimming I have PR’d pretty much every Power and Olympic Lift – in the 5RM, 3RM and 1RM range. My FTP (cycling power measurement) has increased more in tis time frame than it usually would in a 3 and 6 month period and running just feels easier.
In my opinion, Creatine is the one supplement where I would say it is definitely worth a try. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain.