Creatine is a naturally occurring molecule, produced in your body, it basically supplies energy, ATP, to cells and the specific cells it targets are the muscle cells.
Basically they increase the availability of the ATP molecules in your cells. ATP is directly related to the amount of energy your muscle cells use; so when you take creatine it maximizes the amount of energy(ATP) used. Creatine is effective for building mass in your arms and legs because it mostly effects the fast twitched muscle fibers, which are the muscles you use on a regular basis. People usually take creatine prior to working out, which is the best time to take it. Before working out your muscles have not generated energy, however, taking creatine allows your muscle’s to produce that energy supply before lifting weights. This means when you lift weights you will have more energy and will able to lift more than you would without the creatine for longer periods of time which leads to a more effective workout.
However only use creatine is if you are going to make good use of that excess energy which you have supplied to your muscles. If you take creatine and do not go work out, you will gain water weight. Creatine effects increase water absorption into the cell, and this in turn will make you gain weight.
So is it really effective to take protein and creatine together?
Studies have shown it is, but it also depends on the ratio of protein to creatine taken. As stated earlier creatine is used to help build muscle mass and allow you to lift more sets. Protein, which is also a naturally occurring molecule, is used to help the growth of cells and enhance weight gain. The reason why people take protein and creatine together is because protein contains glucose AKA sugar, and taking glucose increases your insulin concentration. So what does an increase in insulin concentration have to do with building muscle? Increasing insulin increases the concentration of creatine which is absorbed by the cell, meaning the creatine has a greater effect on the muscle cells. Taking protein and creatine at the same time promotes the building of new muscles. A better method is to take intake creatine with proteins AND carbohydrates because this maximizes the effect of creatine even further!
At the end of the day, make sure you do not take the creatine and protein in excess, because this will not benefit your body, and can cause serious problems with your kidneys, liver and other major organs. Talk to someone about the ratio of protein: creatine:carbohydrate which you should take, it will be different for each individual, since it is dependent upon body type.
Stay tuned for next week’s health tip!
Written by: Noreen
Check out last week’s tip:
The Hangover Pill