Why is creatine so vital for todays bodybuilders wanting to pack on the extra beef?
Creatine actually does occur naturally in the human body, but for bodybuilders striving for extra muscle gains by hitting the gym and working out hard several times a week, the creatine produced naturally in our bodies simply isn’t enough.
When you start taking a creatine supplement from scratch, you will need to load up for a few weeks first, then move onto a ‘maintainence’ dosage for a couple of months – then take a break for a couple of weeks.
Start by taking around 20grms per day for 1 week, then reduce to 15grms per day for the next week. Then reduce again to 10grms per day for the following week. On the 4th week reduce again to 5grms per day. 5grms per day is the ‘maintainance’ dosage, so stay on this amount for a further 1 to 2 months then take a break for 2 weeks. When you start back on the creatine after 2 weeks just go back onto the ‘maintanace’ dosage of around 5grms per day.
So how does a creatine supplement help to build muscle?
When we workout, we lift weights by contracting our muscles.
Every single rep requires a muscle contraction or a combination of muscle contractions within certain muscle groups.
Our bodies obviously require energy for each muscle contraction. An essential energy molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is pumped into the contracting muscle via the blood flow. When the muscle has used this ATP energy molecule for a contraction it is stripped of a phosphate molecule and becomes ADP (adenosine diphosphate) which then cannot be used for the next muscle contraction.
This is when we need creatine.
ADP extracts the stripped phosphate molecule from the creatine within our bodies and is converted back to ATP which is then used for the next muscle contraction. For a proper intense muscle building workout it is essential that your body delivers enough ATP energy into every muscle during a contraction.
Now imagine how many combinations of muscle contractions are performed during just 1 workout – several hundreds, times that by the number of workouts per week – it could easily add up to over a thousand. So if your body is saturated with creatine there will be plenty of ATP energy delivered to your muscles during your workouts which is vital for promoting muscle growth.
This is why a good quality creatine supplement is essential to put your body in an anabolic state of muscle growth.