Let's talk about creatine monohydrate.
What is creatine monohydrate?
Our body produces around 2g of creatine daily and we can get more from food and specially from supplementation.
There are several types of creatine (more information), although the most common one is creatine monohydrate. Each molecule of creatine monohydrate is made up of an 88% of creatine and a 12% of water.
It is available in a white, tasteless and water-soluble powder. It is highly effective and many athletes choose it because it is more affordable than the rest.
Creatine works on the phosphocreatine energy substrate. In other words, its task consists of keeping the ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate) deposits saturated, in order to have immediate cell energy available for high energy demands.
One of the main reasons why people buy supplements and particularly creatine monohydrate, is to make up for the limited ATP reserves in the body.
Therefore, the maximum duration of the effort can last around 10 seconds. When we reach this point we must wait while more ATP is resynthesized. If we use creatine monohydrate supplementation, we will be shortening the time it takes to recharge these deposits.
What is creatine monohydrate used for?
It mainly supports IIB muscle fibers, which are fast-twitch fibers used in short and high intensity efforts.
The contraction of these fibers is enhanced through this energy support, which allows the athlete to increase the number of repetitions, sprint faster, and even to increase the strength, regardless of the sport discipline.
The benefits of creatine monohydrate is that it allows athletes to store more of this type of energy.
The body releases ATP to support the muscle contraction whenever it needs. At this point, ATP is transformed into ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate), an exchange energy unit.
How to take it
Creatine works by means of cell saturation, which means that we have to perform a loading phase.
You can combine creatine monohydrate with:
- Protein shakes
- Juices or other drinks
A creatine monohydrate loading phase will last around 5-7 days, taking a dose of 5g, 4 or 5 times a day.
After the loading phase, we have to follow a Maintenance Phase, when the dose is reduced to 5g daily approximately for 3-4 weeks.
Is a loading phase necessary?
The loading phase is optional and it is done to obtain all the benefits immediately. If you choose not to do a loading phase, it is advisable to start with the following dose from the very first day:
- 0.1g of creatine per kg of body weight
Creatine and Whey Protein
You can perfectly combine both supplements in the same shake. Moreover, you can also make a 'stack' or combo with impressive results. It would be a post-workout shake:
- Glutamine + BCAA's + Creatine + Whey Protein
Side effects of creatine monohydrate
We can say that creatine is safe, since no study has reported clear side effects after its intake.
Creatine retains water, but at an intracellular level and not subcutaneously. Therefore it will not compromise esthetic goals; it can even be good to take creatine during a cutting phase, since it can help to improve the aspect of the muscles.
How much does creatine monohydrate cost?
The price of creatine monohydrate supplements varies a lot depending on many factors such as: the type of raw ingredient, quantity, manufacturing process, brand, format, etc.
More information about Creatine: