Ol’ Scratch here’s been weightlifting at the rock pit recently and I feels that I need a bit of help getting better mammoth-huntin’ muscles. I keep hearin’ ‘bout somethin’ called creatine and wanted to share what I’ve learned with ya’ll.
What is creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid (that’s a protein building block) that helps to supply energy to all cells in yer body, primarily muscle. Simply, it helps the body to make energy more quickly. More energy means that ya can workout harder, longer, and more often.
How does it work?
The body makes some creatine, but most comes from the meat ya eat. However, many
athletes take creatine supplements to gain muscle mass. They use 2 to 3 times the amount that an average person or caveman would get from a very-high-protein diet. “If you can lift one or two more reps or 5 more pounds, your muscles will get bigger and stronger,” said Chad Kerksick, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma. The journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that muscle fibers grow when a person takes creatine.
If ya take creatine, the first thing ya’ll notice is a gain in water weight of about 2 to 4 pounds in the first week. Creatine pulls water into the muscles which then ups protein synthesis. However, ya need to work out and take advantage of the extra energy or it will just stay water weight. Remember cavemen aren’t attractive to cavewoman with a water belly!
What exercises should I do?
Creatine supplements are designed to build muscle mass. Obviously, ya wouldn’t take it for sports that need a trim build. However, if ya want muscles quicker and need a little oomph in your workout, then creatine may be way to go.
The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (PDF warning) found found that creatine is most useful in high intensity-training and explosive exercises. Examples of these activities include weight trainin’, the Nautilus exercise system, the P90x program, sprintin’, football, and baseball. These all have on quick bursts of energy followed by rest periods. However, there isn’t much support to show that creatine increases endurance or aerobic exercise (such as joggin’).
Ya don’t need any fancy equipment or even a gym to take advantage of creatine. This caveman’s suggests the Men’s Health Spartan Workout. Ya only need a set of weight to perform these exercises. Just make sure that the dumbbells are a challenging weight and you rest between exercises. I use T-Rex bones.
Is creatine safe?
All studies so far indicate that creatine is safe for healthy adults. There have been some stories of kidney damage, heart problems, and diarrhea, but these are unsupported. However, doctors still recommend ya don’t use creatine if ya have kidney disease. Lil’ ones under 18 shouldn’t use it either; they’re still growin’ and ya shouldn’t interfere with that.
Ya do always need to be careful when taking supplements. Doctors do say that ya don’t need creatine if ya can build the muscles without it. Diet is also important. Remember to eat include dark fruits and vegetable in addition to meat so ya don’t lose any important vitamins. I would prefer a 20lb. pterodactyl steak everday but I need to eat my spinach first.
What does it all mean?
It means that if ya need a little get-up-and-go and want to build muscle, creatine is a safe and proven way to get it. There are lots of creatine products on the market and these can be hard on the ol’ coin purse, but there are discount fitness sites out there if ya look!