Muscle Milk and Jack3d: two of the most popular creatine powders used among the population’s young athletes in the past decade. Creatine—typically bought in flavored powders and mixed with liquid—increases the body’s ability to produce energy rapidly. With more energy, you can train harder and more often, producing faster results. It’s this simple: “If you can lift one or two more reps or 5 more pounds, your muscles will get bigger and stronger,” says Chad Kerksick, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma. Research shows that creatine is most effective in high-intensity training and explosive activities. This includes weight training and sports that require short bursts of effort, such as sprinting, football, and baseball. Read more…
Why should you consider taking or not taking a creatine powder?
- If you take creatine, you’ll gain weight at a rapid pace, guaranteed
- While the initial gain is water (about 2 to 4 pounds in the first week of supplementation), subsequent gains are muscle due to the increase in the workload you can handle
- Studies in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that muscle fibers grow when a person takes creatine
- The catch: This only happens if you take advantage of the boost in energy and hit the gym. Otherwise, it is just water weight
- Creatine doesn’t seem to improve strength or body composition in people over 60
- In addition to improving athletic performance, creatine is used for congestive heart failure (CHF), depression, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, diseases of the muscles and nerves, an eye disease called gyrate atrophy, and high cholesterol. It is also used to slow the worsening of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease), rheumatoid arthritis, McArdle’s disease, and for various muscular dystrophies.
- Creatine is allowed by the International Olympic Committee, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and professional sports
- The NCAA no longer allows colleges and universities to supply creatine to their students with school funds; students are permitted to buy creatine on their own and the NCAA has no plans to ban creatine unless medical evidence indicates that it is harmful
- Creatine use is widespread among professional and amateur athletes and has been acknowledged by well-known athletes such as Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and John Elway
- Vegetarians and people associated with illnesses previously listed
- Americans use more than 4 million kilograms of creatine each year