Hey everybody and happy new year!
I hope you are all ready for my next article. I am hoping you have all had a good break over Xmas and are now back in the gym training harder than ever. This current article is going to focus on creatine and its role in the body.
Creatine is definitely a popular supplement and one of the best sellers on the market, it is relatively cheap, easy to find and safe to use; not to mention it has some very beneficial effects for us bodybuilders.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is made out of three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. It is a fuel source of ATP – a major source of energy within a human body. It is known in the science community and bodybuilding community as a supplement that works, some have suggested that it can be harmful but when used correctly it is perfectly safe.
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements on the market and is not a ‘new thing’ in any sense. These studies have proven that creatine can improve a person’s capacity for intense exercise and training. Improving muscular strength, size and endurance.
Now you know what creatine can do, its time to delve into which of the creatine products out there are most effective and best value for money.
Which are the best Creatine supplements available in the UK in 2015 ?
1. Creatine Monohydrate (Creapure) from MyProtein
Top of my list is this and for many good reasons, (you can probably tell by now that I am a big fan of MyProtein) Creatine Monohydrate Creapure is made in Germany by the famous AlzChem, their patented label is recognized as being the purest form of micronised creatine in Europe.
They constantly keep testing their product to keep it a step above the rest, this factor combined with the unbeatable prices of MyProtein.com make it one of my top recommendations. Creapure comes in powder form for easy absorption and guidelines state that one should discontinue for 1 week, after each 8 week cycle. Available in Berry Blast or Tropical Punch flavours and promises to deliver a serious bang for your buck.
2. Creatamax Extreme from Maxi-Nutrition
Creatamax Extreme delivers a potent blend of creatine AND glutamine, I have not included it solely for this reason but I do believe this created formula from Maxi-Nutrition is top notch. If you want to get stronger, faster or bigger- Creatamax is very well absorbed by muscle cells and is not disruptive on the digestive system for most people.
Keep in mind that you will pay more for this product but it is a 2-in-1 so this all depends on your perception. Maxi-Nutrition were formerly known as Maxi-Muscle, they have a very strong reputation in the fitness industry and Creatamax Extreme is a fine example of their worth.
Available in orange flavour or unflavoured, Creatamax also requires a 5 day loading phase for all who start using it, this phases is essential and will help you get the most out of this product.
3. Creatine HCL from BulkPowders
Creatine HCL, small pouch, big WOW. Creatine hydrochloride is the fastest-absorbing creatine, it also has improved solubility compared to other types of creatine and has the potential to improve strength and athletic performance more so.
Some people complain of stomach cramps when taking creatine monohydrate but this does not have to be the case with Creatine HCL; one of those reasons is because it has been bound to hydrochloride salt. You also don’t have to worry about adding sugar to encourage greater cell uptake, Creatine HCL has everything covered.
The main problem that keeps this from topping the list is that people have complained it is not the most pleasant taste and does not mix well; but that is only a small setback to me.
Another added bonus? You only need 3 grams instead of 5g of other creatine supplements.
4. Creatine Powder from Optimum Nutrition
Optimum Nutrition have done it again, each serving offers 5000mg of creatine monohydrate that can be combined with water, juice or protein powder. Versatility is synonymous with this product and it mixes very well, leaving no gritty taste on your palate.
Creatine Powder from Optimum Nutrition contains ZERO additives, no unwanted calories or enhancements. I have never had any trouble with ON supplements and they are a very well respected label.
They offer a mid-range price that remains competitive, so I will leave the rest to you on this one.
5. Kreatine by Warrior
Easily the least heard of on the list but by no means least effective. Kreatine by Warrior is a relatively new contender on the supplement market but is fast building a good reputation. Kreatine requires no loading phase and gets to work very fast, you can feel the effects during your first workout with it.
This one is vegetarian safe, convenient to take in capsule form AND will increase overall performance, strength and size. Warrior have a good range of products worth checking out, although I have not heard of anybody stacking them yet; I am sure they could be a worth-while investment.
Remember that all of these product reviews are genuine and will only be effective when you practice correct diet, training and rest. If you don’t address these areas first, these products will be a waste of time for you.
Do I need to load creatine?
Although creatine loading is not essential, it can be beneficial for bodybuilders. A loading phase usually consists of between 5-10 days before beginning a maintenance phase, in this time the aim is to ‘supersaturate’ muscle cells and get greater results as quickly as possible.
Then when your muscle cells have increased creatine’s bio-availability, dosage can be dropped down to a maintenance load.
Why do I really need creatine?
Creatine is found in many foods, especially meat and supports many different functions within the body. Many of us will ingest creatine on a daily basis and may not even know it. If you are serious about building muscle and becoming a bodybuilder, your body is going to need creatine to fuel your workouts by enhancing your ability to push further with intense training.
Creatine supplies muscle fibres with immediate energy, especially your fast-twitch muscle fibres.(these have the most potential for growth) So by supplementing your diet with creatine, your body will have more support to recover quicker, meaning less rest between sets.
You all know that I am a firm believer of the mind-muscle connection and every goal starts within the brain. Possibilities are set and conquered with the right frame of mind, one of my favorite things about creatine is it can improve brain function too.
Creatine is a neuro-protectant, meaning that it can increase the life of nerve cells from environmental issues and external components in the world around us. Reactions in the body known as ions, peroxides and free radicals can damage cells within the human body and be an underlying cause of degenerative disorders. Creatine has been proven to enhance the brain’s protection against metabolic damage. Also those who suffer from creatine deficiencies associated with degenerative disorders have been known to benefit from creatine supplementation to improve the central nervous system.
There are even more benefits for bodybuilders taking creatine, but there is too many to mention in one article! I have successfully implemented creatine into my regimen with fantastic results, whether you are a gym newbie, intermediate or advanced bodybuilder; you should make room for creatine in your supplement stack. Always make sure to get your doctors consent before following any advice and check back with me soon for more supplement reviews!