Article: What are the best supplements
If you are looking for fast weight gain then you will probably find that the dieter’s worst enemy — the evil carbohydrate — can actually be the skinny person’s best friend. In fact, people looking for ways to gain weight fast can finally find victory by taking another look at how they consume carbohydrates and add them to their mass building diet.
For the average person, carbohydrates help to prevent muscle from becoming broken down and robbed of its energy resources. This is actually an even bigger concern for those that have a skinny ectomorph body style. There is a lot of hard work that goes into gaining weight therefore the last thing that you want to do is to see the muscle mass that you have built being drastically affected due to an inappropriate level of carbohydrates.
The primary key to achieving fast weight gain using carbohydrates is to understand the different types of carbohydrates and the best time to consume them. When you focus on low-glycemic carbohydrates, commonly referred to as complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potato, brown rice and whole grain breads, the digest slower in the body and therefore they provide you with energy all during the day.
However there are other types of carbohydrates that are often seen as harmful, but these can actually be very useful for people that are looking to gain weight fast. These carbohydrates are commonly referred to as simple, or high glycemic carbs, and are found in foods such as white potatoes, white breads, white sugar and also white rice. These carbohydrates tend to break down rather quickly within the body and they tend to cause a rapid release of sugar into the blood. This rapid release of sugar into the blood then triggers a rise in the level of the hormone known as insulin. This has a dramatic effect on weight gain.
Insulin would normally cause you to gain weight in the form of fat if you consume the high glycemic products at the wrong times. It is very important to consume the high glycemic foods at the correct times, as this will prevent you gaining the wrong type of weight and it will actually help you to gain lean muscle tissue. There are some tips that are good to consider when aiming for fast weight gain.
Carb Tip #1 For Fast Weight Gain: Go “Simple” After Your Workouts.
The first tip to consider is to consume high glycemic meals straight after a workout. When you are training intensely you tend to use up stored sugar in your muscles and therefore if you want to gain weight fast you will have to restore it fairly quickly. If the sugar is not replaced quickly, muscle tissue will be used for fuel rather than seeing it built up as a result of your training.
Carb Tip #2 For Fast Weight Gain: Consume high-glycemic carbs again an HOUR past your workouts.
The second tip that should be considered for fast weight gain is to consume more high glycemic foods about an hour after your workout. This is very powerful, especially for skinny people that are looking to gain weight. These people can afford a bigger increase in their insulin level, as this will help with weight gain. Consuming high glycemic foods will help to overcome their naturally high metabolism, and keep their anabolic hormones at a high level at the time when it can work best to build lean muscle mass.
Carb Tip #3 For Fast Weight Gain: Take advantage of carbs DURING your workout.
Another great tip to consider when gaining weight fast is to consume a drink that has a high sugar level during your workout. Because your workouts will drain your muscles of stored sugar for fuel, carb intake during your workout will block this muscle-wasting process and jumpstart recovery. This will help you to build more lean muscle and accomplish your goal of fast weight gain.
There are a vast number of people that consider the words “weight gain” as dirty words, and this is especially the case for skinny hardgainers who tend to find it very hard to build muscle mass. For these people, building muscle mass is a moving target which tends to feel like it keeps getting further away. One of the most confusing things about gaining weight is knowing the best weight gain diet. Perhaps most confusing of all is the increasing amount of conflicting information on the role that protein plays within the diet and also within gaining weight.
Over recent years there has been research carried out that has shown that even advanced athletes need less protein than previously assumed. The old tale about protein was that you required between one and two grams of protein for each pound of body weight. There have even been some experts that have claimed that people should consume about five grams of protein. This is a big mistake, and here’s why…
There are a few common mistakes that tend to be made when it comes to gaining weight. The first mistake that you should avoid is to use your current body weight in the calculations of how much protein you should consume. The only weight that should be considered is the lean body mass, and this is because it is only important to maintain the muscles. Body fat does not actually require protein therefore it is merely adding to the figures.
Large quantities of protein are even more useless for hardgainers, and this is because they require less protein for maintenance. Any extra protein that is consumed will probably be excreted as waste by the body and this will in no way help with your goal of weight gain.
Another thing to consider about protein when working on gaining weight is that protein is the most thermic of all the different nutrients. Any food items that you consume will require calories to be burned in order to digest it so that the body can use your food as fuel. Out of all the nutrients, protein requires the highest number of calories and this is why consuming too much will merely add another obstacle to the weight gain process.
There are a few very useful tips that can be considered when aiming to gain weight, and most of these relate to protein.
Protein For Weight Gain — Tip #1: Don’t overdo the protein.
The first tip that you should consider is that it is important to avoid an excessive intake of protein. Consuming a massive amount of protein will actually work against the goal of weight gain. The body will excrete most of the excess protein from the body as waste as most of it will. It is very important to use your lean body mass when calculating how much protein you should consume.
Protein For Weight Gain — Tip #2: Focus on protein “portions”.
When you are working out how much protein to consume it is best to look at it in terms of serving sizes of protein as opposed to grams. Trying to count the grams of protein can actually be very off putting, and it can lead to you losing the battle to gain weight. A serving size of protein should be about the size of the palm of your hand. This is another very good rule that should be applied to your diet whilst working to gain weight.
Protein For Weight Gain — Tip #3: Be safe and drink lots of water
The third tip that you should consider with regards to protein when aiming to gain weight is that you should consume a liberal amount of water. An excessive consumption of protein can cause the body stress, and this is particularly the case for the kidneys. It is very important to combat the stress that is put on the body, and therefore one of the best ways to do this is to consume lots of water. The large amount of water can reduce the side effects that protein may have on the kidneys.
Whats the best?
As an athlete, you’re used to hearing about carbohydrates that fuel your muscles and amino acids and proteins that help to build muscle tissue. But what’s your vitamin/mineral IQ?
In this article, you’ll learn the importance of vitamins and minerals, both for health and for athletic performance. We’ll also explore whether athletes need more of these nutrients, and discuss practical strategies to help you get the essential vitamins and minerals that you need every day.
Tackling the terminology
Vitamins are biochemicals that you need in small amounts in order to be healthy and perform at your best athletically. You may consume a pound or more of carbs in a single day to keep up with your training and competition needs, along with gram quantities of protein, but your want for vitamins is measured in the milligrams or even micrograms. That’s why nutritionists refer to fats, carbohydrates, and protein as macronutrients, and refer to vitamins as micronutrients. Vitamins are called essential because your body can’t make them, and you need them to be healthy. Ideally, you should get them from foods, but you can take dietary supplements if you don’t get adequate amounts from foods.
Vitamins are classified based on their solubility:
Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K. Chemically speaking, they don’t dissolve or mix well in water, but they are soluble in fats. The fat-soluble vitamins are stored and can be retained for long periods in the body
Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and the complex of eight B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, B6, niacin, folic acid, B12, biotin, and pantothenic acid. These nutrients dissolve or mix easily in water. Being water-soluble, they also tend to be excreted more readily
Minerals are substances found naturally in the earth’s crust, and some of them, like vitamins, are essential to your health and can only be obtained from what you eat and drink.
The essential minerals have 2 subclasses:
Major minerals you need in 100 mg amounts or more. Sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are all examples of major minerals
Trace minerals are needed in smaller amounts, usually less than 20 mg daily. Trace minerals include iron, zinc, copper, selenium, and chromium
Critical for optimal function
Contrary to popular belief, vitamins and minerals don’t give you energy, but they do play key roles in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats which are your primary muscle fuels during exercise. They’re also involved in the repair and building of muscle protein in response to training. Metabolic processes like energy metabolism and protein synthesis are driven by biochemical regulators in the body known as metabolic enzymes. These enzymes require coenzymes or cofactors in order to function properly. Many of the B vitamins serve as cofactors for metabolic enzymes. If the B vitamins are in adequate supply in your diet, then your metabolic enzymes can do their respective jobs. But if a particular micronutrient is in short supply, its enzyme is like a motor with fouled spark plugs; it can’t function at full capacity, and you can’t operate at your best.
If you examine the vitamin and mineral tables below, you’ll see that micronutrients are involved in all kinds of biochemical reactions that take place in your body every minute of every day. Micronutrients support growth and development, muscle contraction, hydration balance, nerve function, energy metabolism, tissue repair, bone metabolism, the transport of oxygen throughout your body, and immune function.
Striking a balance
Because vitamins and minerals perform such vital functions, you might be tempted to think that if getting some of these micronutrients is good, consuming more is even better: Think again. The consumption of calories is a useful analogy. If you’re an athlete that chronically under-consumes calories, your health and athletic performance will eventually suffer. Conversely, if you consume too many calories on a regular basis, you’ll eventually get fat, and your ability to train and compete will decline. But if you consistently consume the calories your body needs, you’ve struck that energy balance that allows you to train and compete at your best.
Now apply that same thinking to the essential vitamins and minerals. If your intake is chronically too low, you won’t function very well metabolically or athletically. Conversely, if you consume too much of these micronutrients, you can develop toxicity symptoms that can impair athletic performance, and even worse, put your health at risk. But if you consistently consume vitamins and minerals in amounts that you need, you have that solid micronutrient foundation that allows you to be healthy, to train hard, and to compete at your best.
Do athletes need more?
It’s reasonable to think that because you’re an athlete burning hundreds of extra calories every day and shedding pounds of weight through sweating, you may need comparatively more of the micronutrients than the average person. Researchers have investigated that very question in regard to several different micronutrients. Take the B vitamins as an example: Physical activity definitely burns calories, and you’d think that with a higher level of metabolic activity, you’d have a higher need for the B vitamins, which serve as cofactors in energy metabolism. As it turns out, the evidence does suggest a slightly greater need for athletes. The catch is that most athletes who burn more calories also tend to eat more food, and that seems to cover the bases in terms of the need for extra Bs. So if you are meeting your caloric needs, chances are you are meeting your need for B vitamins.
Another area where you’d think extra micronutrients would be called for is in protecting against the damaging effects of free radicals. During metabolism, highly reactive biochemical compounds known as free radicals are formed. These destructive free radicals attack structures within cells, contributing to cellular damage. In comparison to those who don’t exercise, athletes burning thousands of calories every day are generating greater amounts of these destructive compounds. Nutrients like vitamins C and E, and the plant form of vitamin A known as beta carotene, are believed to help protect against free radicals. It seems logical, then, that athletes should take supplements of the antioxidant nutrients, right? Not so fast. Scientists have found that we have built-in antioxidant defense systems in our bodies designed to neutralize free radicals, and in trained athletes, this protective antioxidant defense system is significantly more developed than in non-athletes. So, again, there doesn’t appear to be a very strong case for an increased need for the antioxidant micronutrients.
The daily requirements set for vitamins and minerals include some built-in leeway. This buffer zone recognizes that micronutrient needs vary from one individual to the next, and that the daily requirements are determined so as to meet the needs of virtually all healthy individuals. So while your need for certain nutrients may be a bit higher here and there because you are an athlete, current research indicates that you can follow the daily requirements established for all healthy adults.
Inadequate intakes of vitamins and minerals can impair both your health and your athletic performance; but if your nutrient intake is already adequate, supplementing with extra vitamins and minerals won’t make you stronger, faster, quicker, more skilled, or better by any other performance measure.
Nutrients deserving extra attention
Taking larger amounts of vitamins and minerals than you need won’t confer a performance benefit; but there are a few micronutrients that warrant a bit of extra attention, either because they commonly come up short in the diets of certain groups of athletes, or because consuming them during exercise can make a performance difference.
Calcium and vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D work hand in hand when it comes to supporting bone development. Both tend to be in short supply in athletes’ and nonathletes’ diets alike, particularly in the diets of females. As an athlete, training and competing puts a stressor on your bones. You don’t feel it, but your bones are constantly undergoing a remodeling process, where bone mineral is being dissolved away and then replaced. By having enough calcium in your diet, you help to ensure that you have enough calcium available to fully support the bone remodeling process. And having enough vitamin D helps to promote the absorption of calcium from your gut.
If you’re not getting enough calcium and vitamin D, you increase your risk of exercise-related stress fractures. Female athletes are particularly at risk for stress fractures, since many often limit their calorie intake in order to achieve a lower level of body fat. While the reduced body fat may help in the short-term with athletic performance, the inadequate calories coupled with too little calcium and vitamin D is devastating to your bones. The solution is to consume enough calories every day, and to make sure that you’re also meeting your needs for calcium and vitamin D.
So how much calcium and vitamin D do you need, and how can you be sure you’re getting it? Needs vary a bit based on age:
Recently, there has been a call to increase daily vitamin D recommendations. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently upped its recommendations for teenagers (and children) to 400 IU vitamin D daily. And researchers are pushing for higher daily recommendations for adults, as well.
Some good vitamin D sources include vitamin D-fortified milk (about 100 IU vitamin D per cup), salmon (about 360 IU per 3.5 oz serving), and fortified ready-to-eat cereals (about 40 IU per cup).
Good calcium sources include milk (about 300 mg per cup), cottage cheese (about 150 mg per cup), yogurt (about 300 mg per cup), cheddar cheese (about 200 mg per oz), and leafy greens (about 200 mg per cup cooked), and calcium-fortified orange juice (about 300 mg per cup).
If you are unable to consume adequate calcium and vitamin D from foods, take a dietary supplement that contains both of them.
If your diet is low in iron, your athletic performance may be suffering, because iron is a component of a protein found in red blood cells called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin grabs hold of the oxygen that you breathe in through your lungs, and holds on to it as red blood cells transport the oxygen to your muscles and other tissues during exercise. Hemoglobin also transports carbon dioxide back to the lungs, where you exhale it. Too little iron in the diet can result in iron-deficiency anemia, as well as impaired oxygen and carbon dioxide transport. This, in turn, will impair your ability to train and compete.
There are different schools of thought on the prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia. Some reports indicate that it occurs in about 5% of both athletes and non-athletes. Other reports contend that it occurs in as many as a third to even half of athletes, especially among female athletes, and among both male and female endurance athletes. Women are particularly at risk because of menstrual blood losses and the fact that they typically consume fewer calories and less iron-rich red meat. Athletes who are still growing, as well as vegetarian athletes, may also be at higher risk for iron deficiency.
So how much iron do you need, and how can you be sure you’re getting it? Needs vary based on age and gender:
Strategies for ensuring that you get adequate dietary iron include consuming lean cuts of red meat or dark-meat poultry; iron-fortified, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals; and vitamin C–rich fruits or fruit juices; grain products; and vegetables. If you’re unable to get enough iron from foods, you may need to supplement. A balanced multivitamin/mineral supplement will generally provide your daily requirement for iron. Only take a higher-dose iron supplement if your physician instructs you to do so.
Vitamin C gets the spotlight not because it will improve athletic performance, but because it may help to reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections, which seem to occur more frequently in athletes following ultra-endurance events such as marathons, triathlons, and the like. The benefit is not guaranteed. In some studies, vitamin C hasn’t made a difference, but in others, 500 mg/day or so of vitamin C, a week or two prior to and after an extended endurance competition, reduced the chance of getting one of those irritating chest colds afterwards.
Sodium gets the ‘extra attention’ nomination because it is the major electrolyte in sweat, and sweating is crucial to cooling your body during exercise. Although you lose electrolytes and other minerals when you sweat, sodium is the electrolyte lost in greatest concentration. If you’re exercising for less than an hour in moderate temperature conditions, you needn’t be concerned about sodium intake during exercise itself. But if you’re out there in the heat and humidity, or exercising for much more than an hour at a time, it pays to include sodium in your hydration beverage. The easy way to get fluids and sodium is with a sports drink, such as PowerBar® Endurance sports drink. By rehydrating with both fluid and sodium, you do a better job of replacing what you’re losing when you sweat. The benefit is more effective hydration, which allows you to perform at your best and avoid the potential adverse health effects of dehydration or overhydration.
Putting it into practice
When it comes to essential vitamins and minerals, here is the take-home message:
Get what you need, but more is not better: Vitamins and minerals are important to your good health and your ability to succeed in training and during competitions. So get enough of these micronutrients, but remember that getting more than you need offers no performance benefit and could prove harmful
Food is best — eat a variety: Vitamins and minerals don’t come from just a few foods. You get the many different micronutrients you need by eating a wide variety of foods
Eat enough: Consuming enough calories is necessary to get the vitamins and minerals you need, and to utilize them properly, in the case of calcium. If you’re cutting calories, chances are that your intake of the micronutrients is being cut, as well
If you have dietary restrictions, close the micronutrient gap: A fortified cereal for breakfast in the morning can help meet your need for carbs, while also providing an extra measure of micronutrient insurance. This may be an especially good route for ensuring a sufficient intake of iron
If you need to supplement, go for balance: Stick to a well-balanced, one-a-day type multivitamin and mineral supplement. In general, steer clear of single supplements, but there may be a case in certain circumstances for getting a little extra calcium and vitamin D in supplement form. If you’re an endurance athlete, a little extra vitamin C a week or two before and after an extended endurance event may help reduce your risk of catching a chest cold
Include sodium when rehydrating: When exercising in the heat and humidity and during extended endurance exercise, make sure to consume some of your daily requirement for sodium during exercise to help with hydration.
Which one are the best?
Supplements wont make you bigger, but will HELP YOU GET BIGGER, BETTER AND STRONGER! In every post in this category you will find all the info you need to know about supplements. How much and when you have to take it to get best effects. Knowledge is power. You will find supplements rankings, in every category, tips and tricks, and much more! So grab a drink and read!
Want to get bigger and stronger—and get that way faster?
Creatine works. Lifters know this, professors know this, the marketers who sell the stuff know this.
But nobody should put anything in their body without weighing the benefits and risks first. That goes for everything from beer to marshmallows to the amazing amino acid called creatine.
It’s not anything scary. It’s not a Barry Bonds starter kit.
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 as simple as this: “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.
There is less support to indicate that creatine improves endurance performance and aerobic-type exercise.
One thing is almost certain: If you take creatine, you’ll gain weight.
It’ll happen quickly, says Paul Greenhaff, Ph.D., professor of muscle metabolism at the University of Nottingham in England. 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.
Because creatine is an “osmotically active substance,” it pulls water into your muscle cells, which increases protein synthesis, Kerksick says.
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.
Nobody argues with any of this. But there are some questions about creatine that lots of guys have.
Any guy mixing his first glass of creatine powder has hesitated. Is this the right move? His questions include:
Will creatine mess with my kidneys?
Researchers are constantly studying creatine—for effectiveness and safety. That’s why many trainers and health experts support the use of creatine: Studies indicate it’s safe.
“Creatine is one of the most-researched sports supplements out there,” Kerksick says. “And there’s no published literature to suggest it’s unsafe.”
Greenhaff has been studying creatine for about two decades, and says he never encounters the cramping that is sometimes reported. “I’m not saying people don’t experience cramps, but I don’t believe it can be very common,” he says. “If there were any major adverse side effects, we would have seen them by now.”
But there have been anecdotal reports of kidney damage, heart problems, muscle cramps and pulls, dehydration, and diarrhea, in addition to other negative side effects. The key word here: anecdotal.
Some of these conditions can be caused by consuming too much of certain vitamins, says Tod Cooperman, M.D., president of ConsumerLab.com. “Too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea, and too much iron may lead to stomach problems,” he says.
To be safe, he recommends using creatine only if you are healthy and have no kidney problems. That’s because your kidneys excrete creatinine, a breakdown product of creatine.
So there’s no downside?
Not so fast, Biceps-Brain. If you can get big without it, there’s no reason to use creatine.
“I feel it would be better for no one to use creatine even though it’s shown to increase some strength and muscle mass,” says Jim King, M.D., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
“I wouldn’t recommend doing anything that would show minimal improvement and possible risk. Weigh the negatives and the benefits before you try it.”
Kids under age 18 should avoid creatine, King says, because few studies have been done on children using creatine as an exercise enhancement.
There have been reports of overexertion causing torn muscles. That can mean permanent damage. “Children are still in a growing phase, and we’re not sure what impact creatine may have on muscles and bones as they grow,” he says. “I feel very strongly that middle and even high schoolers shouldn’t use it.”
Will it transform me?
Here’s one thing all the experts can agree on: It’s impossible to say.
Creatine has different effects on every individual. Some people just don’t respond to creatine—it’s a genetic thing.
You should know in about a week—if your training volume increases, it’s working for you. If not, you’re probably a “nonresponder”—taking the powder isn’t going to help you.
Diet is important. Meat, especially herring and beef, has high levels of creatine, so vegetarians usually see a greater response, while those whose diets are highly carnivorous may see less change.
Of course, a healthy diet is key to anyone’s muscle-building plan. “If your diet is junk, there’s no point in adding creatine,” Kerksick says. “It’s better to eat good sources of carbohydrates and lean protein.”
In the end, creatine alone will not make you a bigger man.
“Only when combined with exercise does it improve the quality of training,” Greenhaff says. “You still have to do the work.”
What kind of creatine should I take?
Powder is the way to go. Studies show that liquid creatine and creatine ethyl ester (CEE) are unstable and break down in your blood system. Don’t bother with them.
Kerksick recommends 100-percent pure creatine powder. Some companies add electrolytes and other ingredients, but tests indicate those do little to improve performance.
“Save money and buy creatine powder and [mix it with] fruit juice,” Kerksick says.
Fruit juice? That’s right—the sugar in the juice raises insulin levels, which helps increase creatine uptake into the muscle.
You need about 70 grams of simple sugars for every five grams of creatine, Greenhaff says. He suggests looking for a drink or supplement with 60 grams of carbs per 100 grams of product.
To ensure your body maximizes the benefits of creatine, buy the best stuff you can afford. It’s your body—this isn’t the time to get cheap.
You’ll know the powder is of poor quality if it’s hard to dissolve and there’s residue at the bottom of your glass after you drink it. You want the powder in your muscles, not in the glass. If this happens, try a different brand.
When to take creatine and how much to take
Natural dietary sources of creatine are skeletal muscles like beef and pork. One pound of beef contains 2 grams of creatine. But it’s tough to get the quantity you need by loading up on red meat. So most athletes opt to get it in supplement form. It’s an odorless, virtually tasteless, white powder that looks like sugar.
Loading Phase (first week of use)
The accumulated data from studies and anecdotal reports suggest a loading phase of creatine which will saturate your muscles with creatine. Most manufacturers recommend about 15 to 25 grams per day for 1 week. Some users will skip the loading phase. Studies have shown just taking the maintenance dose of about 5 grams a day will accomplish the same result as loading except that it will take 3-4 weeks for your system to reach saturation levels as opposed to only 1 week when you load. So the benefit to loading is quicker results, not greater results. A small percentage of people will not do the loading phase if they notice some gastric distress at the higher 15-25 gram a day loading dose.
Maintenance Phase (after first week of use)
The second or maintenance phase keeps your muscles saturated with a much smaller daily dose. A maintenance dose is about 5-10 grams a day.
When Should I Take Creatine?
Typically, you take only 5 grams at a time. If you’re in a loading phase, space your 5 gram servings evenly throughout the day. Competitive bodybuilders vary dramatically in the timing of their creatine consumption. Ideal times are before and after a workout! The reason for the varied timing of taking creatine is that it works almost any time of day. Just as it takes a week to load up in your system, one study showed it remained effective even for several weeks after stopping creatine. So take it when it’s most convenient for you. If there is a preference among users, it would be right after a workout along with your high carb post workout shake.
How Long Should I Take Creatine For?
Most people take creatine for 1 1/2 to 3 months, then go off of it for a month before resuming again. However, there are no conclusive studies that say you should cycle it or go off of it.
How Much Should I Buy?
Figure you need about 175 grams for the first week and about 70 grams a week thereafter. At this consumption rate, 500 grams will last about 1 1/2 months and 1000 grams will last about 3 months.
The Creatine Dose Table below shows how much you might need depending on your weight and how hard you train. Body Weight Loading Dosage
* The low side of the range represents 1 hour training, two to three times per week at a low level of intensity. Mid range is 1-1/2 hours training three to four times per week at a medium level of intensity. High range is 2 hours training five to six times per week at a high level of intensity.
Reference adapted from: Creatine: Nature’s Muscle Builder by Ray Sahelian, MD, p. 49, 53.
What should I mix it with?
Studies during the loading phase have shown creatine to be up to 36% more effective when taken with high glycemic index carbohydrates. That means you should take it with a carbohydrate rich meal. It’s theorized that raising insulin levels by consuming simple sugars helps to better transport creatine and protein into muscle. After interviewing the author of one of the premier creatine books on the market, he concluded from his research that taking it with a baked potato (which is about 100 grams of high glycemic sugar) works great for him. Another national champion we interviewed takes it with the carbs in his meals.
Probably the most popular method has been to mix it with grape juice. However, half the sugar in grape juice is very low glycemic and won’t spike insulin levels. If you’re watching your carb intake, your wasting precious carbs from the grape juice with no benefit to raising insulin levels.
For reference purposes, fructose-some of the sugar found in grape juice rates a 20, table sugar rates a 59, honey is 87, a baked potato is about 97 and dextrose and glucose are 100. But if you are hypoglycemic (get low blood sugar) or your energy levels crash about a half hour after eating sugary foods, then just take the straight creatine and avoid the carbs. It still works fantastic and is the way athletes took creatine for years until the new study showed ways to make it even more effective.
I’ve hit a plateau on my bench press. Can creatine help me punch through it?
This is the one exercise that studies show creatine really works. After one month of taking creatine, the average bench press for one rep max went up 18 pounds from 278 pound to 296 pounds. The placebo group went down 6 pounds on their bench press.
Creatine works by extending the ATP energy production cycle. You typically can go all out on a sprint or weight lifting set for about 5 seconds before your effort or strength drops off. That’s because your body’s ATP stores are depleted. It takes several minutes to recycle from spent energy (ADP) back to useable energy (ATP). Creatine helps extend the ATP energy cycle by several seconds (some say up to 5 seconds). This means you can put more effort into a few more reps in a set. More stress on your muscles means you can get stronger, faster. That’s why creatine works well for athletes requiring short bursts of energy. It’s ideal for weight training. However, if you do not train hard, then creatine will do little for you.
I don’t seem to notice any results from creatine?
Provided you’re taking our German Creatine brand so that we know you’re getting the real thing, then you may be one of the small percentage of people who are termed, non-responders. A creatine study revealed that many of the non-responders already had higher circulating levels of creatine compared to the others in the study who got better results.
I’m in a dieting down stage and want to get that real shredded vascular look. Should I be taking creatine during this stage?
When you take creatine, there is a certain amount of water weight gain that goes along with it. That water gain can help smooth over those abs you’ve been working so hard to bring out. That’s why most bodybuilder’s heading into the final weeks of contest preparation drop creatine from their regimen. You don’t want to retain water if you want that washboard ab look. In a bodybuilding contest, strength is not important. It’s the look that counts. Most of those guys on stage are probably the weakest they’ve been in months.
What’s the best Creatine?