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Creatine

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Creatine is a molecule produced in the body. It stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of

phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine releases energy to aid cellular function during stress. This effect

causes strength increases after creatine supplementation, and can also benefit the brain, bones,

muscles, and liver. Most of the benefits of creatine are a result of this mechanism.

Creatine can be found in some foods, mostly meat, eggs, and fish. Creatine supplementation confers a

variety of health benefits and has neuroprotective and cardioprotective properties. It is often used by

athletes to increase both power output and lean mass.

Stomach cramping can occur when creatine is supplemented without sufficient water. Diarrhea and

nausea can occur when too much creatine is supplemented at once, in which case doses should be

spread out throughout the day and taken with meals.

There are many different forms of creatine available on the market, but creatine monohydrate is the

cheapest and most effective. Another option is micronized creatine monohydrate, which dissolves in

water more easily and can be more practical.

 

Creatine monohydrate can be supplemented through a loading protocol. To start loading, take 0.3

grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day for 5–7 days, then follow with at least 0.03 g/kg/day either

for three weeks (if cycling) or indefinitely (without additional loading phases).

For a 180 lb (82 kg) person, this translates to 25 g/day during the loading phase and 2.5 g/day afterward,

although many users take 5 g/day due to the low price of creatine and the possibility of experiencing

increased benefits. Higher doses (up to 10 g/day) may be beneficial for people with a high amount of

muscle mass and high activity levels.

 

Stomach cramping can occur when creatine is supplemented without sufficient water. Diarrhea and

nausea can occur when too much creatine is supplemented at once, in which case doses should be

spread out over the day and taken with meals.

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