100% Pure Micronised Creatine for easier and faster mixing.
Creatine is a substance found naturally within the human body. Although found in numerous organs, the majority of creatine is stored within skeletal muscle cells. Creatine helps supply energy to all cells in the body, but its primary function is to supply energy to muscles. It does this by increasing the formation of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP) in cells. ATP is a vital energy source for working muscles and creatine is needed to maintain adequate ATP levels. The remarkable thing about muscle creatine stores is that they can be increased simply by supplementing the diet with additional creatine (1). Therefore, oral consumption of creatine increases and saturates the muscle content of creatine, which regenerates ATP so your muscles can keep on working.
A number of studies have suggested that creatine may enhance muscular strength within a very short period of time. One study compared the maximum amount of weight able to be lifted for one repetition in the bench press exercise prior to and after seven days creatine supplementation (2). This strength based test commonly referred to as a “1RM” is a measure of maximal muscular strength. As shown in the graph below (figure 1), after only seven days creatine supplementation muscle strength had increased significantly.
Figure 1: Strength changes after 7 days creatine supplementation.
Numerous studies have reported that, when combined with a resistance training program, creatine can enhance the gains in fat free mass and lean body mass to a degree that is significantly greater than would be associated with training alone (3-13).
This is likely attributed to a combination of factors including:
Cell volumisation – Creatine causes the water inside the muscle cell (intracellular fluid) to increase, which causes the cell to swell (7, 14). This is believed to be an anabolic signal, which may promote protein synthesis (15). Cell volumisation can be indirectly detected by an increase in muscle cross sectional area within a matter a days after beginning creatine supplementation (16). This may be subjectively felt as a “tightness” or “pump” in the muscle by many users.
Enhanced Training Capacity – Creatine enhances the resynthesis of the cells energy source, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This can allow a higher training intensity to be maintained, which may ultimately lead to a greater stimulus for muscle growth (17).
Creatine supplements are commonly used by athletes, bodybuilders, sprinters and others who wish to gain muscle mass. Extensive research has shown that oral creatine supplementation effectively improves physiological response to resistance exercise and increases maximal force production of muscles in both men and women (18, 19). Creatine can even be of benefit in older people wishing to increase their strength and lean mass. In a clinical trial creatine was shown to enhance lean tissue mass, leg strength and endurance during a 12-week resistance training study in men averaging 70 years of age (20). Given that the aging process is associated with a loss in muscle mass and strength (21), creatine combined with a strength training program appears to be a promising combination for aging individuals.
There are two main ways to use creatine and both have scientific backing. In Australia we can only recommend Method 2.
Method 1 - Creatine loading
Creatine loading consists of ingesting a relatively high dose of creatine (20g) per day for five days (see table 1). This 20g dose is divided into five-gram dosages and consumed at four equally spaced intervals across the day. Research has shown this method to be a rapid way to increase creatine concentrations within human skeletal muscle (22). After the five-day loading period you move into a phase known as maintenance. The purpose of the maintenance phase is to simply maintain the increased muscle creatine stores that were achieved during the loading phase. Most scientific studies use between 2 and 5 gram daily dosages during the maintenance phase (22, 7).
Method 2 - Continual low dose
Instead of loading you can basically just go straight into the maintenance phase and consume a continual low dose of creatine (3 grams) once per day (22). When compared to loading you will ultimately increase your muscle creatine concentrations by about the same amount, only this method will take a little longer. Using this method it will take approximately one month to achieve the same muscle creatine concentrations as is possible with a five day loading period (22).
The number one question we are asked is should creatine be consumed before or after exercise? A small amount of research has indicated that the uptake of creatine into the skeletal muscle may be augmented by exercise (1). Therefore consuming creatine post exercise is possibly more efficient than other ingestion times. However, regardless of when creatine is consumed, as long as it is consumed consistently in line with scientific recommendations, athletes should receive benefit and this is why creatine forms the basis of many pre-workout supplements like KOS Pre Workout.
Even though creatine is one of the most utilized, longest serving supplements in sports nutrtion, there is still a lot of hype surrounding the safety of creatine supplementation, particularly on the Internet. It is almost as though many people believe that creatine is too good to be true and must be associated with some, as yet seen, adverse effects. However, given that creatine has been commercially available for over a decade, one would imagine that side effects, if they existed, would be beginning to surface. Many health professionals may be unfamiliar with this compound and therefore unable to adequately inform the public at large when questioned about the efficacy and safety of creatine supplementation (23). However, those health professionals familiar with the scientific research to date will be aware that the only documented side effect of creatine in healthy individuals is weight gain (24, 25). Given that most individuals using creatine are aiming to gain lean mass, this can hardly be considered a side effect. However, you should consult with your general practitioner prior to beginning a new supplement regime to ensure that you are in good health prior to beginning to use creatine.
Creatine is used by many elite teams and elite athletes and has not been reported to have any side effects. Creatine by Body Science is certified under the Informed Sport supplement guarantee, stringent banned substance testing (Informed Sport & Informed Choice) and made to the highest quality per the GMP HACCP manufacturing guidelines. Creatine is not listed on the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list. Therefore, Creatine can be considered a safe and legal method of supplementing the diet, even in elite athletes subjected to regular drug testing.
So if you are looking for strength gains, increases in fat free muscle mass and to increase your training intensity then try Creatine. It compliments any training and strengthening regime and has a recommended dose of 1 x 3g serve per day.
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(14) Saab, G., Marsh, G. D., Casselman, M. A., and Thompson, R. T. Changes in human muscle transverse relaxation following short-term creatine supplementation. Exp.Physiol 2002;87(3):383-389.
(15) Häussinger D; Control of protein turnover by the cellular hydratation state; Ital J Gastroenterol. 1993 Jan; 25(1):42-8.
(16) Ziegenfuss TN, Lowery LM, Lemon PWR. Acute fluid volume changes in men during three days of creatine supplementation. J Exerc Physiol online. 1998;1(3)
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(18) Bemben MG, Lamont HS; Lamont Creatine supplementation and exercise performance: recent findings. Sports Medicine 35 (2): 107–25.( 2005)
(19) Kreider RB (February 2003). Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 244 (1–2): 89–94
(20) Chrusch, M.J., Chilibeck, P.D., Chad, K.E., Davison, K.S. and Burke, D.G. Creatine supplementation combined with resistance training in older men. Medicine and science in sports and exercise 33:2111-2117, 2001
(21) Welle, S. Cellular and molecular basis of age-related sarcopenia. Canadian journal of applied physiology 27:19-41, 2002
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(25) Robinson, T.M., Sewell, D.A., Casey, A., Steenge, G. and Greenhaff, P.L. Dietary creatine supplementation does not affect some haematological indices, or indices of muscle damage and hepatic and renal function. British journal of sports medicine 34:284-288, 2000.