Creatine is a substance that occurs naturally in the muscle cells, particularly around the muscles connected to the body's skeleton. It is typically ingested when eating red meat or fish; however, taking pure creatine monohydrate supplements is another way to add creatine to the diet, especially for weightlifters and sportsmen. Ingesting creatine increases strength and body mass, as well as aiding recovery of the muscles after a workout. The efficacy of pure creatine monohydrate depends on the individual, with some people responding better than others. People who do not eat a lot of red meat and fish will probably notice a more significant change than those who do.
There are no major adverse side effects to ingesting pure creatine monohydrate. Some of the negative effects can include bloating, diarrhea, weight gain due to water retention, and dehydration. Taking too much of the supplement will not increase the ability to perform and will only be secreted out of the body.
Pure creatine monohydrate works to increase the energy that is available in muscles. Body cells then store the energy in a molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Muscles perform better when there is a high store of ATP in them. Pure creatine monohydrate helps to keep this store in balance and boost exercise routines by making sure that the body and muscles are saturated with creatine. This results in longer workouts and increased weightlifting repetitions.
Loading up on the supplement involves saturating the body and muscles with creatine in the first week, typically 20 grams per day, and then cutting back to five to ten grams a day. In this manner the muscles uptake the creatine quicker than the gradual method which skips the initial loading phase and starts the athlete out on five to ten grams a day. Pure creatine monohydrate is usually taken with fruit juice after a workout or before retiring for the night. Sometimes people will load and maintain the creatine supplements for up to six weeks and then discontinue for a couple of weeks before starting the cycle over again.
Pure creatine monohydrate supplements are not just for athletes. People looking to tone muscles may be helped by creatine supplements as well. Using creatine is not illegal for professional athletes and it has been used at Olympic Games and other sporting games with good results. A number of Olympic gold medalists have won when taking the supplement. Creatine has been known to add weight in the first few weeks of taking the supplement due to water retention in the muscles.