What, Why and How to Use Creatine

How to Use Creatine

Over the last 30+ years, Creatine has become the most widely researched nutritional supplement on the market. And, with very good reason.

If you are someone looking to increase your lean muscle mass (do not read GET BIG ladies), Creatine MUST be a staple of your supplemental regiment.

Read on to learn What, Why, and How to Use Creatine.

What is Creatine?

Before we get into the why and how, let’s provide a little insight into just what creatine is.

Naturally found in muscle cells, Creatine is a substance that helps the muscle produce the energy required to create a contraction or movement (think exercising or heavy lifting). This enhanced exertion ability is the primary reason creatine, as a supplement, has grown very popular over the years.

Obviously, anyone and everyone, looking to gain more muscle, improve workout performance, and boost their overall strength levels, is immediately attracted to this potential upside.

Now, to be clear, our bodies do naturally create Creatine via the combining of the amino acids arginine and glycine. Does this mean supplemental Creatine is unnecessary? Not at all. Quite the contrary.

Creatine supplementation helps directly increase the levels of phosphocreatine (more on this in a moment) in the body.

Several factors affect both the body’s natural Creatine levels, as well as, one Creatine’s needs. One’s diet, exercise levels, muscle mass, hormone levels, namely IGF-1 and testosterone, all play a role.

When you consider that about 95% of the Creatine in the body is stored within muscles as phosphocreatine while the remaining 5% is stored in the brain, liver, and kidneys, it should be easy to see the role played in exercise and performance.

Now, as promised, onto phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine is a type of stored energy in the cells that help our bodies produce higher levels of ATP. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the most basic form of energy in your body’s cells. It plays a fundamental role in metabolism and muscle function.

In short, the more ATP in your muscle cells, the better your body will perform.

Why Would I Use Creatine?

As noted above, Creatine has a direct impact on your source of energy at the cellular level.

This translates to better performance in a few different ways.

Not only will Creatine increase the levels of phosphocreatine in the muscles resulting in greater energy and power output, but the additional energy created will increase the overall workload ability as well. In other words, you can do more, for longer, with heavier weights or greater resistance.

When one is attempting to build lean muscle, more power, more strength, larder workload, leads to greater gains.

In addition, by improving cell signaling, Creatine supplementation can aid in muscle repair as well as raise anabolic hormone levels and improve the hydration of cells.

Some Additional Benefits of Creatine…

  • a reduction in muscle breakdown, retaining more muscle during high-intensity exercises.
  • a reduction in myostatin levels. High levels of myostatin, a protein, is known to slow or stop new muscle growth. Regular use of creatine supplementation can lower these levels, thus increasing the potential growth of new muscles.
  • can improve the health of the brain and reduce the risk of any neurological diseases.

Studies Show Creatine Can…

Again, being the most widely researched nutritional supplement, Creatine benefits have more than been proven at this point. Studies ranging from the elderly to the sedentary, to professional athletes all show it’s effectiveness for both long-term and short-term muscle gain and retention.

For example, a 14-week study was conducted on older adults, adding Creatine to their weight training program. The results showed that there was a significant increase in leg strength and overall muscle mass.

Another 12-week study with weightlifters concluded that Creatine increased the growth of muscle fiber by two to three times more than those who trained without creatine. The lifters’ body mass also increased twice as much as those not using supplemental Creatine.

Think Creatine supplementation only impacts resistance training? Not even close.

A study using professional athletes supplementing with Creatine for 28 days showed an increase of 15% in cycling performance. Yes, even endurance style training can benefit from Creatine supplementation.

In addition to all of the above exercise-related benefits, scientists also believe that Creatine can help improve conditions in those who suffer from…

  • Poor memory and brain function (nootropic)
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Brain or spinal cord injuries
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Motor Neuron Disease

While more research is needed to confirm the definite impact on the above, one six-month study on children suffering from traumatic brain injury showed that there was a 50% reduction in dizziness and a seventy percent reduction in fatigue.

If these studies continue to prove the initial findings, Creatine could very well impact not just the power, strength, muscle size, and recovery of exercise enthusiasts, but alter the lifestyle of hundreds of thousands of afflicted individuals as well.

We hold out hope the research continues!

How Should I Use Creatine?

When creatine first hit the market some 30 odd years ago, the consensus was the need for a loading phase of 10-15 g per day, for 5-7 days. That’s a lot of Creatine!

Thankfully, that is no longer the case.

Creatine use is simple, straightforward and inexpensive. Those looking to use Creatine to enhance muscle growth and performance output will be thrilled to hear, a single serving of 5-10g, post-workout, is all that’s needed.

Whether one mixes Creatine directly into the post-workout shake, or mix it separately, is completely personal in choice.

For those fitness buffs, our rationale for including your Creatine intake post-workout is also relatively simple.

30-60 minutes post-workout is well-known to be the window of greatest opportunity as it relates to nutrient absorption and uptake. In order to properly replenish your Creatine stores, which were almost certainly depleted during your training, this window provides the most effective Creatine intake opportunity.

If you are someone looking to utilize Creatine for its potential nootropic (brain-related benefits) or condition-related issues, a single serving, first thing in the morning, will do just fine.

3D Labs Nutrition to the Rescue

At 3D Labs Nutrition, we strongly believe certain products should make up the foundation of your supplementation regiment. CreaMode (Creatine) is one of those “foundational” supplements we think all who partake in routine exercise should include.

FYI…CreaMode is not just the highest quality Creatine, but it is also the most affordable. The cost vs reward of Creatine inclusion is truly a no-brainer.

Make one small scoop of CreaMode a part of your post-workout Nutrition and see the impact on your power, strength, max lifts, and more in just a matter of days.

Always Remember…

You only have one life to live, one body to live it in, so take care of it. Progress, not perfection. Good, better, best with your food intake and some form of movement daily. Get your nutritional foundation from food, supplement where necessary, and drink plenty of water. We are here to help so feel free to drop us comments or questions as often as you’d like and always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise regiment.

Live a 3D life…Decisions Determine Destinations!

9 thoughts on “What, Why and How to Use Creatine

  1. Marketa says:

    Hi there and thanks for your informative article,

    I’ve been advised that using creatine can enhance muscle growth too much for women. I’m wondering if there’s a brand of creatine supplement that specifically takes this into account and delivers the perfect amount; I do want muscle growth but not to the point where I gain too much muscle mass.

    • The 3D Labs Team says:

      Hi Marketa! First and foremost, let us take a quick second to dispel the fear so many women have about “building too much muscle”. It is 99.9% impossible! Have no fear!

      What we mean is…first, women are not genetically predisposed to build muscle like men. Secondly, muscle growth doesn’t happen quickly so when all is said and done, you have complete control, through proper a properly designed diet and exercise program to decide the shape you want, the muscle leanness you like, etc. Lastly, creatine nor any other legal “nutritional supplement” will have a drastic or immediate impact. This is no different than the nutrient intake one gets from food. 

      Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, and we ingest protein daily. Hopefully anyway. Yet protein will not immediately, even in high amounts, just create new muscle. Protein intake simply provides what it needed, in combination with exercise, to do so. Creatine and many other supplements act in much the same way.

      With all that said, we feel strongly that the 3D Labs CreaMode makes the most sense for almost everyone for two very important reasons. Quality is second to none, pure creatine, and, the cost is lower than almost every other reputable creatine on the market. 

      The reason for this lies in our philosophy. We want to HELP more people as opposed to MAKE MORE MONEY on fewer product sales. We are trying hard to make top-quality nutritional supplementation available to the masses while educating every step of the way.

      We hope this makes sense and, as always, do not hesitate to shout if you have more questions.

  2. Feji ben says:

    hello there,thanks for this awesome article it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me,I must say that you have done a great job on this article as it is very interesting and informative also.i have been using  creatine for sometime and I thing there is no better way or better reason to use creatine.thanks once again for this article.

  3. Juan Saladin says:

    In the early ’90s, there was a generalized impression that the back then creatine caused kidney problems. After some investigation, it was clearly established that what caused the important organ problem was the abuse (by excessive use) of the creatine.

    What would be the maximum and minimum recommended consumption levels?; Is it related to the type of training I’m following at any given time?

    In the early 90’s I used to be a regular consumer of creatine products, without experiencing any issue (but I always used it with moderation while some gym friends recommended twice or triple of my regular doses).

    Thanks for an enlightening post on this topic. I’ll be waiting for your comment response.  

    • The 3D Labs Team says:

      Juan, you are absolutely correct. Creatine was incorrectly thought, for a period of time, to cause kidney-related issues. Thankfully research and science prevailed. 

      Despite that past negative press, the International Society of Sports Nutrition now regards creatine as extremely safe, concluding that it is one of the most beneficial supplements available (1).

      Leading researchers who have studied creatine for several decades also conclude that it is one of the safest supplements on the market (2).

      While Creatine can slightly raise levels of creatinine (commonly measured to diagnose kidney or liver problems) in your blood, the fact that creatine raises creatinine levels does not mean that it is harming your liver or kidneys (3).

      To date, no study of creatine use in healthy individuals has provided evidence of harm to these organs (145678).

      With all that said, we still feel that 5-10g per day is more than enough to see the benefits! Only someone who might be extremely muscular and over maybe 250 pounds could potentially need upwards of 15g per day.

      Hope this helps!

  4. Michel says:

    This was a very interesting article on the benefits of Creatine. I never realised that it was a thing before reading this, and I suppose bodybuilders would be more versed in the benefits than the average person on the street, but this could benefit all.

    I was especially interested to read that it can help with memory and Alzheimer’s disease. This is obviously preventative and not once the disease is in motion?

    If you don’t work out a lot, what dosage would you recommend, and is there such a thing has getting too much creatine?

    • The 3D Labs Team says:

      Michel, we agree completely. The science seems to show that most can benefit in some way, even if just from the nootropic (brain-related benefits) effect alone. 

      As for the research on those suffering from afflictions such as Alzheimer’s, the studies were conducted with individuals already suffering at some level from the disease. I do not think any research to date shows anything remotely close to being able to cure or reverse, but simply having a beneficial impact on “some” of the issues incurred with the disease.

      We would suggest 5g per day for most, irrelevant of a fitness regiment. Individuals who are larger in stature, carry significantly more muscle, etc might benefit from closer to 10g per day. And no, there are no known issues with too much as anything unused would simply pass through the body. 

      One important thing to note, however, is water consumption should always be kept up. This should be the case, with or without Creatine use, but we highly recommend ample water intake (80-128oz per day) at all times.

  5. Parveen says:

    Hey, I found that Creatine supplementation helps directly increase the levels of phosphocreatine in the body. but the additional energy created will increase the overall workload ability as well. It will help to improve the health of the brain and reduce the risk of any neurological diseases. we can consume 5-10g per day to make our body fit.

    • The 3D Labs Team says:

      Yes sir! Creatine is the precursor to additional phosphocreatine. More energy, power, and strength can be gained with higher levels of phosphocreatine which, in turn, means more readily-available ATP.

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