Does Creatine Build Muscle? (Spoiler Alert: Yes!)
I would argue that it’s harder than ever to build muscle mass thanks to our modernized society. Why? Simply because of our sedentary lifestyles, dietary diseases, various peer pressures, and fast paced lifestyles. In many ways, physical fitness has taken a backseat in many of our daily lives. I’m sure you’ve heard people say – or even said this yourself – that you just don’t have time for the gym.
It’s no secret that building muscle requires a long term commitment. So, you really do need to commit a decent amount of time each day to become physically fit. At a minimum, you will have to set aside 30 minutes per day.
But, here’s the good news. While our lifestyles have arguably gotten worse over the years, science has gotten better. Much, much better. When it comes to fitness plans, diet plans, and supplementation, we live in the best time period that has ever existed.
And while creatine is only one of many supplements on the market today, that’s the one we’re going to fixate on in this article. Because, at the end of the day… you’d have to be insane not to use it. Let’s get started…
What Is Creatine?
This seems like a logical place to start. Creatine is a naturally occurring organic acid found in most living tissues – particularly in vertebrates. This nitrogenous acid turns into creatine phosphate in the body. It is then utilized in the making of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is used for muscular contraction. Thus, creatine is essential for the supply of energy to the muscles that are within the body.
How Does Creatine Build Muscle?
As mentioned above, creatine facilitates muscular contractions which provide energy to the muscles. This is an essential function of the muscle building process. Creatine can taken before or after a workout to maximize benefits.
In the body, lean muscle is made of protein tissues. Every single person has a layer of lean muscle and therefore creatine acts on what is available. For muscles to grow bigger, they must receive nutrients, energy and tension. The body is a counteractive machine that is triggered by stimuli to react in a certain way.
Just like diseases cause production of antibodies, more strain on the muscles will trigger the need to expand them. Creatine supplements offer energy to the existing muscles causing more contraction and increasing tension. The tension in turn alerts the body to grow more muscle mass. The new muscle mass is what can handle the more tension.
Creatine Alone Is Not Enough
Simply taking creatine alone will not generate muscle growth. Consuming creatine must be coupled with proper nutrition and a solid muscle building workout routine. When proper nutrition, a solid workout plan, and creatine come together, your muscles will have no choice but to grow rapidly.
The Benefits of Using Creatine
There are many benefits associated with the use of creatine when it comes to building muscle mass. It all stems from creatines ability to deliver energy to the body. This plays a key factor in several different muscle generating and maintaining functions.
More energy means more muscle gains – When you’re energized, you’re able to work out longer and harder. When you’re fatigued, you’re not able to work out nearly as long, or as hard, assuming you’re able to workout at all. The extra energy allows you to put more stress and strain on the muscles and in turn grow them larger.
Creatine shortens recovery time – By shortening your recovery time, creatine promotes building muscle faster. When you work out, your muscles are strained, when your muscles are strained, they tear. The muscle building process requires the tears in your muscles to be repaired. During this process they grow bigger and stronger. The faster your body is able to tear your muscles and repair your muscles, the faster you can grow more muscle mass.
Creatine increases your testosterone levels – Testosterone is contributes to your body’s energy level, endurance, strength, sex drive and mental acuity. Taking a creatine supplements will heighten your testosterone levels which provides a spike in all of the negative effects of low testosterone levels such as fatigue, weakness, decreased sex drive, and memory loss.
Types of Creatine
Because creatine is so vital to muscle gains, it is widely available in a range of supplements.
What we refer to as the ‘original creatine’ is the tried and true version of creatine monohydrate. Creatine monohydrate is a pure form of creatine and has been called “the most successful athletic supplement in history.” It has been tested for over 80 years and has always provided results
Recently, a newer form of creatine has emerged called Kre-Alkalyn Creatine. This type of creatine is a buffered version of creatine monohydrate but is supposed to lessen the negative effects associated with creatine monohydrate. While creatine monohydrate is our preferred creatine, if you experience any negative side effects it is worth it to try to the Kre-Alkalyn version.
Other than the pure and buffered versions of creatine, it’s also widely available in most pre-workouts and post-workouts. Which makes sense considering it provides the body with a blast of energy for either a better workout (pre-workout) or recovery from a workout (post-workout). The levels of creatine in pre-workouts and post-workouts will be less than those contained in pure or buffered creatine.
Wrapping It Up
Creatine is a safe supplement to use for muscle building. And, it’s easy to take. Just mix one scoop of creatine with water in a shaker cup, and you’re ready to roll.
The best of both worlds are provided when you use creatine – energy for your workout, and energy to recover from your workout. When your body has a proper energy supply to workout harder and recover quicker, you’re able to grow muscle mass rapidly. So, using creatine is a no-brainer.
No matter which form of creatine you opt to take, you should be taking at least one of the above supplements. Ideally, you will be taking a form of creatine (either buffered or pure), a pre-workout, and a post-workout. These three supplements will provide the body with an incredible muscle gaining formula that is unmatched.