Creatine is a molecule formed from 3 amino acids; L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. It was discovered well over a century ago, but it has only been made popular as a bodybuilding supplement since the early 1990’s. Used as a mass building supplement creatine will “volumize” muscle cells by drawing water into them. It also provides energy to the muscle tissue by increasing ATP and acts as a lactic acid buffering system which can improve performance in slow twitch muscle fiber.
In short, creatine can help bodybuilders quickly gain size and strength. Creatine is a supplement that needs to be cycled, so after a cycle is over, it’s common to lose a portion of the size and strength of gains made. Creatine is one of the most popular and widely used legal sports supplements. Its popularity is due to its ability to make such large gains in relatively short time periods. Side effects, although uncommon and usually minor, do exist.
A very small minority of people may experience an increase in acne or kidney pains. If you experience any kidney pain you should stop taking creatine. The kidney pain would be caused by high levels of creatinine which is a byproduct of creatine that has to be filtered out by the kidneys. You should be in good health before you consider taking creatine. It is also extremely important to remember that you need to drink excessive amounts of water while cycling creatine.
This will flush out the creatinine, and it’s also necessary for the creatine to do its job effectively. Without sufficient amounts of water, you will not see very good results from creatine. Creatine monohydrate is still the standard in my opinion, however, there are many other forms of creatine available now. Creatine monohydrate is inexpensive and effective.
On a cycle of creatine you should take about 10 grams per day and you will start to notice results within the first 2 weeks. It’s not uncommon for someone to make gains of 15 lbs or more on a 1 month cycle of creatine. Although not all of that weight is muscle (some of it will be water weight), the gains that can be made on creatine are vastly superior to any other legal supplement.