There are many fitness supplements out there, all which can be very expensive. If you're going to pick any supplement though, you should choose creatine. This is one of the most popular and tested fitness supplements on the market, so you're in good hands. What is creatine though, and should you use it for your workouts?
What Is Creatine?
Let's get the most basic (and important) question out of the way first. Creatine is actually a naturally occurring substance found in your muscle tissue. We naturally produce it in our liver, pancreas, and kidneys, as we can also obtain it from certain foods like red meat. Creatine is used as an energy reserve when our body needs an extra boost, so it's no surprise it's a popular fitness supplement.
What Does Creatine Do?
In simple terms, your body can quickly convert creatine to ATP, which is basically your energy source. Thus the more creatine you consume, the more will be found in your muscles, and the longer you can sustain a workout at max effort. Eventually your muscles can become too saturated with creatine and your body can't hold anymore though, so just be careful with dosage and your absorption rates.
When Should I Take A Creatine Supplement?
This is somewhat personal preference, but it's recommended you take creatine after you workout or before for maximum energy. On rest days, you can really take it whenever you want - as long as you actually take it. This is because you need to keep the creatine phosphate content of your muscles raised for when you do workout next.
Benefits Of Creatine
People take creatine supplements for a reason or many reasons for that matter. By producing more ATP, you're getting more energy, and you're able to increase your athletic performance. Besides improving physically though, there's an array of other benefits. It helps with cell signaling and hydration, so you're body can communicate your "needs" and help you retain water better. In addition, creatine supplements can promote muscle growth and brain health, so your entire body is truly involved with this supplement.