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Using creatine

Source: IronZen © - Workout Routines

The benefits of taking creatine is well known in sports. Creatine is accumulated in body and provides the required energy during intensive exercising. It positively effects the quality of muscles in total. Creatine increases strength characteristics, improves endurance, prevents muscle cramps, helps to gain lean muscle mass, etc.

In the body of average person there’s about 4 oz of creatine. It is contained in the form of phosphocreatine and in the free state. Up to 95% of creatine is contained in muscles, including heart. Synthesis of creatine in the body begins in kidneys and ends in liver. It involves several amino acids: glycine, arginine and methionine. Thus supplement of creatine in the body has an important role in preservation of amino acids and augmenting of muscle mass. Without additional treatment creatine comes to the body only with food. The greatest amount of creatine comes from fish and meat. Usually food provides about 0.07 oz of creatine per day. For athletes of power sports such quantity of creatine is not enough and its necessary to take it additionally.

Since kidneys are involved in the synthesis of creatine, in case of disorders or kidney disease you should not take creatine.

Creatine is produced in form of powder or in capsules.

  • One serving is 8 capsules (0.18 oz)
  • If it’s a powder - one teaspoon (0.18 oz)

Pure creatine is produced in the form of monohydrate, i.e. each molecule of creatine is linked to one molecule of water. Creatine in such form contains up to 88% pure creatine and is resistant to high temperatures, has no taste, is highly soluble in water and has a high degree of grinding that enables best absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.

In order to enhance digestion of creatine it is better to combine it with simple carbs. It’s ok to mix it with not sour fruit juices and energy drinks. When dissolving the creatine powder in water use 0.18 oz of creatine per 7-10 oz of water.

For maximum effect you should be taking creatine within a special program. Basically, there are two methods.

The loading method of using creatine

The loading period is 7-10 days. During this time you need to take creatine according to the following calculation: 0.4-0.5 oz per 100 lbof body weight. Thus daily consumption of creatine should be 0.7 oz or more. These 0.7 oz should be distributed in equal doses of 0.18-0.25 oz, but not less than 4 doses per day. The first taking should be carried out in the morning on an empty stomach, and then during the day.

On the workout days it is recommended to take creatine immediately after training. That's when energy recovery is most intense.

On the loading phase concentration of creatine in the body is the highest. And that may be enough to start preparing to competition or to start a special, boosting, enhanced training programs.

For maintenance of creatine level you should continue taking it once a day: 0.07-0.18 oz for 4-8 weeks. Then it’s necessary to make a break for 2-4 weeks. During the break creatine returns to normal physiological range.

There’s an opinion that in case of sufficient supply of creatine with food (meat, fish) maintenance period can be excluded. In this case it is recommended to repeat loading every few months.

If you take creatine daily in the maintenance mode it is possible to repeat loading without taking any breaks.

Using creating without loading

This method recommends taking creatine daily: 0.1 oz and more during 4-8 weeks. In this case creatine also reaches very high levels. After a course of treatment it’s necessary to make a break for 4-5 weeks.

There’s one more method without loading in case of standard training program. One teaspoon (0.18 oz) in the morning and one teaspoon in the evening on the rest day. And three times a day – on workout days. One teaspoon in the morning, one teaspoon not long before the workout and one teaspoon after workout. After a course of treatment with creatine you should always take a break.

There are followers of both methods of taking creatine. Which one is right for you depends on individual features of organism and your training program. The only right way to choose creatine taking method is to try different approaches and evaluate results after ending the treatment course.

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