What's The Deal On Creatine?
[ Q ] I would first like to let you know that I really like your column. I am very happy that you are part of the writing staff at Powerlifting USA because your articles are a huge contribution not only to the magazine but the entire powerlifting community as well. You are no doubt the "Power Nutrition Guru" and I really trust your advice.
Your Garry Frank series was one of the best articles that I have read in a longtime. It really had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't wait until the next issue would come in the mail to find out more about this powerlifting superhero. Anyway, enough babbling from me, I do have a question to ask you:
What is your take on creatine? I have never heard you say much except for in your articles on Garry. You obviously recommend it since Garry was using it in his program, but I was wondering if you could give us a little more info on it.
- Creatine can increase lean tissue (muscle) growth due to its ability to increase protein synthesis.
- Creatine can help in the recovery phase of your training. This means that it will help you heal up faster from the intense training sessions that you are doing.
- Creatine will help you become stronger. This is of great importance, since the main goal of powerlifters is to continually lift heavier and heavier weights.
- Creatine will help you increase your strength endurance. You will be able to do more repetitions with a particular weight. This will allow you to increase your volume workload which you most likely know will increase your strength.
- Creatine will also help you to recover faster in between your sets. This is due to the fact that it will help you replenish your ATP stores faster.
What Is ATP?
Otherwise known as Adenosine TriPhosphate, ATP is critical to the release of energy. ATP is an adenosine-derived nucleotide that supplies large amounts of energy to cells for various biochemical processes, including muscle contraction and sugar metabolism, through its hydrolysis to ADP.
- Creatine is also a very potent cell volumizer. What this means is that creatine will help increase the amount of water, amino acids, and glucose into your muscle cell. This will lead to increased muscle pumps as well as in increased rate of protein synthesis.
A: Hey, Pete, its good to hear from you. I am glad that you liked my article series on the undisputed strongest man that ever walked this earth! Now in regards to your question on creatine, yes I do recommend it for my athletes. I am not going to go super in-depth here, as I do have a series on creatine and its performance enhancing benefits coming up in the near future - so I will save all the scientific info and studies for that article.
I will just touch the surface on this supplement to give you a better understanding of what it does. To give you just a brief sample of the benefits that creatine can have on the powerlifter, I have laid out the bullets below.
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Now here are just a few of the benefits of creatine and why I recommend it for my athletes. Creatine is a very complex topic, no doubt, and there are many areas of study concerning it - differing areas, including proper cycling techniques, loading parameters, insulin mediation and mimickers, quality of creatines, different types and forms of creatine and much more.
I just gave you a quick look at this nutrient as I plan on doing a series on this very important natural supplement that has taken the sports world by storm. All in all, this is one supplement that is no doubt not a waste of money. I will go very in-depth in the upcoming series to help you better understand this nutrient and how it can be used to help take your total to new heights!
Supplement Scam Watchdog
[ Q ] I have emailed a few times before and you have given me some really good advice on some of my questions. I have been a powerlifter for the past 11 years and I will admit that my nutrition plan has not been what it should be. I have cleaned up my act, taking your great ideas from your articles and have applied to my new clean eating lifestyle.
My question is about supplements. I don't know what is good and what is just a waste of money. I know there are a lot of scam supplements out there, but you have mentioned that there are a lot of good ones as well. Can you give us the 411 on different supplements that we can apply to our programs, and at the same time give us the lookout on which ones are just snake oils trying to rip us off?
A: I have gotten numerous emails from powerlifters just like you. One of the things that I will be including in my "Power Nutrition Q&A" column is more info on supplements. The natural supplement scene is very big and not just with bodybuilders. Athletes of all sports have turned to supplements to give them a natural edge in competing and to increase their performance.
I have watched out for the powerlifter, helping you to increase your performance through nutritional protocols and have stuck my head out there answering questions on how to improve your health even in relation to chemical enhancement. I will now give you the honest 411 on natural supplements so that you won't get ripped off when you go down to the local health food store.
I will include real world results, scientific information on the particular ingredient in question, reference to scientific studies when available, as well as recommend different companies that have reputable products.
This will no doubt put me in the good books of some companies that do produce quality products, and in the black books of others that produce knock-off scam supplements looking to squeeze your hard-earned dollars from your pocketbook. I will be the "Powerlifting Supplement Watchdog."
I will also give those products that I feel worthy of true benefit to the powerlifter my personal, "Power Nutrition Seal of Approval." When you see that symbol in my column or near a specific products picture, this will let you know this is one of the products that I recommend.
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Just to let you know this will not be supplements from just one company. I will cover numerous different companies and tons of different products. Since I have used numerous different products from dozens of different companies, I will let you know just because a specific company makes one great product, it doesn't mean that their next formula is also awesome.
So, if I like an anti-oxidant formula from XXX brand, it doesn't necessarily mean that I will recommend their joint support formula. With the supplements that I will give my seal of approval to you can be sure that they are ones that produce results.
One last thing to remember on supplements is that even if there is a very effective supplement like creatine monohydrate for example, that has been proven by countless scientific studies and real world results with tens of thousands of athletes, it still doesn't mean that it will give you results.
The reason behind this is that some individuals will be known as non-responders. This has been found with creatine as well as pharmaceutical drugs as well. One very popular drug that comes to mind is the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. Now I got everyone's attention, eh?
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Even with Viagra, it will only work on about 80% of those who try it. The other 20% will not respond. This is just to let you know and understand how very individual each person's body chemistry is. This section of my column will not only educate you but will make sure your Benjamin's are not being wasted on snake oil supplements. Watch for it!