Weight and Resistance Training - Creatine?

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04-19-2013, 12:49 PM
Can creatine be beneficial or is it best avoided? I started a kickboxing/weight training class this week and I have been incredibly sore all week! (to be fair, it's been about a month since I've worked out at all) Someone suggested creatine and said it helps with muscle recovery. I looked up some info about it, and haven't found as much as I had hoped. In addition to this class, I do roller derby. One site said creatine is beneficial to athletes, who use short bursts of strength and speed, like football players, but I think derby also falls into this category. I know the soreness and achiness should subside once I get used to working out, but I'm also interested in muscle increase. Does anyone use it?

04-21-2013, 03:12 PM
I have taken creatine in very small doses when working out before, and I think it works great - the worst side effect I experienced was water retention in my muscles which made me look bigger. It helped significantly with the soreness of 2 hour thrashing sessions and increases stamina.

The P90x after work out shake has a small amount of creatine in it as well as L-Glutamine and Lysine which are two amino acids that will make you feel less sore and improve your overall immune health. I LOVE this supplement, but I don't work out hard enough to use it anymore.

04-21-2013, 10:15 PM
Creatine will help build muscle, but it does cause your muscles to retain water so you can look puffier. There are schedules to follow for dosing where you build up the level with larger initial doses and then taper off to a maintenance level.

04-22-2013, 03:59 PM
Is the muscle puffiness a temporary side-effect, or does that last for the duration of taking it?

There Is No Try
04-25-2013, 06:02 AM
Can creatine be beneficial or is it best avoided?

Avoided. Creatine would be great, if you were an athlete, oh and also a dude. Creatine is great for recovery, and helps in gaining muscle mass. Since becoming a bodybuilder is probably not on the agenda, ditch the Creatine idea. Your looking for strong and lean sexy muscles, not the bloated kind.

If soreness is an issue look into a foam roller. If you worried you aren't getting enough nutrients after your workouts, consider some protien powder. If you worried your too sluggish when doing laps, consider a pre-workout supplement to give you some quick burning carbs to fuel you through practice. (Also, do more squats derby lady) :carrot:

04-25-2013, 12:18 PM
Your looking for strong and lean sexy muscles, not the bloated kind.

This is not true. There is only ONE kind of muscle, the muscle kind. Bodybuilders have spent YEARS eating at a calorie surplus and working out hard to get that muscular. The muscles we build are the exact same thing; they just haven't been that developed yet. If you want to be toned, you DO want to build muscle mass.

There Is No Try
04-25-2013, 02:31 PM
This is not true. There is only ONE kind of muscle, the muscle kind.

True, but supplements can have an affect on how your muscles train and how they "look". Creatine, at its core, floods the muscle fibres with water, thus why its dangerous to use creatine while dehydrated (like when wresters cut water weight). I was simply pointing out that the OP probably doesn't want the water-bloat that comes with using creatine, and there are other options to use for recovery, especially when it concerns something like DOMS.

Toned :mad: . . . can we just ban this word from this sub-forum entirely? I mean come on, we all know its not even a real thing. Getting strong its a thing, go lift something heavy! :carrot:

05-04-2013, 02:35 AM
I use a protein shake immediately after a workout to help with the soreness and support muscle recovery. There are low calorie ones out there (100 calories) which do a great job. I use a protein shake because my diet is borderline with protein (I eat tons of salad) and so intensive exercise probably puts me under my daily requirements.

12-13-2013, 06:32 PM
I have taken creatine in the past and definitely could tell it gave me a boost in my workouts.

There were no side effects for me other than my muscles would cramp up a little bit from time to time...

12-21-2013, 02:42 AM
Um, I've actually heard that creatine is pretty much the ONLY 'bodybuilding' supplement that has consistent positive correlation in clinical studies (it works!), has pretty much NO risks, and is pretty darned cheap (all things considering).

Creatine is an organic acid that occurs naturally in our bodies, and there are no risks associated with using it at recommended dosages because your body will naturally regulate your levels to get rid of any excess. Your cells use something called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for energy; creatine effectively helps 'buffer' the 'byproducts' in order to have faster access to more ATP. It helps with endurance and force production; so you can work out harder and longer. And yes, it also causes your cells to swell, but this is actually a good thing! It helps all the good bits move around the cell easier, and also helps the cell eliminate the 'nasties' faster.

It used to be recommended to go through a 'loading' phase in order to help 'fill' your cells to the max level of creatine before 'maintaining'. But the general consensus these days tends to be that more than 5-7g a day isn't necessary - so you can start taking a tsp a day, that's all you need. There is SOME risk of water retention, which has already been mentioned, but the effects tend to seem exaggerated subjectively; that is to say, objectively, you're not likely retaining more than 1/2-3lbs or so extra. The trade off for the ability to work out harder and recover faster tends to outweigh the 'swelling'.

The kidney issue has to do with creatinine; excess creatine is turned INTO creatinine in the kidneys and then eliminated, under normal circumstances. However, in individuals who are experiencing kidney failure, creatinine can start to build up. If you're supplementing with TOO much creatine, there is also a higher level of creatinine (which is associated with kidney failure), and could cause a false positive in testing. There is, however, no correlation between creatine CAUSING kidney failure; so supplementing with it might make a kidney issue show up faster, but as far as I know, it won't damage anything in healthy adults at recommended dosages (ie. 5g, or 1tsp a day). It's even proven safe during pregnancy!

The only reason to avoid creatine is if you are allergic (which is rare, but can happen) which can sometimes result in symptoms similar to asthma. Oh shoot, no, sorry: you also want to pay attention to drug interaction; if you take any prescription medication, make sure that creatine won't interfere with it!

Ironically, some of the most recent studies actually show that women might gain MORE benefits from creatine supplements than men do. There is also some evidence that fewer women experience the 'swelling' from creatine loading as well. It's not just for guys, and it can definitely help you maintain peak performance during physical activity.

Don't bother with any of the isolates, either; just go for the bog-standard creatine monohydrate. All the fancier (and more expensive) options show the exact same results as the monohydrate, plus most studies still use monohydrate so it's the most likely to be guaranteed safe.

As for your muscle soreness; I feel your pain! Creatine probably won't help much after the fact, but if you take it on a regular basis it's supposed to have a bit of preventative power for after-workout soreness (which is also sometimes called DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, if you're curious =P). The soreness from new movements and stresses can absolutely suck; I recommend trying an arnica balm directly after activity. Also, if you can bear to try, alternate hot and cold in the shower several times - if nothing else, this helps increase circulation, which is rarely a bad thing. But there are pretty much no proven cures or treatments for DOMS. Unfortunately, we will have to continue to embrace the suck.

I'm NOT a medical professional, dietitian, or even a fitness professional; I just read too much. :P But please continue to do your own research, and make your own conclusions; and ask your doctor if you have any concerns, or before starting new workouts. (y'know, the normal disclaimer stuff ;) )

I often reference a great site that summarizes information about loads of different supplements: examine .com

'Hope this helps!