As a Fitness Instructor one of the most popular questions I am asked is about the effects of creatine when using the gym. Over the last 20 years or so, it has become the most researched and purchased bodybuilding supplement of all time. But not so many people actually know what it is supposed to do.
Most of the supplement industry is built around hype. Each product will tell you that you ‘need’ it to get a good workout and try to make you believe it’s the best thing since sliced bread. That’s just life. But usually this also leads to companies trying to over complicate matters by simply confusing people with science. Most people never get past the beginner stages of supplement knowledge because they’re led to believe that you need to be a rocket scientist to build muscle.
When you cut to the chase, however, this supplement is very easy to understand.
First thing first, it’s a perfectly safe supplement to use. In fact your body creates this product by itself already, it’s the substance it calls upon when you perform an explosive strength movement of any kind. So feel free to rid yourself of any worries you might have held about it being steroid-like or illegal, it’s perfectly safe and used by all top athletes.
So what effect does it have on you, and who should be using this product?
This is the point where most of us get a little bit lost. Companies will often try to over complicate matters with needless science in a bid to confuse you into thinking you must buy their miracle product over anybody else’s. None of that talk here please.
Think about when you sprint outside. For the first fifteen seconds you practically fly at full speed, but then what happens? Usually you’ll be forced to slow down by you body as a burning sensation fills your legs. This sensation is known as lactic acid and is your body’s way of telling you it can’t keep exercising at the same level of intensity.
That initial explosive strength you had comes from your body’s natural resources of this supplement. When it’s gone, it’s gone. You’ll notice you can carry on running but you need to slow down considerably. As you recover from the burning pain in your legs you’re levels of the substance are building back up slowly in the background. After a couple of minutes you are able to briefly sprint once more, as your levels have now built back up.
By using this product you are able to increase your explosive strength briefly.
Now think about a boxer. Often when somebody looks to have run out of gas they will suddenly get a second wind from somewhere.
Now you know what’s going on underneath the surface it’s time to take that example and put it into a gym setting. By having more of this product inside your body than the base levels provided by your muscles, you’ll notice that you can push slightly harder for slightly longer.
Be it a heavier squat or a couple more reps when you previously would have put the weight down, the effects of creatine are proven repeatedly to help increase muscle size and strength. And it’s as simple as that.