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Creatine 101

Back in the day, Creatine and Glutamine were the absolute bomb for strength, power and recovery. That was pretty fancy back then but comparing to the scientific formulas you see today they were a really simple way to achieve. However, it's still one of the best combos to add to your sups program, so you can get the gains you want and reach the goals you set, without seeing results evaporate into thin air once you have hit the bottom of the jar. Don't forget these true, tried and tested fundamental components when planning your supplement regime, they can be absolutely powerful allies to assist in achieving your goals.

Lets look at Creatine. Creatine has had over 200 studies performed to test safety and effectiveness. It always comes out on top. Synthesised in our bodies from the amino acids Glycine, arginine and methionine, Creatine can be found beef and fish but is more economical and easier to supplement from a powdered source.

Creatine can be used in a multitude of way. It's important to remember that it can be incorporated into many sports nutritional supplements programs, not just bodybuilding. Currently you will hear that rugby players, rowers, runners, sprinters, soccer players in fact any sport that requires strength, endurance and recovery use creatine as a part of the sports nutrition program..

Creatine can be used in single doses pre workout for energy, endurance and power. On the other hand, it can be used to increase mass, by loading for a week then supplementing for a 4-6 week period. Taking Creatine with your Protein post workout, enhances Protein synthesis and supplementing with it daily pre-contest ensures you hold onto more muscle and get through those tough workouts, especially during calorie deficit.

Research conducted over the years by teams of researchers from Tarbiat Modares University, University of Wisconsin Medical School and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium have found Creatine to help with:

  • Reducing serum levels of myostatin(inhibits muscle cell growth) when combined with resistance training
  • Stimulation of satellite cell formation (plays a part of muscle growth and repair and regeneration
  • Preserving muscle glycogen through increased creatine utilization during exercise
  • Recovery

In other words, if gains are what you’re after…...Creatine is your friend!

It is important to note - the research found that the increase in muscle glycogen vanished after 5 weeks. As such cycling on and off creatine, during training cycles is a good idea. It's also important to note that when supplementing with Creatine, to prevent the cramp or bloat you must drink 1-2 litres more than you would normally drink. Creatine is a volumiser so it will pull water from other places in the body to the muscle cell. Drinking extra fluid ensures there is more than enough to go around in the body for the processes that the body requires..

Add to the magnificent Creatine, a close friend - Glutamine.

Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid but in times of stress, which is to most of us out there, something we consistently have to work through on a daily basis with the busyness of family, training and battling illness to name just a few. This makes Glutamine undeniably one of the most essential amino acids for the human body and everybody.

Whilst not an anabolic amino acid used specifically for gains - Glutamine is well known for it’s anti-catabolic effects which, post-exercise, are really important if you wanna recover in time for your next hardcore training session! Think about it....good quality recovery products and protein powders have glutamine added or are naturally occurring.

The studies that found Glutamine unable to help with gains could not deny the amino acids ability to prevent muscle breakdown stating that Glutamine may suppress a rise in whole-body proteolysis (the breakdown of proteins into smaller polypeptides or amino acids) during the later stages of recovery."

In some folks opinions, because Glutamine is included in good recovery and protein powders, there are seen to be minimal benefits of added supplementation. However, if you have a caloric deficit and are at risk of muscle wasting, you would most definitely benefit from stand alone glutamine supplementation.

Glutamine is a perfect choice after surgery or when recovering from an illness when movement is not a option. It assists in preventing muscle wasting and elevates recovery.

Glutamine promotes glycogen storage and glucose synthesis, independent of carbs, helping curb cravings for carbs and aiding with insulin control. Supplementing with glutamine also ensures you get the most out of your glycogen stores whilst optimizing performance and aiding recovery. Adding Glutamine to your amino acid formulas ensures a fast track to the muscles - Glutamine is a transporter, hence enabling you to receive the all important ingredients needed to enable your body to recover and grow more rapidly.

Research by the Department of Biochemistry from the Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research found that the cells of the human body responsible for the immune system response rely on glutamine. With this in mind, glutamine becomes extremely important not just for recovery from workouts but for athletes fighting sickness that attempts to stifle their training. Hence why supplementing with Glutamine during the winter months is a sure fire way to assist in boosting the immune system.Glutamine supplementation fits a very specific purpose as part of your training and recovery.

So the next time you're looking for that edge to help boost your supplementation program, think about keeping it simple - Creatine and Glutamine - two stalwarts that can help take your training to the next level.