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All you need to know about creatine!

June 3, 2024 - By Jeanne Hericher

Temps de lecture 5 minutes

Have you ever thought of taking a supplement to improve your sporting performance? Let’s look at one of them today: creatine. This protein is the talk of the sports world. Here’s some information to help you determine whether it’s the right supplement for you!

An animal-based protein

Every day, we need between 1 and 3 g of creatine (without supplementation) to maintain our reserves mainly in our muscles. Our body can produce some, but 50% of these needs are met through our diet, when eating meat or fish.

Are you a vegetarian? Creatine monohydrate powder (the most studied form) is manufactured synthetically, without the use of animal products, and is therefore suitable with vegetarian and vegan diets. However, creatine supplements in capsule form may contain gelatin-derived products and therefore contain animal by-products.

So why would anyone want to take it as a supplement?

Creatine for increased strength

This protein supplies energy to the muscles during short, high-intensity exercise. The objective of creatine supplementation is to increase creatine reserves in the muscles to reach a maximum level. In this way, the greater the amount of energy available to the muscles, the more it will be possible to increase performance during exercise and develop muscular strength.

In vegetarians, with logically lower muscle creatine reserves, we observe a greater storage when supplementing.

The benefits of creatine

This protein has several positive effects, such as:

  • Increased performance during high-intensity, short-duration exercise (e.g. sprinting, resistance training, team sports, racquet sports)
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Better use and management of energy reserves
  • Improved recovery (e.g. endurance sports)

Risks related to supplementation

There is no evidence of serious adverse effects following creatine monohydrate supplementation. However, some people may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort. In such cases, a lower dose, always taken with a meal, would be preferable.

Posology please!

There are two types of protocol, but the only difference is the speed at which results appear. Indeed, with rapid loading, creatine reserves are replenished more quickly (around 5 to 7 days) as opposed to slow loading (around 28 days). The important thing is to choose the protocol that’s easiest to implement in your daily routine, so that your intake remains constant.

When you stop supplementing, your reserves gradually return to normal (in around 4 to 6 weeks), but you don’t lose the muscle strength you’ve built nor the physiological changes you’ve acquired.

  Fast Loading  Slow Loading
Take 20 g per day
Split into 4 doses
For 5 days
During a meal that contains a source of carbs and protein
⮕ Then continue with a slow loading protocol to maintain creatine muscle stores
Take 3 to 5 g per day
During a meal that contains a source of carbs and protein    

⮕ Total duration of supplementation depends on goal and results achieved

What type of supplement should I choose?

There are several types on the market, but the most highly marketed is creatine monohydrate. This is the creatine with the most reported results since it’s the form most studied.

In terms of format, it can be found in powder or capsule form. There are few differences between the two formats, apart from the possible presence of animal by-products in capsule form.

To be sure of a product’s quality, it’s important to check for the presence of an N.P.N. (Natural Product Number). This number indicates that the product has been evaluated by Health Canada and is considered “safe, of high quality, and provides, when used as directed, the benefits as claimed on the label”.

In addition, some supplements contain other medicinal ingredients added to creatine, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. If you are already taking vitamins and minerals or other supplements in support of your sporting activities, it is important to check that your dose does not exceed the recommended daily allowance.

Creatine Product Examples:

ProductFormQuantity of Creatine MonohydrateAdded Medicinal Ingredients
PVL – 100% Pure Creatine  Powder5g / portion (5g)  None
ATP Lab –  MyoprimePowder3g / portion (7g)  Vitamin D3
Complex creatine + magnesium
Leucine metabolite (amino acid)
ATP
  EFX Sport – Kre Alkalyn  Capsules750 mg / gel capNone

F.A.Q.

Does creatine cause water retention?

Possibly in the short term, naturally due to the absorption of the protein into the cells. However, there is no long-term effect.

Is creatine harmful to the kidneys?

No, so long as you take supplementation at the recommended dose and are in good health.

If you are considering taking this supplement, or if you are already taking it and are not getting the results you want, I invite you to make an appointment with a nutritionist so that she can guide you and answer your questions!

Sources:

All you need to know about creatine! is a post from Nautilus Plus. The Nautilus Plus blog aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
Copyright © Nautilus Plus 2024

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