Updated: Mar 3, 2022
SUPP HIGHLIGHT: Creatine
Forms: Creatine Monohydrate, Creatine Hydrochloride (HCL), Creatine Citrate
What is Creatine?: Creatine is a naturally occurring compound, obtained both by production within the body and from consumption of protein-rich meats.
When should I take Creatine?: Creatine is best used immediately post-workout to aid in muscle recovery. Powder forms can be mixed with water, shakes, or added to BCAA/EAAs. A standard amount of 3-5g is typically appropriate for most people.
Aids in energy production and promotes greater muscle development.
In a 12-week study in weightlifters, creatine increased muscle fiber growth 2–3 times more than training alone. (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-creatine#muscle-gain)
Potential side effects:
Some people may experience side effects such as water retention, digestive issues, or bloating when first introduced to Creatine. Individuals with liver or kidney problems should consult with a doctor before dosing. (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-safety-and-side-effects)
An increase in body weight is common and to be expected, as Creatine is drawing more water into the intra-muscular cells. This is only water weight, and typically decreases after the first initial few weeks of using the supplement.
Creatine supplementation can seem confusing at first - but it truly doesn't need to be! Below are the most common questions:
1) Do I need to "load" Creatine?
Many people and manufacturers promote "loading" creatine - taking higher dosages for the first week to fully saturate the muscle as quickly as possible, before moving into a maintenance dosage. While not detrimental, this is largely unnecessary over the long-term. It simply speeds up the muscle saturation time, but this point will be reached regardless with daily use. Opting to skip the loading stage may also help reduce some water retention or unwanted side-effects if you are sensitive to it.
2) Do I need to "cycle" Creatine?
Some supplements are best used in a "cycle" - taking them for a period of time and then taking a break to let the body's receptors to not become "desensitized". Creatine is not a supplement that requires this, and can be taken year-round.
3) Should I take Creatine on non-training days?
Once you start taking Creatine, it is ideal to keep the saturation levels of the muscle "even", and continue to take it even on rest days. However, a missed day will not be overly detrimental.
Creatine is a legitimate and beneficial supplement that can aid in building muscle and recovering from workouts. For those who are new to lifting, I would recommend allowing your body to produce all of the initial strength and size gains that will be achieved rapidly as a new lifter ("Newbie gains!"), and solidify at least a year's worth of training before implementing Creatine. For those who are more experienced and are consistent with training, Creatine can be a highly beneficial part of your supplement protocols.
Jacked Factory provides a smartly-dosed blend of Creatine in their Growth Surge complex. This supplement provides Creatine Monohydrate, along with other important compounds for recovery (Betaine Anhydrous, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, BioPerine). This makes it easy for you to get a proper dosage of multiple supplements, without having to buy each separately and dose accordingly.
It is available Unflavored or in multiple flavor offerings, so that it can be an enjoyable post-workout drink by itself! (My favorite is SwoleBerry)
www.jackedfactory.com/products/growth-surge - Code SHAYLA always saves an extra 15%!
You can also buy Creatine by itself here: www.jackedfactory.com/products/creatine-monohydrate, and take it alone or with other supplements. Powdered forms are generally more beneficial than pill forms.