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Getting a Lift from Creatine

There are no easy shortcuts when it comes to increasing muscle mass and strength, but there are steps you can take to accelerate the process. Creatine, a chemical found naturally in the body, is a supplement which gives your muscles that extra push you need to lift more; get a better workout; and create better body definition. But part of the key to getting that sculpted body includes being informed about creatine's benefits and proper usage.

Creatine is a naturally produced chemical found in your liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It travels to your muscles to restore their main energy source, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It's also found in high-protein foods like fish and red meat. When you're hitting the gym or lifting weights, your body diminishes ATP, and you lose power and endurance. Creatine functions to replenish your ATP levels while giving you the boost needed to get more out of your workout.

Here are a few tips to understanding creatine and how it can help you get better results from those visits to the gym.

How to Take Creatine

Creatine usually comes in two forms, powder or capsules, and can be taken with water, fruit juice, or with a meal before or after your workouts. It's recommended to drink plenty of water while using creatine to prevent dehydration. The process of increasing the body's creatine levels is called "loading" and the amount you should take daily depends on how quickly you want to bulk up.

Since creatine is such a widely used nutritional supplement, there has been extensive scientific study regarding its potential side effects. Creatine users have been known to experience stomach distress or diarrhea from too much ingestion and not following proper usage outlined by the manufacturer.

Best Types of Creatine

Creatine monohydrate, the most common type of creatine supplement, helps increase muscle mass by absorbing water and volumizing muscle. The added "water weight" will make your muscles look fuller and rounder. However, once you stop supplementing creatine monohydrate, that extra size will disappear.

Getting the Most Out of Creatine

Creatine energizes muscles for optimal body building performance. It helps you increase the intensity of your workouts to promote muscle growth and enable faster, harder training. A beneficial option for fitness enthusiasts and athletes of all levels, creatine monohydrate supplements provide maximum gain without the pain or crash that comes from carb-loading. When used correctly, creatine can help you reach your goals of boosting strength and achieving the body you desire.