Creatine is a substance that is processed by the liver from three amino acids called methionine, arginine, and glycine. Creatine then becomes the main source of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that is considered to be the fuel source of muscles. 95% of the creatine in the body is stored within the muscles, while the remaining 5% goes to other body parts.
For the average person, the creatine that the body supplies is ample and all that is needed, but for those of us who push the boundaries of fitness every day, creatine is a means by which we can enjoy a more intense workout and by which we can recover quicker. When we train, we are in fact breaking our muscles down in order for the body to rebuild them bigger and stronger. Any assistance that we can give the body in healing makes the process that much smoother.
In order to see the benefits of creatine, let’s take a look at how a creatine supplement is actually formulated. Creatine supplements are manufactured in different chemical formulations. The resultant products are combined formulas of creatine molecules and other molecules such as water, phosphates, citrate, and even malic acid. Creatine monohydrate is a combination of water and creatine with a high percentage of creatine, almost 88% in average products. For me, creatine monohydrate is all that I care to use.
Along with the countless benefits of creatine come the myhts about the negative effects of creatine supplements. Everyone knows someone who failed a drug test because they were on creatine, correct? That fact of the matter is that creatine is not a steroid and has nowhere near the negative side effects of steroids. The main negative side effect to creatine monohydrate is that you need to use it for its intended purpose. If you are not working out (and by working out, I mean really working out), then do not take creatine monohydrate. It cannot assist in the muscle building process unless it is processed into ATP and used to fuel muscles in workouts. Creatine monohydrate will simply be eliminated from the body possibly putting a strain on your liver. Of course, this is only when not used for its intended use.
Overall, I am a big believer in creatine monohydrate and use it pre and post workout. Yes, I feel the difference when I use it. I push far beyond what I feel I would have called my last rep and those last reps where you are truly pushing your muscles to their limit are the ones that really matter when it comes to adding mass.