Liquid Creatine: Information
Liquid creatine products deliver all the benefits of creatine in a convenient ready-to-drink format; no powders to mix or capsules to swallow. The creatine in liquid creatine products creatine monohydrate, the best-studied form of creatine. Creatine is a non-protein amino acid manufactured by the body in the liver, kidneys and pancreas using the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine. Creatine is then carried to the heart, brain and skeletal muscle, where it assists in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the major source of energy at the cellular level. About 1-2g of creatine is synthesized by the body daily, and another 1-2g is supplied by diet. Dietary creatine is found mainly in meat and fish. Creatine supplements are synthetic and their manufacture does not utilize food ingredients and are almost 100% pure. Creatine is absorbed in the small intestine and dispersed into the bloodstream so all the musculature in the body is able to manufacture ATP on demand during short bouts of intense exercise. It is for this reason that creatine supplements are popular with athletes and bodybuilders.
Creatine's Health Benefits
Taking creatine supplements has been shown to help boost exercise performance in certain activities involving short bursts of intense exertion such as sprinting, jumping, basketball and weight lifting.1 Creatine has also been shown to help recovery from exercise, both speeding muscle repair and easing pain and soreness.2 One study found that those with congestive heart failure that used creatine in addition to traditional medical therapy experienced major improvement in symptoms as compared to a placebo group.3
Using Creatine Supplements
A typical recommended dosage of creatine supplements for purposes of exercise enhancement is as follows: an initial "loading phase" of one week consisting of 5 grams of creatine taken 4 times daily, followed by a dose of 2-5 grams daily to maintain creatine levels in the muscles. Consult your physician before beginning the use of creatine supplements, and do not take more than the recommended dose.
Taking creatine supplements typically causes weight gain and increases muscle volume, but it is important to note that most of this is attributed to water retention. Additionally, there is no benefit to consuming more than the recommended amount, as the body can only absorb so much creatine. Once the body has absorbed the maximum amount of creatine, any excess is excreted in the urine unused. Some people do not receive any benefit from creatine supplements, although it is unclear as to why.
Creatine is best absorbed when taken with a food containing carbohydrates, such as fruit or oatmeal. Creatine Supplements are available in liquid, powder and pill form. Micronized creatine is simply processed into a very fine powder for more efficient absorption. Choose creatine monohydrate, as the majority of creatine research has been conducted on this form of creatine.
There have been reports of dehydration, stomach cramping, muscle cramping and diarrhea associated with the use of creatine supplements. Creatine may interact with medications, so be sure to check with your doctor before combining creatine with any medications.