Why is creatine such a popular sports supplement?
Creatine is the best selling sports supplement of all time. In 1998 over $200 million of creatine products were sold. When a supplement becomes very popular there are usually 3 possible explanations. The first is that the supplement industry did a great job marketing the product. The second is that the supplement actually delivers benefits to athletes. Finally, the third explanation is a combination of the first two - great marketing and a supplement that has some benefits.
We believe that the third explanation best describes the success of creatine. Yes, it works when used properly - but the industry has also done an amazing job to hype the product. We feel creatine can be a great aid to an athlete - but some companies have gone too far in their claims. Creatine is not going to turn couch potatoes into the Incredible Hulk in just 3 short weeks!
So, what will taking creatine really do for me?
Creatine will provide you with more energy when you work your muscles to fatigue. Creatine can be very beneficial to the athlete who does sprinting, weight lifting and any other quick burst activity. You should find that by taking a creatine supplement you are able to do more reps, sets or weights before hitting the fatigue point. As a sprinter, your muscles should be able to fire more quickly as you run.
For endurance athletes - it is much less clear what creatine can do. If it does buffer lactic acid build-up - that would be a great advantage to endurance athletes. In addition, even in an endurance sport (like a marathon) - if you are really pushing yourself and work the muscles to fatigue - you may stand to gain from creatine.
Do you need to workout for creatine to be effective?
Yes, yes and Absolutely Yes! We cannot stress this enough - and this is where marketing hype has gone overboard. Creatine is not a wonder drug. It provides your muscles with more short-term energy - but that is wasted if you do not exercise your muscles. If you take creatine you should push yourself even harder in the gym. The idea is with more energy you should be able to workout harder. A harder workout leads to increased muscle mass.
How quickly will I see results?
If you are working out hard - most people see positive results within the first month. If you do not see any results, and you are using a quality creatine supplement, you may not be a responder to creatine. Some people have such a high baseline level of creatine that supplementing does not do anything. If you see no results - creatine supplementation may not be right for you.
What is the connection between Creatine and Andro?
None! Everyone has linked them together because Mark McGuire used both supplements. Andro can have some bad side effects because it works by playing with your hormone levels. Creatine does not affect hormone levels.
Can you take too much creatine?
Sure. Everything in the body is about balance - more is not always better