4 Steps to Using Creatine Capsules that Support Muscle Building (Without Breaking The Bank)
Creatine is a substance that we naturally produce and use as an energy source for high-intensity activities such as sprints or heavy weight lifting. With over a thousand studies done on creatine, it's scientifically proven to be an effective and safe exercise supplement for building stronger and bigger muscles. However, science also reveals that there's a specific way to use creatine for maximum benefits, and save you money. In this blog post, we'll show you how to do just that in four easy steps.
Before we dive into step one, let's first briefly discuss what creatine is and how it can help you build more muscle and strength. When we supplement with creatine powder, we can increase our natural creatine levels by about 30%. This increase, if maintained through consistent supplementation, has been shown to provide a significant boost in power and strength during workouts, which over time translates to significantly greater muscle growth.
Keep in mind that it's important to combine any pre-workout, protein supplement, or any other supplement pill program with a balanced meal plan. To achieve optimum nutrition it's essential that a supplement program is there to help support an already balanced diet, and isn't just a convenient excuse to consumer less healthy food. If you are unsure, consult a dietitian.
Step 1: Pick the Right Type of Creatine
Walking into a supplement store, you'll be recommended all sorts of fancy forms of creatine that are supposed to boost absorption or provide some kind of enhanced effect. However, this recent 2021 systematic review analyzed eight different forms of creatine to determine which was most effective. The researchers also broke down the cost per serving for the different forms of creatine. It turned out that they all worked just as effectively at boosting muscle creatine levels, with creatine monohydrate being the cheapest and buffered creatine costing almost 8 times as much.
Despite the existence of these alternatives in the market, they have not beaten out plain old creatine monohydrate. Companies try to one-up their competitors by claiming to have a proprietary formula, making it seem like they're more effective than others who sell a cheaper form of creatine. However, these fancy forms have not outperformed plain old creatine monohydrate, despite what their marketing might try to convince you. To save money, stick to creatine monohydrate and look for it on the nutritional label as the only ingredient.
Step 2: Get the Supplement Dosage Right
The next step is to get the right dosage of creatine. A lower limit of 1 to 2 grams per day has been shown to be ineffective, while the typical dose of 5 grams per day may actually be overkill. Studies indicate that supplementing with 3 - 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day is the sweet spot. Researchers suggest that 3 grams per day is a sufficient dose for most lifters.
For a 170-pound individual, this amounts to roughly 0.18 grams per pound of body weight, which is sufficient.
Step 3: Start with a Higher Dosage
When you first start taking creatine, it takes time for the creatine levels in your muscles to gradually increase and fully saturate. It often takes a couple of weeks to see significant increases, so after you start taking creatine (at a higher dose), you may actually want to consider gradually working your way back down to the recommended 3 grams.
Step 4: Timing is Key
The final step is to pay attention to the timing of your creatine supplementation. While some studies have shown that there is no difference in results between taking creatine before or after a workout, others have shown that taking creatine before a workout may lead to greater increases in power and strength. Additionally, taking creatine with a carb-rich meal has been shown to enhance its effects.
Whether you prefer the easy and convenient capsules, like creatine monohydrate pills, or the powder form, creatine is a scientifically proven and effective supplement for building stronger and bigger muscles. By following these four easy steps.
Always Read the Label for an Overview
It's important that you read the unique label of the product you have purchased. Each supplement and its measured active ingredient differs. It's recommended that you stick to the information provided on the packaging by the manufacturer. If the manufacturer recommends you consume 2 capsules at one time, don't take more than that. For the best results, simply follow the instructions, or consult your physician for professional medical advice. Your doctor will also take your body's weight and muscle mass into consideration when calculating your personal optimum intake of creatine.