1. What is Creatine?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid derived from the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine. Skeletal muscle contains 95% of all creatine. The heart, brain and testes hold the remaining 5%.
According to David Sandler, the Senior Director of Education for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), “Creatine allows you to have a longer and larger work volume. It helps you get one more rep. Supplementation can increase phosphocreatine and creatine stores by 10-to-40%.”
2. DOES CREATINE HELP YOU BUILD MUSCLE?
Yes! Specifically, research suggests that creatine offers these benefits:
- Increases fat-free mass
- Improves maximal strength (as measured by 1RM bench press)
- Improve muscular endurance
- Increases anaerobic power and performance (shown in many activities, including continuous jumping, jump squats, knee extensions, and repeated sprints by soccer players)
3. WHEN AND WHY SHOULD I LOAD CREATINE?
You don’t necessarily need to load creatine. It will work just as well after taking a maintenance dose consistently for about 4 weeks. However, when you want a shortcut, creatine loading can produce benefits within 2 weeks.
4. HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU DRINK WITH CREATINE?
According to Dr. Antonio, “The literature shows 4 ounces of water for every 3 g of creatine.”
5. IS CREATINE SAFE?
According to Dr. Antonio: “Creatine is perhaps THE most studied ergogenic aid in history. And the science clearly suggests that there are no harmful side effects of creatine supplementation. There is no evidence that it causes muscle tears, harms the kidneys, causes dehydration or myriad other silly myths. If these side effects occur, show me the science!”
6. IS CREATINE SAFE FOR TEENAGERS?
Yes, and it’s also effective. Research suggests that creatine improves strength and performance in teenagers who were already in shape and highly-trained for their sport. Of course, users should always look at label directions and follow manufacturer’s suggestions when considering creatine.
7. IS CREATINE SAFE FOR WOMEN?
Yes, women looking to get stronger and build a leaner, more athletic body can safely take creatine.
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