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Creatine And Building Muscle

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Creatine is an amino acid that is synthesized within the body and helps supply energy to the muscles. The dietary source of creatine is basically animal products as within the body of animals. The vegetarian diet does not provide any creatine.

Meat contains about 2-5 gm creatine/kg. Creatine biosynthesis within the body occurs primarily in the liver, pancreas and the kidney. Nearly all the creatine produced is stored in the skeletal muscles. Creatine biosynthesis is considered adequate to maintain normal muscle requirements; hence it is not considered an essential dietary nutrient.

The final fuel for all muscle work is ATP. The primary function of phospocreatine (form of creatine in the body) is to act as an energy buffer during periods of rapid ATP turnover, such as occurring during resistance exercises.

The main advantage of using phosphocreatine as an energy source is that it acts as a very high power energy system because it produces a large amount of ATP per unit time, depletion of which coincides with a reduction in force or output.

However, its stores are relatively small and get depleted within 20-30 seconds of intense exercise. Recent evidence indicates that oral supplementation of creatine increases the storage capacity of both creatine and phosphor creatine in skeletal muscles.

When consumed in the right quantity and quality, they are primarily responsible for building lean muscle mass in the body. The importance of protein in a fat loss and muscle building diet cannot be stressed enough.

Creatine supplement is available in a number of forms, the most common being creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester, creatine ester ethyl hydrochloride and creatine citrate.

Ingesting creatine can increase the level of phosphocreatine in the muscles up to 20%. There is scientific evidence that taking creatine supplements can improve muscle strength and make it suitable for high intensity, short duration anaerobic activities like weight lifting or sprinting but has no significant effect on aerobic endurance type activities. It speeds up recovery of energy and delays fatigue.

Creatine monohydrate - This is a tasteless, odorless white powder which is most commonly used by weight trainers and is most effective. It contains more creatine per weight of material than any other compound. It can be taken with water or any other carbohydrate based drink.

There are two ways of consuming it: loading and maintenance. Loading involves consumption of large heavy doses which is important for people who have never taken creatine supplement in order to saturate the muscle. The other method is to start with small amounts - about 5-15 gm/d.

Creatine ethyl ester (CEE) - This form of creatine is believed to have higher absorption rates and longer serum half life. CEE is easily permeable through the muscle cells because of its highly soluble nature which is much more than monohydrate creatine.

Hence even a lower quantity of CEE will perform an equal amount of work as compared to creatine monohydrate. It also helps accelerate the recovery time from exercise and fat loss which is most essential for body building. It requires no loading and there is no need to cycle it off as compared to other supplements.

The most important thing to remember while taking creatine as a muscle building supplement is that it is vital to adjust the creatine dosage as per individual needs. It should be divided into three phases namely loading, maintenance and washout phase.

There is also something known as creatine cycling which the consumer needs to bear in mind when taking creatine supplements. This process is designed to take creatine for a period of time, then stop and then start it again. It is believed that doing so will help in maintaining the gain that is made with the use of supplements.

Keep in mind that a successful body building and weight training program is dependant to a large extent on how well you make use of the various muscle building supplements available in the market today. So keep abreast of latest developments in the field and use them to your advantage.


| Protein | Multi-Vitamins | Vitamin C | EFAs | Amino Acids |
Glutamine | Creatine | CLA | Nitric Oxide |

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