NutritionSupplementsCREATINE MONOHYDRATE Written by Sean Aspinall21st December 202224th January 2023 WHAT IS IT Creatine is one of the most popular and well researched supplements to date due to its positive effects on sporting performance and brain health. Creatine is an amino acid located mostly in your body’s muscles as well as in the brain and is most commonly known for helping your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high intensity activity. Given its effects on exercise performance, many athletes choose to supplement with creatine to gain an advantage in both training and competition for their chosen sport. HOW DOES IT BENEFIT PERFORMANCE Creatine monohydrate is considered the most effective nutritional supplement currently available to athletes when we consider increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean mass during training and performance1. As such it is common to see the inclusion of Creatine in nutritional plans for different sports such as combat sports, team sports, triathlon and crossfit. Creatine has become so popular in these sports as it has been consistently shown that supplementation can lead to up to 15% improvement in measures such as maximal power/strength, overall work performed, maximal sprint performance and maximal repeated sprint efforts2. As well as immediate effects on performance, it is also expected that individuals will see benefits such as: Enhanced recovery Injury prevention/enhanced injury rehab Enhanced tolerance to exercise in the heat Reduced muscle damage Protective effect on the brain Creatine might also help protect you from aging As well as the performance benefits, there is a growing collection of evidence that creatine supplementation may improve health status as you get older. Supplementation with creatine has been shown to help lower cholesterol3, reduce fat around the liver4, minimise bone loss5 and positively influence cognitive function6. Is Creatine Safe? Since the early 1990’s, over 1000 studies have been conducted on the effectiveness and safety of Creatine. There is no scientific evidence that short- or long-term use of creatine monohydrate has any detrimental effects on otherwise healthy individuals1. Furthermore, clinical populations have been supplemented with high levels of creatine monohydrate for years with no clinically significant or serious adverse events7. WHY, HOW AND WHEN TO TAKE IT Whilst you can get some creatine from your diet, even with the consumption of high creatine foods such as seafood and red meat, we are not able to fully saturate our creatine stores enough to see a significant benefit to performance. As such, supplementing with creatine ensures that you are able to truly experience the benefits. In every serving of our Synergy powder we have ensured there is a high protein dosage (38g) in addition to 5g of Creatine to ensure you get the optimal amount you need to make progress. How to take Creatine There are two ways to maximise your creatine stores: Creatine Loading This method is considered the most effective given that you can maximise your creatine stores in 5-7 days. To achieve this you need to consume 5g (or 0.3g/kg bodyweight) four times per day for 5-7 days8. To then maintain your creatine stores you need to consume 3-5g daily to sustain the benefits. Gradual Intake The alternative method is to ingest 3-5g daily for 28 days8. This method takes a little longer and you may only see benefits towards the end of the 28-day period. Creatine can be taken at any time of the day; however, research shows that addition of carbohydrate or carbohydrate and protein to a creatine supplement appears to increase muscular uptake of creatine9. As such it might make sense to add your creatine to your post-workout protein shake to fully maximise your recovery from training. Side note: There is some more recent research to suggest that if you mix creatine and caffeine together you may not get the maximum benefits from the creatine10 – as such we suggest keeping your creatine a few hours away from if you have a coffee or an energy drink. Check out our pharmaceutical Creatine powder MICRONISED PHARMACEUTICAL CREATINE POWDER SYNERGY ALL-IN-ONE PROTEIN https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1550-2783-4-6 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12701815/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9475647/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25649792/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18685526/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24304199/ https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.19126.96.36.199 https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12701816/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26219105/ Written by Sean Aspinall Read Next NutritionVegan The Rise of the Plant-Based Diet Plant based diets and veganism has become more popular in recent years, with individuals choosing to follow a vegan or partially plant-based diet for numerous reasons such as religious practises, concerns for environmental or animal welfare, or simply for health benefits. 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