I still remember to this day how impressionable I was growing up trying to become the best athlete on my team.
I remember buying bodybuilding magazines for the motivation and always ended up buying the “latest” supplement that I saw being advertised.
Truth be told, when it comes to supplementation there’s a lot of B.S. out there in the fitness industry.
I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read growing up that preached about a certain supplement claiming to either burn fat, build muscle and even gain explosive power.
These are the exact things people want to improve on and supplement companies know how to poke that pain point to get you to buy their products.
This is why the supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar market.
And today I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to spend your hard earned cash on 10 different supplements.
To be honest, there’s only a handful of supplements that I believe actually work.
And today I’m going to talk about one of the most important ones for athletes looking to gain strength.
If I had to pick the #1 supplement out there that an athlete would greatly benefit from, its:
Now, I know what some of you might be thinking.
What about protein powder, weight gainers, pre-workouts, test boosters, etc!!?!?!
To tell you the truth, all that stuff is fluff.
There are core supplements that I buy every month (more on that in another article) but creatine monohydrate is definitely a top priority, especially if you’re a power athlete or if you train for strength and explosiveness.
From my experience, you get the most bang for your buck, and if you’re still weary, creatine monohydrate is one of the most researched supplements out there.
It has a lot of solid backing that no one can dispute.
So now, what exactly is creatine monohydrate?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that’s produced in the liver to help supply energy to cells all over the body – most preferably muscle cells.
The main objective of creatine is to be stored in your muscles and liver so it can be readily available for fast and explosive muscular contractions.
For an athlete, this type of activity would most likely occur when you’re training in the gym or playing your sport.
So why would someone want to supplement with something that the body can naturally produce? Two reasons;
(1) You don’t produce enough creatine to reap the benefits of enhanced performance that you would get if supplementing with it.
When theres large amounts of creatine readily available in your body it allows for faster production of ATP, and
(2) You would have to eat a ridiculous amount of meats, eggs, and fish.
And I mean, RIDICULOUS.
You would have to consume about 3 pounds of meat to get the recommended dose of 5g of creatine a day.
And that’s not including the loading phase that’s “recommended” by all the supplement companies.
And I put recommended in quotes because I think the loading phase is a bunch of bullsh!t
If you go to GNC or Vitamin Shoppe and grab any bottle of creatine you see, look on the back.
They recommend loading your body with 20 grams a day, split up into multiple servings for a duration of 7 days.
I’m all about making life less complicated. Not perplex it with numbers and servings and time frames.
What I simply do is take 5g before training and 5g after training.
Ten total grams a day with some grape juice for faster absorption does the trick.
It’s been shown that when consuming creatine with a liquid that spikes your insulin it can lead to ergogenic effects.
And to tell you the truth, creatine has also been shown to add a neuroprotective and cardioprotective benefit to users.
I know there’s a lot of different forms of creatine in the market, but I recommend sticking to the most research form; Monohydrate.
My favorite being, Micronized Creatine Monohydrates.
But what about the negative effects creatine has on the kidneys??
There are none.
If you don’t have a preexisting kidney condition then taking creatine will most likely not affect you in any negative way.
According to a study done to see the side effects of regular creatine consumption, kidneys maintained their functionality in healthy subjects who supplemented with creatine, even for several months.
So there you have it.
The # 1 supplement I believe every athlete needs in their tool box.
It leads to more muscle mass and an increase in power output. Two things every athlete needs to become great.
If you have any questions regarding Creatine drop you in the comments below.