Have you ever wondered what creatine added to your weight? Was it water or muscle, or maybe something else? This is a common question in the fitness and bodybuilding circles and it has a very complicated answer.
For example, when you start consuming extra creatine for the first time (because creatine is found in food as well as supplements) you will most of the time gain weight – so much of it in fact, that logic dictates that it’s mostly water! When you start consuming creatine this is likely to be true but even then, the entire increase in weight is made up of the entire water weight added to the body.
Muscles, like the rest of our body, are 73% water. If your muscles get bigger by 10 pounds by consuming creatine, that means that only 27% will not be water, with water being 73%. However, creatine does have a volumizing effect – it causes the cells to increase their volume and this is incredibly important for the processes of protein breakdown and synthesis in skeletal and other muscles. When you go to the gym, you are breaking down muscle protein but you also trigger the protein synthesis process.
However, the synthesized protein is being made much faster than the disintegrating protein is broken down. Creatine has an additional phosphate group which aids in the rapid regeneration of adenosine tri-phosphate when the muscle is under stress, but the increasing of the cells’ volume is an even greater cause of the muscle-building effect that creatine causes.
When you consume creatine for longer periods of time, it stops increasing the total water weight in your body, but continues going in your muscles increasing the non-fat non-water mass. This causes the muscles to appear much bigger because of their expansion in diameter, but this also causes a great amount of added strength. Increased muscle mass is often the cause of long term effects, but also consistent consumption of creatine. Here are a few other reasons to consume creatine year-round.
What Should I Look For in a Creatine Product?
When you buy creatine, buy it only from a company with a good reputation. Sometimes, drug stores or warehouse clubs will sell huge oil drum containers of it but don’t rush to buy it – that stuff is probably either adulterated or is very low-quality. Micronized creatine is your best option, but remember: you only need creatine monohydrate. Don’t fall for any commercials for other “creatine” products that haven’t been tried, tested and approved by the bodybuilding world – buy smart, not expensive.