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Should You Take Creatine on Rest Days?
Athletes have become better than ever before. They can jump higher, run faster, and are stronger. This is mainly due to the increased understanding of the anatomy of the human body. Companies also have developed better sportswear that can further increase the efficiency of the athlete. This includes better shoes, improved aerodynamics, and lighter equipment. This progress highlights how competitive athletes are.
While the equipment certainly helped the athlete, they have also taken supplements to enhance their performance. One of these supplements is creatine. You have probably heard of these supplements before. Bodybuilders and gym instructors frequently tout the benefits of creatine. They say that creatine not only improves your performance but also helps build muscles.
Of all the performance-enhancing supplements, creatine is one the most accessible. You can obtain creatine at your local gym, some drug stores, or online stores.
Fortunately for you, creatine is a well-studied subject among nutritionists. You can be sure that you will know what creatine will do to your body. So when you use creatine, it is relatively safe.
Before you go but yourself creatine, let’s first identify some factors. So what is creatine, and how will it benefit you? And should you take creatine on rest days? These are some questions to answer before buying creatine. We will answer these questions one by one in the article.
What Is Creatine
Creatine is an amino acid derivative found naturally in muscle cells, bones, and brains. It is composed of three non-essential amino acids which are glycine, arginine, and methionine.
Creatine is distributed through the blood, but it is sometimes not shared equally. If there is an urgent need for it, the body can choose to prioritize it. You can choose which to prioritize by specifically working out that muscle.
Your body naturally produces creatine within the kidneys, pancreas, and liver. You can also acquire creatine through external means such as red meat, seafood, and creatine supplements.
Your body combines creatine with a phosphoryl group to produce phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine is then used to regenerate adenosine
triphosphate. The adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short, is an organic substance that provides energy for the use of cellular and other basic life functions. Think of ATP as the gas for your muscle engine.
While doing some high-intensity activities, such as exercise, ATP is constantly used to fuel your muscles. How much your body can resynthesize ATP will define how long you can perform a continuous exercise. This is because the rate of ATP used is higher than the rate it is being synthesized.
Benefits of Creatine Supplements
Longer Duration: When you start taking creatine supplements, the stores of phosphocreatine are increased. The stores of phosphocreatine will help produce more ATP for the body to use. More ATP means the longer you can last longer in your workout. This is how creatine supplements improve athletic performance.
Normally, the amount of ATP in your body is good for 8 seconds of a high-intensity workout. But with the increase of ATP, you can last a few seconds longer.
Muscle Gains: Another benefit of taking creatine supplements is the development of muscle gains. Taking more creatine supplements will also cause an increase of IGF-1, a hormone that triggers muscle gains.
The triggering of this hormone will start some processes that lead to the production of more proteins. As a result, this creates muscle gains.Due to the increase of ATP by using creatine, you can lift heavier weights much longer. This results in the further development of muscle mass.
However, the development of the muscles does not occur instantly. You may not even notice changes for a few days. But as weeks go by, you will start to see how effective creatine is.
Better Performance: Adding creatine to your workout program will enable you to increase your performance. In one study conducted by researchers, an athlete’s performance is increased by 5-15%. This percentage depends on how much your body can absorb creatine.
This includes an increase in strength, sprinting faster, and an increase in the number of reps. This is mainly due to the increase in ATP, which is the body’s fuel source.
All the benefits creatine gives is beneficial, so are there any downsides to it?
You might have heard or seen in the internet forums that creatine is bad for you. Fortunately for you, there is no basis for these claims. Creatine is one of the most well-researched health supplements, and it is relatively safe to consume. No scientific research has been conducted that would suggest otherwise.
Is Creatine For You?
This depends on the individual. If you want to develop your muscles or improve your performance faster, then creatine is for you. But take note that our bodies respond to creatine differently. This is because of genetics.
Some people respond well to creatine. Their bodies can absorb creatine quickly, and thus they develop faster. On the other hand, some don’t respond as much. Their bodies don’t respond to consuming creatine supplements, so it is basically useless.
Try out creatine for a few weeks to see if it affects you or not. If your strength, duration of exercise, and muscle mass dramatically increase, the creatine supplements worked. If it doesn’t, creatine supplements are not for you.
Should You Take Creatine On Rest Days?
The ideal time to consume creatine is before and after you exercise. You will need the creatine to boost your energy before an exercise and also after, to help trigger protein synthesis.
Taking creatine on your rest days is not that important. The purpose of taking creatine supplements is simply to maintain high levels of creatine in your body. You can take the supplements whenever you want on a non-workout day.
Should You Take Creatine on Rest Days Conclusion
Creatine is one of the best supplements in the market. Not only will it improve your performance, but you can expect muscle gains as well.
However, creatine is not the be-all and end-all. You still need to do some exercise for your body to maximize the absorption of creatine. And to eat some proper diet as well to develop the muscles properly.