The Importance Of Creatine In Building Lean Muscle
This article examines the role of creatine monohydrate in helping bodybuilders to achieve significant muscle gains.
Creatine monohydrate can rightly lay claim to being the most popular and arguably most effective bodybuilding supplement currently available. The beauty of creatine is that it is 100% natural and occurs in many foods so it’s unlikely to be banned from any sports or competitions.
Let’s first establish what creatine actually is. In brief, creatine is produced naturally in our bodies to help supply energy to the muscles. It is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys before being transported in the blood to our muscles. It is then converted into phosphocreatine which is a powerful metabolite used to regenerate the muscles’ ATP source of energy.
From a bodybuilder’s perspective, creatine can significantly increase lean muscle mass quickly, improve performance in high intensity exercise, raise energy levels and speed up recovery rates. Creatine’s ability to raise energy in muscles is due to its muscle protein synthesizing action whilst reducing the breakdown of protein. This happens because creatine has the effect of super-hydrating muscle cells with water. It also improves muscle growth adding size and strength to muscle fibers.
Creatine is normally taken in two ways. The first involves loading the muscles with 20 to 30 grams of creatine per day for four to seven days. At the end of this phase maintenance involves a regular intake of 5 to 15 grams per day. The other method is more gradual in that it skips out the loading phase and simply involves supplementing with 5 to 15 grams per day for an extended period.
Two questions remain to be answered – does it work and is it safe? Creatine has undoubtedly been proven effective in recent years – over twenty scientific studies have concluded that creatine can increase energy levels and result in enhanced strength, endurance levels and recovery rates. As a training aid it therefore has many merits. In terms of safety, no study to date has shown creatine to be anything other than safe, provided manufacturers’ instructions are followed.
The benefits of Amphetamine Derivative
For the bodybuilder
The most appealing of the current crop of diet drugs are the amphetamine derivatives. They can be successfully used for a short period of time to burn significant amounts of bodyfat, particularly the stubborn bodyfat that is highly resistant to dieting and will not seem to disappear even towards the end of a cutting cycle. The stimulating properties of these drugs can dramatically enhance the fat burning effects of a ketogenic diet.
Here are the stimulating diet drugs listed from weakest to strongest. Their differences in pharmacology are small, but the effects they produce on the individual can vary widely.
Tenuate: (diethylpropion hydrochloride USP) – the mildest.
Phentermines: (brands: Adipex; Fastin, Ionamine)
Bontril: (Phendimetrazine tartrate)
Didrex: the brand name for Benzphetamine – the strongest.
All the amphetamine based diet drugs have both the good and bad side effects of amphetamine – but to a lesser degree. What dieters like about these drugs is that when on them, you feel very well stimulated. You feel euphoric, have boundless energy, and are without fatigue. But the downside is that unless kept in check, they can be habit forming, and when you stop using them – as you must from time to time – you crash and feel highly fatigued.
Tenuate, the mildest of the stimulants, is basically one notch higher than caffeine in terms of stimulation. The best thing about Tenuate is that the lower dose tabs can be used during problem hours of the day to curb the appetite. Most athletes have specific times throughout the day when they are particularly susceptible to breaking their diets. At these times of craving, Tenuate can be of aid. The main downside is that Tenuate begins to lose its simulative effect at around week three.
In terms of effectiveness and simulative properties, the next step up from Tenuate are the Phentermines. The Phentermines come in two flavors: Phentermine hydrochloride and Phentermine resin. Phentermine hydrochloride goes by the brand names Adipex, Fastin, and just plain Phentermine. Phentermine resin goes by the name Ionamine. Adipex and Fastin are 30mg tablets that exert their effect for 10 to 12 hours. Ionamine is believed to have a longer duration, but a milder effect. Ionamine is usually more expensive than Phentermine, and in the real world, the differences between the two are largely subjective. The Phentermines can promote pronounced fat loss and are highly effective.
Bontril-SR is the brand name for Phendimetrazine tartrate. It is a stimulant that is supposedly stronger than Phentermine. Based on discussions I have had with consultation clients, many cannot differentiate between the two in terms of effects and effectiveness. They instead choose one or the other based on price and availability. Unfortunately, because there is a high cross-tolerance between Phentermine and Bontril, one cannot simply step up from Phentermine to Bontril when Phentermine loses its effectiveness.
Didrex, is the brand name for Benzphetamine and it is the closest of all the diet drugs currently available to amphetamine. Benzphetamine is metabolized into methamphetamine and amphetamine, which may explain its reputation for having a greater abuse potential than Phentermine. Additionally, it has the drawback of making you test positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine in urine drug screens.
On the plus side, it is definitely a step up in effectiveness from the Phentermine style diet drugs and affords the dieter who has gotten all of the possible benefits from the milder diet drugs a place to go for further weight loss.