Tested and True – Muscle Enhancers: Creatine Plus

Creatine is a nitrogen-containing amino acid that is naturally produced in the human body from other amino acids, primarily in the kidneys and liver. Most (95%) of your body’s creatine is found in muscle tissue, though it is also found in the heart, brain and other tissues. Creatine helps supply muscles with energy, particularly for short-term, maximal exercise. Food sources of creatine include meat, poultry, and fish.

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Creatine: Claims and Purported Use

Widely used by athletes, creatine studies suggest that it can improve muscle strength and endurance during repeated high-intensity exercise of short duration, such as weight lifting and sprinting. However, it does not provide an added benefit for aerobic exercises such as long distance running. Most studies suggest that it is more effective in healthy young adults than in older individuals, though the evidence in older populations is mixed. Creatine supplementation appears to be more effective in people with low initial creatine levels, while people with higher levels may not respond as well. Since there are no vegetable sources of creatine, vegetarians are often low in creatine and respond well to creatine supplementation.

The following creatine products are tested and true.

TESTED & TRUE

GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate

GNC Pro Performance Creatine Monohydrate, Unflavored, 8.8 oz

Prolab Creatine Monohydrate Powder

Creatine Monohydrate Powder 1000 Grams

Vintage Build – The Essential 3-in-1 Muscle Builder (Creatine, BCAAs & L-Glutamine)

VINTAGE BUILD - The Essential 3-in-1 Muscle Builder - Premium BCAAs, Creatine Monohydrate, and L-Glutamine (Fresh Berries), 330 Grams, 30 Servings

Selected Potential Side Effects

Creatine is generally regarded as safe when taken in appropriate amounts, but be aware that it may cause muscle cramping, dehydration, and diarrhea in some individuals.  There have not been any long-term studies on creatine’s long-term impact, but due to the way it is metabolized by the body, there are concerns of its potential effects with long-term use at high doses (over 20 grams per day) on the kidneys and cardiovascular system.

Selected Drug Interactions

Creatine should not be used in conjunction with ephedra and caffeine because of potential effects on cardiovascular system.  This interaction suggestion is based upon a report of one athlete’s ischemic stroke, who was taking all three – ephedra, caffeine, and creatine.

Suggested Dosage

The recommended dosage for creatine consists of a loading phase of 15-20 grams per day for fourteen days, which is followed by a maintenance dose of 2-5 grams per day for up to four weeks to ensure maximum creatine storage.

Reference Guide for Tested and True Dietary Supplements

Tested and True: Fish Oil

Tested and True: Krill Oil

Tested and True: Multivitamins

Tested and True: Vitamin D

Tested and True: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ-10)

Tested and True: Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Tested and True: Probiotics

Tested and True: Muscle Enhancers – Creatine

Tested and True: Muscle Enhancers – Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Tested and True: Nutrition Bars

Tested and True: Nutrition Drinks & Powders

Tested and True: Weight Loss Accelerators and Appetite Controllers

Tested and True: Mood Booster SAM-e

Tested and True: Mood Booster St. Johns’ Wort

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*reference: Consumer Reports Health

 

 

About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is a true health expert. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 18,000 hours of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 20 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his beloved) began writing evidence-based Wellness Newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various small businesses throughout Connecticut.

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