The original supplement. You can't even say the word supplement without creatine popping into your mind. It's the foundation of the whole supplement industry. Which is why it's been around for so long, and will never go away.
Creatine is the most well-researched supplement out there, and its effects are very clear. Taken at the right dosage, it will help with muscle growth, recovery, stamina, and strength. (1,2) However, there are still lots of questions about creatine, so let's get into them.
1. How does this magical powder work? Well it's actually already inside your body right now. Most of it's in your muscle cells, where creatine is stored up to produce energy when required. The rest is in your brain and various organs. And the magic works when you increase these creatine stores in your body by supplementation!
That's the simple answer. Here's a more in-depth explanation of how it will help your athletic performance: creatine is stored in your muscle cells as phosphocreatine, which helps produce your body's energy-producing compound ATP. When you increase your phosphocreatine stores, you can produce more ATP, and have more energy to perform better. This leads to greater workload or volume when you workout. Being able to perform more sets and reps in your workout than you would have been able to before will obviously lead to more muscle growth and strength.
It also behaves as an osmolyte in your body, meaning it stores more water in your muscle cells. This increased water causes a cell volumization to occur, leading you to have a larger appearing physique. Your muscles will look much fuller when you are taking creatine, compared to when you are not. This increased cell hydration can in turn lead to even more muscle growth and strength, because larger muscle cells can lift more weight than smaller muscle cells in general.
Creatine also has been shown to improve cognitive performance, meaning it can be beneficial for just about anyone under the sun. Your muscles are not the only thing that require phosphocreatine and ATP, your brain does as well. Increasing your creatine stores has been shown to improve cognitive parameters like reasoning, intelligence, short and long-term memory. (3,4)
2. How much creatine do you need? There are a lot different answers on the internet to that question, but the main principle to remember is that you will be getting the benefits of creatine by increasing the stores of it in your body. Some would recommend that you start with a loading phase, where you take 20 grams per day for a week, followed by a 5 gram daily maintenance dose thereafter. Others would say that the loading phase isn't necessary. Studies have shown creatine's beneficial effects with or without the loading phase, so the choice is yours whether you want to do it or not. (5,6) Either way, 5 grams per day over a consistent amount of time will be enough to build up those creatine stores.
3. When should you take creatine? While the traditional time to take creatine is before a workout, it can really be taken anytime. This is again because we simply are trying to increase the stores of it in our body. Taking creatine after a workout has been shown to be just as effective as taking it before a workout. (7) However, if you are only going to be taking it once a day, then pairing it with our Pinnacle Pre-Workout and taking it before your workout is a solid plan of attack.
4. What form of creatine do you want? MICRONIZED CREATINE MONOHYDRATE. There are many forms of creatine out there, but ZERO have ever been shown to be more effective than the original form, CREATINE MONOHYDRATE. (8) It's supported by literally hundreds of studies. Trust the science, and don't fall for all the marketing hype of other creatine forms. Also, having it micronized improves its water solubility.
Which is why it is the only true Pinnacle Creatine Powder sitting here in front of you.