As one of the most widely used supplements on the market, creatine monohydrate is special, but do you need creatine to build muscle? The process of building muscle is a long and complicated one, but certain supplements help make the process easier.
In today’s article, we’ll be discussing if people need a creatine supplement in order to see a change in their body composition. When it comes to supplements, some people swear by them, while others stay away from them; and creatine is no exception.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine monohydrate, or creatine, is a substance that is held mostly in our muscles. The chemical is mostly found naturally in red meats and seafood, but its most commonly used form is in the form of supplementation. (1✓)
It’s the most researched and studied product on the supplement market. The side effects and the benefits have thoroughly been looked into, which we’ll be getting into a bit later. You’ll be quite surprised to see just what kind of things creatine has an impact on in the body. (2✓)
The main use of supplements is for athletes and bodybuilders looking to increase their athletic performances. You’ll see both these groups taking creatine monohydrate to see benefits in their overall strength and muscularity. (3✓)
Let’s look into some of the benefits that creatine monohydrate provides to users who take it on a consistent basis. The doses may vary a little, but the general intake of creatine for most research is about 3-5 grams, although our daily requirement is just 2 grams. (4✓)
Increase In Strength
When it comes to improving your strength, creatine monohydrate is the supplement just for that. However, what people don’t realize is that creatine increases a person’s strength indirectly in the form of energy. (5✓)
When stored in our muscles, creatine monohydrate is in the form of phosphocreatine. When our body’s go through an intense amount of stress through exercise, a heavy lift, or intense last rep, phosphocreatine is broken down for extra energy. (6✓)
With this extra energy in the form of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, we can get the strength to lift heavier weights or push harder on the field. The added energy is there, but it’s still the consumer’s job to put forth the effort to actually get to use it. (7✓)
A creatine supplementation study showed that after four weeks of supplementing with creatine, a group of 15 highly explosive athletes saw an increase in their 1-rep maxes. When compared to the placebo group, their maximal muscular strength had improved. (8✓)
Building Muscle With Creatine
This newly added strength we get from the extra creatine allows us to hit heavier lifts at the gym or train harder in the gym. The more vigorously you train, the more strain you place on the muscles you’re training. This, contrary to what you may think, is not a bad thing.
The way our muscles grow is through stress and tension. The tissues break down and can repair into even stronger muscle tissue. Our bodies are intelligent enough to reinforce your muscles to take on the heavier lifts you’re facing.
Our bodies grow bigger muscle tissue with sufficient protein intake. Depending on your goals, your protein intake will vary.
A common misconception people believe about creatine monohydrate is about the dehydration it supposedly causes. When you consume more creatine, our bodies tend to retain more water which may cause a bit more bloating for some.
However, research has shown that creatine actually does the complete opposite of what people believe; it actually prevents dehydration. Your body holds in more water, decreasing the odds of being dehydrated or even getting cramps. (9✓)
Do You Need Creatine To Build Muscle?
To answer the question at hand, we need to go over what exactly supplements do as a whole in our diets. Just looking at the word supplement, we see that products like whey protein and creatine exist to “supplement” or add on to our normal diets.
We shouldn’t base our day-to-day diet on supplements like creatine, and with that, we actually don’t need supplements at all to build muscle. Supplements sure do make the process a lot easier, but by no means are they required.
It’s actually recommended to not even touch supplements when first starting to exercise. Your body and habits will be better off starting with whole foods rather than supplements. Getting your nutrients from whole foods is the most important thing when starting.
In conclusion, do you need creatine to build muscle? The short answer is not at all. While buying and using creatine monohydrate supplements does help the process of increasing your lean muscle mass, it isn’t required.
Red meats and seafood are the whole foods that contain the most amount of creatine outside of supplements. If you aren’t comfortable with supplements and need some more creatine, settling with whole foods is not a problem at all.
Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments you may have!