beginners in the gym with kettlebells

Creatine for beginners: What you need to know

Introduction 

Creatine has long been a subject of interest and debate in the fitness community, and rightfully so. Its reputation as a performance-enhancing supplement has led to its widespread use among athletes and bodybuilders. However, amidst the buzz surrounding creatine, it's crucial to have a solid understanding of its effects, mechanisms, and most importantly, how to use it effectively and safely. Throughout this blog, we’ll discuss all the key pieces of information you should be aware of when taking creatine as a beginner. This will include how creatine works and how you should be taking it. 


How creatine works

Creatine is a natural substance that is found in the body and helps to produce energy for the muscles. When you take creatine supplements, you increase the amount of creatine in your body. This allows your muscles to produce more energy, which can help you to gain muscle mass, improve your strength, and improve your performance in workouts. [1]

Creatine works by helping to create a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the body's main source of energy. When you exercise, your muscles use ATP to power their contractions. Creatine helps to replenish ATP stores, which allows your muscles to continue contracting for longer periods of time. 

Here are some additional details about creatine:

  • Creatine is a type of amino acid.
  • Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
  • Proteins are essential for building and repairing muscle tissue.
  • Creatine helps to increase the amount of energy available to the muscles.

This can help you to lift heavier weights, do more repetitions, and recover from workouts faster. Creatine is safe for most people to take.

On average, you make 1–2 grams of creatine per day, which is stored primarily in your skeletal muscles [2]. Creatine supplementation can help people reach their maximum creatine stores, which can improve athletic performance.

When people take creatine supplements, their muscle creatine stores increase by about 20-40%. This increase in creatine stores can lead to improvements in athletic performance, such as increased strength, power, and endurance. Creatine supplementation is safe for most people, but it is important to talk to your doctor before starting creatine supplements. [3]


Benefits of creatine for beginners

Creatine supplementation has been shown to improve athletic performance in a variety of ways, including:

  • Increased muscle mass
  • Increased strength
  • Increased power
  • Improved endurance
  • Reduced muscle fatigue

Of course, you’ll only get these benefits if you are working out. Working out consistently as well as taking creatine daily will result in the above benefits. Whether this is for trying to get extra reps in the gym or improve endurance in other sports such as running. 


Who should take creatine? 

Creatine can be taken by anyone who is trying to get the benefits mentioned above. Here are some examples of sports where players take the supplement: 

Footballers

Hockey players 

Wrestlers 

Gymnasts 

Runners

Sprinters 

Weight lifters

Swimmers

Rugby players 

American Footballers

Baseball

Boxing/MMA

[4]


How to take creatine 

First of all, you don’t need to load creatine. Many people feel they need to load creatine which involves having 10g+ a day for a short period to get the creatine benefits quicker. Going with this approach can be unpleasant as you need loads of liquids, loading also increases your chance of bloating.

When starting out you want to be having 3-5g per day. Taking the supplement consistently will result in you seeing the benefits after the first month. Most gym goers take creatine for years on end but there is little research on the impacts of taking creatine for years at a time. 

While taking creatine it's important that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, for some users this can be as much as 5 litres a day! This will stop you from getting dehydrated as creatine results in water being stored within your muscles, meaning you need more fluids than normal.

Just remember that creatine’s effects are not instant and consistency is key to get the full benefit of the supplement. You should start being able to feel the effects after a month of taking the supplement but for some users this can be up to 6 weeks.


When to take creatine 

You can take creatine at any time that works for you. The most important thing is consistency and making sure you are getting 3-5g in daily.


Side effects of creatine 

Creatine is a safe and effective supplement that can help beginners to gain muscle mass, improve their strength, and improve their performance in workouts. If you are a beginner, creatine is a great way to help you reach your fitness goals but there can be some side effects.

These side effects are upset stomachs and muscle cramps. Symptoms like these will go away when you stop taking the supplement but if you have concerns you should speak to your doctor or GP.

 

Summary

Creatine is a safe and effective supplement that can help beginners to gain muscle mass, improve their strength, and improve their performance in workouts. If you are a beginner, creatine is a great way to help you reach your fitness goals.

Here are some additional tips for beginners who are considering using creatine:

  • Start with a low dose and gradually increase the dose as needed.
  • Drink plenty of water while taking creatine.
  • Monitor your progress and adjust your dosage as needed.

By following these tips, you can safely and effectively use creatine to help you reach your fitness goals. For more FAQs around creatine visit our creatine FAQs page


Want to learn more about creatine gummies & creatine powder? Visit our creatine blog for more information.


Sources 

https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-021-00412-w