The workout supplement industry is an enormous billion dollar per year empire. But it’s also an industry that is steeped in controversy. If you’ve ever flipped through the pages of a fitness or bodybuilding magazine, you’ve no doubt noticed the many pages of glossy full-page advertisements for workout supplements, and nearly all of them make some incredible claims.
Massive strength gains.
Rapid weight loss.
Most of these supplements, unfortunately, fail to live up to the marketing hype.
That’s the controversial part of the industry. Instead of improving your health, potential for weight loss, or athletic performance, most supplements succeed only in taking your money. Good news: There is one supplement that really does work.
That supplement is creatine monohydrate.
Creatine Monohydrate is a Well-Researched Supplement
Creatine monohydrate was first brought to market nearly 20 years ago, and it has been a best-selling supplement ever since.
The reason for its popularity is not hard to understand. Those who take the supplement and also do strength training on a regular basis typically see dramatic increases in both muscular volume and strength.
Creatine monohydrate has been researched extensively in university studies. In fact, nearly 7,000 scholarly articles have been published on the subject. It is generally considered safe and is permitted by the International Olympic Committee, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and professional sports organizations.
Although creatine monohydrate is considered a safe supplement, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have potential side effects you should be aware of.
Creatine monohydrate supplementation can cause dehydration, so it’s important to monitor your fluid intake.
The supplement can also cause abdominal discomfort and muscle cramping.
How Does Creatine Monohydrate Work?
Creatine monohydrate is a naturally occurring substance that is found in many of the foods we eat, including red meat and seafood. When people supplement with creatine monohydrate, they are really just consuming larger amounts of something that is already naturally present in their bodies.
Creatine monohydrate works its magic by increasing the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your body.
ATP is the energy that our muscles use to contract. During an intense workout, the body uses a great deal of ATP, turning it into a bi-product known as adenosine diphosphate (ADP).
Creatine monohydrate causes the body to turn much of the ADP back into ATP, the fuel it needs to get through a grueling workout. Continued supplementation leads to increases in power, performance, and skeletal muscle tissue growth.
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A Word of Caution When Shopping for Creatine Monohydrate
If you decide to give this remarkable supplement a try, be sure to only purchase creatine monohydrate. In recent years some supplement companies have introduced more expensive kinds of creatine – such as creatine ethyl ester – in an effort to increase revenues.
However, other versions of creatine have not been subjected to the same academic scrutiny as the monohydrate version.
Anecdotal reports of users of the other types of creatine also confirm that they do not deliver the same impressive results as creatine monohydrate.
Creatine Monohydrate is Common and Affordable
Finding creatine monohydrate in stores is very easy. It is commonly found in big box stores, health food stores, supplement stores, and in many drug stores. You can also order it online from many different vendors.
Creatine monohydrate is also a very affordable supplement. It’s possible to purchase a year’s worth for under $50.
If you feel like your head is spinning after reviewing the countless supplement ads in magazines, consider giving creatine monohydrate a try.
It may not have the same sexy ads as all of the other supplements, but it does have something going for it that so many others don’t – it works!
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Cyrus Vanover is a freelance writer living in the greater Nashville area.