Creatine Monohydrate is a natural chemical produced within your body. In 1835, French scientist Michel-Eugène Chevreul isolated Creatine from skeletal muscle, and shortly thereafter, in 1847, Justus von Liebig, a German scientist, proposed that Creatine was a major catalyst in the development of muscle mass. Liebig even helped release the first Creatine supplement, and they have been used by bodybuilders ever since. Creatine increases the amount of energy your muscles have during an intense workout. The more energy you have while lifting weights, the more weight you can lift, and the bigger your muscles get.
There are three phases to your Creatine dosages-the loading phase, the maintenance phase and the wash-out phase. The loading phase consists of you taking roughly 0.3 g of Creatine per pound of body weight, for approximately five days before you begin exercising vigorously. These should be taken as three to four doses per day. When you begin lifting, your body will use the creatine at a rapid rate, so you'll need to replenish it with a daily maintenance dosage of anywhere from two to five grams for up to one month. The wash out phase is just what it sounds like, the time your body needs to rid itself of the extremely high levels of Creatine, so for the next month you need to "cycle off" by taking no Creatine supplements whatsoever.
Driving your muscles to work harder during a workout is a great way to get a solid muscle gain, however to obtain maximum results your muscles are still going to need protein to grow back larger and stronger. The latest USDA recommendations for weight trainers is to eat as much as 0.8 g of protein for every pound of body weight, every day. That means if you're a 160-pound male you need to eat as much as 128 g of protein, which even if you eat steak and eggs every day, can still be a challenge. To assist with protein intake, it can be advantageous to drink whey or casein shakes on a daily basis.
When your body exercises, it burns calories, and anywhere from 46 to 85 percent of these calories will come from carbohydrates. When you are cycling on Creatine, it's extremely important to eat a large number of carbohydrate based calories to assist your body in maintaining a high level of energy. Some professional athletes eat as many as 10,000 calories per day just to keep their energy high enough to compete at an elite level, according to Leslie Bonci, the dietary consultant for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The body requires 13 essential vitamins to function, and you will not find all 13 of these vitamins in a Creatine supplement, a protein shake, or a bowl of oatmeal that's high in carbohydrates. The American Heart Association recommends eating multiple servings from all six of the major food groups, every day. This includes fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, meat and fat. Plan at least one meal in advance, every day, just to ensure you are giving your body the nutrients it needs.