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What Is the Dietary Supplement Creatine?

Learn what you need to know about the dietary supplement creatine from registered dietician Glen Tobias in this Howcast video.


"So what you need to know about creatine is first you need to understand it is for certain people at certain times, it's not for everybody. It will give you weight gain, because as your muscles hold the water, that water weight will stay on you, so your muscles are going to look fuller and thicker. So a lot of people, for example anyone who has to weigh in, wrestlers, fighters, even some women don't want to put on more weight but they want to work out and get the most out of their workout, creatine may not be for them.

If somebody's got to do a lot of running, it may not be for them either because you have to understand that when you're holding the water in the muscle and if you're not hydrated properly, yes you could probably cramp, you'd be more apt to cramp. So I don't think it's for people who play sports or who are active in sports that have a lot to do with running.

I think that creatine is probably used best in an off-season for a strength athlete, for somebody who needs to get more muscle, which I would say most athlete's do. But it has to be more of an off-season because then you can worry about the hydration, you're going to be heavier. You're going to be stronger.

You see a lot of people think with creatine that they're going to lose all their strength when they come off of it. The point is this, say your baseline strength is let's say right here, when you're on creatine it goes here, but then when you're off it, it falls back down. So you're still increasing your base level strength slightly every time because you're doing more muscular damage with the creatine than you would without because it helps you with muscular contractions. So if you get a few more muscular contractions when you're working out then you're going to cause more damage, you're going to get bigger and stronger and that's really what creatine's for, again I do not think it's for children, I do not think it's for a lot of athletes if they do a lot of running or if they have to weigh in for things. I think it's a good product it can be done and used safely but I do think it has to be done responsibly and you're going to want to cycle it, do it for a couple of weeks on, and then you're going to want to take a couple of weeks off also.


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