The Dangers of Creatine

Often thought of just a bodybuilding supplement, years of research show that Creatine is more than just a sports supplement. There’s benefits not just to workouts, but brain function, heart health and more recently, potential benefits to arthritis.

But what is Creatine exactly?

Creatine is a nutrient naturally found in all our bodies. It is a combination of 3 amino acids; arginine, glycine and methionine. Creatine helps provide the energy our muscles need to move, particularly quick and explosive movements. Muscle contraction is initially fueled by ATP (adenosine-triphosphate ).

Nevertheless, like every other non-FDA sanctioned properties, there are concerns that Creatine is unsafe.

Some of the reported side effects of taking Creatine are:

  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • muscle cramping
  • harm to kidney, liver, or heart functions
  • stroke risk when combing with caffeine or herb ephedra (also called Ma Huang)
  • skin condition called pigmented purpuric dermatosis
  • dehydration
  • water weight gain
  • increase the production of formaldehyde

After reading the short list above, you might think Creatine is the most unsafe supplement on the planet and how could or would anybody want to take this?

Because side effects of taking Creatine as listed above are non-conclusive and no studies prove the linkage from the use of Creatine to the above reported side effects.

The Dangers of Creatine by Will Brink

While it is true you will gain some water weight while on Creatine, that is because the cells are retaining more water with the usage. That’s not a negative. It’s also true that you can experience some stomach discomfort and/or diarrhea if you take too much of the product. Stick to the recommendations. More is not better.

But did you know there have been some deaths from Creatine supplementation?

There have been some reported deaths from the use of Creatine. In one case, the person took significantly more than the recommended amount for an extended period of time and in the others the individuals had pre-existing kidney (renal) problems.

If you have kidney problems or diabetes, Creatine supplementation is not recommended.

If you do not want to drink fluids (water) and keep properly hydrated, Creatine supplementation is not recommended.

If you cannot or will not follow dosage recommendations, Creatine supplementation is not recommended.

Otherwise, this is one of the most beneficial and safe supplements next to protein and water. While roughly 30% of the population is non-responsive to Creatine supplementation, the benefits far outweigh the reported side effects which have little to no research behind them. In fact, many have been disproved but are still listed as side effects of taking Creatine on thousands of websites.

Download Your Free Creatine Report

I am  giving away a 43-page special report, ‘The Creatine Report’. You will learn: what creatine is and how it works, and what it may do for you. This excellent free report exposes the facts and fiction of Creatine, and details it’s effects on the brain, heart, the body’s production of growth hormone, anti-aging effects, fatigue, muscle atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, and much more!

The Creatine Report

  • FREE
This Creatine report by Will Brink will cover much of what creatine has to offer as a safe and inexpensive supplement with an exceptionally wide range of potential uses.

Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding

Four “No Fail” Principles For Quick and Easy Weight Gain

I got into weight training to gain mass and put on weight so believe me when I tell you…when it comes to wanting mass I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from. Because when I started training, I weighed 145 lbs soaking wet. Today, I’m a lean 210 lbs (at a height of 5’10″)!

Weight Gain Tips

4 Principles For Quick and Easy Weight Gain

I’ve got four “no fail” principles that I recommend to people who are trying to build muscle mass and gain some weight.

And I’ll tell you right up front – these principles are NOT rocket science…these are the basic things you SHOULD be doing if you want to gain mass, yet I see plenty of people only doing one or two of them and wondering why they can’t put on any mass!

Combining these four principles consistently will definitely get the job done!

1. Train heavy and to muscular failure

In order to gain muscle mass, you need to give your muscles a REASON to grow. Training with heavy weights (relatively speaking, of course – what’s heavy for one person may be light for another) to muscular failure is the stimulus that starts the process.

And by muscular failure, I mean the point where you physically can’t perform another rep WITH GOOD FORM – reps done with terrible form don’t count!

The best rep range to train for muscle growth, in my experience, is between 6 to 10 repetitions per set. Training in the range below that (1 to 5 reps) will primarily lead to strength gains rather than muscle gains.

Training in the higher rep ranges (for the most part, unless you’re using specialized high-rep techniques) will primarily work on muscular endurance with minimal effects on muscle mass.

Training to muscular failure is VERY important for muscle gain.

Muscles will not grow unless they are pushed beyond what they’re used to. Doing your sets only up to a certain number of reps and stopping on that number regardless of whether the muscle has been worked or not is a very common mistake made by both men and women alike. Counting reps and stopping on an arbitrary number will NOT work the muscles fully and will hamper weight gain.

So to train for optimum muscle gain, select a weight that will cause you to reach muscular failure in the 6 to 10 rep range.

2. Utilize basic exercises for most of your training

Dumbell tricep kick-backs will NOT help you gain weight. The Pec Deck will NOT help you gain weight. Leg extensions will NOT help you gain weight.

These exercises are not bad exercises; they’re just NOT the exercises that are going to give you the results you want. In fact, doing exercises like these at the expense of the basic exercises can actually detract from weight gain, especially if you have a hard time gaining weight. They will use up your valuable time and energy!

Basic exercises are the exercises that use the most muscle mass. They are the HARDEST exercises…the ones you either love or hate. This “make or break” challenge is what makes them the most productive for building muscle.

Basic exercises include:

  • squats
  • deadlifts
  • bench press
  • shoulder press
  • barbell curls
  • barbell bent-over rows
  • dips
  • chin-ups
  • lunges
  • calf raises.

This is not a comprehensive list but it will give you an idea of what a basic exercise is. Essentially, a basic exercise is an exercise that you can use a lot of weight on and that requires the most effort.

Use these basic exercises consistently for the majority of your sets and you WILL gain muscle.

3. Eat good quality nutrition in sufficient quantities.

Now that you’ve stimulated your muscles with hard, heavy training, it’s time to feed them. Gaining weight, a.k.a. building muscle, requires a caloric intake in excess of what it takes to maintain your current bodyweight.

Basically, you need to eat more.

The amount of calories you require to gain weight will vary greatly depending on several factors, primarily your current amount of muscle mass, your daily activity level and your metabolic rate.

The more muscle you already have and the more active you are, the more calories you’re going to need to eat in order to gain weight. If you are already thin, you probably have a fast metabolism (i.e. you lose weight quickly and gain it slowly), and you’re going to need to eat even MORE.

In order to keep your muscles supplied with nutrients, you’re going to need to eat frequently throughout the day. It’s best if you can manage to eat 5 or 6 meals over the course of the day. Naturally, these meals will be smaller than your regular meals if you currently eat 3 per day.

The idea is to keep feeding your muscles so that they always have nutrients available to grow. If you go without food for long periods of time, your body will turn on its own resources (e.g. your muscles) to provide needed nutrients for repair and recovery.

And whatever you do, if you want to gain weight, DO NOT skip breakfast! If you do, it will kill your metabolism for the rest of the day.

Besides sufficient caloric intake, protein is also critical for muscle gain. Protein is the structural nutrient that your muscles are made of. You must feed your body protein in order to help your muscles rebuild.

Good protein sources include fish, poultry, dairy, meats, soy, legumes (beans), eggs, and whey. A typical recommended protein intake for a person looking to gain muscle would be around 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example, as a 136-pound person, this would have you eating 109 to 136 grams of protein per day.

Supplements can also be extremely useful for weight gain. Whey protein, creatine monohydrate, and the amino acid glutamine are among the most effective supplements.

And I’ll tell you right now, there’s no need to get crazy with your supplement purchases… manufacturers will often prey upon your strong desire to gain mass and try and sell you a TON of supplements you really don’t need.

Keep it simple and get your training and eating in order. THAT is what builds an impressive body – not a boatload of bizarre supplements.

So to sum it up: eat a lot, eat frequently and eat plenty of protein.

4. Get enough rest

Your muscles don’t grow while you’re training. Your muscles actually grow AFTER your training session is done. One of the best things you can do to help you reach your goal of gaining weight is to learn to relax. This is especially important both after a workout and at night.

Immediately following a workout, your body is in an emergency situation. You’ve just put a lot of stress on your body and your body needs time to recover from it.

If you immediately have to rush off to do errands or some other stressful chore, you’re not going to get optimal recovery and that means you’re not going to get optimal muscle growth. If you can manage it, try to schedule your workouts for when you have a little time to relax after. Heck, take a nap about an hour or so later if you can!

Getting some good, solid sleep at night is also very important. A large part of your growth process occurs at night. If you don’t get enough sleep or your sleep is restless, your body will not be able to take full advantage of the growth you’ve stimulated with your training.
Conclusion:

If you want to gain mass, you HAVE to do the basic things right…train hard with heavy, basic exercises, eat well and get plenty of rest. As I mentioned above, this ain’t rocket science, yet you’d be surprised at how many people miss more than one of these items!

Don’t stop yourself before you even get started – make sure you’re got these four “no fail” principles down pat!

——————

About the Author: Nick Nilsson has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been innovating new training techniques for more than 18 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding books including “Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass”, “Metabolic Surge – Rapid Fat Loss,” “The Best Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of,” “Gluteus to the Maximus – Build a Bigger Butt NOW!” and “The Best Abdominal Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of”, all designed to maximize the results you get for the hard work you put into your training.

Be sure to grab your FREE copy of Nick’s 30-day “Dirty Little Secret Program for Building Muscle and Burning Fat FAST,”

Check out more articles related to these mass-building principles:

My Practical “Lazy Cook” Recipes For Building Muscle! So Easy Even a Caveman Can Make Them…

Training on the Edge – Learn How Overtraining on Purpose Can Get You Maximum Results FAST!

Rest-Pause Training

Eight Mistakes I’ve Made In My Training and How You Can Avoid Them

The Most Critical Lessons I Learned In My Very First Year of Training That Can Help YOU Maximize Muscle and Fat Loss

Creatine Dosage: A Simple Formula For Creatine Cycles

Creatine Dosage Calculator

Creatine Monohydrate

Do you ever wonder what your creatine daily dose should be?  The magical 5g every site seems to list?

In order to calculate your creatine dosage according to the original research,you’ll first need to convert your body weight into kilograms. This won’t require a math degree. If it did, I wouldn’t be able to post this or even explain it!

Simple divide your current body weight in pounds by 2.2 to obtain your weight in kilograms. For example, if you weight 190 lbs then your kilogram weight is ~86 kilograms (190 / 2.2 = 86).

Next, multiple your weight in kilograms for the appropriate dose. The recommended loading dosage is 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight. The maintenance phase is even less at only 0.03 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight.

Example: 86kg person starting a loading phase would require 25.8 grams of creatine per day for 5 days divided up into 4 equal parts during the day. The maintenance phase of an 86kg person would be 2.58g of creatine per day.

Creatine Dosage Worksheet:

Step 1: Your body weight in pounds

Step 2: Body weight in kilograms
body weight in pounds divided by 2.2

Step 3: Find your Loading dose
body weight in kilograms multiplied by 0.3
divide into 4 equal parts; take 1 part every 4 hours

Step 4: Find your Maintenance dose
body weight in kilograms multiplied by 0.03

It appears that the creatine loading dose phase will saturate your muscle stores with creatine quicker but there’s little difference in a person who does or does not do the loading phase. Except it might take longer to reach full muscle saturation. Many references today (2008) report the loading phase as unnecessary. Others make comments that a loading phase is only there to go thru the products quicker so you’ll need to purchase more creatine.

The loading phase can be done or not, it doesn’t appear there will be any final outcome differences.

General maintenance phases of Creatine Monohydrate are between 3-5 grams. The references above will get you a more personalized approach to your creatine dosage vs. just the recommendations based on the average person.

If you’d like to learn more about Creatine, take a look at Creatine: A Practical Guide.

Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding