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Advanced creatine protocol

The use of Creatine Monohydrate as an ergogenic aid has passed from the realm of anecdotal evidence into accepted scientific fact. Creatine has endured intense medical scrutiny over the past five years in an attempt to delineate dosage mechanisms and gauge ingestion effects.

We are now in the position to balance a number of studies from respected journals to continue our investigation of Creatine Monohydrate. Armed with this data the construction of a dosage regimen is possible. However, initially a discussion of Creatine is warranted.

Creatine is a tri-peptide composed of Larginine, L-Methionine and Gycine. It is stored in smaller amounts in skeletal muscle. The normal dietary source of Creatine is from meat, however the human body is capable of Creatine production on a limited scale. The storage limit of Creatine is rarely (if ever) reached through natural feeding, thus the capacity for Creatine utilisation is seldom realised unless artificial supplementation is employed.

When supplementation of Creatine is commenced the storage of Creatine in the muscle substrate increases until it reaches saturation levels. At this stage cell volumisation occurs and the muscle fibre cell increases its uptake of water, and protein and energy nutrient. The creation of a Creatine Hydration Vehicle (CHV) increases muscle torque and at very high levels of supplementation (ie saturation) increases myolysis.

Once Creatine arrives at the muscle site and is uptaken, it is fairly effectively trapped. The main barriers to be crossed are the absorption sites in the small intestine and the muscle cell sheath itself. Arguments are many and varied on how to maximise uptake and utilisation of Creatine, however simple scientific common sense will maximise gastric absorption by placing the Creatine in aqueous solution. Creatine Monohydrate has only a slight solubility in water at room temperature. Heating the solvent to approximately 40 degrees Celsius will increase solubility to an extent that a 5g measure of Creatine Monohydrate will dissolve with little additional effort.

While these measures will undoubtedly increase absorption across the duodenal wall, it is the uptake into the muscle that should be of prime concern. Carbohydrate ingestion at the time of Creatine ingestion, (usually in the form of a small amount of high glycemic index carbohydrate), has shown to increase Creatine retention. It is fairly easy to include this principle in a Creatine loading regimen by using a fruit juice as a Creatine ingestion medium (Dark Grape and Apple are amongst the most favoured). Alternatively a 5% glucose solution can be made and taken with Creatine. Because of the rather quick degradation of Creatine to Creatinine when placed in an in vitro solution it is not desirable to make up a Glucose/Creatine solution in advance. The conversion of Creatine to Creatinine can take place over a period as little as 6 hours. Discussion of dosage medium aside, the amount of Creatine to be taken for efficacy should be considered. Significant research has gone into the determination of dosage efficacy amounts. The current standard is to "load" a Creatine dose of 20-30 grams per day, divided into 5g dosages. This regimen is taken over 5-12 days on average, producing a saturation of Creatine at the muscle site.

The restriction of individual doses of 5 grams each rather than one dose of, say, 30 grams daily is linked to the bodies ability to clear excess Creatine through the excretory passages. Doses of more than 10 grams at one time are likely to cause loosening of the stool. One level metric teaspoon of Creatine is equivalent to 3.13g. Loading a daily dose of approximately 20 grams would be more effective if taken as 7 x 3g doses rather than 3 x 7g doses.

Creatine has the immediate effect of assisting with energy production inside the muscle mitochondrion. With a greater series of resources for the "phospho-creatine energy shuttle", this is perhaps the most noted initial effect of Creatine ingestion and one of the more desirable for athletes. (5) As vast as an application that Creatine has, there are limits and inhibiting factors. Since the energy production substrate relies on high muscle Creatine concentrations, and the hydration vehicle supports nutrient demand and metabolism inside the cell, any substance that disables these mechanisms can inhibit the successful use of Creatine.

In addition Caffeine has shown to counteract the ergogenic action of Creatine (6). It is thought that Caffeine inhibits the role of crucial chaperone molecules in the Creatine transport process. Some researchers have cast doubt on this finding as the initial studies showing efficacy were performed using tea or coffee as a solvent for Creatine. Subsequent duplication of these initial studies have shown increased results after the elimination of Caffeine from the method.

While debate on this point is rife, there is no dispute on the fact that Caffeine is a diuretic. Any diuretic will disable the Creatine hydration vehicle quite efficiently. On this matter caffeine analogs such as Guarana (Guaranine) function in a similar way. Dehydratants such as alcohol will also disable the Creatine hydration vehicle. Creatine retention and intake is reputed to be enhanced by supportive nutrients L-Glutamine and Taurine. While research in the form of valid papers is scarce, anecdotal evidence is mounting at a significant rate.

Dosage for a 85-90 kg sports person is as follows :

On Rising
5g of Creatine Monohydrate (1 slightly heaped teaspoon)
3g of L-Glutamine (1 level teaspoon)

Mid Morning
5g of Creatine Monohydrate (1 slightly heaped teaspoon)

Mid Afternoon
5g of Creatine Monohydrate (1 slightly heaped teaspoon)

Before Training
5g of Creatine Monohydrate (1 slightly heaped teaspoon)
3g of L-Glutamine (1 level teaspoon)

After Training
5g of Creatine Monohydrate (1 slightly heaped teaspoon)

3g of L-Glutamine (1 level teaspoon)

Article source: Musashi UK




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