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Hi guys,

I'm just starting to creatine load as my coach has told me to!!!! Just wondering if anybody else uses creatine to aid them in training and performance and has it worked.

Apparently all top athletes use it to help increase lean muscle, reduce fat and aid recovery!!!


  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I used to use it, and found my bench went up about 20kg and squat up 30kgish when I was on it. But I didnt really find I put on much lean mass, and the affect wore off a bit after a while.

    I was going to go on it again recently, but made the mistake of buying Creatine Ethyl Ester, which tastes like death! I can't stomach it, and I found I lifted less because it made me feel so ill!
  • i started taking protein shakes morning and evening bout 8 weeks ago - apparently it helps repair the muscle broken down through training - hence promoting fat loss and not muscle loss from training.

    As ive not done much weight training - mostly just cardio so far ive not put on much muscle but have shed alot of weight over past few months.

    Creatine I've stayed away from so far - I've read tho that it just helps you work out (say with weights) longer than you could without, hence promoting building muscle - building muscle then obviously leads to dropping your fat% as more muscle burns more calories even in rest.

    I might give it a try in the off season when I plan to do more weight building and trying to get rid of the pudge belly! :) Dropped 3 stone from Jan just with cardio so happy with that - down to a good weight now - just wanna start to bulk up just a little and drop fat% down as low as I can for next year
  • en51nmen51nm Posts: 41
    During the winter this year before my main cardio started I spent a number of months lifting in the gym. I was advised to use natural whey protien (in a milk shake) every day and twice a day when I went to the gym (about 4-5 times a week). I didn't do alot of cardio at that time but was able to keep my % fat low and still put on muscle mass as well as lift more.

    Not sure how much this helps because I've never used creatine but that's my take on the subject.... since I'm doing alot of cardio at the moment I only have a shake when I do a large weight session.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Took it once when I rowed (lightweight) - I put on too much weight and went off it. Also there is was always the fear that it might contain something illegal - so coaches team managers etc were very much against it
  • I have been recommended to use it (the drops, not the power or anything - very good from a website called Natural Health as only 15 quid).

    Basically I use it for 4 weeks at the beginning of a build/strength phase of a training programme and then lay off it for a while and then 4 weeks before competition I start it again. It does seem to help with recovery and building lean muscle - but its always hard with supplements to know how much they are working as if you are exercising anyways it could have happened with them. Without a scientificly controlled test its impossible to tell how much you can attribute to the supplement.

    That being said, the famous sprint coach Margaret Wells has written in some articles that she gives it to her athletes (she coaches some of the WASPs boys) and also to her 13 yr old daughter. So can't be that bad for you!
  • I'm a little dubious about Creatine. Although I have heard nothing bad about it. I guess I feel its a bit of a money making thing. If i've been doing weights I tend to have Whey protein in a shake. I should start reading up about Creatine though! It might actually work!
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Good point gruffy, Creatine is the most highly used supplement in weight-lifting and sports, second only to protein supplements. And in my opinion it is well over-hyped and overused.

    I think as an endurance athlete creatine is completely useless.

    If you look at the basic science of it, creatine is taken up into the blood (a very small proportion as it has a fairly low bio oral availability) and stored in the muscles as creatine phosphate, where it replenishes ADP to ATP, which is then used as energy to contract muscles.

    The muscles contain a good supply of creatine phosphate already, however some studies have shown by taking creatine this level is increased. This is highly variable, and some subjects showed no increase whatsoever.

    Creatine has been subject to a highly successful marketing campaign, when it really doesn't deserve it!

    Back to the original point, creatine could be useful if you are doing anaerobic activities such as weightlifting, where the extra energy provided by the increase in creatine phosphate could allow an extra few seconds of contraction.

    And that fact that creatine is legal (I think it is, don't shoot me if I'm wrong!) always makes alarm bells ring for me as far as performance enhancing supplements go, as if it was any good it would be illegal!
  • trispacetrispace Posts: 25
    I’m pleased someone’s hit the nail on the head. Well said TommiTri. As endurance athletes the use of creatine is not really that beneficial. The use of creatine is really only beneficial for short term blasts of effort, like weightlifting, sprinting etc.

    Why on earth would a tri coach recommend creatine loading for a triathlete, especially at this time in the season???

    What’s most likely to happen is that during the 1st week of loading up, excess weight will be added to the body, not through lean muscle mass but excess water in muscle cells. There’s evidence to suggest that after 6 weeks of creatine supplementation there can be an increase in body weight of up to 4.5kg (granted this may be increased lean muscle mass as well as water). Think of the excess energy required to carry an additional 4kg around an olympic distance event!!!

    Perhaps creatine supplementation could be slightly beneficial when used during the winter months to increase lactate threshold tolerance on the turbo for example. Providing weight/strength training during the winter is executed correctly using set and reps for muscular endurance as well as a good diet I really don’t see the point of creatine for triathletes.
  • Meant to take it for my weight training sessions, if you build more muscle you will burn more fat. I'm not doing the whole loading phase and the idea is to build muscle and lose fat. But i'm still not sure about it. Not taking it just yet anyway...it is for the off season.
  • trispacetrispace Posts: 25
    I agree if you build more muscle you'll burn more calories, but you'll need to be careful of not gaining too much muscle mass as times may tumble. Again rather than creatine why not just train effectively and eat the correct foods? That way you'll still build lean muscle and reduce body fat and may aviod the associated water retention with creatine supplementation. I guess with any supplement though, the jury will always be out!!!
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Tuna contains high levels of creatine, no need for supplements.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Creatine can have a role in endurance sport, explosive sprints are a feature of some folks racing (my lunge for the line does not count..falling rather than racing), and as ever recovery time is always a factor...that said, at a nutrition lecture I was informed that the liquid form is mostly rubbish as creatine is not stable in water, it soon loses any active ingredient, so that drop on your tongue..expensive red (hmmmm maybe it does work then..) water. Other forms well as usual, buyer beware most powders are cheap &nasty with little active ingredient, so one has to cough up & hope for the best. I have no reliable 'thing to look for' to check for efficacy.
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Britspin do you have any input on the CEE vs monohydrate debate? Did they mention it at the lecture?
  • Jury seems to be out on this one then..........so does anybody use supplements. Protein supps are used for weight training sessions i would assume. I take one only after ever doing a weights session, during the "golden half an hour".

    I am really unsure about taking creatine as don't want to have any more weight to drag eound ith me, having lost over 20kg during the year.

    I think diet is the best thing!!!! and hardcore training to get with the best of them.
  • SamutriSamutri Posts: 143
    I've been using the creatine serum (drops) for a couple of years now and found it to be spectacular. I use it just prior to a hard session (intervals, fartleks or a blast in the pool) about 10mins before. There is no maintenance required so I only take it just before the sessions i'm targetting.

    I was a chemist for 16 years and was very dubious about the benefits. For me, it appears to buffer the lactic acid so I can push out another set of sprints before falling over.

    Thats gotta be a good thing...hasnt it??

  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    When I was running regularly, doing the 400mH, I started taking creatine in my final year at university, as well as Vitamin C, B12, B6, BCAAs, Zinc and a couple of other amino acids (glutamine, arginine). I also upped my water intake.

    I took 2.5 seconds off my time that season to get down to mid 53s times. Unfortunately, once I started running PBs each race, I was understandably reluctant to try to work out which of the various supplements was doing it for me, so I kept taking them all!

    My understanding of how creatine works suggests that it's only good for short efforts, as it helps to restore your ATP reserves and delays the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles. I'm dubious how much use it will be to anybody in distance events, though it might help with a sprint at the start, or finish (?)

    I have friends who have tried creatine and didn't get on with it - one reported increased flatulence, others, and more commonly, water retention.

    I've now got some Creatine Ethyl Ester, which I have left over from track running. The benefit of this is that you don't need to load, so probably won't have water retention problems, the major drawback is that it tastes bloody awful! I'm still taking it before strenuous exercise, but I have with no real idea whether it's helping or not, more to use it up.
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    How do you take your CEE mate? I cant take the stuff without gagging!

    Ive tried everything, i thought if I could neutralise the acid it would be ok, so i tried milk, bananas. nothing works, that stuff is like death!
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    I like to do it through a fiver. A tenner if I'm feeling flush. [;)]

    I take half a teaspoonful in a glass of water, swill it around and swallow it down as quickly as possible. Tend to follow it with more water.

    I've found that mixing it with anything sweet or strongly flavoured, or juice just makes it more minging. I find it better just to swallow it down as quickly as possible. But it is flippin' disgusting. The Thames water is swwet by comparison.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    leaving that off my list of 'must try' supplements. (It is a short list).
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