The one supplement to use for strength gains
Who else is excited that gyms are opening up again around the country?! Wondering how to optimize those strength gains now that you’ll be working out again? If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you’ll know that there aren’t many supplements we recommend at The Angry Nutrition Guy. For the most part, you can get most of what you need from proper nutrition and sleep (take a look at our blog on how important sleep is!). However, if you’re lifting weights and trying to gain some muscle, creatine is one supplement for strength gains we’d recommend you take.
Creatine is one of the most popular ergogenic (performance-enhancing) supplements out there, and with good reason. It is the most researched supplement, and studies have shown repeatedly that it works. The primary benefit of creatine is an improvement in strength and power output and consequently an increase in lean muscle mass. It improves high intensity exercise performance and also has been shown to have small improvements on running capacity as well. Performance has actually been found to increase 10-20%! You won’t see this type of benefit in any other supplement aside from illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
There are lots of recommended ways to start taking creatine. Some say you need to “load it,” meaning taking a larger amount for a week or two so that your muscles become saturated more quickly. But there is no need to do that. It is very simple. The proper dosage of creatine is 5 grams a day. There isn’t a specific time you should take it, just try to be consistent with your timing. Many different forms of creatine are on the market as well. The one you’ll want to go with is creatine monohydrate. It is the purest form of creatine without any additives.
You may be questioning the safety of creatine. It has been shown to be completely safe in all populations, even children. Creatine has actually been shown to have therapeutic effects. It can help to prevent/reduce severity of injury and enhance rehabilitation. There may even be a clinical benefit in using creatine in various neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s, musuclar dystrophy, etc), diabetes, and osteoarthritis. So no need to worry about the safety of supplementing with creatine. There have been no side effects found in any studies on creatine besides possible bloating and therefore temporary weight-gain. However, this will subside within a week.
So, if you’re thinking about supplementing with anything to try to give yourself a little edge at the gym, we’d suggest you go with creatine. It is safe and consistiently backed by years of research. If you want a comprehensive article about all of the data and research on creatine check this one out!