One of the most versatile and widely used supplements in the history of the health and fitness industry is creatine. It doesn’t matter if you are on a weight gain diet or you want to lose some fat, creatine monohydrate can aid your gains (and fat losses) in the gym. Creatine monohydrate supplements have been around for years because of one simple reason – creatine works!

Some of the most common benefits of creatine supplements are:

· Increased strength
· Slower onset of fatigue during exercise
· Less recuperation time
· Decreased muscle soreness
· Greater training intensity
· Better muscle pumps during training

Creatine supplements first started to gain serious attention in the early 90’s. Bodybuilders and fitness competitors were using creatine monohydrate supplements with much success to fuel their gains in the gym. Much attention was brought to creatine and nearly all supplement manufacturers quickly began to promote their own creatine supplements. You couldn’t open a bodybuilding or fitness magazine without seeing an ad for creatine.

So what is creatine monohydrate and how does it work?

Creatine is in actuality, an amino acid that is composed of three other amino acids – Arginine, Methionine, and Glycine. Many people do not realize it, but creatine is found in many of the foods we eat, particularly protein rich foods such as red meat, chicken and fish. However, the amounts found in these foods is so small, that you would need to eat large amounts of these foods every day in order to get a benefit from the creatine contained in them.

Creatine plays an essential role in the energy production process. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is an energy source which plays a pivotal role in all aspects of energy production within the human body. ATP is the fuel source that muscles use to perform any type of work. However, ATP burns very rapidly so this energy doesn’t last long. That is where creatine monohydrate supplements come into play.

When ATP is used as a fuel source, it loses a molecule and becomes Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP). Creatine donates a phosphate molecule to ADP, allowing it to be used again as ATP. Essentially, with creatine you are allowing your muscles to reuse ATP as an energy source.

However, once ingested, pure creatine needs to bind with a phosphate molecule in order to be effective. If your body does not have this molecule available, the excess creatine is excreted and has gone to waste. On the flip side, if you ingest a creatine phosphate molecule, it will be too big to be absorbed by your body and this too will be excreted as waste. So in order to combat this effect, you should try to find a creatine monohydrate supplement that contains both creatine monohydrate with added phosphates. This will help to ensure that the creatine you ingest is used for additional energy and strength gains and not gone to waste.

Creatine monohydrate supplements have withstood the test of time. While it seems that many companies are testing new avenues with variations on creatine powders, liquid creatine and different incarnations of creatine, creatine monohydrate does not seem to be going anywhere. If you want an effective supplement that gets the job done, you can’t go wrong with creatine monohydrate.

Author's Bio: 

Tim Mielke
Author and Supplement Expert

Tim Mielke has been involved in the supplement industry for over 15 years. As a former competitive body builder and personal trainer, Tim has extensive first-hand knowledge of the benefits and pitfalls of fitness supplementation. Knowledge so extensive, in fact, that his book, “The Book of Supplement Secrets: A Beginners Guide to Nutritional Supplements,” was recently published and is currently available through Tim brings this supplement and bodybuilding know-how to as a contributing author and researcher.