With the end of the holiday season, reality reckons you to get back on track after all the merry making. We suggest looking past the resolution of ‘new year, new you’ and approaching fitness with sustainable lifestyle changes, one step at a time. Getting a gym membership is the first step towards your resolution. While trainers will give you the download on diet, workout regimen and supplements, the later might be tricky if consumed without expert guidance. In an attempt to debunk myths, we take up one supplement each month. For this issue, we have Nutritionist & Lifestyle Educator, Karishma Chawla who decodes Creatine supplements for us.
Creatine is an organic compound occurring naturally in the human body where it facilitates recycling of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell, primarily in muscle and brain tissue. Recycling is achieved by converting adenosine diphosphate (ADP) back to ATP via donation of phosphate groups. Stressing upon the benefits of Creatine, explains Karishma, “It boosts power and aids cell hydration by creating an ideal environment for faster protein synthesis. It also delays muscle fatigue by acting as a lactic acid buffer. The body produces some of the required Creatine in liver, kidneys and pancreas, from three different Amino Acids: Glycine, Arginine and Methionine.”
Since Creatine boosts workout power, hydrates the cells and helps as a lactic acid buffer, this creates an ideal situation for protein and muscle synthesis. Having said that, the emphasis should be on supplementing through an appropriate nutritional plan that supports the fitness goal, whether it is fat loss or muscle gain. Even though meat and fish helps in Creatine synthesis in the body, the amount is not be adequate for fitness enthusiasts aiming for buffed physique. This is where supplements come into the picture.
Creatine supplements are available in powder or capsules/tablet forms. In case of tablets, 1/3/5 gms, can be consumed post workout or split into pre and post workout, with a six to eight hours gap. Powder usually comes in the form of Creatine Monohydrate, for which the ideal dose is 1tsp or 5gm mixed with glucose (approx 50 gm) and water, post workout. Hence, this limits the use to people without diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, and a strict fat loss plan.
Regarding the guideline for intake, says Karishma, “It should not be consumed with any health problems, especially liver or kidney issues. High water intake, distributed throughout the day would be beneficial. Smoking and alcohol consumption should be avoided. It is important to intake adequate amount of protein and carbohydrates for overall functionality.” Any dependency on a supplement too much is not favourable for holistic fitness. A well-structured nutritional plan along with vitamins, minerals and adaptogens can do the trick as well, concludes the nutritionist.