Ask The Trainer #60 – Creatine Cycling

Ask The Trainer #60 - Creatine Cycling

QUESTION:

Hi Chad,

Following your advice on the importance of cycling certain supplements such as those that raise Testosterone because then the body would stop producing it naturally. Wouldn’t the same be true for Creatine? Our body naturally makes it from Arginine, glycine, and methionine, but wouldn’t it stop endogenous production if taken on a continual basis? This is what I’ve heard. Just would appreciate your input.

Thanks,

Tom


ANSWER:

Tom,

Good to know the cycling recommendations for the testosterone boosters made sense. Actually, unlike taking steroids, or prohormones, taking testosterone boosters continually will not inhibit your body from producing testosterone naturally.

The type of herbal ingredients typically found in natural testosterone boosters could actually be beneficial. They may actually help your body synthesize more of its own testosterone, above “normal” baseline levels. For a limited period of time that is.

Stimulate your cell’s receptor sites with these stimulatory ingredients for too long, and it reduces the binding affinity of those compounds. Therefore, those ingredients will not have as pronounced of an effect on the body chemistry anymore.

Creatine

Creatine works quite differently. It is required to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)—the most vastly distributed high-energy compound in the human body. No ATP means no energy.

Our bodies won’t develop a resistance to creatine, the way it does with many drugs and herbal compounds.

Chad ShawOur bodies use creatine on an “as needed” basis to supply energy for countless biological processes. Muscle cells, in particular, use a significant amount of creatine for energy production.

When creatine phosphate is synthesized in our muscles, an enzyme called creatine kinase.It removes the phosphate group from the creatine molecule and converts it into ADP, used to form ATP. In other words, as long as our bodies require energy—which is always— our bodies will require creatine to synthesize ATP.

This is very similar to the way our bodies require essential amino acids for tissue repair and growth to occur. It’s a continuous, ongoing process. Just as with any other nutrient, our biological requirements will fluctuate based on the demands being placed on our bodies at any given time.

Our bodies will use more creatine to compensate for extra stress. Things like hard training hard, a significant illness or injury.

Testosterone Levels

On the other hand, it’s not nearly as important for our testosterone levels to be elevated above our normal baseline levels. Not that it isn’t a nice perk, it’s just that your body doesn’t consider it essential for life to carry on.

Many bodybuilders swear by loading creatine in larger doses to saturate the muscle tissue with creatine more rapidly, then cutting back to a reduced maintenance dose. This method will allow for creatine levels in the body to max out more quickly, but not more extensively.

In other words, taking a lower dose of about 1.5 grams creatine per day, for a longer period of time, will inevitably offer the same benefits as loading creatine with higher dosages for a shorter period of time. The only benefit of loading creatine is that you will actualize its full effects in a shorter time frame.


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This is especially true when you’re using a ph-correct creatine like Kre-Alkalyn—that is fully stable compared to other forms of creatine that aren’t, thereby making them less stable in fluids and stomach acids.

Not to mention the fact Kre-Alkalyn supplementation doesn’t initiate the same typical side-effects or gastric distress that tends to be accompanied with certain other forms of creatine, especially in higher dosages.

Hopefully, this answer makes sense. I wish you all the best with your training!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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