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Velocirapture 12-17-13 06:55 AM

Any input on creatine supplimentation?
Anyone tried it, and if so, what was your experience? And those with experience, what are the recommendations in terms of the various forms it comes in - stacked, pure, capsules, powders...

I'm thinking of trying it, main concern being the water (i.e. weight) gain, but the big muscle-bound suppliment dude at my local pharmacy reckons the Biogen Creatine-HCL tablets are 'much better' and dont have as bad a retention side effect (although i'm not sure how that can work, as creatine is osmotically active, and when it gets in your cells, it draws the water in after it, but perhaps its more subtle?)

thanks :)

Baby Puke 12-17-13 01:49 PM

I've taken it fro some time now, but I'm not sure sure it has a beneficial effect for me. But then I'm a 'hard gainer', and it's been difficult to gain any weight. I was told the powders are best, but am no expert.

Quinn? Carleton?

Trackliche 12-17-13 01:51 PM

I've gone on it a couple times. Once when road racing a lot, once during off-season sprint/gym training. I always used a powder, 2 scoops 2x/day. I don't remember the amount, but it was whatever is commonly recommended- 5g per kg bodyweight or something.
I felt like it helped me more in longer hard efforts and at completed the later reps (4&5 of 5) in the gym. I would gain 5-8 pounds, but nothing huge. I don't feel like I had any side effects.
On longer hard efforts (10min or so) on the road, I felt like Superman. During track training, I noticed a difference in 1k efforts, but didn't do enough to make it matter. Noticed no difference in sprints or speed work.



Jaytron 12-17-13 02:37 PM

I've been wondering too.

I may give it a try this offseason as the weights go up.

Quinn8it 12-17-13 03:50 PM


Originally Posted by Baby Puke (Post 16337639)


What would make you think i know anything about Creatine? :rolleyes:

Creatine has been consistently shown to at least aid in the development of increased strength. It has been around for over 20yrs and appears to be reasonably safe. Wada says its OK to take. It helps make you stronger, and stronger equals faster, so in my mind it is at least worth experimenting with.

I feel that it works for me- and i put it on my list of 2-supplements that i take because i actually feel results. 1) Creatine- makes you strong 2) Fish Oil- elevates mood.. both probably have other benefits- but those i can feel.. at least i think i can.. Ill also take a Multi vitamin and from time to time BCAA's, but i have no sense if either bring anything to the table..

I dont notice much "bloating" or weight gain on creatine. Ive taken Monohydrate(powder) and Kre-Alkaline(purple pills), the latter is touted as not causing any bloat… i couldn't tell a difference. I have noticed that the standard Monohydrate seams to give me a more noticeable "Buzz".. my pea brain equates that with It working better, so i take Monohydrate..


Originally Posted by Trackliche
I would gain 5-8 pounds, but nothing huge.

this is fairly hard to attribute to the Creatine..

Typically people add creatine to their program when they are lifting. Most likely after the initial phase, once they have adapted to the work and are starting to see some gains. this often lines up with increased weight training motivation- and the desire to push really hard in the gym.. this is the same time your body is demanding more calories to support this increased level of work, and it is attempting to build more muscle to prepare for more stress… your body knows what every powerlifter has learned= "mass moves mass" and it is preparing for this war you are clearly fighting, by making you bigger.. i don't know how you could clearly quantify that gain as creatine induced… only way to test that for sure would be to take creatine while not on a lifting program- and maintain the exact diet and calories before, during and after the supplementation..

carleton 12-17-13 04:04 PM

Creatine Monohydrate works. It is legal according to USADA and WADA and therefore USA Cycling and UCI. It's mentioned in Practical Programming the subsequent book to Starting Strength. Thare are no known serious side effects.

Quotes from the book, Practical Programming for Strength Training:

Studies have shown that creatine monohydrate supplementation provides a rapidly assimilated source of creatine that optimizes storage beyond the additional 20% driven by exercise and diet, pushing it up to near genetic potential.

A huge body of well-controlled research has clearly demonstrated that creatine supplementation is quite effective, with improvements in performance noted in as little as seven days.

The real value of creatine supplementation, though, lies not in its short-term performance enhancement but in its ability to assist in recovery between sets and workouts done repeatedly over time. Better recovery as a result of a full creatine tank leads to better quality and quantity of work done during a series of sets and a series of workouts. This leads to better gains in strength and performance. The best research results are always found in longer-duration supplementation studies, precisely because of this.
It works, but not how many people think. Creatine doesn't make one stronger, it basically provides more fuel (ATP) to your muscles during anaerobic efforts so you can do those efforts for a couple of seconds longer. So, if your Turbo Boost is normally 10s, now you can boost for 12s with creatine. It also aids in your recovery of Turbo Boost Juice :D

Not worth it if you are a road/crit/mtb/enduro trackie. It may be worth it if you are a dedicated track sprinter.

There are downsides. I've experienced upset stomach, 5-7lbs of weight gain, thirst, and frequent urination (annoyingly frequent). If you are a roadie/enduro, that 5lbs of weight gain might do more harm than any gain you get from sprinting 2s longer :D

There are a lot of other creatine mixes and formulas that try to be a "better mousetrap" but, monohydrate is the basic stuff that works. I'd stick to that. The crap that they mix into the mixes may be effective, but you need to check with WADA to see if they are all legal. Creatine Monohydrate should only have that listed as an ingredient. It's a white crystalline substance similar to sugar.

One tip is to increase your daily water intake when you use it.

carleton 12-17-13 04:27 PM

One word of caution about supplements:

If you compete in a league that is subject to drug testing, it is up to you to verify that a product is cleared for use. The guy in GNC (a popular US supplement store) will probably say anything to get you to buy the latest-greatest, expensive thing in the store. "Sure, bro. It's legal to take it. I got customers that play _________ that take this all the time."

I personally stick to the basics: Creatine Monohydrate, Whey Protein (with as few additives as possible)...and I don't even use those year-round. Maybe only a few months. It simply gets old and tiring to me.

There was a masters racer back in 2010 or 2011 that took a popular supplement powder/drink and won a national championship (points or scratch race) and was randomly tested and was found to have something on the WADA ban list in his system. The story is that the guy was mortified and immediately said, "Yeah, I take [product name] all the time! I had no idea it had [banned substance] in it." and was apologetic about the whole thing. I don't know the guy, but many truly believed that it was an honest mistake.

Keep in mind that some banned substance may be listed with a different name on the product label.

Here is the WADA Prohibited Subtance List:

There used to be a searchable online version. I can't find it. I also think there is a WADA iPhone app as well.

Quinn8it 12-17-13 04:40 PM

"jacked 3D" ( that was at T-Town)

I believe it was finally pulled from the shelves and the manufacture destroyed their stock this summer..I've had more than one "vitamin store" employee recomend products with banned ingredients...

As Carleton says- be careful.

queerpunk 12-17-13 06:16 PM

carlton, which masters racer back in '10 or '11 are you talking about?

Quinn8it 12-17-13 06:22 PM

Originally Posted by queerpunk (Post 16338334)
carlton, which masters racer back in '10 or '11 are you talking about?

carleton 12-17-13 06:42 PM

Thanks, Quinn.


99.999% of vitamin/supplement store customers will NEVER be tested. 99% of them don't even compete in leagues that test. Most are local muscle heads, fitness nuts, or people looking for a get-slim-quickly magic potion. So, from their point of view, the stores probably don't see the benefit of spending time, energy, and money educating their staff on what is legal is what league in which a potential customer may compete. Who can keep up? So they usually say, "I'm not sure." or can be off base with "My buddy plays football for the local University and his coach says this product is OK." That's fine if you are an NCAA athlete, but we aren't. We are subject to USADA and WADA. Or they may not even care and say, "Yeah, this stuff is legal in all leagues that drug test." and use your sale to make their sales quota for the day.

If you stick to the simple stuff or create your own "stack" with known components, you'll be fine. A "stack" is a group of supplements. Many of these branded products are just a blend of stuff you can get individually.

Logging food and counting vitamin and caloric intake will probably do more for you than any pills or powders. I remember one year I was having crazy leg cramps 1.5 hours into every road ride like clockwork. I tried all kinds of pills, powders, drinks, gels, chews, bars, and whatnot. Nothing really worked. I brought it up to my friend (continental pro roadie). His reply, "Salt. Don't shy away from salt on your food. Put a few shakes in your water bottle on your rides." Boom. Problem solved with the cheapest product on earth: Salt. I haven't cramped on a road ride since.

Quinn8it 12-17-13 07:39 PM

For 2014 i have signed 3 wavers that state that i know the WADA banned substances list and will abide by all anti-doping rules (usac and 2 Powerlifting federations)..

Signing these puts all the responsibility on the athlete to be sure their supplements are safe. Despite the fact that Creatine and other substances are Legal to use- the fact that we are using them with the expectation of Performance Enhancement not only makes the athlete responsible for knowing all banned substances and their alternate names- but in WADA's eyes also makes us guilty when a substance is "Tainted" with a banned substance.. We set out looking for a performance gain- and therefor opened ourselves up to the possibility of accidentally taking a banned substance..

Harun 12-17-13 07:42 PM

I took plain monohydrate pills last season with good results. I'm one of those weirdos who likes enduro events as much as sprint events. I don't lift super heavy or go to a gym, mostly plyometric/lunge/squat type exercises with free weights once a week during racing season, and maybe 2-3 times a week off-season. I definitely noticed a strength improvement on < 1 min efforts. I could spin a bigger gear, chug along with a lower heart rate, and have enough matches to light up for sprints.

As far as hydration/nutrition, unless you're a pure sprinter or bodybuilder, you'll be doing enough cardio just riding and racing and won't notice any major bloating. So you also won't have to drink much more water than you normally do (unless you're peeing every hour, then you could probably dial back the water intake). Grazing vs 2-3 big meals helps too.

Like most here are saying, stay away from the blends that have caffeine and other stimulants. Not just because of the fda/wada stuff, but because they are prone to causing headaches, especially if you already drink coffee and other caffeinated drinks.

Jaytron 12-17-13 08:52 PM

Hm, how much do the "pure sprinters" gain in terms of weight?

I don't really want to gain a ton of weight.

Nagrom_ 12-17-13 09:08 PM

I gained a solid 8 pounds of water weight during the loading phase of my last cycle. It pretty much goes away during maintenance though.
Happens every cycle.

You'll feel pretty chunky for a couple weeks.

Quinn8it 12-17-13 09:09 PM


Originally Posted by Jaytron (Post 16338742)
Hm, how much do the "pure sprinters" gain in terms of weight?

I don't really want to gain a ton of weight.

If there is any weight gain- (i dont get it- Carleton says 5-7lbs)
it is water and only a symptom of the creatine.. drop the creatine and drop the weight..

Jaytron 12-17-13 11:58 PM


Originally Posted by Nagrom_ (Post 16338779)
I gained a solid 8 pounds of water weight during the loading phase of my last cycle. It pretty much goes away during maintenance though.
Happens every cycle.

You'll feel pretty chunky for a couple weeks.

Wat, there are cycles?

Nagrom_ 12-18-13 12:12 AM


Originally Posted by Jaytron (Post 16339163)
Wat, there are cycles?

Yup! Read up on the subject before using any. Lots of good info on body building forums.

Generally, you take a ****load of the stuff in the beginning (loading phase) to saturate your system, and then you take smaller doses to maintain the load(maintenance phase). It's typically done in about 3 month cycles(some use it indefinitely, but it's argued that that can damage kidneys and your benefits pretty much become moot).

Time your cycles with your race season.

For an idea of numbers(beyond "take a ****load of the stuff" :lol:) during loading I take 25g a day for no longer than a week, and during maintenance I take 5g a day for no longer than 3 months. These may or may not be different for you. This is a pretty standard load.

edit: I'm talking straight creatine monohydrate powder btw. I've never messed with purple pills.
edit #2 : Here's my source. Cheap and quality.

Velocirapture 12-18-13 03:24 AM

Thanks for all the input re creatine :thumb:

And agree on being cautious with suppliments. Some companies will get back to you on the safety of their products, if you ask. One product company email-respondant recommended i stay away from most pre-work out stuff, just to be on the safe side, because of the amount of stimulants they put in that stuff. Nice to have such an honest response from the company itself.
Not all body-building is 'natural', so those guys actively seek out the enhancing chemicals that would be banned in other sports. even the 'clean' product lines can get contaminated if they are using the same vats and things. Can be worth going for companies that produce pharmaceutical grade products primarly, rather than sports-specific products. You'll still get things like L-glutamine etc. from producers like that, with more peace of mind (and a little more cash on the table).

Quinn8it 12-18-13 12:09 PM

Cycling and Loading will vary based on athlete and creatine use.
I personally haven't done a true Load since 1996... I also don't do set Cycles- but I do end up cycling on/off typically based on if I'm paying attention to supplements or if I need to go to the vitamin store...

If you are a sprinter who does weights most of the year, and part of your taper/peak program is working towards heavy doubles or singles for your last gym phase in the final weeks leading into a competition you are peaking for.. You may decide to just add Creatine for the last 4-6 weeks, to elevate the gym work and race performance... In that scenario you would likely load..

If you are they type of cyclist who does 5-6 months of gym work in the winter and then less or none during the season- you may choose to run Creatine for your entire gym phase.. In that case a Load Phase is not necessary...

If you eat a diet high in meat it is possible that your creatine stores are fairly high already- making a load phase unnecessary...

carleton 12-18-13 02:29 PM

I've read that the loading phase is not necessary. Your body simply excretes the extra. I don't load. And as Quinn says, if you are going to take it over several months, loading for a week or two won't make a difference, so why bother?

The loading phase is recommended because that's what was done in the scientific study that everyone cites as evidence that creatine works. I read that study a couple of years ago, but I don't think the study said that loading was required to get the full effect of the creatine.

Your body can process or hold only so much of any substance, the rest comes out via excrement.

Jaytron 12-18-13 10:29 PM

My roommate, the ever vigilant amybikes, shared this with me when I started to bug her about creatine. Good read.

Quinn8it 12-18-13 10:38 PM


Originally Posted by Jaytron (Post 16341966)
My roommate, the ever vigilant amybikes, shared this with me when I started to bug her about creatine. Good read.


Creatine supplementation has been shown to enhance the performance of exercise involving
repeated sprints or bouts of high intensity exercise, separated by short recovery intervals.
Therefore, competition or training programs involving intermittent high-intensity work patterns
with brief recovery periods (<1 min), or resistance training programs may be enhanced by
creatine loading.
Performance enhancements may be seen as a result of an acute loading
protocol, but chronic creatine use to promote superior training adaptations may offer the
greatest benefits.
No wonder i like it so much ;)

Baby Puke 12-18-13 11:22 PM

Crap. I guess I should keep taking this stuff then.

B27 12-19-13 07:10 AM

Some good discussion and anecdotal evidence above. For what its worth, I find (Creatine's summary is located here - to provide a robust and literature-based review of a number of popular substances helping you cut through the marketing hype that these products often come with.

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