Gym Supplements: Creatine and Beta Alanine
Beta Alanine and Creatine are the two most talked about supplements in the gym. The benefits of these two popular supplements are explained by Gwen Gothard – Musashi Performance Nutritionist.
Creatine is naturally found in foods such as salmon, tuna and beef. Creatine is stored in muscles and used to power performance during repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise, power sports and strength training1. Studies have consistently indicated that supplementing creatine monohydrate will help boost performance leading to greater gains in strength, power and muscle mass.
During high-intensity anaerobic exercises lasting 5-15 seconds, muscles rely on stores of phosphocreatine to produce energy. Once these stores become depleted performance can begin to decline. Supplementation with Musashi 100% Creatine increases stores of phosphocreatine allowing muscles to work higher intensities for longer periods of time.
Creatine cycling phase
Creatine cycling refers to the consumption pattern of which you use creatine. Common cycles include either 6-weeks of supplementation and 1-week off or 8-weeks of supplementation and 2-weeks off. Creatine cycling allows the body to get the best benefits possible for power, strength and muscle gains. Creatine cycling also prevents the body from relying on supplementation, allowing the body time to reset and naturally produce its own creatine from the diet.
Creatine loading phase
Creatine loading refers to the dosage loaded at the beginning of a cycle, which normally lasts 7-days. Creatine loading is important as it increases the amount of creatine the body can retain. Vegetarians generally have a lower volume of creatine naturally stored in the muscles therefore they are more responsive to supplementation than meat eaters.
Creatine maintenance phase
Once the loading phase is complete a maintenance phase is followed. The daily dose is commonly reduced to 8-15g per day (split in to approximately 5g serves) and maintained for the duration of the cycle i.e. 6-8 weeks.
Beta Alanine helps to improve the muscles internal buffering capacity. During exercise muscles contract repeatedly creating acid to form in the muscles. This acid eventually builds up creating a burning sensation – often referred to as muscle burn, this burning sensation eventually results in fatigue and can force exercise to come to a stop prematurely.
How Musashi 100% Beta Alanine works:
Musashi 100% Beta Alanine helps to buffer muscle acids and reduce the onset of fatigue. Supplementation can help to boost explosive muscle strength and power as well as increase in anaerobic endurance (i.e. weight training) and aerobic capacity (i.e. long distance running), helping athletes to train harder for longer. When a supplement containing Beta Alanine (i.e. Musashi Pre-Workout or Musashi 100% Beta Alanine) is taken it is chronically applied – meaning it is stored in the body and is going to work for every training session.
Loading phase – 6g (6000mg) per day 4-6 weeks
Maintenance phase – 3g (3000mg) per day thereafter
Research using the above dose appears safe with no side effects however larger doses show signs of skin irritation, tingling in forehead or hands and hot flushes. These are short lived side effects with no long-term damage reported.
In summary; Musashi 100% Creatine fuels the muscles for power and strength and Musashi 100% Beta Alanine provides the buffering environment which prevents the muscles from early fatigue. Supplementing both Musashi 100% Creatine and Musashi 100% Beta Alanine can help to get the best out of your training whether your goal is to lift more, run faster or build muscle.
1 Burke L et al. (2010) Supplements and Sports Foods In: Burke & Deakin edition Clinical Sports Nutrition 4th edition, McGraw-Hill Australia Pty. Ltd., 2010: 61-95.