Creatine is a supplement that has a whole range of benefits which all work to help you reach your physical fitness goals. It mainly does this by focusing on your muscles to provide boosts of energy helping to speed up the rate at which your muscles contract.
By speeding up this process, creatine allows you to improve your muscle mass and overall strength quicker than you usually would. Likewise, the energy boost helps your muscles recover quicker after an intense cardio workout. It is for this reason that creatine is included in all of the best pre-workout brands.
Much like other supplements that professional athletes or bodybuilders take, creatine is naturally found in the body already. It comes from high protein foods and helps to produce adenosine triphosphate which is the substance that gives your muscles the energy they need to contract.
Creatine also works to reduce protein breakdown so that your body keeps hold of the protein you consume more than it would naturally. As such, when you workout at a high intensity, that protein can then turn to muscle quicker than it would.
Because creatine can be produced naturally in the body and can be boosted through the consumption of more protein, supplemented creatine is purely for performance boosting rather than a necessity. As such, you need to make sure that you are looking after your body properly when you take it by keeping hydrated.
This includes taking the right dosage of creatine and making sure that you check the expiry date to avoid any unnecessary medical risks.
Before you even think about taking creatine, you need to make sure that you are getting enough water into your system on a daily basis so that you can benefit as much as possible from the supplement and avoid the dehydration that may occur as a result of taking it.
The most common advice on how much water you should be drinking a day is 8 glasses but you are mostly only told this because it is easy to remember and can be a reachable goal when you lead a busy life. But the truth is that your body needs way more than 8 glasses a day to function at top capacity.
It has been recommended by health experts that men should consume 15.5 cups of water a day and women should consume 11.5 cups of water a day.
While this may seem like a lot, this intake does count water that comes from your food. Roughly 20% of your daily water intake will come from the food you eat provided that you eat a reasonably balanced diet. You should also be aware of the fact that certain lifestyles will change how much water you need to drink on a day to day basis to keep your body functioning properly.
Exercise means that you are moving around a lot more than you usually would and as such you will end up losing more fluid. The more intense the exercise, the more fluid that will get lost that you will need to replenish.
Another factor that affects how much water you need to be drinking is the use of supplements.
Due to the fact that creatine works to make your muscles move quicker, it also means that it helps your muscles look fuller. However, in order to achieve this look, water is pulled from your bloodstream to fill out your muscles.
This means that you can quickly become dehydrates as a result of taking creatine which can lead to a whole range of other medical issues such as cramps and stomach discomfort.
Many people will be dehydrated for a prolonged amount of time and not even know it, instead putting their symptoms down to a cold or lack of sleep. But ignoring these symptoms can lead to serious health issues that could easily be avoided if you drink enough water.
These symptoms are especially important to look out for it you are taking creatine as they may develop quicker than if you just forgot to drink water a day or two. So what are the symptoms of dehydration?
The chances are that if you feel thirsty at any point then you are most properly dehydrated. And even if you are not, what harm is it going to do to drink more water?
If you start to feel thirsty during a workout then it is better to stop as soon as you can to drink some water than carry on and develop other symptoms of dehydration.
When your body is not getting enough of something it needs, it can severely affect your ability to function both mentally and physically.
As such, if you start to feel tired earlier on in your workouts or start to notice a sudden change in your moods after the introduction of creatine in your diet, then the chances are that it is a sign of your body telling you to drink more water.
Muscle cramps are a risk that comes with taking creatine in the first place, especially if you are only taking creatine and try to push yourself further than usual or you forget to stretch out after a particularly strenuous workout.
A way to prevent these cramps is by keeping hydrated. A common mistake that athletes make is mistaking muscle cramp for overworking themselves when actually it is their body telling them that due to the intensity of the exercise, they need to drink more water.
Either way, it is best to constantly keep a bottle of water with you when you plan on working out and make and make an effort to plan water breaks into your routine to keep these symptoms at bay.
It is not that you need to drink more than the recommended daily amount of water because you are taking creatine but rather that you should consume more water because you are doing more exercise.
There is no real research to suggest that creatine means you should increase your water intake to match the amount of creatine you are taking. Even though it works to move water to the muscles to give them a fuller look, the chances are that you are taking the supplement while exercising regularly anyway and as such would develop a thirst for more water due to the increased movement.
The fact of the matter is that as long as you keep a constant water supply with you when you plan on exercising, then creatine should not affect how much you need to drink on a daily basis. However, that is not to say that you should drink less water; it is important to keep hydrated no matter your lifestyle.
It is easy to forget to drink water, especially when you are leading a busy life. But when you are making an effort to exercise more and build up intensity into your workouts, it is key to keep hydrated. As such, here is a list of top tips to keep your body hydrated:
It just makes sense really. Right after you get rid of water form your body, you replenish it. The chances are that you will have to interrupt what you are doing to go to the bathroom in the first place so while you are up, you might as well get a glass of water too.
It also will set the basis for the start of a healthy cycle. The more water you drink, the more bathroom breaks you will take and the more water you will end up drinking after. It is a win-win situation.
It is not just supplements that benefit from technological advances. Since everyone in this day and age constantly has their phone with them or some type of electronic device. why not download an add to remind you to drink water?
There are apps that will remind you every hour to drink a glass of water or even ones that will allow you to set a daily water goal so that you can add more water to you diet as you increase your exercise routine. With your phone right there it will be hard to forget to drink water.
Some people do not like drinking water due to hard water in their area which tastes different from soft water. This can be easily fixed with the use of a water filter which gets rid of the nasty taste of water in your area making it easier and more enjoyable to drink.
You could take this one step further and get a water filter jug in which you can add different fruits or flavourings to make your water funky and different with the hopes that it will encourage you to drink more.