I am fairly new to using supplements. Everybody seems to be using creatine. In one of you responses you mention that it adds strength and water. It doesn’t add muscle mass?How quickly are strength gains seen from creatine? One week? Two?
A: No, not in terms of actual contractile tissue, at least not in the short term. Now, technically speaking water is considered to be lean body mass (as is glycogen, electrolytes, etc). This has led some supplement sellers to imply (without ever saying) that creatine increases muscle mass. That is you’ll read ads that say “Gain 10 lbs of lean body mass in 5 days” or whatever. TEchnically this isn’t wrong, since water is lean body mass (it’s not fat). But they know that lifters will read the ad as “Gain 10 lbs of muscle mass in 5 days” which is incorrect. One particular researcher (no names of coures, but he was one of two people who brought creatine to the forefront) actually had the gall to look me in the face (at a conference) and tell me that the mass gains from creatine were contractile tissue. Bullshit.
If it’s gonna work for you, you should notice results within 5-7 days. if your bodyweight/strength has not gone up in that time period, you are what is called a non-responder and might as well quit taking it. Frequently, non-responders to creatine can become responders by taking their creatine with a simple sugar (i.e. fruit juice or something) as insulin enhances creatine uptake.
Although you didn’t ask specifically, one thing to note is that most creatine powder mixes very poorly meaning that some may be left at the bottom of hte glass. Two possible solutions (and no, one of them is NOT micronized creatine). First try using a warm liquid to mix your creatine in (increaes solubility). Yes warm grape juice is gross as hell but live with it. Second (and perhaps preferable), get your juice out, get your teaspoon of creatine, dump the creatine straight into your mouth (it tastes like sand) and then chase it down with the juice. Kind of like an ergogenic tequila shot. The lemon is optional.