Ok, so everyone has heard of creatine, but do you know exactly what it does? What all those strange new fangled ingredients are doing in Swole V2, or V12 by SAN. Anybody know exactly what they do? If you don’t, this article is for you. I am going to lay out the basics of cell volumisers so you can make the most of your muscles, and get pumped to the max!
We shall start off with creatine, a 3 amino acid compound found primarily in meat and fish, especially beef. On average humans ingest about 1g of creatine per day. This however is not enough to reap the best gains from the product. This is where supplementation comes in.
After you ingest creatine it is absorbed into the bloodstream and shuttled into the muscle cells via amino acid transporters. It is in the muscles that it works its magic.
When you exercise using fast twitch muscle fibres(the ones weight training uses) you use adenosine tri-phosphate(ATP for short) as an energy source. To obtain this energy you must break the bond the 2nd and 3rd phosphate molecule to form adenosine di-phosphate (ADP) and an inorganic Phosphate molecule (Pi) The reaction is summarised below:
Adenosine---Phos---Phos---Phos --> Adenosine---Phos---Phos + Phos + energy.
Or, ATP --> ADP + Pi + Energy
The ADP and Pi must then be recombined to form ATP via the process of respiration. This is where Creatine comes in. Creatine supplementation increases muscular Pi levels and hence you can get more ATP from the ADP you have made. This in turn means that you can lift heavier weights, and for more reps as you have more energy.
Aside from the gains in strength, creatine also draws extra glycogen into the cell. For every 1g of glycogen creatine pulls into the cell, an extra 3g of water is pulled in with it. And because creatine increases glycogen levels by about 20%, just imagine how pumped and volumised you are going to look.
This extra water is not just for shop either. The extra water in the muscle increases protein synthesis (muscle growth) and more water is available to the cells. It also inhibits catabolism (muscle breakdown) because of this effect.
Still not convinced? There are also numerous other positive effects of creatine. It acts as an anti-oxidant, clearing up free radicals and protecting your bodily tissues. It also helps to protect from heart diseases and can lower cholesterol. It has also been tested for mental health purposes and may be beneficial for the memory.
Because of all these benefits, I would recommend using creatine (or a form of creatine) all year round. For creatine monohydrate (normal creatine) I would advise 5-10g a day every day. On training days this should be part of your post workout shake, and on rest days it should be taken at breakfast time.
There are also other, more advanced creatines coming onto the market now. The first to come out was “micronized” or “creapure” creatine. A smaller creatine molecule that is more soluble (will mix easer in solution) and causes less gastrointestinal distress (if you are prone to that). If creatine monohydrate irritates your stomach, micronized creatine is for you. Again, 5-10g a day is the perfect dose.
Another new form of creatine to hit the market is “di-creatine malate”. A malic acid ion with 2 creatine molecules bonded to it. Research has shown that this form of creatine is more bio available and so less is needed per day. A dose of 3-6g per day is sufficient. This is the type of creatine found in Swole V2 and San V12.
The final, and newest form of creatine is “creatine ethyl ester” CEE for short this new type of creatine is so small it can penetrate muscular cell membranes, and get into the muscle without the need for the creatine transport molecule. Due to this, only small dosages of 1-3g a day are needed. Other advantages are that it can be left in water for a longer amount of time than regular creatine, and wont degrade into the useless creatinine like other, less stable forms of creatine.
Creatine: Increases ATP and glycogen retention. This pulls more water into the muscle leaving you looking bigger, and being stronger. It is also a good antioxidant and can help to protect your heart and improve memory and cognitive function.
5-10g a day of creatine monohydrate or micronized creatine, 3-6g of di-creatine malate or 1-3g CEE is the recommended dose.
A personal favourite of mine. Taurine is another excellent cell volumiser, again pulling glycogen and water into your muscle cells. Not only this, but taken pre workout it is an excellent energiser which will help you smash through your workouts, without the jittery effects of caffeine. Not only that, but you will get huge pumps from it, and your veins will look like they are about to pop out of your arms. There is also no “downer” after the energy has worn off. You just feel great! A dosage of 5g pre workout is what I would recommend for the excellent energy, and for the full effect of the volumisation another 5g at another time of the day would be ideal.
Arginine is profound for its pump giving abilities. 1g taken pre workout has yielded some of the biggest pumps I have ever had. This is not the only effect either. If you take a further 1g about an hour before bed it will increase your human growth hormone levels while you sleep. This in turn leads to more muscle growth, and more fat loss. It’s a win-win situation.
This compound, while not doing much in its normal state is metabolised into creatine in the liver. By supplementing with it, users can maximise the amount of creatine it their system, and hence reap even more gains from their workouts. A daily dosage of 1.2g per day is a good start.
Although not a cell volumiser itself, betaine, or tri-methyl-glycine as it is also known is essential to any supplement that contains glycocyamine. Glycocyamine depletes the liver of methyl groups when it is converted to creatine (glycocyamine + methyl group creatine). This increases blood levels of homocysteine, which in too high a concentration can be toxic. The solution is finding a methyl donor. Betaine for example. Betaine provides the liver with all the methyl groups it needs to convert all the glycocyamine into creatine, without the ill effects of homocysteine rearing their ugly heads. 3-4g daily is recommended to reap its protective rewards.
That just about sums up the main cell volumisers on the market today. All you need to do now is to find a product/ some products that contain all of these wonderful compounds.
There are currently 3 excellent choices on the market today. Along with my recommendations for additions to your stack: Syntrax Swole V2, ISS research Satur8 and SAN V12 contain most if not all of the ingredients listed above, and if 2 servings a day are taken each product will yield excellent results.
In my opinion though, it is best to stack these creatines with a source of creatine monohydrate, just to make sure your muscles are totally saturated with creatine and can push the most enormous amounts of weight with ease, and leaving you looking pumped and huge. The aforementioned products are also a little skimpy with their taurine dosage in my opinion, which leaves you with another product staring you in the face. Optimum Nutrition’s CGT 10. A mixture of not only creatine and taurine, but glutamine too. The glutamine will help you recover faster, and therefore train harder than ever before. It has also been shown to increase growth hormone levels by up to 700%.
The final piece to the puzzle is a little known compound called Alpha lipoic acid. Not only is it an excellent anti-oxidant, but it has been shown to mimic insulin and therefore transport nutrients (and supplements) to the muscle cells where they are needed. A dose of 300-600mg of ALA or 150-300mg R-ALA is advised post workout to achieve these gains. A good choice would be Primaforce Isopure-R
The timing of these products is of the utmost importance. I would advise:
1 serving of either Swole V2, Satur8 or V12 30minutes prior to training
1 serving of Optimum Nutrition’s CGT immediately after training with 2 scoops of Optimum Nutrition’s 100% whey protein, 40g dextrose and 300mg R-ALA.
8-12hours later have another serving of Swole V2, Satur8 or V12.
If you follow this plan, with a good diet and exercise routine you will be sure to succeed with all of your bodybuilding goals.