Looking to increase your one-rep max for bench press, squat, or deadlift? Creatine can help; it is one of the most effective supplements to maximize muscle size and strength.
Creatine is a nitrogen-containing compound found naturally in fish and meat. Our bodies also contain creatine with the majority stored in muscle tissue. Our bodies use ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to fuel activity by breaking down a chemical bond between phosphate groups turning ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate). The phosphate in ADP must be replenished to form ATP to continue fueling muscular contraction. To replenish ATP quickly, muscle cells rely on creatine phosphate. The rate of this system is dependent on the amount of phosphocreatine stored in the muscle. With a higher amount of creatine in the body, the higher phosphocreatine stores accelerate the rate of ATP even faster. This is the primary system behind very short powerful movements like sprinting and deadlifting.
There are many published studies on creatine (in its monohydrate form). These show that creatine supplementation can improve maximum power and strength, workload performed during sets of maximal effort, and sprint performance. Creatine increases muscle volume by pulling fluid into the fibers. By enhancing the amount of fluid you have in the muscle, it increases the stretch placed on the muscle membrane; promoting long-term muscle growth. Creatine helps you push harder and lift heavier. Creatine will also allow training at a higher frequency with faster recovery times and you can hit the gym more times throughout the week. Creatine also helps increase the metabolic rate. Cardio sprint training is one of the best ways to boost your metabolic rate and sprinting relies strictly on ATP as a fuel source. Supplementing with creatine allows you to have better sprint performance.
The best form to take, backed-up by studies, is creatine monohydrate. Take five grams a day before your workout, always make sure you are fully hydrated, and watch your fitness results explode!