The ability to repeatedly deliver short, hard (anaerobic) efforts in a race is bread and butter for any competitive cyclist. So if someone told you that you could increase how many of these efforts you can do, by simply taking creatine, you’d jump at the chance right?
This process of repeating anaerobic efforts depends on the energy supply and recovery of that system. When we look at pro power data from races, it is often shown as averages for the entire race. This misrepresents the effort required to race at this level as it doesn’t show the whole picture. Included within these long endurance events are dozens, and often into the hundreds, of short intense efforts.
Hard efforts 10 seconds and under use ATP and the phosphagen system to provide the energy. ATP is stored in the muscles for quick delivery, but only lasts for up to 10 seconds. It is a good way of delivering very large amounts of power over short durations and gives other energy systems time to get up and running. To recover after these efforts, the ATP in the muscles is replenished using stores of creatine phosphate. Having larger stores of this creatine phosphate improves the number of these short efforts that can be delivered.
This is where taking Creatine Monohydrate comes in as it increases these stores of creatine phosphate and as a result increases our ability to perform more sprints at our maximum. So an example of how this may improve our performance would be, instead of delivering 15 sprints at 1000w, we may be able to do 20 with creatine supplementation.
Creatine and Weight Gain
Roadies though, have been scared off creatine as it’s storage requires the body to retain additional water and therefore weight. Traditionally around a couple of kilos, but more than a pro would ever do by choice. Recent studies though, suggest a lower dose for a longer time, builds up the stores to the same levels as the traditional 20g/day load phase, but with little to no water retention and weight gain.
Here are the guidelines:
- 3g day (in 6 x 0.5g doses) for 30 days to load up stores and
- the same dose to maintain these stores after the 30 days load
…so …take Creatine!
- In conclusion, it is a no brainer to take creatine as it is a supplement that works (which in the sea of available supplements is quite rare!).
- Just Use Creatine Monohydrate and don’t be sold on products with additional “beneficial” additives included as they are a waste of time and money
- A good example product can be found at (and no I don’t benefit from referring sales to them): EatMe
- Cheap too! at $18 for about 167 days worth!