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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Hi, long time lurker here (4+ mo now!), I've been working on getting leaner all this year and the breakthrough came with low carbing+lifting as soon as I found out about exrx.net. Came down to 165 lb from 191 (I'm 5' 9") and put up a bit of muscle in the process :grin: I've still a long way to go as my BF is estimated around 25% but my thanks to this community were long due :smile:

Currently I'm on a 16/8 IF, the bulk of my diet is meats/eggs, vegetables, and dairy; little fruit, mostly as a part of my post work out meal. No simple carbs, though I like to eat some bagels on my cheat days :)

I'm using a slightly modified StrongLifts 5x5 routine, pre workout I have a scoop of whey protein (so I don't train fasted), and post workout 3g of creatine.

I've been taking it since late July and haven't been able to tell the difference so far. I wonder if my low carb diet prevents me from restoring full glycogen and subsequently make full use of the creatine I take.

Should I stop taking it and resume only after I feel comfortable with upping my post work out carb intake?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:32 am 
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A low carb diet will cause you to have limited glycogen stores but shouldn't make a difference in the effectiveness of creatine. I find it pretty essential on a very low carb diet as I normally couple this with low rep ranges and heavy lifting. You're always going to struggle (unless you've been low carb for a very long time) with exercise that utilises predominantly glycogen as a fuel.

Things that help me when I'm very low carb, calorie deficit and lifting heavy:

Have more, than less creatine. It's cheap so I'd maybe have a teaspoon in breakfast shake and teaspoon post workout.

Have a good few mins rest between sets, since you will be mainly relying on the creatine phosphate system for energy, you'll need time to resynthesise ATP.

Try caffeine/coffee pre workout for a sort of energy boost, I find it more a mental boost than physical (maybe even placebo effect, as I don't respond that well to caffeine in general)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:58 pm 
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You need the plain creatine, not the creatine/carb combo.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Thanks for the many suggestions, Nevage. Only have been a true low-carber for a bit less than 3 months - the first couple weeks 'carb flu' was a bit of a problem, but now I'm pretty much used to it.

I'm going to up my creatine dose and see what happens - as far as caffeine goes, I do have troubles getting asleep and had been even thinking about dropping coffee altogether (BTW only drinking a cup of espresso after waking up) - I've read good things about asian ginseng, do you think that could help ?

Ironman, I'm using plain creatine monohydrate, taking it as a drink in my post work out meal, which has a slightly increased carb load (courtesy of bread and/or fruit) to spike insulin. However, this strategy only seemed to work if I replaced a proper meal with something carb-heavy like a bowl of muesli + milk.

Which lead me to the next question: if I were insulin resistant to a degree, would that get in the way of creatine absorption, so that I have to eat a lot of carbs to make it work?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:50 pm 
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mark74 wrote:
However, this strategy only seemed to work if I replaced a proper meal with something carb-heavy like a bowl of muesli + milk.


I don't understand this, but if it was me I'd cut the carbs altogether after training. If fat loss is your primary goal, there's no need for any IMO. But for gaining muscle it's very debatable.

mark74 wrote:
Which lead me to the next question: if I were insulin resistant to a degree, would that get in the way of creatine absorption, so that I have to eat a lot of carbs to make it work?


As far as I know, only sugars (namely glucose and less importantly fructose) need insulin to 'signal' the transportation of them across cell membranes (i.e to muscle, organs, fat cells). I did a lot of work on energy systems last year but it's so complex it's impossible to remember how everything is transported to cells unless you're a professor or Dr in the subject, but I don't remember creatine being as significant as say glucose.

This is a good article on creatine if you want to know some basic biochemistry along with it, it's nicely referenced to which is good, with some significant studies in there.

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articl ... ement.html


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:54 pm 
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By the way, the carbs and creatine absorption, I don't really know what to think of that because if you're looking for fat loss, you don't want the insulin spike at all so I think I'd just stick with having creatine more times a day for assist absorption.

There was a study I read about 20g a day being divided into 20X1g servings and others like 5X4g a day. Muscle creatine levels were higher in the former, too late now to look for the study but let me know if you want it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:47 pm 
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Uh....ok....that doesn't make much sense. It works the same for me either way.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:13 am 
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It was to do with the amount absorbed as creatine isn't always absorbed well but I don't think it's worth having 20 servings a day about it, it would make little difference if any in performance but pretty interesting for elite athletes maybe.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:24 am 
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I've cycled Creatine Monohydrate a few times and never noticed anything. This might be slightly off-topic, but with regards to the idea of cycling and and mega-dosing, just earlier today I was reading about Creatine HCL. Supposedly it's more readily absorbed and effective.

Anyone here used it? I was considering trying it since I never noticed any benefit with Creatine Monohydrate.

(There's also Create Esters which claim to be better as well, though they don't recommend -against- loading like the HCL does.)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:03 pm 
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I've had Creatine ethyl Ester and it was the sickest thing I've ever tasted. If anyone is aware of the taste of MDMA, it's like that. Took me like 10 mins to get it down me.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:20 pm 
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Uh, no I've never tasted MDMA, but unlike the Ester one, the HCL claims to be tasteless. :-/


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:04 pm 
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Nevage wrote:
f anyone is aware of the taste of MDMA, it's like that. Took me like 10 mins to get it down me.


just stick in a rum and coke then you'll be grand


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:34 pm 
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No one's used Creatine HCL here? There are apparently only 2 brands out right now that have it, one of which (GNC) I found an article saying the combination of ingredients inhibited absorption. That leaves one brand, "Con-Cret", which I'd be most curious about...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Nevage wrote:
As far as I know, only sugars (namely glucose and less importantly fructose) need insulin to 'signal' the transportation of them across cell membranes (i.e to muscle, organs, fat cells).


This was my starting point:

JB wrote:
It is well known that although insulin is not necessary for creatine uptake, supraphysiologic hyperinsulinemia (high blood insulin well above the normal insulin levels) can help to drive more creatine into the muscle. So by jacking up insulin levels, more creatine can be delivered to the muscle in most cases. But remember, we said that these levels have to be supraphysiolgic.


What I thought is, if I'm insulin resistant would my muscle cells need a lot of insulin (more than just 'ordinary' supraphysiologic levels) to be able to store creatine efficiently?

In other words, I was wondering whether most of the creatine might have simply left my body with only a very small part getting stored at all.

Nevage wrote:
This is a good article on creatine if you want to know some basic biochemistry along with it, it's nicely referenced to which is good


Thanks, I'll read that later :)

Nevage wrote:
I don't really know what to think of that because if you're looking for fat loss, you don't want the insulin spike at all


Rest assured I'm not trying deliberately to spike my insulin after every work out, the muesli experiment was just something I tried a couple of times (it did seem to help with DOMS anyway!)

Nevage wrote:
I think I'd just stick with having creatine more times a day for assist absorption.


When I started taking it, I had been reading around (e.g. here) that taking 3 grams a day is plenty, and I'd been pissing out the rest - and that creatine storage peaks out so the only difference is how much it takes for it to peak.

But you might very well right in saying that for whatever reason I just need to take more. That's something I'm gonna try.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:51 pm 
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The only proven form of creatine is creatine monohydrate - if you're spending money on things other than just pure creatine monohydrate, you're probably wasting lots of money. :>


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