Bodybuilding is all about generating muscle mass and strength through heavy workouts, a strict diet and the use of both creatine and protein powder. However, the question is how effective, if at all, is the combination of the two, and what overall effect would they have on a bodybuilder's results?
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is a naturally forming substance in the body, and it is an integral part of the skeletal muscle system. Normally, creatine is obtained through the diet and amino acids in the body. Creatine is produced through chain amino acids which are arginine, glycine and methionine. The human body will use about 2 grams of creatine a day through normal activity, and thus the body is constantly producing small amounts of this substance.
What is Protein?
Protein exists in every single cell in the human body and is a macro-nutrient, meaning the body uses a lot of protein all the time. Protein is a building block for muscle development and this is why there are so many protein supplements on the market for bodybuilders. Protein is usually consumed in meats, with chicken breasts being one of the most potent carriers of protein around.
How Creatine and Protein Work Together
The combination of creatine and protein can produce a massive boost in creatine production in the body and this equates to impressive results for bodybuilders. Through this combination, muscles are able to absorb a much greater amount of creatine than normal, and this is how those added results are seen. The way creatine is carried through the skeletal muscle system has a lot to do with insulin, and this is where the protein comes into play.
Protein, along with carbohydrates, increases the production of insulin in the body. Since this is a primary way that creatine gets around the skeletal muscle system, it has been found that the more insulin there is, the better the muscles are able to absorb creatine.
Carbohydrates alone do not aid enough in the muscles absorption rate of creatine. When coupled with proteins, the amount of sugar needed to properly transport the creatine into the muscles is lessened and more creatine can get into the muscles. This produces more efficient workouts and very impressive muscle protein amounts.
What Are the Best Ways to Accomplish This Combination?
Most bodybuilders are already taking protein supplements in the form or powders and complete meal replacements. This will boost the amount of protein in the body, as well as the levels of insulin production. There are also creatine supplements available on the market in the form of pills and powders, which are very effective. Luckily, there are certain foods which are high in both protein as well as creatine:
- Lean red meat - Good for both protein and creatine.
- Wild game - Very high in creatine and a good source of protein.
- Fish - Fish is well known to be high in protein but it is also a solid creatine source.
- Chicken - This one is high in both creatine as well as protein.
However you get your creatine and protein combination, it is also very important to remain very hydrated at all times.