Creatine is a somewhat rare supplement in that there is plenty of evidence that backs its use. It improves strength, enhances recovery, and increases muscle mass. It does not however, work on every activity. The evidence on creatine use to improve aerobic activity, high intensity exercise, sprints, and decrease body fat is at best, mixed.
For a long time, animal sourced protein supplements have been seen as superior to plant based ones. With an increased focused on health, plant proteins are getting a second look. There is plenty of research showing the health benefits of replacing animal proteins with plant options. Even so, many are worried about the possibility plant proteins decrease performance.
Cycling creatine on and off is unnecessary. There is no good research indicating that long term creatine use has any negative effects. The ISSN’s stance states that use of up to 30 grams per day for periods as long as 5 years is safe. Most research indicates as little as 3-5 grams per day is enough to see benefits.
There is research demonstrating that consuming 20-30 grams of creatine per day for up to a week increases muscle creatine stores, enhances recovery, and improves performance. Research also shows that small doses of creatine, as low as 2-3 grams per day, can maintain or even increase levels of muscle creatine.
Soy protein is both praised and loathed for its supposed health benefits and risks. Some claim it protects against various cancers while others say it upends hormonal balance. Is soy a superfood or does it create more issues than it solves?
In the previous article, we learned the evidence paints a mixed, but positive picture on whether creatine decreases muscle damage. The next question is, if creatine has a moderate ability to decrease muscle damage, can it also speed up the post exercise recovery period?
Fitness enthusiasts use protein supplements to increase performance gains. With interest in healthy lifestyles on the rise, many are searching for alternatives to animal products such as whey or casein proteins. Soy protein is an easy alternative as it's plant based and contains all of the essential amino acids. Resistance to soy protein is fierce due to its supposed association with pro-estrogenic and anti-anabolic effects.
There are quite a few supplements which claim to reduce muscle damage; creatine is one of them. The implications of this claim is quicker recovery, reduced soreness, and increased performance gains. There has been plenty of research conducted on whether or not creatine supplementation reduces muscle damage.
As consumers, we expect supplements to speed up recovery, burn fat, build muscle, and increase testosterone. The industry has seized on these high expectations and routinely make promises they are unable to keep. They have plenty of ways to market ineffective products to consumers seeking quick solutions. One of their favorite tricks: proprietary blends.
Few foods evoke greater emotion than soy. It elicits fears of decreased testosterone, less optimal strength, and feminization of masculine features. There's plenty of misinformation about soy. The truth is there are plenty of health and performance benefits to consuming soy protein with plenty of research to back it up.