After John Hopkins University published results of studies indicating that a lack of myostatin in mice causes advanced muscle growth, bodybuilders latched onto the idea that myostatin inhibitors could help them bulk up. A study published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology in 2009 suggested that creatine---already popular as a muscle-building fitness supplement---may function as a myostatin inhibitor. Muscular Dystrophy.com has reported additional support for creatine's potential as a myostatin inhibitor. It cited studies indicating that creatine may help sufferers of muscular dystrophy, a muscle-wasting disease caused by the overproduction of myostatin.
Things You'll Need
- Creatine monohydrate
Using Creatine to Inhibit Myostatin and Build Muscle
Make an appointment with your physician to determine if you are healthy enough to begin a creatine regimen. Inform your physician of previous kidney or liver problems and adverse reactions to other bodybuilding supplements.
Purchase creatine at a health food store or vitamin shop. Several varieties of creatine---including pure creatine and creatine with additives---are available. The Creatine Information Center recommends pure creatine monohydrate over versions that contain additives. Using the former avoids overloading on additives while trying to get the correct amount of creatine for your body type.
Load your body with creatine for five days, the Creatine Information Center advises, noting that the loading phase is optional. In the loading phase, take 0.3 grams of creatine for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. Do not take all of the creatine at once; take it in equal parts four times daily. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, take 6 grams four times daily for a total of 24 grams.
Begin your muscle-building exercise regimen. There is no recommended regimen at this time for the optimization of creatine's effects.
To maintain your creatine levels after the loading phase, the Creatine Information Center recommends taking 0.03 gram of creatine for every 2.2 pounds of body weight---essentially one-tenth of your previous dose. Extending the previous example, you would now take 2.4 grams once daily.
Take the maintenance dose once daily after exercising, the center suggests. Continue maintenance doses for one month.
Stop taking creatine for at least one month before repeating the process. This allows your body time to rest.
Tips & Warnings
- The loading phase, as previously noted, is optional. The Creatine Information Center explains that eliminating the loading phase may be easier on your liver and kidneys.
- A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that decreased levels of myostatin may increase the risk of injury. Myostatin also repairs tendons and helps to keep them flexible. Decreased levels of myostatin cause tendons to become short, brittle and more easily damaged.
- Muscluar Dystrophy: Treatment of Muscular Dystrophy
- Muscle Development: Research Breakthrough!! Creatine Reduces Myostatin!!!
- Creatine Information Center: How much and when should I take creatine?
- The Medical News: Myostatin Inhibitors May Make Injuries More Likely
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: Tendons of Myostatin-deficient Mice are Small, Brittle, and Hypocellular
- Photo Credit body builders image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com
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