Creatine is something I stumbled upon by accident. It was a couple weeks into 21 Day Fix, and I was getting to the point where I needed a new container of protein powder. Starting out I hadn’t done any research and not only had I assumed I would only need protein powder when I work out, I also assumed all powders were created equal. So I went down to one of my local dietary supplement stores, whose name is composed of three letters, and I asked for two things. I wanted something for Pre-Workout and something for Post-Workout.
I wasn’t sure why I needed them but it’s something I kept hearing over and over again would help me. I figured post-workout was some code word for protein powder mixed with other things I needed after a workout. It turns out I wasn’t necessarily wrong but it wasn’t as simple just walking in and grabbing a bottle of generic brand post-workout formula. There are some on the market but since everyone’s body is different they aren’t always as good as buying the separate parts and mixing your own.
I was handed Pre-Jym Strawberry Kiwi –which I don’t remember having any issues with, though I did go with a different brand after finishing this bottle– and a very large bottle of the stores Special Formula Super Enhancing Triple-X Creatine Powder Formula 9000+. I was a little intimidated by the size of it but was assured it was what my body will need after a workout to get the results I want. I never said what results I wanted but was inclined to trust the sales associate due to the great things I have heard about the store from others who shop there.
The next day, getting ready for my workout, I opened everything to get it mixed ahead of time. The creatine bottle was only a quarter of the way full! I kind of just stood there staring. I had spent $30+ for a giant bottle which didn’t even have anything in it. I considered going back to the store but my wife and I have a very small time frame for working out each day so I figured I’d just give it a try and see if it was worth the money.
I didn’t sleep for four days. I tried. I lay in bed each night staring at the ceiling wide awake. In hindsight I should have just gotten up and had the most productive nights I’ve had in a long while.
Needless to say I didn’t have any the second day. I went to the closest grocery store and grabbed the first bottle of protein powder I could find, again assuming all protein powders are created equal. I then spent a couple days researching what this creatine stuff I was told to buy actually was. Putting it simply, it helps create adenosine triphosphate which gives your body energy. But the bottle I had gotten wasn’t just creatine. It also had a bunch of other stuff to make it essentially a mass muscle builder.
I guess it makes sense that the college student who was all biceps, and not much else, would want me to buy a muscle mass builder. Huge biceps are the only way to get hot chicks so why would anyone want to do anything but get huge biceps. There’s nothing more importanter than huge biceps.
While I did have an interest at the time of gaining muscle mass, my focus was more getting into shape than filling my shirt sleeves. And if I had any interest in getting hot chicks I’ve been around long enough to know biceps can only get you so far, especially if they’re all you’ve got. I decided I would switch from taking half a serving to only 1/16th with my normal amount of protein powder and see how it went. This led to more sleepless nights so I eventually just stopped taking it.
Around the time I finished the bottle of pre-workout I had done some more research and found a few places which sold creatine without anything added. One brand which I really liked, based on the ingredients they use in the products I was interested in, was ProMix Nutrition. I got a bottle of their creatine as well as some other things from their site and have used it ever since.
Instead of using it just in my post-workout, I read that it can be effective to use it before or during a workout. So I usually have one scoop after my pre-workout and mix one scoop with my post-workout. When I was doing the LIIFT4 workout program I also mixed a scoop with my first bottle of water –I usually have about 3 or 4 bottles– to drink during the workout.