Simply put, creatine is one of those misunderstood supplements
“With creatine, you should be advised by qualified people,” says rugby nutritionist James Morehen, from Liverpool John Moores University. “But creatine is naturally occurring, and the phosphocreatine system helps provide muscles with energy.
“Supplements are just to top up and a loading phase of creatine can acutely boost your body’s stores.”
You can find creatine in red meat – which is why Morehen suggests those hoping to bulk up should eat red meat about twice a week, as it also contains large amounts of iron, B vitamins and minerals – but you’d need wheelbarrows of meat to get the same amount as from supplementing creatine.
“During your pre-season, a load would be 20g of creatine per day, for a week. Then take between three and six grams per day for six to eight weeks. Come off it for a week to let your body wash it out.
Have you put on the required lean mass during the training block? If not, you may consider another loading then maintenance phase.”
Morehen says you need to factor creatine use into a well-balanced diet. But there are benefits to using creatine, despite an increased water retention. For example, its use can be strategically implemented to help maintain muscle mass in injured players who may have immobilised limbs and struggle to take strain.
However, you must ensure that any supplement you take is approved for athlete use. Visit informed-sport.com to find out more information.
DO – Seek advice from qualified professionals
DON’T – Buy supplements without checking if they are approved
Beef Fajitas (serves four)
What you’ll need: 11⁄2 tablespoons rapeseed oil, 2 mixed peppers, cut into strips, 1 large sliced red onion, 400g steak cut into thin strips, 2 garlic cloves finely chopped, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 11⁄2teaspoon ground coriander, 1⁄2teaspoon hot chilli powder, 2 chopped tomatoes, Handful of chopped coriander, Wraps warmed, Yogurt cheese and avocado served on the side.
1 Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the peppers and onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until charred. Stir and remove.
2 Add remaining oil and fry steak for 2 minutes.
3 Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and tomatoes and cook for 15 seconds before adding the vegetables back in and cooking for a further minute.
4 Stir in coriander and season before serving. Enjoy!