Why Taking Creatine Can Help You Get A Better Workout

creatineThere is quite a buzz surrounding creatine supplements, many of these are available in the market. The purest form is creatine monohydrate and there are some creatine formulas which are supplemented with additional compounds to make it more powerful. A firm favorite amongst the strength training community creatine helps improve performance and build up stamina as well. Read what the experts have to say about creatine and how it can help you get a better workout.

Creatine- What is it?

Creatine is produced in the human body. It is responsible for the production of ATP (adenosine tri phosphate). ATP is necessary to provide short bursts of energy which can assist an athlete to improve their performance ability. However the amount of creatine produced by the human body is pretty small. It may be found in natural foods like red meat and foods which are rich in iron. However that would mean eating about 3 to 4 servings of red meat and iron rich foods. This can have an adverse affect. This is exactly where creatine supplements come in.

Is It Safe To Take Creatine?

There have been quite a number of studies to see the impact of creatine supplements on the performance ability of various athletes. The general consensus being that creatine is quite safe for use in all individuals over 18 years of age. However those with health problems, especially kidney diseases would benefit from staying away from creatine.

According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, creatine is considered as one of the safest and most effective supplements for improved athletic performance. It helps individuals perform high intensity workouts and in turn results in an increased muscle mass.

How Taking Creatine Can Benefit Me?

If you are wondering what creatine can do for you, here’s a short list of benefits you will enjoy once you start creatine supplements.

  • Creatine helps release ATP in the muscles. ATP provides short bursts of energy which make it easier to perform reps for any exercise.
  • It helps with faster muscle recovery especially after a strenuous workout session.
  • Helps reduce the amount of pH in the muscles which may lead to fatigue or tiredness.
  • Helps increase lean muscle mass.
  • There has been some research which points out that adequate supply of creatine can help individuals lose weight as well.
  • Better performance and increased stamina.

General Recommended Dosage

The usual creatine dose is normally no more than 2 to 3 grams of creatine per day. A normal healthy person can benefit from cycling creatine by taking 25 grams of creatine for the first 3 days and then a regular dosage of 2 to 3 grams per day. This helps create better energy reserves and improve athletic ability as well. Read the instruction son the supplement bottle. Many creatine supplements are sold on Amazon.

Precautionary Measures

Even though creatine is a substance naturally produced in the body yet it can be harmful when taken in excess amount or when taken by individuals who are already suffering from other health conditions.

  • People suffering from diabetes must monitor their blood sugar levels when ingesting creatine. The reason is that creatine might lower blood sugar levels which can be fatal amongst individuals who are already taking insulin injections.
  • People suffering from hypertension should avoid creatine because it may raise the blood pressure.
  • No studies have been known to have carried out on the safety of creatine when used by pregnant women. Therefore women who are pregnant must avoid taking creatine.
  • Creatine must not be used by individuals suffering from kidney dysfunction.
This entry was posted on January 8, 2015 at 8:46 am.

Why Try Some Massage Therapy

massage therapyMassage is a very old form of therapy with roots in various cultures across the world. It makes use of the manipulation of soft tissues to help ease tightness and encourage greater flexibility. Many ailments tend to worsen when the muscles around the affected area tighten, leading to worsening of pain. Massage therapy helps to relax these areas and make even the use of pain relievers more fast acting and effective. It is considered an alternative form of medicine that can now be accessed through various venues including hospitals, massage parlors and even through specially designed furniture.

Massages can vary in terms of how they are applied. Typically, therapists will make use of their fingers and hands, but this can be broadened to include elbows and even feet. The pressure that is applied can also vary from light to deep. As mentioned, there are various cultures that have used massage therapy to treat ailments and even have their styles of massage named accordingly. These include Swedish, Thai and Shiatsu massages. Other forms that are available include sports, aromatherapy, deep tissue, hot stone massages, and reflexology.

When considering the particular ailments that benefit from massage therapy, you will find that particular types of massages work better than others.

  • Back Pain – various studies have proven that massage therapy it helpful in treating back pain, especially in the lower back area. Regular use of massage techniques like deep tissue and hot stone massages helps to improve circulation, reduce tension in the muscles and the need for pain relief by up to 30%.
  • Headaches – headaches, tension headaches and migraines have all proven to respond positively to massage therapy. Because of the pain involved, many suffers tend to tense up their muscles, leading to even more pain. Massage techniques applied to the temples and neck area help to loosen up these muscles and alleviate feeling of pain.
  • Stress and anxiety – massage has proven helpful in relieving feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. Research studies indicate that a massage session can cause stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol levels to drop by up to 50%. High levels of such hormones can also lower the immune system. A massage has helped many experience feelings of inner peace and calm, and encourage the release of endorphins. With less stress, those with insomnia also tend to find it easier to relax and fall into a deep sleep.
  • Sports injuries – as mentioned, massage can help promote better circulation and ease tightness in overworked or injured muscles. Many top athletes undertake sports massages for both the treatment and prevention of sports injuries.
  • Cancer – massages help cancer patients to relax and ease the side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy. They can also help in reducing pain, nausea and swelling. Studies also show that massages also contribute towards improving the function of the immune system.

It is worthwhile noting that massage is typically used as a complement to more conventional forms of medical treatment, not an alternative to it. It is important to speak to your doctor about using this form of therapy for your recovery as in some cases it may be unsuitable.

This entry was posted on December 1, 2014 at 12:46 pm.

Why Your Doctor Thinks Your Eating Disorder is Your Fault

eating-disorderEating disorders are a tricky topic. They’re often accompanied by other mental health problems the patient is suffering from, and can develop out of stress or anxiety. What isn’t talked about is how skinny patients with eating disorders are being told it isn’t their fault and fat patients are being told it is.

Weight bias is a nasty undertone to many judgments that are made in our modern world. Fat people are portrayed as lazy, foolish, and impulsive. The blame for their weight is laid solely at the feet of the choices the individual makes, even when it’s clear that there’s an underlying disorder involved. When a skinny model gets anorexia, there’s howling about society putting too much pressure on girls. When a fat girl eats too much because of a disorder, she’s told to go on a diet and fix herself.

We would hope that this bias would not be held by the very professionals who are treating patients with eating disorders, but we’d be wrong. A study done last January questioned practitioners to find out if there was weight bias in the industry. 56% of those questions admitted to having heard colleagues talk harshly about obese patients. They displayed annoyance and intolerance for obese patients, getting angry at the patients themselves for not being able to fix their own disorders.

35% of practitioners admitted to feeling uncomfortable even treating obese patients. It’s easy to look at a skinny person and worry they aren’t eating enough. It’s hard to look at a fat person with bulimia and worry about it.

These numbers are, quite frankly, horrifying. This sort of bias and reluctance can stop obese patients from getting the help they need with their disorders. If practitioners don’t even want to treat them, where will they have to turn to for help?

Obesity sufferers already face too many biases and frustrations in their everyday lives. The last thing they need is to go to a doctor and be given more of the same.  Weight bias is tough to counteract, because it’s built into us at a base, petty level. Even with outreach and education, it’s hard to get even educated people to understand what’s at stake when they make a fat joke and sneer instead of helping a patient desperately in need of care.

The most important thing to do is question our own biases and ask ourselves whether we’re being fair when we make assumptions about people who are obese. Once we are done considering our own opinions, we must demand equal treatment for all people, regardless of bias. The weight bias is petty and mean, and it needs to be stopped before it hurts more people.

The issue of weight bias is an important one, especially in a delicate field like eating disorders. At the same time, it’s tough to get individuals to admit to personal bias, so general outreach will be the only way to try and improve the situations for obese eating disorder sufferers.

Article Referenced:
Weight bias among professionals treating eating disorders: attitudes about treatment and perceived patient outcomes.Int J Eat Disord. 2014 Jan;47(1):65-75. doi: 10.1002/eat.22186. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

This entry was posted on November 2, 2014 at 2:47 am.