There are a lot of products that people use to build muscle when hitting the gym. Adding in a supplement can be very helpful along with weights and other exercises.
Two of the most common supplements are creatine and mass gainers, but which one is the best? That can be a hard question to answer without all the facts.
Let’s take a look at each: what they do, what they are, and the advantages/disadvantages of each.
Creatine – What is It? And What Does It Do?
Creatine is something that naturally occurs in the muscle cells in our bodies. It enables your muscles to create the needed energy for lifting or for intense workouts.
Using creatine as an enhancement is now more mainstream among many sports professionals. They use it to build muscle, improve strength, and/or elevate their execution.
In regards to the chemical reactions, it imparts many of the same things that amino acids offer the body. In fact, your body can create creatine from the amino acids glycine and arginine.
A few variables may influence your body’s creatine stores, including the amount of meat you eat, working out, and your muscle and hormone levels.
So, how does it work?
Creatine can help boost your overall health and physical performance in a few different ways. In high-powered workouts, its essential job is to expand the phosphocreatine stores in your muscles.
The extra stores would then be able to be used to give you more energy for an intense workout you have planned.
Creatine additionally encourages you to increase muscle by:
Cell Communication: Enables cells throughout the body to communicate with the brain better, which is a key factor in muscle development for both repair and growth.
Increased Physical Capabilities: Will help allow you to workout longer, which is important for building muscle mass.
Expanded Hydration of Cells: Boosts water content inside the cells, which causes cells to increase in volume and may help in muscle development.
Diminished Breakdown of Protein: May enhance your bulk by decreasing muscle breakdown.
Creatine supplements likewise help improve the phosphocreatine stores in the brain. This may improve its health and help to avoid neurological ailments.
Pros & Cons of Creatine
Understanding what creatine is and how it works may not help you decide which option to go with.
With that in mind, we want to take a look at the pros and cons of this supplement in hopes that it will help you find the right choice for you.
Neurodegenerative Medical Conditions
According to some studies, there may be potential advantages of utilizing creatine to defend patients’ minds against neurodegenerative illnesses, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Creatine supplementation has shown some promise in affecting some of the root causes of these illnesses—particularly when started early.
This may be because creatine boosts energy, and one of the main factors in these diseases is a loss of energy within the brain.
Creatine also ensures the neurons in the cerebrum produce dopamine, which is a missing transmitter in neurodegenerative illnesses.
Creatine improves patients’ states of mind and assists patients with taking fewer or less intense doses of their prescriptions.
This, in turn, diminishes some of the potential side effects.
Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Many studies have shown that creatine is useful in keeping glucose levels healthy and stable, which helps stave off diabetes.
Scientists have discovered that individuals who take creatine show an elevated level in the protein that transports glucose throughout the cells. This may lead to more control of your glycemic index.
Utilizing creatine supplements can also trigger changes in your glucose by adjusting your body’s reactions to the insulin in your circulation system.
This will result in the diminishing of your glucose levels.
Without these signals from the insulin, the cells in your blood won’t enable glucose to travel through them. Because of this, creatine can be valuable to individuals experiencing diabetes or hypoglycemia.
Helps With Brain Functions
Creatine can help enhance the stamina of nerve cells so they can fight all the ecological perils in our world today.
This includes things like free radicals and peroxides. Their harm to cell structures may conceivably be the cause of some neurodegenerative issues.
Using creatine also renews lost creatine stores in the cerebrum, which tends to occur from the absence of rest or stress.
When you use creatine supplements, the energy level in your cerebrum increases. This can lessen exhaustion, as well as improve memory.
Moreover, this expansion in your metabolism and energy supports synapse recovery, which can help fight off the symptoms of neurodegenerative illnesses.
Helps Bulk You Up
Creatine supports the body’s capacity to create muscle. This allows for noteworthy increases in contrast to the results of just hitting the gym for your high-intensity training.
Creatine is one of the legitimate supplements that can expand bulk when it is utilized alongside consistent workouts.
Creatine has been proven to help fight exhaustion that comes from physical activity, such as working out. Creatine may also decrease the effects of heat exhaustion and lack of sleep.
There are many other positive benefits that you can garner from the use of creatine supplements. These are simply ones that may have the most impact on the final decision of which is better…creatine or mass gainers.
However, even with all the great advantages, there are a few disadvantages we would be remiss if we didn’t mention them.
During the early phases of their supplementation routine, some creatine clients have encountered swelling in places like their stomachs.
In this phase, your body begins to increase in bulk through water retention, which frequently prompts bloating. This stage can also prompt a critical increase in water weight.
This expansion in water retention and bloating because of taking creatine is short-lived, though.
Creatine can accelerate symptoms of kidney diseases or can bring about a kidney infection in individuals with diabetes. Individuals with these conditions ought to abstain from taking creatine.
Your kidneys normally discharge creatinine. If your kidneys are already damaged, the measure of creatinine ebbs. The creatine levels in your blood are the most normally used marker to note overall kidney health.
If the creatinine levels are high, it implies your kidneys may be damaged.
Anti-inflammatory prescriptions that are nonsteroidal, like ibuprofen, engage with creatine and may enhance the chance of harm being done to your kidneys.
That is why it is smart to consult with your primary care physician before you start using a creatine supplement. This is important in case you are on any meds that affect the functions of your liver or kidney.
Certain prescriptions have side effects that affect your kidneys and creatine can also make your kidneys work harder. It is best not to use both at the same time.
There have been some documentations of unpredictable heartbeats brought about by creatine supplements.
Heart palpitations are not really risky unless you have any pre-existing heart conditions or diseases.
A sporadic heartbeat when utilizing creatine may result from a lack of hydration and an imbalance of electrolytes.
If creatine has any effect on your heart and causes arrhythmia, you might need to consider removing creatine from your supplement regimen.
Creatine draws water from different parts of the body and stores it in the muscles. While the quantity of water that is taken from your cells is negligible, it has been known to cause dehydration. To a great extent, this worry is because of the way your muscles hold water when you take creatine.
Additionally, muscle cramps are a typical reaction of taking creatine, which regularly happens when your body isn’t intaking enough water.
Make sure to continually drink plenty of water for the duration of the day to prevent this occurrence.
Now that you have a good knowledge base when it comes to creatine, let us look at its opposition – the mass gainer.
Mass Gainer – What is It? And What Does It Do?
Mass gainers are fatty enhancements that contain different degrees of protein, fat, starches, minerals, nutrients, amino acids, and other supplements. A mass gainer has low degrees of protein in contrast with sugars and fats.
Mass gainers are ordinarily taken to build the calorie level in the body to induce muscle gain. A decent mass gainer gives between 300 to 1,200 calories in a single serving.
Despite the fact that the protein level in a mass gainer is low, the nature of protein utilized in the mass gainer blend is pretty high. Therefore, it keeps up the basic protein level of the body.
Pros & Cons of Mass Gainers
A little knowledge can go a long way in helping anyone deduce the answer to which of these muscle building supplements is the best. Mass gainers are just now gaining a lot of popularity, so you may not know the pros and cons of this supplement.
Builds Muscle Faster
This supplement that helps you build mass is extraordinarily popular with weight lifters.
It offers maximal recovery from extraneous activities and helps give enough calories to enhance muscle mass. Mass gainers routinely contain a mix of proteins, fats, and starches.
The totals can change from product to product. By including these in your workout routine, you will see an increased muscle gain due to their fine-tuned formulas.
As it has a high measure of proteins, it certainly helps in expanding the amount of activity you are capable of doing in a session. Protein is one of the key ingredients in muscle repair and building. Protein is broken down by your body.
The amino acids produced are used to repair the tears that working out creates in your muscles. With muscles that are getting repaired consistently, your performance will be improved, so you can go harder and longer.
Protein balance is a basic part of the development of muscles. To keep up your muscles, you need to make sure you have enough protein in your diet.
You need a positive protein balance (exhausting more than you are using). Exercise can make a negative protein balance by spending a huge amount of protein.
That is why adding the protein in is so important to giving you a balanced protein level in your body.
There are a lot of great advantages to adding a muscle gainer into your supplement schedule. However, like with all things, there are a few drawbacks, as well.
In the event that mass gainer portion measurement isn’t overseen appropriately, it can cause gastric issues. Upset stomachs and diarrhea have been reported.
This is due to the over absorption of nutrients while being digested. If these problems persist, you may want to consult a physician to ensure you are not having any allergic reactions to the ingredients.
Detrimental to the Kidney
Creatine is a prominent muscle supplement that is present in a lot of mass gainers. As we said above, creatine is usually expelled by the kidneys.
Although it will help you bulk up if you have any kidney problems, you may want to check with a doctor before use.
Many mass gainers contain caffeine and creatine, which helps when you are hitting the gym hard. This will definitely have a negative effect when taken in the evening and may cause problems with getting to sleep quickly.
If you are planning on using a mass gainer, then make sure that you allow enough time between dosing and heading to bed.
Cramping is one of the normal reactions your body has when using mass gainers. This could be due to the common side effect of dehydration.
Your muscles use water, along with other nutrients, to allow those muscles to contract and expand in an organized fashion. When there is not enough water, they don’t have what they need, and this results in cramping.
As you can see, both items have their pluses and minuses. The answer to creatine vs mass gainer: which is better is something that you have to decide for yourself.
We certainly hope the information we have laid out for you helps you with your decision.