How to build muscle in your body with the help of a popular supplement

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2012

If you’re into weightlifting or follow sports on even a superficial level, you’ve probably heard of creatine. A supplement that’s exploded in popularity over the past 20 years, creatine is often used by professional athletes and casual weightlifters alike, in hopes it will enhance their performance and help build muscle.

A naturally occurring compound found in many of the meats we eat, creatine interacts with amino acids in the body and is thought to both help build muscle and aid in muscle recovery. Used by itself, creatine won’t increase performance or muscle mass, but research suggests it may help when taken as a supplement to regular workouts.

Due to the popularity of creatine as a training supplement, there are plenty of options to choose from if you are interested in using it as a supplement. You can find more information about different creatine powders at Here are a few things to consider before using creatine powder as a workout supplement.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

* Read product reviews to find out if you’re spending your money on a product that works. If you work out at a gym, one of the trainers might also be able to suggest products that would work best for you, but be sure to do some research on your own as well.

* Consider side effects. Creatine can have side effects — especially when used in excess — such as fever, fatigue and an upset stomach. If you experience side effects while taking the supplements, you may want to try another product or you may decide creatine is not for you. Search the product online to make sure that it’s not associated with any widespread negative side effects.

* Read the label. This is especially important if you are taking drugs for other conditions or other supplements, because creatine can have a negative reaction with other products.

* Follow the instructions. The supplement you choose should come with instructions on the proper amounts of creatine to take and the best time to take the supplement. Just as creatine won’t help you if you aren’t already working out, chances are it won’t work very well if you are taking it at the wrong time in the wrong amounts.