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Journal Tomble's Journal: Creatine 2

[there doesn't seem to be a /. topic for health, fitness, or exercise. Funny, that]

After a few weeks of extra slackness (mostly due to a flurry of emails between Interrobang and myself taking up much of my time), I figured I'd try taking Creatine for a bit to try to catch up on my weights again. For those that don't know, creatine is a supplement for helping your muscles recover quickly from exercise, giving them more energy, whatever. It's produced by your liver, and you get a little from meat, but both in small amounts. Creatine isn't steroids*, and I wouldn't take those: I don't think that getting bigger muscles would be worth getting smaller elsewhere, do you?

(*-I know, there's different types of steroids)

Anyway, obvious effects I've found from taking creatine this past week or 2:

  • I got a splitting headache on the first or second day of taking them. I rarely get headaches. I think it must have been dehydration (creatine needs a lot of water to absorb, and you're supposed to load up with extra creatine the first 3 or 4 days). I've not had the headaches since though.
  • I seem maybe able to last a bit longer with the weights, but unfortunately I'm still unfit (bad cardiovascular fitness), so I get exhausted about as quickly.
  • I'm about 7 quid poorer (I was lucky I found some reduced at Holland & Barrett after shopping about; unfortunately they're in capsule form, which is apparently not so good)
  • Every so often I seem able to smell creatine. This may be because (according to an article I read from the BBC a few months back) people who take creatine start to smell. Oh dear.

FWIW, Creatine has a bit of an earthy flavour. Not earthy like black bean sauce (yum!), but earthy like, well, earth. Hmmph. Well, I've tasted worse, and it's quite tolerable. It's also worth knowing that (according to most articles I've read about the stuff) creatine should not be taken with fruit juice, because this apparently turns it into "creatinine", which is the waste product, which does you no good. Water is the thing to take it with.

I think I might have done better if I were able to eat much more. I'm not too good at that. Being able to exercise harder is all very well and good, but if your body doesn't have the means or the opportunity* to actually build the muscles, it's not quite so useful.

(*-contrary to popular belief, muscles only grow whilst you sleep, not whilst you exercise)

(Later): that was initially written as part of my previous JE, but the whole thing got too big, so it's here instead. It's now been more like 4 weeks, which is slightly longer than is generally recommended, but OTOH I've been taking less than the recommended dosage and I missed a couple days this week, back when I was trying to sort out the various upgrades and installing the Jabber client(s). There's only about a day's worth or so of the stuff left now.

Meanwhile, I got a bag of red lentils, and a bag of soy mince. Not because I'm a vegetarian (I'm not), just because it seemed a relatively cheap source of protein, that's not going to go off, and that's decently filling. I'll probably try to make something edible out of that tonight, other than Soylent Red (for which I don't have the recipe). Rice will most likely be involved.

Is any of this of interest to anyone? Probably not, but meh, there you go. It seemed worth writing about, anyway.

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  • Here's one suggestion that's worked wonders for me.

    Rather than go to a gym or something, just try playing some sports regularly.

    At the end of it, just have a balanced meal. You'll notice that you are a whole lot better off :)
    • In terms of cardiovascular fitness, yeah, I think that'd be a good one. If I could think of a sport that actually appealed to me! Unfortunately, the only thing that seems vaguely appealing is squash, but (1)that's always seemed to me like one of those very class-conscious sports, and the other people might go looking down on me or something, (2)that might make it correspondingly much more expensive, and (3)I get the impression it's so incredibly strenuous that I'd probably last about 3 seconds before dying

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton