Creatine Update

A short while back, I posted briefly on creatine. Just to recap, my thinking was that most of the benefits that can be gained from creatine supplementation can be gained merely by increasing one's water consumption without taking creatine.

I had posted that I intended to stop taking creatine and just drink more water instead. So I did. For the past few weeks, I've been drinking no less than a liter of water between 7:00 AM and 11:00 AM, every day. (That's roughly between the time I arrive at work in the morning until the time I go to lunch.) In addition to that, I drink approximately 16 ounces of water at breakfast, along with another 16 ounces of water + milk in the form of two homemade cafe lattes. At lunch, I drink about 30 more ounces of water (just shy of another liter). I'll drink perhaps 12-24 ounces of water at dinner, and then throughout the evening, I'll have a cup of tea and another glass of water.

As you consider the above, please keep in mind that I live in a very hot and humid climate, and I work out 1-2 times per day. If a sedentary person in a more temperate climate were drinking this much water, I think it would make them sick. But for an active person living in Texas during the summertime, I believe this represents heightened, but reasonable, water intake.

Another thing I should mention is that I have significantly reduced the amount of alcohol I drink. Until recently, I've been having wine with dinner, and beer occasionally. Recently, I've eschewed alcohol unless I'm out socializing with friends. Reducing the amount of alcohol I drink also reduces the dehydrating effects of alcohol, therefore improving my body's overall hydration.

The result of all this additional hydration cannot be measured by "increased muscle mass," as is typically advertised on the label of a bottle of creatine, because I'm not a bodybuilder, and I'm not trying to increase my muscle mass. As a distance runner, however, my experience with creatine was that it helped my muscles feel fresh when it came time to do fast runs and speed workouts. (They felt fresh before any workout, really, but it was most noticeable during the most strenuous workouts.)

With that in mind, I'm pleased to report that my subjective experience with hydration in lieu of creatine supplementation is that, so long as I drink enough water, I can enjoy all the benefits of creatine without the actual creatine.

So, drink up, folks. All that additional water will likely help you feel every bit as good as you feel after a couple of weeks of creatine supplementation.

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