So in my continued efforts to stop being stupid about supplementation, I picked up a jar of creatine monohydrate. (Side rant: It is depressingly hard to find plain ol’ micronized creatine without huge amounts of extra shit in it.) Briefly: Creatine works by increasing the levels of phosphocreatine in muscle cells, allowing a lifter to perform more reps at a given weight (and possibly increasing max strength by a small amount). More reps means more time under tension means more hypertrophy. (Please note that I am simplifying outrageously.)
The front of the jar helpfully notes that creatine supplementation “supports increased strength and increased lean muscle mass”. The back of the jar warns me that it “may result in weight gain”. No shit Sparky, that’s what it’s for. I suppose the warning might refer to increased water uptake rather than honest-to-balls hypertrophy, but the comedic effect stands.
(Creatine’s also involved in mental function, although it seems to be more reliably effective at staving off the effects of Alzheimer’s and vegetarianism than at making healthy people smarter. Still, I use my brain to make a living, so it’s worth a shot for the potential nootropic effect alone. I figure this jar will amortize out to about twenty cents a day, which basically makes it cheaper than lentils, so it’s not like I’m taking a huge risk here.)