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Mena's Minute

Consuming creatine benefits muscle gain.

WRITTEN BY MENA SPODOBALSKI

In the fitness world, some of the most common goals are to lose weight, gain muscle, and be fitter. With regular exercise and clean eating, you can accomplish just that. But if you are truly attempting to attain and maintain hard-earned muscle, consuming creatine can increase your muscle development as well as your energy levels. This allows you to work out harder for longer.

What is creatine? It’s a natural substance found in various meats such as beef, pork, chicken, and fish, which can reduce fatigue and increase performance during high-intensity exercise and activities. Creatine also can help boost brain function and memory. It gives you the energy to move and push yourself beyond your limits. Creatine studies have shown its effectiveness for increasing muscle strength, power, and size, as well as overall athletic performance. Creatine helps you gain and retain metabolically active lean muscle mass, which makes it an indirect fat burner. The more muscle you have on your body, the harder you can work in the weight room and the more calories you can burn both during and after your training sessions.

Because creatine is a natural substance, you can get it from your foods as well as in supplement form. It is safe for athletes to use. Do your research, find what you like, and try it out.

Creatine is not a magic pill. However, if your diet and nutrition are in line, creatine can help you reach your fitness goals.

To help you on your way, enjoy this delicious pork carnitas recipe and start your gains.

Mena Spodobalski owns and is an advanced fitness trainer at Evoke Fitness in Reno. She also is a state champion and nationally qualified fitness competitor. For details, visit http://www.Evokefit.com.

Recipe

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
(courtesy of Mena Spodobalski. Serves 6 to 8)
4 pounds pork shoulder roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¾ cup orange juice (2 oranges)
¼ cup lime juice (2 limes)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, quartered
Tortillas (corn are preferable)
Lime, wedges, to taste
Avocado, slices, to taste
Lettuce, to taste
Cheese, shredded, to taste

In small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub thoroughly on outside of pork shoulder.

In slow cooker, combine orange juice, lime juice, garlic, and onion. Place pork on top. Cook on low for eight hours or on high for four to five hours.

Remove roast from slow cooker and shred. Return pork to slow cooker and heat for additional 30 minutes.

Remove pork from slow cooker and place on baking sheet. Broil in oven for three to four minutes to brown pork edge. Serve with corn tortillas, avocado, lettuce, and cheese.

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