Oh Creatine! Why must thou be so scrutinized?! Some question your safety. Some question your benefits. You get such a bad name sometimes. I feel for you and I’m here to stand up for you!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a 2-week noob to the lifting scene or a seasoned vet with thousands of pounds lifted under your belt. Chances are that you have heard about Creatine. In its simplest definition, Creatine is a natural supplement used to boost athletic performance. But that definition sells it way short and I’m not about that life.
(Please hold – Science coming through)
Creatine is a naturally occurring nitrogenous organic acid found in the skeletal muscle of vertebrates. About 95% of the creatine found in the human body is located within the skeletal muscle. Creatine is produced from amino acids, L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine to be exact, and the process is performed mainly in the kidneys and liver
Most of the creatine found in our bodies comes from the foods we eat. Unless you are a vegetarian, up to half of the creatine that is stored in your body can come from meat.
(Ok – you may cross)
So where was I? Oh right, Creatine and what it does, why it’s good and why you should be taking it.
For starters, hundreds upon hundreds of studies have been done to study Creatine’s performance enhancing benefits and safety. Most have validated its safety and a staggering 70% of studies have proven direct increases in performance as a result of Creatine intake. Now as is the case with anything, everything in moderation – right? Follow recommended doses and you will be reaping the benefits (over-abuse and well, we know how that turns out)
So lets dive into some of the specific benefits…
Muscle Fatigue and Output
Our muscles have natural phosphocreatine levels and we need them for power output in our muscles during prolonged use. When phosphocreatine levels dip, muscle fatigue is triggered and we start to gas out.
Phosphocreatine is linked to the production of ATP, which you can call our little fuel molecule. Our cells use ATP for energy and other human functions – like living. If we’re expending ATP faster than we’re replacing it, we basically become zombies.
Supplementing with Creatine prolongs the depletion of phosphocreatine. Allowing us to increase our output and work out longer. Hooray creatine!
Ok, ok … the actual term is Muscle Volumization. So creatine helps draw water into the muscles. Which is a massive win because it has been shown to increase protein synthesis.
The increase in the volume of the muscle cell signals that it has grown. As a result, the muscle cell responds by increasing its production of vital proteins. In other words, it increases the efficiency in which protein is utilized.
Creatine not only impacts your muscles but it also gives that brain of yours a nice boost. When performing difficult tasks, our brain requires ATP. Neurons, found in your brain, require high levels of energy (or ATP).
Supplementing with creatine can increase phosphocreatine stores in the brain and help the brain produce more ATP. Creatine may also aid brain function by increasing dopamine levels and the function of mitochondria.
I fully understand that “everyday is arm” day, but don’t let your brain take a backseat. It is technically a muscle.
And there you have it. We wanted to keep this relatively basic and simple. We fully understand that creatine is an incredible substance and we could write a 5 page post on it…
But lets be honest – how many of you would actually read it?! lol.
Moral of the story here is that creatine is a powerful substance. One that is super safe and as far as supplements you can buy easily – super effective. This is Eat . Whey . Love approved!