creatine

Creatine: The King of Supplements

Creatine is the top supplement for improving performance and building muscle. It's safe, cheap, and very effective.

In this post, we discuss the main benefits of using creatine and quick guidelines of how and when to take it

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What’s Creatine?

Creatine is the most popular and well-studied natural supplement for fitness and health purposes.

It’s an organic compound present in your muscles and brain, responsible for energy production and homeostasis.

You can obtain creatine through seafood and meat, but it would take large amounts of food to reach the recommended creatine levels. Instead, creatine supplementation is often the choice to go.

A safe and effective profile, making creatine the king of sports supplements.

What Does Creatine Do to Your Body?

Creatine provides energy to the muscles and brain by increasing phosphocreatine levels.

Phosphocreatine will give out a phosphorus group to yield ATP, your body’s energy currency. This is called the phosphagen system, one of the most inmediate energy sources during physical activity.

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There are a lot of benefits associated to creatine, and it all comes to the same thing: creatine improves your energy systems and regulate ATP homeostasis (study).

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Where is Creatine Stored?

Around 95% creatine is stored in your muscles, while the remaining is distributed throughout your brain, heart, and testes (study).

Once in the destination, creatine is stored as phosphocreatine to give you inmediate energy when needed.

Creatine and Muscle Growth

Creatine is involved in your muscle’s metabolism. It increases strength, muscle, and improves your sports performance (study)

It enables more total volume load in a single training and during the week. The higher the volume load, the higher the muscle growth on the long term (study)

Creatine favours muscle growth by raising anabolic hormones (study), increasing ability to train (study), and increasing satellite cell signaling in your muscle (study)

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In this study done with weightlifters, creatine increased muscle fiber growth 2-3 times more than training alone. The increase in total body mass also doubled (study)

This review of the most popular supplements for muscle growth selected creatine as the number one supplement to use (review)

Benefits of Creatine on Sports Performance

Higher creatine levels may help you create more ATP at a faster rate, and regenerate it between sets to maintain a good performance during your workout (study)

Normally, ATP is depleted only after 10 seconds of high intensity exercise. With creatine, you can mantain optimal performance for a few seconds longer (study)

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In this study, the creatine group was able to increase the RM by a higher extent than the control group (study). Creatine kinase, a marker of muscle damage, was reduced in the creatine group.

Creatine improves strength, power, and high intensity exercise (study)

Creatine and Cognitive Function

Creatine is not only for athletes, as it also improves your brain function (study).

Considered a nootropic, creatine increases phosphocreatine levels in your brain by 5-15%. It provides energy and increases oxygen delivery to your brain.

Creatine is benefitial to your brain health by improving your short-term memory and reasoning skills (study)

creatine improves brain function

Creatine also shows to slow down neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease (study).

It may also be benefitial to treat acute neurodegenerative issues, such as brain injury, concussion, or hypoxia (study)

Other Benefits of Creatine

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Creatine is the king of supplements. It shows a strong evidence improving muscle growth, brain function, and training performance… but that’s not all.

There are some other benefits that creatine may bring you as well!

Creatine Slows Down the Aging Process

As you age, your metabolism doesn’t function as well as it used to.

Your muscles are not able to respond that well to the gym, your memory is not as good as it was… and that is part of the natural life cycle.

Creatine improves life of the elderly. It increases aging muscle mass and strength (study), and lowers the risk of suffering from mental disorders (study

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Effect of Creatine on Muscle Injury

A muscle injury can place you in bed for days, weeks, or even months.

During this period, there’s a high risk of sarcopenia and loss of muscle mass.

Creatine may help reduce muscle loss by improving your muscle health (study) and maintaining muscle mass (study)

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Taking creatine when bedridden can help you optimize the recovery process by providing more energy to your muscle.

The more energy, the better it will be at fighting the injury and recovering from it.

Creatine Controls Glucose Levels

Creatine combined with aerobic exercise improves glucose control and insulin resistance (study.

Recent evidence suggests creatine could improve insulin secretion and glucose management. This may be potentially benefitial for Type 2 Diabetes patients.

However, scarce is the evidence regarding the effect of creatine in this field, and you’ll have to wait for some more research before concluding anything.

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Dosage and Uses of Creatine

Creatine is the king of supplements, but how should you take it?

Recommendations for Creatine Supplementation

Creatine provides all its benefits when creatine levels in your body increase.

As it works by accumulation, it is important to remember taking it every day, even if you don’t do exercise.

Regarding which supplement to buy, try to go for creatine supplements with the patent Creapure. It ensures the highest purity, quality, and no contamination in the product

creatine creapure

Loading Phase

A loading phase of 20g/day during 7 days shows to faster increase creatine levels in your muscle and brain (study). After the loading phase, 5g/day is the recommended dose.

These large amounts of creatine during the loading phase may cause you intestinal and digestion problems.

If so, divide the total dose in smaller portions throughout the day.

Linear Protocol

And easier and still effective protocol is to take 0.1 g/kg creatine every day.

This dose is weight dependent, as you won’t need the same creatine as a 130kg bodybuilder.

This protocol is easy to use and remember.

When Should you Take Creatine?

Does it matter when you take creatine?

Theoretically, taking creatine around your workout may help you improve glucose uptake and increase the anabolic response and muscle recovery post-workout (study)

In practice, the time you remember is the best time to take creatine. Set the same time everyday to make it a habit, and don’t forget to take your creatine!!

Conclusion

Creatine is known as the king of supplements. It’s effective, cheap, and safe to use.

There’s strong evidence supporting the effect of creatine on your muscle, brain, and performance. Furthermore, creatine may also help you lower the risk of sarcopenia, improve the aging process, and control your glucose and insulin levels.

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