Creatine is one of those supplements that has certainly weathered the test of time. Here is some science behind creatine to give you an understanding about how it works in your body and why after so many years, it is still such a popular supplement.
Creatine is manufactured in your body from the amino acids arginine and glycine. These amino acids react to form a compound called guanidinoacetate.Your liver is what produces the creatine which will eventually enter the blood stream and be delivered throughout the body for use. The body only makes about 1 to 3 grams of creatine per day which is not optimal for muscle gains. This means that the integration of a creatine supplement daily will dramatically increase the chance for more muscle growth.
Creatine is actually consumed in your diet and you can obtain a minimal amount of creatine through the meat and fish you eat. The more meat or fish you have in your diet the more creatine you will have for your body to use. It’s an amusing parallel between strength athletes and the amount of meat they consume. They have been noted to consume ample amounts of meat which shows a positive relationship with the amount of weight that can be pushed. The greater the amount of creatine in a diet results in a greater amount of phosphocreatine (PCr) stored in your muscle tissue. Phosphocreatine is stored through the combination of creatine and phosphate. PCr is stored in your muscle tissue along with your ATP. Together PCr and ATP store the chemical energy of the body, and the more energy they store, the greater the output of maximal muscle performance. It is important to take creatine supplements and maintain this higher than normal amount of reatine in your body. By adding creatine it will help maintain increased levels of creatine phosphate in your muscle tissue. This so called “loading” of creatine will eventually enable your muscle tissue to increase the amount of creatine phosphate stored in them. When this occurs, it causes muscle fibers to grow larger. Now, with this supplementation, it enhances the amount of creatine phosphate used to replenish your ATP. So, in a nut shell, the addition of creatine supplements results in loading up your muscle fibers with PCr. This, in-turn, gives your muscles the ability to work harder and store more power in the form of PCr. This all translates to increased muscle growth and strength gains far greater than not supplementing with creatine.
Creatine is deemed with the false reputation of only flooding your cells with water causing a bloated look which will eventually fade after a discontinued use. The effect creatine has in the body supersedes more than just the cell volumizing effects. Creatine has been researched for a countless number of years and is found to be crucial for unlocking your true physique potential. Creatine promotes greater gains in lean body mass as well as increasing the body's muscle hypertrophy. It has been researched to improve performance in endurance and strength as well as overall maximum effort output. It is also said that with the use of creatine monohydrate, athletes will experience an increase in the levels of mRNA for IGF-1 and IGF-2. The net result with the use of creatine is to fuel faster gains in strength and muscle mass.
Studies on the benefits of creatine are ongoing. In fact, recent studies have shown that creatine may even improve short-term memory and intelligence/reasoning of healthy individuals. So if you haven't tried creatine before, give it a shot, you will be pleasantly surprised.