Creatine has been a staple in sports nutrition supplementation for decades now. But do you really know what it is and how it works to improve performance? Here is some science behind creatine to give you an understanding of how it works in your body.
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 increase the chance for more muscle growth.
Creatine is consumed in your diet and you obtain a minimal amount of creatine through the consumption of meat and fish. The more meat and fish you have in your diet, the more creatine your body will have to use. It’s an amusing parallel between strength athletes and the amount of meat they consume. They have been noted to consume high amounts of meat which shows a direct correlation with the amount of weight they can be push.
So how does creatine work? The greater the amount of creatine in the diet results in a greater amount of phosphocreatine stored in muscle tissue. Phosphocreatine (PCr) is stored through the combination of creatine and phosphate. This PCr is stored in your muscle tissue along with Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Together PCr and ATP store the chemical energy of the body. The more energy they store, the greater the output of maximal muscle performance. Creatine supplementation will help maintain increased levels of PCr and ATP.
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 physical potential promoting greater gains in lean body mass as well as increasing the body’s muscle hypertrophy. Creatine has been researched to improve performance in endurance and strength as well as overall maximum output. The net result with the use of creatine is to fuel faster gains in strength and muscle mass.
Creatine might also lessen muscle cramps due to dehydration as well as other athletic related injuries. There are also studies that demonstrate creatine supplementation may improve cognition and brain health and even improve bone density especially in the elderly.
There is no doubt that creatine should be a staple in anyone's supplement regimen especially athletes and those that exercise regularly.