“Think of creatine as an energy source within our body.”
CREATINE is one of the most extensively studied supplements out there. While there have been statements made reporting creatine to be unsafe; these statements are not supported by the research done up as far as the time of writing this article!
Creatine is often highlighted in the fitness industry as one of the more “essential” and “safest” supplements out there. In this piece, I hope to break down what creatine is and the benefits of implementing it into your current nutrition.
So you might be wondering, what exactly is creatine? It can be concisely defined as “a compound formed in protein metabolism and present in much living tissue. It is involved in the supply of energy for muscular contraction.” So the definition on its own can give us a quick clue into what the effects of creatine are.
Believe it or not, creatine is actually found naturally within our body! Ninety-five per cent of our creatine stores are within our muscles, with the remaining five per cent located in the brain, kidneys & liver. There are several factors that can influence our bodies creatine stores, most notably meat intake, exercise, with muscle mass amounts and hormone levels such as testosterone having some effect too.
So why should we supplement something that our body is already producing? In a nutshell, to improve our health and performance.
Think of creatine as an energy source within our body which kicks in when we need to lift something heavy or train at a high intensity. If we opt to supplement creatine, these energy stores will increase. As a result, we will be in a much better position to train at a higher intensity – which in turn will contribute to boosting our performance overall.
While performance is a core benefit of supplementing creatine, it is not the only benefit. Creatine is also consistently linked with the increase of muscle mass, (i.e. hypertrophy) across a wide range of studies. This is due to creatine allowing more volume to be completed each training session, while also helping to aid muscle repair and muscle growth.
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, there are, yet again some other noteworthy health benefits from supplementing with creatine.
As I mentioned earlier; A portion of our body’s creatine stores lie within the brain. Creatine supplementation has been suggested to slow down the progression of many neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy and Motor Neurone Disease. While research also suggests improvements in memory and brain function, creatine has been also reported to help against high blood pressure as well as fatty liver disease.
You might now be wondering if you should take it and how much you should be aiming to consume daily. To begin with, I would firstly recommend that you opt for the “Creatine Monohydrate” as there are many different forms of creatine out there – this is the most researched and safest, in my opinion.
When starting off, consume five grams four times a day for five to seven days. Following this period, five grams daily is likely to prove sufficient to keep creatine stores optimally topped up.
If you would like to dig a little deeper into the subject at hand, there are a wealth of research and articles online. I have tried to keep it short and simple here to help people understand and appreciate the value of this given supplement.
Lastly, I would also like to clarify that I am not a registered dietician. All advice disclosed here is simply advisory based on my qualifications as a fitness professional and personal experience and knowledge gained working with individuals and helping them reach their goals.
The advice given is not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.
I hope someone found some of this information useful. Just some food for thought. For any questions in relation to this topic or training, nutrition, etc. or for coaching inquiries simply message me on my business page on instagram @coachedbycashel_ or by email: [email protected]