You’ve likely heard of creatine. You might supplement with this remarkable molecule already. But maybe, just maybe, you’ve asked Dr Google and now have lingering questions…
Could creatine lead to fluid retention or its opposite, dehydration?
Is it only helpful for men, those who lift heavy, and younger people?
Might it damage your kidneys? Make you go bald? Cause your spare tyre to inflate?
Many misconceptions still exist; perpetuated by delusion and misinformation…
So, what is the truth? What is creatine? How does it affect the body? And when should you increase your intake?
That’s the focus of this article. Let’s look at the frequently asked questions about this beneficial compound…
What is creatine?
Creatine is the common name given to methylguanidine-acetic acid, a compound derived from amino acids.
How does creatine work?
Creatine is predominantly stored in our skeletal muscles; the muscles that move the body. More than half our stores are in the form of creatine phosphate.
This molecule has a number of roles, but of special importance is its ability to resynthesize adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This provides short, rapid bursts of energy.
Where does creatine come from?
We tend to think of creatine as a supplement. But, as one review article put it, “Creatine is a naturally occurring compound obtained in humans from endogenous production and consumption through the diet.” In short, our bodies produce this molecule and we obtain it through our food.
Hearty food sources include beef, salmon, and tuna.
Plus, supplementation has been shown to increase the level of creatine in the body. To bolster intake and hone results, this is a sensible step. There are two important factors that should determine product choice if you wish to maximize outcomes.
Choose creatine monohydrate
Creatine monohydrate is more effective than other forms. As research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found, this particular molecule is “effective at increasing serum and muscle creatine levels [and] improving body composition, muscle mass, strength, and power.”
Our powerful Creatine supplement contains Creapure, the purest and finest level of micronized creatine monohydrate.
Choose powdered form
There are liquid creatine options available. However, creatine serum is not as effective as the powdered form.
In a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, participants took either creatine powder in solution plus a placebo serum, or creatine serum plus a placebo powder. Performance was measured.
Results showed that total work and peak power significantly improved after taking creatine powder. However, little change was noted after supplementing with creatine serum.
Further research found that ingesting creatine monohydrate (in solution) delivered a marked increase in plasma creatine and urinary excretion. However, creatine serum didn’t result in increased plasma or urinary creatine.
Stick with powdered form to deliver the greatest gains and the most bang for your buck.
What are creatine’s potential health benefits?
That’s a great question!
The health benefits are broad. While well-loved in the exercise sphere, this molecule has wider ranging and important potential advantages. Creatine has been shown to:
- increase the formation of ATP and, so, the production of energy
- supercharge energy supply to muscles during high-intensity exercise
- improve high-intensity exercise performance
- enhance the growth of lean body mass (muscle mass)
- augment repetitive exercise tasks (isokinetic, isometric, and isotonic resistance exercise)
- possibly protect against neuronal degeneration
- increase the capacity for physical work
- improve glucose (blood sugar) tolerance
- aid the speed of cognitive processing (with benefits for working memory and intellect)
When should you supplement with creatine?
Ready to energize your workouts, supercharge your exercise performance, increase muscle mass, and amp up your results? Creatine is well worth the investment!
If you are vegetarian or vegan, supplementation is also wise. Creatine is found in meat products so vegetarians may have diminished stores. Supplementation can help to prevent a deficiency.
Are there any risks to increasing your creatine intake?
As with all health decisions, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons…
Could creatine add more muscle, strip down fat, energize your day, and improve function? Does the evidence support elevated health? Will supplementation help you to achieve your goals?
Or might it come with material risk? A side effect that would diminish or nullify any benefits?
These are important questions. It is the worry about undesirable outcomes that give rise to common frequently asked questions about creatine. Questions like, might this humble molecule damage your kidneys? Or make you go bald? Or cause your spare tyre to inflate?
Wonderfully, though, research on creatine is vast. Long-term safety studies have been conducted. Blood tests have been performed in those who supplement in an ongoing fashion. Electrolytes, hematological markers, lipid profiles, lymphocytes, metabolic markers, muscle and liver enzymes, and urine have been assessed.
Research has found that, “Long-term creatine supplementation… does not appear to adversely affect markers of health status.”
Creatine will not harm your health, your hair will not fall out, you won’t get fat…
Given that our creatine supplement has zero calories, the latter, in particular, is unsurprising.
As with many supplements, though, if taken to excess you may experience diarrhea.
So, stick to the recommended dose. A study published in the journal, Research in Sports Medicine, found an intake of 10 grams of creatine in a single serve may trigger this complaint. However, the same amount split over two doses during a day mitigated this effect.
The creatine takeaway
Creatine is an important molecule. Found naturally in animal products, it can also be produced by the body. But if you’re looking to get the most from your body, your brain, and your workouts, supplemental creatine is an obvious and incredibly safe option.
Choose a high-quality powdered form of creatine monohydrate to get the best results. Our creatine supplement provides the perfect formula in a ready-to-go powder. And remember: Stick to the recommended dose!