What is Creatine?
Creatine is a natural substance that is naturally produced in the body primarily stored in skeletal muscle. Creatine essentially gives you more energy as you exercise through a more rapid production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP.
How it is used?
Creatine as a supplement is primarily taken orally in powder form. Although creatine is naturally produced in our bodies, it is recommended to take 5-10 grams a day if you want to supplement it.
When to use it
Creatine is thought to improve strength and increase lean muscle mass. Although the strength increases are not super significant, the idea is that working past your threshold for a long period of time accelerates progress and gains. Creatine is most effective for short and explosive exercises that utilize the phosphogen energy system. The phosphogen system is an anaerobic and our immediate source of energy. It is the primary source of ATP for short, high intensity activities.
ATP à ADP + Pi
CP + ADP à ATP + Creatine
ATP/CP stored in limited amounts
Because of the effectiveness of creatine on short high intensity activities, it is commonly used by weightlifters. It is not as beneficial for athletes such as long distance runner because of the energy systems used. As seen in the image below, we have three energy systems of which our bodies use. Creatine is most effective in the first category where the activity lasts 0-10 seconds.
What are the risks?
As of right now there are no evidence of risks with supplementing creatine. Although it is believed that excessive use of creatine my cause kidney damage.
Question for the readers!
Knowing that there are proven benefits and little to no risks, would you consider taking creatine? What do you use it for?
Hintz, H. (n.d.). Creatine. Retrieved November 2, 2005, from http://www.sciencedirect.com.mutex.gmu.edu/science/article/pii/S0737080601701116
Salvador, L. M., Ariza, M. P., Muñoz, A. P., & Guerrero, A. E. (2015). Study on risk creatine and dehydration in athletes training in a gym. Nutricion Hospitalaria, 32(S2), 40. doi:10.3305/nh.2015.32.sup2.10321
Ehrlich, S. D. (2014, June 26). Creatine. Retrieved November 22, 2016, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/creatine