NUTRITION, SUPPLEMENTS, TRAINING | Affiliate Supplements | 01/19/2023
Creatine is an amino acid found primarily in our muscles and brain. Most people obtain creatine through the consumption of seafood and red meat. However, these sources have much lower creatine levels than synthetically manufactured supplements. The body also produces about 1 gram of creatine per day. In this article, we will dive into the truth behind creatine, discussing its effects on our bodies and its proper dosage.
Creatine is one of the body’s natural supplies of energy for muscle contraction. It is mainly stored in your muscles as phosphocreatine and functions as an immediate energy supply to tissues when energy demands increase. As a result, creatine leads to a "quick burst" of energy and increased strength, which enhances performance. However, aerobic endurance is minimally affected. Most people who use creatine supplements are male athletes and primarily participate in high-intensity intermittent sports that require fast recovery during competition and training.
The ATP-PCr system, also called the "immediate energy system," is the primary energy source for high-intensity exercises lasting up to 10 seconds, such as weight lifting, swinging golf clubs, or performing push-ups.
Let's break down the ATP-PCr system. The body's main energy currency, ATP (adenosine triphosphate), is hydrolyzed to produce a large amount of energy used for protein synthesis and muscular contraction. Phosphocreatine, or PCr, is made in the muscles in three ways: in the liver from creatine, in the muscles from creatine, and the muscles from ATP. The muscles conserve PCr and use it to produce ATP again in skeletal muscles.
Supplementing with creatine elevates the levels of PCr, which in turn enhances performance, muscular power, and endurance during high-intensity workouts. Some studies found that average and peak power significantly increased when creatine supplementation was provided.
There are very few legal supplements that, when used with exercise, can help increase muscle mass, and creatine is among them. A study found that creatine can help enhance muscle mass when introduced to an exercise program. Strength was improved, while myostatin, a protein that prevents muscle cell growth, was reduced. Creatine supplementation has also been found to possibly countermeasure the decrease in bone, muscle, and strength associated with menopause.
The increase in muscle mass following creatine supplementation use has been partly linked to the water retention that occurs in the muscle tissues. Water retention is most common in the early stages of supplementation and can lead to adverse effects. However, the greater osmotic pressure has been thought to cause muscle cell swelling, which may be a stimulant for cell growth.
Not only does creatine help with muscle growth and strength, but it has also been shown to affect cognition and brain health positively. Supplementing with creatine may enhance brain function, particularly in older individuals.
Creatine's potential benefits on brain health and cognition may be linked to its role in the ATP–PCr system, which we mentioned earlier. The coupled ATP and creatine kinase processes are primarily responsible for controlling the brain's ATP metabolism. Therefore, the ATP metabolic network's ability to keep a steady cellular ATP concentration is essential for preserving normal brain function.
Although your body produces creatine naturally, you must maintain your levels through your diet. Supplementing creatine benefits those with low amounts of creatine, such as vegetarians. The supplementation for athletes is also permitted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the International Olympic Committee, although it might only be beneficial for some. As for all dietary supplements, choose a product that follows advised production standards and goes through independent testing to ensure product quality. Always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider prior to taking the supplements, regardless of your health condition or age. Creatine supplementation may be unsafe for those with kidney problems.
Although there are various types of creatine on the market, creatine monohydrate is the most affordable and efficient version. Creatine supplementation is thought to be safe when taken in appropriate doses. A loading protocol can be used to take creatine monohydrate. Loading entails taking 0.3 grams/kilogram of body weight/day for the first 5 to 7 days. Then take at minimum 03 g/kg/day for three weeks (if you’re cycling) or continuously (without adding loading phases). The timing in which you take the supplements has minor effects. However, new research found that post-workout supplementation could boost muscle mass.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult a physician before starting a new diet regimen or new supplement product.
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