Creatine is a supplement we generally take to aid in the increase of our muscle size, usually taken alongside Protein shakes. But it’s a supplement most people don’t know much about. So here we will explain what Creatine does and how exactly it will aid you in your goals for your fitness lifestyle.
Creatine is produced naturally by the body and is also found in meats and animal products in small quantities. Creatine is stored in muscle cells and produced in the liver and kidneys. Creatine helps produce ATP which is the body’s energy molecules (source) so therefore giving the body an increase in its energy produced.
How it works:
Without straying too deep into biochemistry, here is a simplified way of how Creatine works:
Creatine is found in our bodies as Creatine phosphate. It works with ATP to provide more energy for movements (muscle contractions). ATP is hydrolysed into ADP (loses a phosphate molecule) therefore releasing heat energy to the body for movement. Creatine helps by providing ADP with the extra phosphate molecule it needs to revert to ATP and so the cycle continues. The best time to take Creatine is before and after your workouts as this is where most ATP needs to be replenished and so you will get the full effect from this. There are different ways of taking Creatine and the only way to find what way works for you is to try it yourself.
Benefits of Creatine:
Increase in muscle size – Creatine supplementation causes the muscles to retain more water and therefore become fuller. Creatine can also (due to the increase in ATP production) provide the body with more energy for your workouts and so therefore provide better quality muscle gains and better workouts so providing better results.
Improved athletic performance – Due to the increased amount of energy you can work out to your full potential as it provides you with more energy to work out for long and therefore aiding in increasing your athletic performance.
Creatine should only be used in healthy individuals as it can put unnecessary strain on the kidneys and liver if the individual has certain health risks with heart kidneys or liver or used incorrectly. It is advised to drink at least 4 (men) and 3 (women) litres of water a day.
By Jack Ringland