What is Creatine?
Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in our body, mainly in our muscle cells. Creatine is used in the muscles to create a high energy compound called ATP. Muscles use ATP as an energy source to function, as such, exercise performance can be boosted with an increase in ATP production.
ATP is a crucial source of energy that the body taps on when engaged in high intensity workouts or weightlifting.
The way to improve these forms of exercise performance would be to increase the ATP reservoir through increasing the creatine stores in the body.
How Creatine affects the body?
With the increase in ATP, the muscles will have more energy when engaged in weight lifting or high intensity sessions. This enhanced performance from the muscles will in turn help in :
- Heavier lifts : Enabling the body to complete more work through a session which will fundamentally be the major factor in encouraging muscle growth
- Aids Muscle Repair : Enhances satellite cell signalling that can help speed up muscle recovery
- Muscle Volumization : Creates muscle volume as it tends to increase water content with in the muscle cells.
- Reduce Muscle breakdown : Retains or even increases muscle mass through slowing down muscle breakdown.
- Encourage new muscle growth : Through the reduction of myostatin levels in the body, which plays a part in inhibiting new muscle growth.
Enhance Exercise Performance
- Creatine can improve exercise performance through enhancing strength and power based workouts
- A study found that athletes’ performance increase by 15% in bike-sprinting performance and 6% in bench press performance
- This is due to the increase in the body’s ability to produce more ATP
- With increase creatine consumption, ATP expenditure, which typically depletes in 8 to 10 secs during an intensive workout can be sustained for a few more seconds
Which type of creatine supplement is the best?
Creatine Monohydrate is the most common form of creatine supplement sold in the market.
There are other forms of creatine in the market, namely liquid creatine, Creatine ethyl esther, creatine hydrochloride etc. However, creatine monohydrate is the most extensively researched and proven to be the best form for consumption.
Are Creatine Supplements Safe?
- Many studies have indicated the good safety record of Creatine Monohydrate consumption
- The International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that there is no negative short and long term effects of consuming creatine monohydrate.
- Do remember to keep yourself hydrated as increased creatine content in muscles will tend to draw water from the body into muscle cells.
Creatine Monohydrate Dosing
- Creatine consumption will typically begin with a loading phase, where a daily 20 grams is to be consumed for up to a week.
- Subsequently, a long term maintenance of about 5 grams per day
- Do seek the advise of your health care professional for more information before starting on this supplement.