What is Creatine?

Oct 2, 2014 by Carl Lowland in Creatine

For many athletes and body builder, creatine is an important part of everyday life. Chances are, if you are even remotely familiar with the weight control industry, you have heard of creatine. However, how do you know that it is the right product for you? In order to understand the reasons you should try creatine, you should first learn more about it.

Where does Creatine Come from?

creatineCreatine is a natural component of the body. It is mainly located in the skeletal muscle tissue. However, before it can be used, the liver must first metabolize it and transport it to the muscles. It is possible to ingest creatine through a natural diet; it is most commonly found in meats and fish rather than vegetables.

Creatine is naturally created in the body from amino acids that are primarily found in the kidney and the liver. The blood transfers it to the muscles and it is estimated that 95% of the creatine that the body contains is located in the skeletal muscles.

Humans and animals alike have creatine and both create stores of it from the food that they eat. Since it is found more in meat than in vegetables, research has shown that vegetarians have a significantly lower amount of creatine than non-vegetarians. However, after both groups used the same amounts of supplements, they were shown to contain the same levels of the important element.

What is Creatine Used for?

Creatine is used to replenish the body’s supply of ATP energy. This is the energy that we rely on after a high intensity exercise, such as sprinting or power lifting. Short term high intensity exercises, which typically last about 10 seconds, are mostly supplied energy from the creatine energy system.

The power of creatine supplements was first discovered in the 1970s and they became extremely popular in the 90s. It is estimated that 8% of kids in high school take supplements and it is very popular amongst college students and professional athletes as well. Estimates also show that 40% of college athletes and at least half of professional athletes use these supplements in order to increase the benefits of their workouts.

Creatine supplements have been found beneficial when trying to improve strength and increase lean muscle mass as well. They have also been shown to help improve the way muscles are repaired after high intensity exercises.

Why Take Creatine Supplements?

Although you can gain creatine from your natural diet, the levels of it that are found in red meat and fish are minimal. Also, a lot of the creatine that is found in these elements is destroyed when the meat is cooked.

Because high intensity workouts are so beneficial to athletes, creatine can be a crucial part of any workout session. What it boils down to is this…the more creatine in your body, the longer you will be able to work out. This concept can be very beneficial to all sorts of athletes, whether they enjoy football, sprinting, or body building.

Creatine also helps the body to retain water, which can be very important for the development of the muscles. An increase of water retention in the muscles will help stimulate protein synthesis. This may help increase the length of your high intensity exercises as well as increase the number that you are able to accomplish.

It is also believed that creatine supplements may play a key role in treating muscle related health conditions that are typically caused by weakened muscles, such as neuromuscular disorder and Huntington’s disease. Studies are also being conducted in order to determine if creatine has the power to lower cholesterol as well. However, many of these studies are still ongoing so it is difficult to determine if there is any truth behind the claims that they are beneficial for treating these ailments.

the more creatine in your body, the longer you will be able to work out

….the more creatine in your body, the longer you will be able to work out!

Effects of Creatine Supplements

Studies have been conducted regarding those who take creatine supplements and it was shown that those who take creatine supplements have significantly higher levels of it stored in their body than those who do not.

These studies have shown that people who take supplements are able to increase the effects of their workouts over those who did not take the supplements at all. This means that when people workout after taking creatine supplements, they are able to gain more benefit from their workouts.

However, creatine supplements only appear to effect on repeated instances of high intensity exercises. Unfortunately, these same studies do not show any increases in the benefits that people see when they are only performing one set of an intense workout. So, in order for creatine supplements to be effective, more than one intense work out session is required. However, it is suggested that creatine may become effective for single sessions when the athlete is suffering from fatigue that was created from a previous activity.

Another benefit that studies have shown as a benefit of creatine is in response to strength. These studies have shown that those using supplements showed an increase in strength between 6 and 28%. For this reason, creatine supplements are extremely popular for competitive sports and bodybuilders.

Endurance is also an area that creatine may have an effect on and studies have also been conducted on this topic as well. Although endurance seems to be beneficial for short workouts, it does not appear to have an effect on longer activities, such as the 5k.

Conclusion

Creatine is an important part of our natural makeup and without it our bodies would not have enough energy to survive. It is an essential part of the ATP function, which includes balancing energy and for the execution of movements. If your muscles do not have enough stores of ATP energy, the body will stop working. Creatine is important when trying to replenish ATP energy.

Not only will creatine increase the effectiveness of your workouts, it will reduce the amount of muscle fatigue that you see as well. There are many supplements available and they are available from a variety of locations. Taking creatine supplements is a natural way to increase your workout intensity levels and to increase the effectiveness of the workouts that you are putting in.

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