A quick summary of the benefits of Creatine, and why it supports muscle growth
Creatine is one of the most established and effective supplements when it comes to sports and muscle building. But what exactly does creatine do in muscle building? What are the benefits of Creatin for you, and how does it work? Get a short overview here.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a peptide consisting of three amino acids – methionine, glycine and arginine. The body can produce them by itself, which is an enormous effort. You can encounter those three chemical building blocks abundantly in animal foods, especially red meat.
However, you would have to eat about 2.2 pounds of meat every day to get 4-5 g of Creatine, which is the recommended dosage for athletes. Therefore, supplementation with creatine is so common.
Under the hundreds of different Creatine supplements, I can give the okay for the Evlution Nutrition Creatine5000. This will set you up with 5 grams of pure micronized Creatine and comes with 100 servings. In addition, it has the neutral taste against which really no one can object.
For those of you who aren’t fond of powdered supplements, I can recommend the Keto-friendly Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules. They are available in 3 sizes (100, 200 and 300 capsules).
Note: Some people seem to have a problem with swallowing these capsules. So just to let you know up front – they are a bit longer than the size of a dime.
I don’t see the big deal with it, because I have had larger B Vitamin, Calcium and Vitamin D capsules before. I just wanted to give a fair warning for people who have a tough time to swallow capsules easily.
Other than that, these are ideal, as beginners can try out their Creatine experience with the 100 capsules, which sell for 9 cents per count. That’s how a friend of mine started. He had really nothing much to lose, but so much to gain. Feel free to check out the details in the link below.
But what speaks for the use of creatine? Does it really work and if so, how?
What is creatine really doing while building muscle?
It is primarily strength athletes who use creatine. Crossfitter, strength athletes, martial artists, a few triathletes. Endurance athletes rely more on L-carnitine, about which I have already reported.
To understand what creatine supplementation should do, we have to look at the functions in the body. Because creatine is present in every human; about 100-200 grams of it.
Creatine is an energy carrier in the muscle and nerve cells of the body. It is a short-term energy storage in which it reacts to creatine phosphate. Once the phosphate splits off, it releases energy. With this energy, the body can move the muscle or stimulate the nerve cell. First of all, creatine is responsible for the energy within the muscle.
Then it begins to make sense, why people take it:
# 1 More energy
Who takes creatine, increases the body’s creatine pool. The body is lazy in the formation of amines such as creatine and carnitine. Meaning that as long as he gets it through the food, he simply takes that, so he saves energy.
The creatine increases the levels in the muscle cells and, thus, the energy capacity in the case of muscle tension. During training, athletes with higher levels of creatine stores have higher overall maximum strength and short-term endurance.
The creatine phosphate storage is empty after about 1-2 minutes, which corresponds to a sentence when “pumping”. After a 1-2 minute break, they are mostly filled again.
Those who have more creatine can tend to work longer and lift more weights in each set. This increases the training stimulus and, thus, also muscle growth.
# 2 More volume
Creatine pulls water into your muscles. These look a bit more plump and firmer – “inflated”. This not only has visual benefits: The water in the muscle increases the storage of starch, and the enhanced water pressure increases the growth of the muscle.
# 3 Better concentration
Nerve cells also have creatine stores. Little is known here in comparison to muscles. But one is certain that our brains do store and consume creatine.
Creatine can increase concentration, which is certainly beneficial during training. This, on the other hand, leads to more effective training sessions.
# 4 Increases Testosterone
You are happy even more directly on the daily creatine dose! Studies have shown that this can increase testosterone levels. More testosterone (growth hormone) also means increased muscle growth.
Which intake is recommended?
Previously, the creatine loading phase was the ultimate. In a short time (1-2 weeks), the body was completely charged with up to 30 g of creatine daily.
Today we know that this has no added value compared to “normal” intake of 4-5 g daily. The body takes only a part of it and gradually increases its creatine memory.
4-5 g daily are the ideal and easy to administer dose. Personally, I can say that people around me that I know, take creatine every day they think about. This is usually 4-5x per week. They do not think about it every day – but mostly.
I’ve seen my cousin taking a scoop of creatine with a sip of water, which is totally fine since it’s flavorless. However, he also said that he’s not obsessed with having to take it every day and religiously.
Creatine is a cheap and effective supplement for those who want to increase their athletic performance. Many people don’t take it for muscle growth, but primarily to increase their memory and focus.
What also helps a lot to add to the diet along with Creatin is magnesium, sufficient proteins, B vitamins and so-called “brain food,” such as nuts and trail mix products.
My point is that we shouldn’t only build muscles because they look great, but, first and foremost, to protect our joints. One of the main benefits of Creatine is that it helps you to activate and utilize your muscles more.
Your joints are here to support you in bending, but not to take over the heavy-duty labor. Mindfully training your muscles signifies that your joints have to endure less strain. Trust me, especially your knees will thank you for this in the future.