Creatine supplements have been utilized within the weightlifting world for a long period of time due to proven fact that they are effective in boosting muscle mass, strength, and overall performance potential.
Creatine supplementation is well-studied, too. Many clinical studies have proven that creatine monohydrate, the most widely-used type of creatine, is an extremely beneficial workout supplement that has few to no undesirable effects. It’s even good for your brain.
The following is an explanation of creatine: its functionality, pros, cons, and usage instructions. Let’s get started with the basics.
Your body naturally produces a peptide, also called a mini-protein, called Creatine. Muscles contain creatine which is utilized to replenish energy that has already been used, thus reinforcing the capacity of muscles to create more strength.
Your muscles run on adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is analogous to saying that if our physical frame is like a vehicle, then ATP is the energy source; it supplies the power for all of our actions. Taking creatine is like making your gas tank bigger.
Taking creatine helps your muscles to save up more ATP and restock the ATP that has been used up so that you can use it again.
Your kidneys and liver cooperate to produce creatine on a daily basis. Consumption of rare meat or uncooked seafood can provide the body with creatine. Eating sushi and consumption of a rare steak are both good ways to get dietary creatine.
The most straightforward manner to raise creatine levels is to take a creatine supplement. The advantages that come with an increase in the creatine held in your muscles are extraordinary.
Creatine plays an essential role in the phosphagen energy system, which is the initial producer of ATP (the body’s principal energy source) during activities that require quick, high-powered effort.
The body has both unbound creatine and creatine combined with phosphate (phosphocreatine). PC acts as a reservoir of energy-rich phosphate molecules.
PC is responsible for generating new ATP in muscles that are contracting quickly by attaching a phosphate molecule to the ADP that was created from the breakdown of ATP in the contracting muscle for energy.
When the creatine in our muscles is depleted, our capacity to generate frenetic, fleeting power stops, and our muscles are no longer able to deliver strength.
The basis behind using creatine as an aid to improve physical performance is that its presence in the muscles can be increased by taking supplements. This is a topic we will go into greater detail about below.
It is thought that improving the level of creatine in the muscles can improve the ability to do short and vigorous exercise by allowing the phosphagen system to do more.
Benefits of Creatine Supplementation
Creatine For Strength and Muscle Mass
Creatine assists you in becoming more powerful and building muscle at a quicker rate when combined with weightlifting.
Weightlifters who ingested creatine noted a rise of 8% in their maximum strength and 14% rise in the highest amount of reps they could do on a heftier lifting exercise. Pretty significant.
Creatine makes your muscles bigger, too. Creatine supplements can cause a rise in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which is a hormone that leads to an increase in the creation of proteins. Basically, using creatine to increase IGF-1 levels will lead to more rapid and stronger muscular development.
It is not a small distinction: those who ingested creatine experienced a gain of almost 4 pounds of muscle mass in seven weeks of weight lifting.
In order for creatine to provide beneficial results, one must observe an increase of creatine in the muscle tissue of the skeleton. Recent studies have discovered that a 10-40% growth in stores of creatine and phosphocreatine in muscle can be observed with creatine supplementation.
The following outcomes were recorded once a specific “loading” procedure was performed. This protocol suggests consuming approximately 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for a span of 5 to 7 days (which comes out to around 20 grams per day in 5 gram amounts). Following the initial 5 to 7 day period, the suggested daily intake is 3 to 5 grams.
Other approaches involving a no-loading phase and fluctuating creatine intake have not been as successful in sustaining elevated muscle creatine concentrations.
Creatine For Power and Explosion
Creatine can also boost your power in activities that require short, intense exertion such as sprinting, powerlifting, or HIIT.
In a meta-analysis, researchers discovered that athletes who took creatine-based supplements had more success with physical activity of thirty seconds or less, although it had no effect on endeavors that required more stamina.
A different examination discovered that those who consumed creatine demonstrated a much more noteworthy improvement in running short distances quickly and created more power in their muscles.
Creatine reduced inflammation and stimulated protein production after exercises. That means extra muscle growth, plus faster recovery.
It appears that taking a creatine supplement is presently the most effective nutritional supplement legally available for improving anaerobic capacity and increasing lean body mass.
There have been numerous studies published that analyze the ergogenic benefits of taking creatine supplements.
Roughly 70% of studies conducted have demonstrated a significant rise in physical activity ability (for those who are interested in statistics, it was P<.05), while none of them revealed a negative effect from exercising.
Over the course of time, taking creatine is likely to increase the effectiveness of exercising, potentially resulting in up to a 15% increase in strength and performance.
In addition, most research suggests that taking the right amount of CM brings about a one to two kilo increase in body weight within the initial week of administration.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand on creatine makes it clear that creatine monohydrate supplementation is the most efficient nutritional aid for building muscle and improving capacity in high intensity training available today, as evidenced by its many successful studies.
Creatine For Endurance
It’s less clear whether creatine is good for endurance. Some studies have found an effect. Others have not.
A research team determined that while taking creatine supplements did raise the muscle creatine level and plasma volume of twelve male cyclists, there was no conclusion in regards to the athletes’ performance projected in a long-distance biking challenge.
Another group of researchers, however, found that softball players who took creatine had significantly more muscle endurance.
Creatine may help with endurance, or it may not. If you want to use creatine for endurance exercises, you could evaluate your skills with and without creatine to find out if it helps enhance your performance.
Creatine For Performance on a Keto Diet
Taking creatine might be beneficial while performing strenuous exercises while on a ketogenic diet. When you do strenuous physical activity, your body will eventually use up the glucose in your blood. Then you turn to glycogen stores for energy.
Muscle tissue contains the majority of glucose in its stored form, which is known as glycogen. When a person is doing exercise or undergoing fasting, the glycogen in the muscles is transformed into glucose (glycogenolysis) and is then discharged into the bloodstream to satisfy the person’s blood sugar requirements.
Creatine helps synthesize and maintain muscle glycogen stores. In other words, creatine enhances your energy reserve system.
This advantage could be very useful on a low-carb, ketogenic diet. Due to the restrictions on carbohydrates in the ketogenic diet, there is a lower availability of glucose to replenish the supply of glycogen.
Even if your body can produce its own glucose and restore glycogen reserves via gluconeogenesis, this method may not be adequate to meet strenuous physical activity demands.
Having a large supply of muscle glycogen stored and maintained is helpful for individuals who are on a low-carb diet and are doing physical activities.
Creatine can help you with that. If you’re searching for a helpful addition to your routine, Perfect Keto Perform has creatine and a mix of other elements that will optimize your exercise.
Creatine For Cognitive Health
Creatine is also good for your brain. Supplementing creatine can enhance your cognitive performance in a few different ways:
- Mental endurance. Creatine increases mental endurance — you can do mentally demanding tasks for longer without becoming fatigued .
- Sleep deprivation. Creatine preserves your ability to do complex tasks when you’re sleep deprived. It also improves physical coordination in sleep-deprived athletes.
- Brain aging. Aging people who took creatine showed improvements in memory and spatial ability.
Creatine has something for everyone. This activity is beneficial for both your mental capacity and physical wellbeing.
Creatine Monohydrate Side Effects
The media has been reporting for a lengthy period that taking creatine can have detrimental health effects and is not well understood, especially if used over an extended duration.
Unfortunately, the mass media reached their decisions due to the limited amount of data obtained from the popular experiment of only one participant.
Most commonly accepted beliefs state that creatine can lead to a lack of hydration, harm, stomach issues, and even issues with the liver or kidneys.
There has been no reliable research to date that has identified that using creatine supplements would produce dehydration, digestive distress, injury, or damage to the kidneys or liver from the 500+ experiments done.
Creatine supplementation is only known to cause one side effect, and that is an increase in body weight as a result of the higher concentration of water in the cells. This is usually what users of creatine want to achieve.
It can be suggested that creatine intake has been around since the dawn of humankind, as suggested by studies which date back to at least one million years ago.
Studies concerning creatine have been happening for a long time, starting over four decades ago when it was tested for alleviating heart issues and strengthening the functioning of the heart during cardiac arrests.
It seems like reports of people having digestive issues (e.g., GI distress) associated with taking very high amounts of creatine (over 20 grams) do exist. Drinking enough liquid or picking a better quality option should typically fix this issue.
Different Forms of Creatine
Primarily, there are two distinct types of creatine: creatine monohydrate and creatine ethyl ester. In general, creatine monohydrate is much more cost-effective than creatine ethyl ester.
Creatine ethyl ester is often presented as a superior type of creatine because of its supposedly greater bioavailability, but these claims lack scientific proof.
In a research conducted comparing creatine monohydrate and creatine ethyl ester to a non-active control, the results indicated that both supplements had an effect of increasing creatine levels in muscles, with some evidence indicating that creatine monohydrate provided better results.
Therefore, it is logical that creatine monohydrate and ethyl ester are both effective and have almost identical results, with creatine monohydrate being more effective and economical per serving.
Forms Of Creatine You Should Take
There are many forms of creatine on the market, including:
- Creatine monohydrate (micronized creatine) — the standard, inexpensive form found in most supplements (also the form studied in most human trials)
- Creatine hydrochloride (creatine HCL) — creatine attached to hydrochloric acid
- Liquid creatine — short shelf life, ineffective for athletic performance benefit
- Buffered creatine — no more effective than monohydrate for muscle benefit
- Creatine ethyl ester — creatine attached to alcohol molecule, no advantage over monohydrate
- Creatine citrate (or nitrate, malate, gluconate) — these forms either have similar effects to monohydrate, or lack the research to draw any conclusions
This may be accomplished through multiple methods, yet it looks as though initiating a loading protocol and then sustaining those dosages is the best choice to promptly get to and preserve saturation stages.
The protocol would involve consuming 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight over a period of 5 to 7 days (roughly 20 grams daily in portions of 5) and then continuing intake of 3 to 5 grams every day after that initial 5 to 7 day period.
Recent discoveries have shed light on how the time of taking creatine supplements can influence its effectiveness. Creatine is frequently advertised as something to take before doing exercise, but there is no scientific evidence to back this up.
Let’s pause for a moment and consider what creatine supplementation is all about before we go into the research on this. Bioaccumulation causes it to work, so it is improbable that a small amount taken before working out could result in a boost to muscular stores which will positively affect the exercise.
Stick to a loading program and then keep your creatine levels in check by eating 3-5 grams every day. It is not essential to have perfect timing when taking a creatine supplement.
Creatine Side Notes
Taking creatine is an effective and safe method of cultivating muscle tissue, increasing stamina, as well as enhancing mental cognition. In short, creatine:
- Comes from your body (~1 g / day) and also from your diet (~1 g / day)
- Is stored in muscle as phosphoryl creatine, which buffers ATP for enhanced energy flow
- Builds strength and muscle mass, even in older adults
- Increases explosive power during short, high-intensity exercise
- May improve endurance via enhanced glycogen (useful for keto athletes)
- Boosts cognitive performance to offset sleep deprivation and cognitive aging
- No real adverse effects of creatine supplementation: it doesn’t damage the kidneys, but may increase water retention
- Is best taken as creatine monohydrate at around 5 grams per day
Creatine is proven to be effective in boosting athletic performance. If you are interested in trying it, we suggest that you use Perfect Keto Perform.
This is a sports drink that is created specially for those on a ketogenic diet, containing creatine, branch chain amino acids, electrolytes, exogenous ketones, and additional supplements that have been extensively studied for their use to aid in physical activities.