Creatine supplement use might not be something you’ve ever thought about before but if you’ve ever considered the best way to reach your goals, then this post is for you.
When you are taking the time to eat right and exercise, you want to get the best performance out of your body: the most reps, the highest jumps, the hardest punches, etc.. Most of what determines this level of performance is how you are fueling your body. You want to make sure you are eating enough food (AKA: no going below 1200 calories a day), the right kinds of food so you have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, and ensure you are allowing your body to recover appropriately by getting enough BCAAs during your workout and protein after your workout.
So, where does something like creatine fit into all of this? I’m glad you asked. Let’s start by discussing the science of creatine.
Creatine and Your Body
As a pharmacist, I am all too familiar with creatine. Creatine is a substance that primarily comes from meat and is made up of L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine amino acids. Once these amino acids are consumed, the body creates creatine which is then stored in the muscles as creatine phosphate. Why does this matter? Because if you throw it all the way back to your high school biology class you may remember adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the energy compound that your cells use to power your body. Creatine phosphate is used to replenish your ATP stores, thus more ATP can lead to longer periods of peak performance.
In my experience and education as a pharmacist, I am typically more concerned with what happens after this breakdown when creatine phosphate becomes a substance known as creatinine. We measure the levels of creatinine in the blood to calculate an estimate of how well the kidneys are working. This is just one slight problem with our calculation: those with more muscle have higher creatine levels, thus more breakdown into creatinine making it an inaccurate calculation for renal function. The point? Creatine is directly related to muscle mass and can increase your body’s ability to make energy.
Creatine and Your Performance
No matter if you have a goal to lose weight or increase your muscle mass. Creatine can likely help you reach those goals by providing you with more energy during your workouts. This allows you to work your muscles harder for longer periods of time, thus giving you greater results. It is important to know that this increase in duration or number of reps you complete when lifting may not seem like much. Often this comes in the form of an extra minute of sprinting or lifting an extra rep or two at a heavier weight. However, over time these small increases can increase your rate of improvement and your results.
Creatine and the Research
Supplements are vastly understudied in the area of sports performance and research, but creatine as a supplement actually has more studies than nearly any of the other vitamins and supplements on the market, especially when it comes to its use in improving performance. Since creatine became popular in the 1990s, there have been over 1,000 studies conducted as to its efficacy and use, and even more servings of creatine have been ingested because of it.
Many of the early studies looked at using creatine to improve athletic performance using short term supplementation over a five to seven-day period. It was found to be safe and effective in the short term so researchers expanded to look at longer periods of time. One recent study compared the different studies done on soccer players over the years and found that physical performance was improved with taking creatine up to fourteen days. In 2017, the International Society of Sports Nutrition conducted a full review of the studies available and released a position statement concluding that creatine was the safest and effective nutritional supplement to enhance physical performance. Additionally, after review of those taking creatine for years, it was found that no serious or significant adverse events occurred. Any weight gain associated with creatine use is minor and temporary, likely attributed to creatine increases the amount of water stored within the muscle cells and can be beneficial to overall health.
Creatine and You
If you have been looking for a way to maximize your performance, creatine is a good supplement for you. While it can be consumed in the diet by eating meat products or other foods high in L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine, research shows that additional supplementation is convenient, safe and effective in improving your performance.
Want to try it out for yourself? Try the Bad Creatine and take your performance to the next “bad” level.
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