Creatine - The Staple Sports Supplement with Surprising Bonus Benefits
Creatine has become a staple supplement for those aiming to build muscle.
Creatine is one of the most well-researched and economical performance supplements in existence. Creatine research covers topics such as endurance training, high intensity training, muscle strength & hypertrophy, but did you know about it's ability to supplement brain performance too?
Creatine is produced in the kidneys and liver from a simple combination of three Amino Acids; Glycine, Arginine and Methionine. It is a naturally occurring solution, found mainly in fish and red meat. However, these foods only provide small amounts of Creatine (2.5lbs/1kg of beef = 5g Creatine... That's a lot of beef!)
Therefore, supplementing with Creatine is the most efficient way of getting the recommended dosage of 5g without eating 10 quarter pounders after a workout!
It's tempting to attempt 10 of these post work-out, but who are we kidding?
There are different forms of Creatine, however Creatine Monohydrate Powder is the most effective and cost efficient.
The most important benefit for bodybuilders will undoubtedly be that Creatine encourages liquid into muscle tissue, helping cell volumisation, making them appear larger and feel more firm.
However, a whole host of benefits have been proven by research.
As you may know, Creatine is proven to improve:
1. Athletic performance
2. Muscle strength and size
3. Fatigability - (susceptibility to fatigue; to get tired or lose strength)
As a result, Bodybuilders, power lifters, sprinters, long distance runners, general gym goers, cross fit competitors, mixed martial artists, and any athlete in general have all been known to supplement with Creatine.
Lesser known research has also delved into neurological benefits;
1. Creatine has beneficial neurological and cognitive effects for vegetarians especially.
This (Study) (1) concluded that "Creatine supplementation had a significant positive effect on both working memory and intelligence"
However, Creatine is sourced mainly from Fish & Meat, which is a problem for vegetarians. Vegetarians naturally have much less Creatine in their diet.
2. Creatine may improve short-term memory and intelligence/reasoning of healthy individuals, including meat eaters, along with particular benefit for ageing and stressed individuals. (Study) (2)
Many people don't know that Creatine can improve memory, stress and even general intelligence.
How / When to take Creatine?
Timing is a big factor to consider when using this supplement. Some studies recommend Creatine before training, some just after training and others say as long as you are supplementing with it, you'll still reap the benefits.
There isn't so much as a right or wrong time, but we do believe pre and post workout is the simplest approach to achieve optimum results, as you can put it in your pre-workout drink or protein shake post-workout.
When first starting to supplement with Creatine, some choose to carry out a "Loading phase". Research recommends this:
"A rapid way to "creatine load" human skeletal muscle is to ingest 20g of creatine for 6 days. This elevated tissue concentration can then be maintained by ingestion of 2 g/day thereafter."
However, this same research suggests that
"The ingestion of 3 g creatine/day is, in the long term, likely to be as effective at raising tissue levels as (Loading)"
How safe is Creatine?
Creatine Monohydrate is generally considered safe. For extra caution we advise buying from a reputable brand and sticking within the recommended dosages of 5-15g. Creatine has been studied and researched extensively, it is a naturally occurring supplement and studies show it is safe for the recommended purposes.
We have a range of creatine supplements you can chose from which can benefit your lifestyle and preferenceLike | Follow | Subscribe!
1) Rae, C., & Digney, A. (2003). Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Proceedings Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270(1529), 2147-2150. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2492
2) Avgerinos, K., & Spyrou, N. (2018). Effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive function of healthy individuals: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Experimental Gerontology, 108, 166-173. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.04.013
3) Hultman, E., Soderlund, K., & Timmons, J. (1996). Muscle creatine loading in men. Journal Of Applied Physiology, 81(1), 232-237. doi: 10.1152/jappl.19220.127.116.11