Creatine is one of the most popular supplements for enhancing your performance in the gym. In fact, it can help increase strength, muscle mass, and exercise performance. Furthermore, creatine can offer many benefits, like protecting yourself against neurological diseases.
What Is Creatine?
Naturally, creatine is found in the muscle cells. It is a combination of three amino acids, namely arginine, glycine, and methionine. Moreover, it is responsible for helping your muscles generate energy during high-intensity exercises or heavy lifting.
Several factors can impact your body’s creatine stores. This includes exercise, meat intake, hormone levels such as testosterone, and muscle mass. Furthermore, about 95% of your naturally produced creatine is found in your muscles (phosphocreatine), while the other 5% is stored in your kidney, brain, and liver.
When you take creatine supplements, the creatine levels in your body increases. This generates more ATP, a high energy molecule that helps your body perform much better during exercises. That is why creatine supplements are popular with bodybuilders and athletes.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine can help improve your health and exercise performance in several ways. For example, in high-intensity workouts, its number one role is to increase the phosphocreatine levels stored in your muscles. The extra stores can then be used to generate more ATP, which is responsible for giving you the energy to survive prolonged workout sessions.
Creatine also helps with muscle growth by doing the following:
- Boosted Workload
It provides you with more energy to last longer in training sessions, which is great for long-term muscle growth.
- Lower myostatin levels
An increase in your myostatin levels can slow down or inhibit muscle growth. Taking creatine supplements can help lower myostatin levels, thereby increasing your muscle growth potential.
- Improved cell signalling
An enhanced satellite cell signalling helps in new muscle growth and muscle repair.
- Increased cell hydration
Provides hydration within your muscle cells by supplying water content, which results in cell volumization that might help in muscle growth.
- Raised anabolic hormones
Studies show that taking creatine also increases hormones like IGF-1.
- Reduced protein breakdown
Reducing protein breakdown might increase total muscle mass.
Creatine can be gained from either foods or supplements. It is most likely found in protein-enriched foods, such as meat and fish. Below is the quantity of creatine found in meat products:
|UNCOOKED MEAT||CREATINE QUANTITY|
|Beef||4.75 to 5.51 grams per kilogram|
|Chicken Meat||3.4 grams per kilogram|
|Rabbit Meat||3.4 grams per kilogram|
|Ox Heart Tissue||2.5 grams per kilogram|
|Pork Heart||1.5 grams per kilogram|
Just like in humans, creatine assembles in the same organs in animals. Hence, the creatine content is specifically high in muscles and heart tissues. Furthermore, a small quantity of creatine can also be found in dry milk without water, blood, and breast milk.
According to a study, people aged 19 – 39 most likely consume about 0.64 grams of creatine in women and 1.08 grams of creatine in men through their diet. However, both estimates are considered below the recommended daily dose. Moreover, the standard creatine dose is up to 5 grams daily. Hence, there is no need to worry if you want to take creatine supplements.
Besides the food sources, creatine can also be found mostly in powdered supplements. This is a good option for vegans and vegetarians since it would be challenging for them to get creatine into their diet. To know the best creatine supplements today, visit barbend.com.
Creatine Loading Phase: Is It Necessary?
Many people believe that creatine needs to have a loading phase. However, is it really true? Most of them assume that the creatine cycle requires three parts:
- 20 to 25 grams for 5 to 7 days, which is the loading phase
- 5 grams for 3 to 4 days, which is the maintenance phase
- 1 to 2 weeks without creatine and then repeat the cycle
However, many studies show that a loading phase is not necessary for taking creatine supplements. Experts use either a direct dose of 2 to 3 grams of creatine or 5 to 10 grams of creatine daily during research. In connection, it was found that creatine was still able to provide its benefits despite no loading phase.
Most of the time, the loading phase is just used to determine if the person responds to the creatine effects. This phase might cause the muscles to become more packed with creatine and might also cause an increase in strength as well as body weight because of water retention. Moreover, the loading phase can also provide psychological advantages since you can see how you are getting bigger and gaining in terms of muscle growth.
Creatine is best for muscle growth. It helps you produce more ATP, which helps you have the maximum energy needed during intense exercises. Furthermore, besides food sources like meat and fish, creatine can also be found in the form of nutritional supplements.
Kenny Kline is a keep-fit buff. He has forged his career by making high-quality articles that a variety of audiences can relate to. Besides that, Kenny is also an experienced entrepreneur.