Named after the Greek word kreas, meaning flesh, creatine is an amino acid derivative found in all cells in the body, but is stored primarily in muscle. It plays an important role in tissues where energy levels quickly rise and fall, such as muscle. Creatine acts as a short sharp burst of recharge for our cells. Creatine also moves energy around the cell, from where it is generated to where it is needed. As the name suggests, creatine is naturally found in flesh and is acquired through a diet rich in fish, meat and other animal products such as dairy. As creatine is important for all cells to function, our body also makes its own.
Here's what we know about creatine, whey protein, BCAA powder, and more.
Is creatine safe to take? There have been no consistent serious side effects noted in healthy people but there have been instances of dizziness, skin rash, diarrhea, anxiety, migraine, muscle pain and irregular heartbeat. Long term studies on safety have not been carried but certainly anyone suffering from kidney problems should stay away from creatine.
Creatine, which is used as a body building and training supplement, builds myths as well as muscles – so what are the facts?
A balanced diet is best, but these additions could help.
Creatine has been widely used as a sports and exercise supplement since 1992. Numerous studies over 20 years have shown that it is one of the few sports supplements that actually works and is completely safe for healthy adults! But here's what I'm most excited about. A substantial body of research has found that creatine has a wide variety of anti-aging uses as well as therapeutic applications.
Creatine supplementation can be advantageous for everyone, not just athletes. Sure, many athletes have learned that creatine supplementation significantly improves maximal strength and endurance. They have found, and studies confirm, that creatine supplementation also results in improved concentration, higher endurance in training and faster recovery. Why would this be important to non-athletes?
Creatine may be one of the most popular sports nutrition supplements of all time, but it’s also one of the most controversial. Everyone and their brother has an opinion about how, when, why, and where to take the stuff—if you should take it at all. But given opinions are like glutei maximi (everybody has one), let’s dispense with the jibber jabber and look instead to real scientific facts behind the supplement.
Whether you are relatively new to the fitness scene, or a seasoned powerlifter or bodybuilder, odds are that you have heard of creatine. It is also likely you have heard both good and bad things about this notorious supplement. The purpose of this article is to provide information on creatine, its efficacy and/or benefits, the types of creatine available, some debunking of media propaganda, and proper dosing protocols.
Creatine is a compound that's involved in the production of energy in the body, in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Made in the liver, approximately 95% of the body's creatine ends up being stored in skeletal muscles and the remaining 5% is found in the brain, heart and testes. Once it's used, creatine is converted to a waste product called creatinine and excreted in urine.
Even if you’re not a weight lifter, you’ve undoubtedly heard of creatine, one of the most researched supplements in history.
It’s a combination of amino acids produced by the liver, kidney, and pancreas. Creatine is not a steroid—it’s naturally found in muscle and in red meat and fish, though at far lower levels than in the powder form sold on bodybuilding websites and at your local GNC.
LabDoor analyzed 25 best-selling creatine supplements in the United States. Our analysis quantified levels of total creatine and creatinine, and recorded presence/absence data for 35 inactive ingredients.
Creatine has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid for enhancing athletic performance, and for increasing muscle strength in people with heart failure, muscular dystrophy, and McArdle's disease (a genetic disorder). It may also be possibly effective in treating Parkinson's disease, and gyrate atrophy (a genetic eye disorder that affects the retina and causes vision loss).
Creatine has also been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, or Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). However, research has shown that it may not be effective in treating these conditions.
Creatine supplementation became popular in the 1990s for enhancing athletic performance and building lean body mass. It has also been used in the treatment of chronic heart failure and mitochondrial disorders.
Overall, creatine appears to have modest benefits for intense, repetitive exercise lasting less than 30 seconds. It does not appear to have significant benefits on endurance aerobic exercise.
Caffeine may counteract the benefit of creatine on intermittent exercise performance. Furthermore, creatine in combination with caffeine and ephedra may have adverse effects. However, more research is needed in this area to confirm these interactions.
There is some scientific evidence that creatine can improve the athletic performance of young, healthy people during brief, high-intensity exercise such as sprinting. But it does not seem to help older people or highly trained athletes. It also does not help performance in aerobic or isometric exercise.
Creatine also seems to increase strength and endurance in patients with heart failure and in people with various muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy and similar conditions.
Some people try creatine for rheumatoid arthritis. But creatine does not seem to help for this use.
There isn't enough information to know if creatine is effective for other conditions people use it for, including: high cholesterol and conditions such as ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Huntington's disease, and Parkinson's disease.
Creatine is most commonly used for improving exercise performance and increasing muscle mass in athletes and older adults. There is some science supporting the use of creatine in improving the athletic performance of young, healthy people during brief high-intensity activity such as sprinting. But older adults don’t seem to benefit. Creatine doesn’t seem to improve strength or body composition in people over 60.