Creatine is the most researched and scientifically established sports supplement out there, especially if we are discussing creatine monohydrate. If you have never used creatine in any form before, or in case you are thinking about switching products, here’s everything you need to know about creatine supplements.
What is Creatine Exactly?
Before we discuss creatine, it is important that we first discuss what it is and what functions the nitrogenous amino acid serves in human metabolism. Also known as methylguanidoacetic acid, creatine is an essential amino acid that the body processes from glycine and arginine primarily. Despite being an essential amino acid, creatine is not an essential nutrient because the human body can metabolize it from protein rich food sources on its own.
An essential nutrient refers to organic compounds that the body must receive from outside in complex or simple form. Technically, regular intake of protein rich food sources like red meat, poultry, and fish in sufficient quantities should be enough to meet the body’s daily requirement for creatine.
What is the Function of Creatine?
Creatine is essential for human beings to function because phosphorylation of creatine within the human body creates phosphocreatine, which in turn, is essential for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation and regeneration in skeletal muscles. ATP is metabolic bio energy at its most pure form, and one of the primary requirements for us to stay alive.
In other words, the primary function of creatine is ensuring that enough energy is generated through metabolism to meet all our internal and external needs. These needs include everything from the energy our organs need for proper functioning to the energy we need to complete our workout sessions at the gym.
Why Do We Need Creatine Supplements?
Over 95% of our body’s phosphocreatine content is stored primarily in skeletal muscles, while the rest of it is spread in trace amounts throughout the system. Anyone who leads a fit and active lifestyle will benefit from regular intake of creatine supplements because it brings about remarkable positive changes that dietary creatine intake cannot match in any feasible way.
Consider the fact that the optimum creatine intake required to see positive changes beyond the minimum life requirements is 3g to 5g per day. In order to receive just 3 grams of creatine from the richest cooked red meat, you will need to eat at least 3lbs of rich red meat every day. The health implications of that much red meat intake on a daily basis far outweighs any positive effect that 3g of creatine can possibly provide you with.
A creatine monohydrate supplement, on the other hand, will deliver as much creatine to your body as 7lbs – 8lbs of red meat, without any of the numerous harmful side-effects of excessive red meat consumption. In fact, creatine monohydrate is the purest form of creatine known to man, so every gram of the supplement delivers only a gram creatine to your system and nothing else. Read a bit more about creatine monohydrate as a sports supplement to know why it’s the most readily available form of creatine supplement ever manufactured.
What are the Positive Effects of Creatine Supplementation?
As long as you do not have a kidney or a liver related health issue, and you lead a fit and active life, creatine supplements can indeed bring about several positive changes. For example:
- You will have more energy for daily activities and especially while working out.
- Your muscles will regenerate faster and stronger than before from workout sessions.
- A gradual increase in muscle density, bone density, intramuscular volume (hydro content), and strength enhancement are to be expected, especially when accompanied by strength training and a balanced diet.
- Mild to moderate levels of cognitive improvements can be expected in adults.
- Arthritic bone depletion rate can decrease in seniors with variable success rates.
- Creatine can help in reducing the impact of sun damage and aging on the skin by improving collagen regeneration.
Each of the above examples are proven facts, recorded through research and observation over decades. You can find several research documents on them for further reading. There are also additional benefits to creatine supplementation, but some of them are not yet proven beyond all doubt. The only advice would be to avoid taking more than 200mg – 300mg of caffeine per day while you are using creatine.