Whether you are a man or a woman reading this, excellent, it applies to both genders. Are you an aging adult or someone who has had traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Yes? Then read on. If you are an athlete or non-athlete and read this, even better, because it applies to you too.
Are you still not with me Do you have a beating heart? If the answer is no, see a doctor immediately. Aside from all jokes, if you are a living, breathing Homo Sapien (Homo = genus, Sapien = species), this article is for you.
If you're the parent of a young athlete, trainer, athlete, or bodybuilder, you've probably already read about creatine and supplemented it with creatine monohydrate beforehand. Creatine is one of the most researched and effective nutritional supplements to date.
Creatine can support exercise performance by quickly producing energy during intense activities. In addition, creatine can also offer cognitive benefits, but more research is needed.
Studies have consistently shown how creatine supplementation increases intramuscular creatine levels, which can help us understand the observed improvements in high intensity exercise performance and overall exercise adjustments. We know that creatine supplementation:
In addition, clinical applications of creatine supplementation in neurodegenerative diseases such as:
Studies show that short and long-term supplementation (up to 30 grams per day over five years) is not only safe, but is also well tolerated in individuals and a number of clinical situations from infants to the elderly.
Creatine is therefore not only intended for male athletes who try to build muscle and facilitate regeneration. This is an advantage for everyone, since all the benefits of supplementation are documented in the literature and some are currently being investigated in a clinical setting.
Myths about creatine
Creatine is a steroid. Wrong, please prevent this nonsense from finding its way into 2021. In my professional experience as a registered nutritionist, this must be one of the most disgusting mistakes so far.
Possibly behind "protein hurts my kidneys", wrong too, but that's a completely different topic for another blog. However, I am pleased to draw your attention to the literature that dispels this myth that appeared in the 2016 Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism by Dr. Jose Antonio and colleagues was released.
Now back to creatine, let's clear this up quickly. Creatine is not a steroid. It has no structural relationship to a steroid or its mechanism of action.
Why? According to scientific definition, a steroid is any compound that has a common structural feature of three cyclohexane rings. A cyclopentane ring forms the structure, which by definition is a steroid molecule.
Eggs contain a steroid compound called cholesterol, which is naturally produced in the body and becomes steroid hormones like testosterone and estrogen. But no, creatine is not a steroid.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound of three amino acids, which we would call the tripeptide (tri means three). Three amino acids (L-glycine, L-methionine and L-arginine) form creatine.
Creatine is mainly produced in the liver and to a limited extent in the kidneys and pancreas.
It deposits high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine, which is administered to ADP, and regenerates it to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the only energy source in the human body that can be called the energy currency for cells to perform their functions.
For example, ATP runs quickly under conditions of short-term activities with high energy requirements (<30 seconds) with limited recovery time, which leads to creatine, which is stored in the muscles in the form of creatine phosphate.
Creatine phosphate can help restore ATP and give muscle cells the ability to produce more energy. The more creatine you have, the more energy your muscle cells can release during intensive exercisesThis leads to increased training performance.
Although the best documented and most important benefit is higher energy production, this mechanism also supports muscle building and strength enhancement.
Creatine occurs naturally in several foods that we consume, e.g.
Eggs Milk Tuna Salmon Herring Cod Shrimp Beef Pork
Consuming enough creatine from food is a challenge as the entire creatine pool is available according to a 2019 article from Frontiers in Nutrition Sport and Exercise Nutrition. This suggests that the body needs to replenish about 1.0 to 3.0 g of creatine a day to get regular (not supplemented) creatine stores depending on muscle mass.
Creatine improves numerous factors, including:
Women should use creatine
I am a woman who regularly (4-5 times a week) takes part in strength training together with (2-3 cardiovascular sessions per week). I eat whole foods, supplemented with 2,000 IU of vitamin D3, whey protein isolate, 1,200 mg of fish oil and a multivitamin.
These are my additions; These are not recommendations for you, your young athlete, teammate or your friend. I make this clear because there is no one size fits all diet, health and fitness.
What works well for me does not mean that it works well for you. I see too many mistakes in people trying to use the same diet, training, and lifestyle as their cohorts when it is simply not sustainable or appropriate.
As individuals, we have different genetics, hormones, environmental stimuli, training styles, body composition, sports and performance goals, metabolic rate at rest and the list goes on.
It would be absurd to eat and exercise in the same way as someone else and expect the same result with the differences listed above as humans.
One thing is certain, we can all benefit from eating real food, but given the benefits of creatine supplementation, it is an undervalued and over-written supplement among my colleagues.
Listen to me, ladies, creatine won't make you fat, bulky, hold you back water, turn you into a man, or any of the other nonsensical claims that exist on the Internet today.
I don't care what Linda said in the gym about "creatine that makes you fat or how it's a steroid that makes you a man". I often hear these claims, and not only are they completely wrong, but they also misinform my colleagues when they are trying to gain strength, muscle mass, and other health benefits that would occur with proper creatine supplementation.
Here's a comparison from myself about a decade ago, when I ate too many carbohydrates, insufficient protein, some weight training, and an abundance of cardiovascular exercises.
I ran a lot of miles. Now, ten years later, I am happy to report that I am doing strength training sessions of no more than 45 minutes, 4-5 times a week with some sprints and daily walking.
After training, I supplement with 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, whey protein isolate, take a multivitamin and consume 2 g / kg / body weight of protein per day. I rarely track calories because I fire my body with high quality protein, as many fruits and vegetables as possible.
Creatine doesn't make you fat, bulky, or masculine. It will help support lean body composition. Let me take a closer look at my fellow ladies; Creatine can help you improve your health, fitness, recovery and overall body.
Are you trying to increase the intensity of your training? Use creatine! Creatine is like a Koenigsegg Agera RS, the fastest vehicle in the world. Creatine is a vehicle for the production of ATP that, as you learned, drives muscle contraction. Something important when sprinting, lifting heavy weights, jumping and training with maximum performance?
By regularly supplementing with creatine monohydrate (3 – 5 g / day) over a period of eight weeks or longer, the body's own phosphocreatine stores, the compound required for the production of ATP, can be maximized. In this way, the skeletal muscle can produce more energy, increase the output and do more work overall.
The more the intensity is expressed, the stronger, bigger and faster your muscles will become if you exercise properly. Therefore, creatine supplementation is a greatly underestimated supplement in the female population.
I encourage and empower my fellow readers who have looked at the use of creatine to understand its effectiveness. Creatine has been shown to strengthen muscle size, strength and strength. More muscles mean more energy consumption, healthier body composition, bone mineral density and a lower risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
Not to mention the relationship between muscle mass and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. According to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, later in life it is associated with better health to keep aging muscles fit.
Even sedentary women who had long-term experience with creatine increased the maximum muscle strength during strength training by 20 to 25% compared to women who were given a placebo in a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Another study looked at the effects of long-term creatine supplementation (12 weeks) combined with strength training on maximum strength on repetition, motor function tests and body composition in 18 older women.
The creatine group gained significantly more fat-free mass, muscle mass and was able to perform functional tests with submaximal strength more efficiently than the placebo group.
Special note: The creatine group was also able to increase the training volume and the maximum bench press with one repetition. Creatine does not contain calories and does not lead to fat gain. The increase in the scale that you can see through use draws water into the cell, which is the desired reaction during exercise.
Benefits of creatine
A number of studies have shown that creatine supplementation can increase brain creatine levels by about 5 to 15% while reducing mental fatigue and cognitive functions. This emerges from studies referred to in the ISSN position on creatine.
Another study conducted by Rawson & Venezia, 2011, reported creatine supplementation of (20 g / day for five days or about 2 g per day for 30 days) that increased skeletal muscle creatine phosphocreatine, resulting in an improvement in Training with high intensity leads to tasks.
In addition, there are well-documented benefits of creatine supplementation in young adults, increased strength, lean body mass, and delayed fatigue during strength training. All of this is critical for older adults who strive to maintain cognition, bone mineral density and overall health.
Research is sparse, but a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using creatine has been conducted in type 2 diabetes patients and published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. The study showed that creatine supplementation improved glucose tolerance in healthy subjects.
When creatine was supplemented in diabetics who participated in a training program, the results improved blood sugar control.
The underlying mechanism could increase the sarcolemma-specific GLUT-4 recruitment. More research is needed in diabetics, but the current literature is promising.
Another study looked at the potential for creatine or phosphocreatine supplementation in cerebrovascular and ischemic heart disease. The study shows the ability of high-dose creatine supplementation to the cerebral creatine content and that it may have the ability to protect against stroke in humans because not only the neuronal but also the endothelial creatine content is increased.
New findings also indicate that creatine supplementation with and without weight training has the potential mechanistic effect on bone biology.
A recent study published in Experimental Gerontology examines creatine supplementation before and after exercise and has similar effects on aging and bone mineral content.
A meta-analysis performed by Forbes in 2018 illustrates Creatine supplementation did not lead to higher bone mineral density in strength training in older adults> 50 years.
Animal studies also suggested creatine supplementation to help treat Alzheimer's, epilepsy, and brain or spinal cord injuries. In addition, a study was conducted in which creatine supplementation after sleep deprivation with light training was examined for cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood and catecholamines.
The study evaded creatine supplementation and reduced the negative effects such as mood, focus, impulse and emotional reactions who rely on the prefrontal cortex.
Creatine is safe and easy to use
As you learned, creatine offers many different benefits that go beyond the muscles. It is one of the cheapest and safest supplements on the market.
It has been studied for over 200 years, and an abundance of literature supports safety, efficacy, and no reported adverse effects in healthy individuals, as indicated in the position status of the ISSN: creatine supplementation and exercise.
A good dose is initially to take only 3.0 to 5.0 grams of creatine monohydrate after training to aid recovery, muscle growth, and reducing fatigue.
If you are a vegetarian or have no experience with creatine, you can start a loading phase by taking (0.3 g / kg / body weight / day)).
For example, if you are a 60 kg woman = 18 g total for the day but divided into four doses for 5-7 days. This would mean one (4.5 g dose of creatine 4x / day) for 5-7 days.
Then on a maintenance phase of 5 g per day for 12 weeks. If you want to deal with different phases of the creatine cycle (short and long term), you can refer to the literature in the Creatine Position Stand paper to which I referred in this article.
For example, supplementing with (5 g / day) for 12 weeks during exercise to really increase intramuscular creatine stores and support the health and performance benefits described in this article.
After training, dissolve the creatine in water or your protein carbohydrate drink for best results. Take a break from supplementation after 12-16 weeks.
A guide to ordering creatine
I strongly recommend Supplements that are Informed Choice Certified, meaning they are free of banned substances and ensure that the product has been tested for unsafe substances.
If you are a parent or trainer of a youth athlete and are considering creatine supplementation, kNote, however, that limited research is available in this population that highlights the safety and effectiveness of creatine supplementation in young athletes under the age of 18.
A review has been published that examines the limited studies in the youth population to determine the use of creatine in young athletes.
The review suggests that adolescent athletes using creatine tolerated supplementation well and reported no adverse events or incidents. From an ethical point of view, we don't have enough research to recommend creatine monohydrate to young athletes, but many use it despite the instructions of professionals. My advice as a sports dietitian is to provide the literature and suggestions to support the best interests of my athletes.
As a registered nutritionist and sports nutrition specialist First, I support whole foods and prioritize nutrition to optimize your health, wellness, physique and performance goals.
Creatine is a great supplement that plays an important role in addition to excellent nutrition, adequate hydration, adequate sleep and adequate training. Creatine works best in combination with strength training. I hope that reading the science described in this article on creatine has given clarity.
Creatine can benefit everyone. So if you have a beating pulse, it means you. Train hard, eat well and stay healthy, my friends.