Creatine is one of the most well-studied and safest sports supplements on the market. If you're interested in maximizing your health and performance, you may want to consider implementing creatine into your routine. Simply put, creatine has muscle-growth and exercise-performance benefits by allowing a more constant supply of energy during high-intensity training.
So what exactly is creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid stored in muscles that plays a major role in energy production. ATP is the exhaustible source of energy your body uses to preform. When you exert energy (ATP) it becomes ADP. ADP combines with creatine to create ATP which is used for energy, and repeat. Once your creatine stores run out, ATP is no longer created. So you can see that creatine helps maintain a more constant energy supply.
How is it created?
Creatine is made in your own body, so it's not some weird, artificial substance created in a lab. Your body synthesizes creatine mainly in the liver from certain amino acids. Creatine is also found naturally in beef, pork, and fish, so consuming these meats will increase your creatine storage. This being said, vegans and vegetarians typically have lower creatine stores than meat-eaters.
If creatine is produced in the body and can be eaten from whole foods such as red meat, why would I need to supplement with creatine?
You'd have to eat A LOT of red meat. 1 scoop of creatine powder = 1.3kg (2.9lbs) of beef. Not only is it unrealistic to eat almost 3 pounds of beef daily, but it would be SUPER expensive and at the expense of a lot of calories. Also, most creatine supplements are 100% vegan which is great because non meat-eaters tend to have lower creatine stores.
Benefits of supplementing with creatine?
Creatine's main role is high-intensity energy production, short, quick, explosive movements like lifting weights. Continuous use of creatine supplements can increase creatine stores in the muscles from 20-40%. The benefits of that include:
Improve exercise performance (train harder and perform better)
Lift heavier weight and withstand more volume
Improve glycogen synthesis in your muscles (meaning you have a ready source of energy for continued exercise)
It could even benefit brain health and cognition
I recommend Creatine Monohydrate; It's the most researched, most pure, and cheapest form. I recommend creatine for anyone who has an interest in improving their health, exercise performance, and brain health. Supplements are not necessary, but out of all supplements, this one is widely studied and has benefits that go even beyond the gym.
I use Creatine Monohydrate from Myprotein.