Creatine is one of the hottest supplements on the market. Sales are increasing at a phenomenal rate, and this supplement has become wildly popular among athletes who want to improve their performance says, Michael Osland. If you’ve never heard of creatine before, maybe you’ll recognize it by its more common name: meat. Yes, seriously…creatine is an amino acid found naturally in meat that helps supply energy to your body’s cells (muscle cells, in particular). Your liver and kidneys also manufacture creatine from other amino acids. Creatine can also be found in lower amounts in certain types of fish.
Since the early 1990s, scientists have been studying whether or not taking extra creatine can improve normal human functions such as memory retention, intelligence tests scores, and muscle mass. When athletes began taking creatine supplements, especially in combination with weightlifting workouts, they quickly noticed a difference in their strength and performance. Scientists have been able to isolate the reason why creatine works so well for athletes: it helps your stored energy (referred to as ATP) convert into usable energy which improves power and endurance during high-intensity exercise. Studies on creatine supplementation are still ongoing, but many experts believe that young adults may gain an additional 5-15% increase in muscular strength from short-term creatine use.
Now that I’ve gone over some of the basics behind this most popular of all dietary supplements, let’s talk about how you can get more creatine into your body:
- The quickest way to get extra creatine is to take it in powder form. But this isn’t the healthiest way to get it into your body explains Michael Osland. You can buy creatine monohydrate supplements at any vitamin store (or many large drug stores).
- Creatine may also be found in certain types of protein powders (look for products that say “contains creatine” on the label). The best sources, however, are usually red meats and fish. For example, 3 ounces of canned tuna contains about 5 grams of creatine while 3 ounces of cooked chicken breast will give you 2 grams.
- For athletes who want to improve their performance. The recommended dosage is 0.3-0.4 grams per kilogram of body weight 1-3 times daily. One teaspoon holds 5 grams which means that a 150 pound athlete would need about 7 teaspoons of powder to get their daily dose.
- If you want to try the powder form, remember that it’s much easier (and much less expensive). To take too little than too much; not only could this be wasteful, but if you take an excessive amount your body will simply expel it. The best way to know how your body reacts. By starting with a small dose and increasing it gradually until you see results says Michael Osland. If you’re using protein powders, just check the label for the recommended dosage before taking more.
- Finally, creatine works best when taken after workouts or any time that your muscles are being used extensively. Creatine isn’t stored in the body so its effectiveness can diminish very quickly. Which means that you’ll only get the full benefit if you take it immediately after exercise.
- This is just a brief overview of creatine. But I hope that it clarifies some questions about this very popular supplement! Stay tuned for deeper analysis of creatine in future posts.
- Creatine is one of the hottest supplements on the market. Sales are increasing at a phenomenal rate. And this supplement has become wildly popular among athletes who want to improve their performance. Michael Osland says if you’ve never heard of creatine before, maybe you’ll recognize it by its more common name: meat. Yes, seriously…creatine is an amino acid found naturally in meat that helps supply energy to your body’s cells (muscle cells, in particular). And it can be found in higher amounts than in other foods, including beef, chicken, pork, and fish. Adding creatine supplements to your diet is an effective way. To increase both your performance during workouts and your overall energy levels. There are still many questions about the best ways to take creatine. But here’s what you need to know right now:
- Creatine increases the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Which provides quick energy for exercises involving very short or intense bursts of strength such as weightlifting or sprinting. The more ATP a person has stored up in their muscles at one time. The longer they will be able to exercise intensely before having to stop due to fatigue. Additionally, creatine may help speed up the repair of damaged muscle cells. Making it an effective supplement for athletes who frequently injure themselves during their workouts.
Creatine is naturally found in red meats but it’s also available as a dietary supplement explains Michael Osland. The most popular way to get creatine into your body is by taking supplements. But you can also get it from other sources including certain types of protein powders and even some energy drinks. Creatine increases your body’s ability to produce the fuel needed for intense exercise via the production of Adenosine Triphosphate.