Updated: Aug 24
Starting to get serious on your fitness journey? In hope of reaching the next level, it’s likely you’ve searched ‘what is creatine?’. And it’s not surprising. Creatine is one of the (if not the) most popular sports supplements in the world when it comes to muscle mass gain. By increasing its concentration in your muscle cells, creatine supplements can help provide energy during high-intensity workouts, resulting in improved endurance and exercise performance. In this article, we go back to basics and discuss all things creatine.
Use creatine supplements responsibly and in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise routine for optimal results.
What is creatine?
Let’s start with the basics - creatine is an organic acid found in humans. The liver, pancreas, and kidneys produce approximately one gram of creatine daily, whilst it can also be found in animal products like red meat, milk, and seafood.
However, for athletes, the amount of creatine obtained from food sources is not enough, especially for those looking to build muscle mass. That's why many people turn to creatine supplements.
Creatine is primarily stored in skeletal muscle tissue, where it is used to recycle cellular fuel ATP. By delaying muscle fatigue, creatine can help with high-intensity physical activities like weightlifting and sprints, leading to strength gains and endurance improvement over time.
But creatine’s uses don’t end there. Interestingly, about five percent of creatine is found in the brain. Here, the compound helps with energy metabolism for neurones and potentially improves cognitive function.
Different types of creatine supplements are available in the market, and the recommended dosage may vary depending on the individual's weight and muscle mass. Whilst this article aims to offer you informative content, it is important that you take your own steps to decide if and how to integrate creatine into your own routine.
How does creatine work?
Creatine supplements work by increasing the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP); the primary source of energy for muscle contractions. When the body engages in high-intensity exercises like weightlifting, it rapidly depletes its ATP stores. This is when you typically start fatiguing and your overall performance decreases. In comes creatine.
Essentially, creatine supplements increase the body's creatine stores, ultimately enhancing ATP production. As a result, individuals can engage in longer and more intense workouts, leading to increased muscle growth and improved athletic performance.
Benefits of Creatine for Muscle Mass
Now that we've answered the question "what is creatine?", you might be wondering what the real benefits are.
Although studies have shown that creatine is beneficial for many aspects of human health, the compound is commonly used for three core reasons.
1. Increased muscle mass
Body builders will be very aware that one of the most significant benefits of creatine is its ability to increase muscle mass. Several studies have shown that creatine supplementation can lead to significant gains in muscle mass and strength in individuals who engage in regular weightlifting and resistance training. In fact, some studies have shown that creatine can increase muscle mass by up to ten pounds in just a few weeks.
As to how this works, it's pretty simple. Creatine helps to improve the body's ability to produce energy during high-intensity exercise, therefore allowing individuals to lift heavier weights and perform more repetitions. This leads to increased muscle mass and strength over time.
2. Improved athletic performance
In addition to its benefits for increasing muscle mass, creatine can also improve athletic performance. By increasing the body's production of ATP, which is the primary source of energy for muscle contractions, creatine can allow individuals to perform longer and more intense workouts.
This can lead to improvements in endurance, speed, and power, which are all essential for athletic performance.
In particular, creatine is effective for activities that require short bursts of high-intensity effort, such as sprinting or weightlifting. However, it can also be beneficial for endurance activities, such as distance running, since it can help to delay fatigue and improve overall performance.
3. Faster muscle recovery
Creatine can also help with muscle recovery by reducing muscle damage and inflammation. This allows for quicker recovery times between workouts, which can lead to faster gains in muscle mass over time.
By reducing muscle damage and inflammation, creatine can also help to reduce the risk of injury, which is important for individuals who engage in regular weightlifting and resistance training.
4. All kinds of other benefits...
Creatine supplementation has proven to be beneficial in all kinds of ways; for the mind and the body. Not only useful for increasing muscle mass, it can also boost endurance, cognitive function and more. And the best part? It's been shown to be effective for most people, with zero known safety concerns.
Types of creatine supplements
There are several types of creatine supplements available on the market, each with their own unique properties. Some of the most common types of creatine supplements include:
1. Creatine Monohydrate
This is the most common form of creatine and is found in most supplements on the market. It is highly effective and has been extensively studied for its benefits in building muscle mass.
2. Creatine Ethyl Ester
More easily absorbed by the body than creatine monohydrate, bound to ester salts, creatine Ethyl Ester which is thought to make creatine more bioavailable. However, it is less effective at increasing muscle mass and strength.
3. Buffered Creatine
With a higher pH than regular creatine monohydrate, buffered creatine is a more alkaline product. This form of creatine is less likely to cause stomach upset than other forms.
4. Creatine Hydrochloride
This form of creatine is highly soluble and can be absorbed by the body more easily than other forms of creatine. It’s created by binding creatine to parts of hydrochloride molecules.
CreGAAtine is a unique creatine proprietary blend that contains the creatine precursor, GAA – Guanidinoacetic acid. This type of creatine supplement has resulted in higher levels of creatine in the brain and muscles and offers all the creatine benefits without the side effects.
How to take creatine
Most studies have shown that a daily dosage of 5 grams of creatine monohydrate is effective in increasing muscle mass and strength. However, the recommended dosage of creatine varies depending on the type of creatine supplement and the individual's weight and muscle mass.
If you are taking CreGAAtine, the recommended dosage is 2 sachets a day. If the recommended dosage is followed, it is not necessary to take a break from supplementation. To consume your CreGAAtine supplement, mix the powder with luke-warm water and drink it immediately.
When to take creatine
Creatine supplements can be taken before or after workouts or at any time of the day. It is important to drink plenty of water when taking your supplements in order to prevent dehydration.
Those taking CreGAAtine should consume one sachet twice a day with meals.
Get results with CreGAAtine
If you're looking to take your fitness to the next level, consider adding CreGAAtine to your supplement routine. This scientifically advanced form of creatine has been shown to increase muscle mass and strength at a significantly higher rate than traditional creatine monohydrate.
With its powerful effects on ATP production and muscle recovery, CreGAAtine can help you achieve your muscle building goals faster and more efficiently.