Q: WHAT IS CREATINE?
Creatine is a substance that is present in naturally in the human body, functioning as a storehouse of energy. Essential for physical and mental exertion, it is found in our natural diets and some protein compounds such as meat and fish.
Q: HOW DOES CREATINE WORK?
Majority of creatine is stored in the skeletal system.
Approximately 60-70% of the total creatine in muscle is stored in the form of the high energy molecule phosphocreatine. All of the body’s cells can use only adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as an energy-releasing substance. Phosphocreatine resynthesis is critical for restoring muscle power at the beginning of the next set of intensive exercises. An increased resynthesis rate makes it possible to complete more intensive training sets, which is an advantage for explosive sports disciplines in particular.
The greatest improvements in performance can be found during a series of repetitive high-intensity types of exertion that are interrupted by a fairly brief period of rest (e.g. 20-60 seconds). The rest breaks are sufficient to achieve greater recovery of phosphocreatine concentrations.
Here are some of the mechanisms that can be activated by Creatine supplementation:
i. Immediate reserves for ATP during exertion get activated.
ii. Increased phosphocreatine resynthesis rate during and after exertion due to increased levels of creatine.
iii. Smaller decrease in muscle pH during exertion.
iv. Greater training capacity.
v. Increase in muscle mass (absolute power output).
Q: WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION?
As a supplement, it is widely accepted as offering relatively immediate and very tangible benefits to both gym goers and sports people alike and is one of the most widely used of supplements. Creatine supplementation has a performance-enhancing effect for those involved in a wide variety of sports. For sports that require speed, such as sprinting, rugby, football, swimming, and for intensive strength training by bodybuilders and cyclists, short-term creatine supplementation can greatly improve performance in the areas of maximum strength and endurance.
Q: Can creatine be consumed with coffee?
Try to avoid taking high amounts of Caffeine when supplementing with Creatine. Simultaneous supplementation of large amounts of Caffeine (e.g. 4 cups of coffee) eliminates the ergogenic effects of Creatine by interfering with the resynthesis of Phosphocreatine.
Q: DOES CARBOHYDRATE IMPROVE CREATINE ABSORPTION?
Creatine absorption can be improved by taking creatine together with simple carbohydrates, such as maltodextrin or dextrose, instead of just taking it alone. Exercise also stimulates the uptake of creatine.
Q: IS CREATINE SAFE?
Creatine has been thoroughly evaluated in long term clinical safety studies. Creatine is the most comprehensively researched supplement with over 2000 research studies focused upon it..
The results of these safety studies on the long-term use of creatine monohydrate have consistently shown that, in comparison to athletes who did not take creatine, those who took creatine did not experience a greater incidence of injuries, heat-related disorders, dehydration, cramping, musculoskeletal injuries, or gastrointestinal disturbances. Additionally, athletes who took creatine over a long period did not have significantly higher muscle and liver enzymes, altered electrolytes, or increased renal stress determined by creatine clearance.
Q: WHAT ABOUT OTHER FORMS OF CREATINE?
In a market always looking for new and improved products, there are now more than 20 different derivatives sold commercially that promise better results than conventional creatine monohydrate such as Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) and Tri-Creatine Malate.
But no scientific studies have been done on these new products that prove that they enhance performance, unlike creatine monohydrate, which, as the subject of more than 300 studies, is one of the most researched dietary supplements around. So if you are given the choice to choose between largely untested, unproven products and one that is not only proven beyond doubt to be the most effective but also the safest in the world, which would you choose? The choice is both logical and simple, especially if you put safety first.
Information also aggregated from Pure Nutrition.