Creatine is one of the most extensively researched and widely used supplements available. Most importantly, it has been found to be safe and effective for improving exercise performance in array of sports. Creatine is naturally-derived from foods such as meat and fish. It is also formed in the liver and kidneys from various amino acids such as methionine, arginine and glycine. Creatine can greatly increase the rate of recovery from intense exercise. This is due to the support of protein synthesis, the role in rehydration and also the replenishment of phosphocreatine in the muscle cells. This makes creatine an excellent ergogenic aid for athletes involved in explosive and intermittent sprint sports.
How creatine supplementation works
Short-term creatine supplementation (20 to 25 g per day for 4 to 7 days) can increase total creatine content of the muscle tissue by between 15 to 30% and phosphocreatine stores by 10 to 40%. Phosphocreatine is considered a high energy compound as it plays a critical role in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the muscle cell. Phosphocreatine is particularly important during high intensity explosive and sprint-type activities. During high intensity exercise, athletes rapidly deplete phosphocreatine muscle stores and this limits exercise intensity. The increased availability of creatine and phosphocreatine in the muscle from creatine supplementation can help enhance ATP production during high-intensity exercise, and facilitate recovery in between intense exercise activity.
Why should you use creatine?
Creatine can increase the intensity of muscular contraction during short-term energy bursts. Combined with appropriate training and a suitable diet, performance of maximal intensity activities like explosive movements and repeated sprints can be improved by creatine supplementation which is desirable for any athlete striving to increase their competitive advantage.
Creatine supplementation has been found to be particularly beneficial for sports which require repeated high intensity movements like sprinting, jumping, power based movements or other exercise that taxes the anaerobic energy system. Creatine supplementation can increase training intensity and training volume allowing athletes to recover quicker between training sets providing for greater training adaptations.
Who should use creatine?
Creatine supplementation can benefit anyone who is looking for improvements in exercise performance. It can be used by body builders, strength trainers or athletes looking to increase lean mass and strength and to maximise power and speed.
Types of creatine
Type of creatine
The most commonly used form of creatine for improving exercise performance
Creatine ethyl ester hydrochloride
Creatine ethyl ester has an ester salt attached to aid in the absorption of creatine
Creatine Gluconate is a form of creatine bonded to a molecule of glucose, this again is another means of improving creatine uptake
Crea Pure is a form of creatine with a high level of purity
Creatine Alpha Keto Gluterate
Creatine-AKG is creatine attached to an alpha-ketoglutarate molecule, this helps to bring a greater level of creatine into the target muscle cells resulting in greater levels of stored muscle creatine
High bioavailability creatine