In the world of sports nutrition and fitness supplementation, few substances have garnered as much attention and acclaim as creatine. It's a household name among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts alike. Whether you're a seasoned fitness veteran or just starting on your health and wellness journey, understanding the ins and outs of this supplement is essential. Creatine, often hailed as the "king of supplements," has become a staple in the gym bags of those seeking improved performance, enhanced muscle growth, and better overall health.
Creatine has long been used in the arsenal of athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike, but the misconceptions surrounding it have left many wondering: What exactly is it? How does it work in the body? Does it cause weight gain? And, most importantly, what are the genuine benefits of incorporating creatine into your regimen?
This comprehensive blog aims to demystify the science and shed light on the many facets of creatine, giving you the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about its use. From the basics of what creatine is to its profound impact on muscle strength, endurance, and overall well-being, we will delve deep into the world of creatine supplementation.
What is it?
Creatine, or creatine monohydrate, is an acid that is found naturally in the body, produced by the kidneys and liver after you eat protein. It is also found in animal proteins such as meat and seafood, but in order to hit the level of creatine available in most supplements, you’d have to consume almost inhuman amounts.
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements on the market, and has research-backed evidence of the benefits it can provide to users, making it one of the safest supplements to take. It is not a steroid, but it is often used to increase muscle mass and improve exercise performance in athletes alongside having positive health benefits.
There are different forms of creatine on the market, including powder, pills and even liquid, but in order to get the most bang for your buck, powder forms of creatine monohydrate like ABE Creatine are best, and it is much easier to adjust your dosage depending on your requirements too.
Some people may avoid taking creatine due to the perceived health risks associated with it, such as kidney or liver damage in those who take standard dosages. However, it is safe to take every day; there is no evidence to suggest that there are any detrimental side effects in people who consume a high dose of this supplement.
What Does it Do and How Does it Work?
This is where science comes in - we promise this is the only section which may prove a bit tricky to get your head around!
95% of creatine is stored in the skeletal muscles in the form of phosphocreatine (PCr), which helps your body to produce more of a high-energy molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
For a muscle to contract, ATP must break off a phosphate group, leaving behind adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The body cannot use ADP for energy, so ADP takes a phosphate from the body’s PCr store to form more ATP. When you have more ATP, your body can perform better. Supplementing with creatine increases the body’s store of PCr, which means ATP can be formed quicker in the body.
Supplementing with creatine increases the body’s ability to rapidly produce energy and therefore leads to increased muscle growth and stamina due to more work being able to be put in before fatigue hits you.
Does Creatine Cause Weight Gain?
For those who are looking to lose weight, you may be reluctant to take ABE Creatine due to the fact that it does cause some weight gain, especially when you start taking it. Research has thoroughly documented that creatine supplements cause a rapid increase of weight, but this is short-term as it is water weight. This is because it alters your stored water content by driving additional water into your muscle cells.
Weight gain from supplementing with creatine is not due to gaining fat, but due to an increase of water stores in your muscles, making the muscle look bigger and fuller. Over time, with training and the correct nutrition, you will still lose weight. However, if you are taking creatine, it is important to stay well-hydrated.
To recap, while an initial weight gain may be due to an increase in water, research shows that creatine supplementation, alongside resistance training, results in an increase in lean body mass and decrease in fat mass, leading to an improvement in body composition and muscle gain.
Benefits of Creatine Supplementation
Here are some of the benefits of supplementing with ABE Creatine:
Improves exercise performance
Due to the increase of PCr stores in the body, it means ATP is able to be produced quicker which contributes to greater exercise performance. This can result in being able to go harder for longer and lift heavier.
Increases muscle mass and strength
Having more ATP in your energy system means that you’re capable of carrying out more intense workouts and lifting heavier. As well as this, with creatine drawing water into the muscle, this increases muscle mass naturally as well as improves both performance recovery and ability.
Improves mood and cognitive function
Creatine is not only found in muscles but also in the brain, where it plays a role in energy metabolism. Some research suggests that creatine supplementation may have potential benefits for cognitive function and mental clarity, especially in tasks that require short-term memory and rapid information processing.
Potential health benefits
Beyond its performance-related advantages, creatine monohydrate may offer potential health benefits. Some studies have suggested that supplementation could have positive effects on conditions such as Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, and even certain neurological disorders.
Potential benefits for vegetarians and vegans
Since creatine is primarily found in animal products, individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets may have lower natural stores. Supplementing with creatine can help vegetarians and vegans maintain optimal creatinine levels, potentially improving their exercise performance.
In conclusion, the world of sports nutrition and fitness has long celebrated creatine as the "king of supplements" for good reason. It's a safe, extensively researched, and highly effective addition to your fitness regimen. From its fundamental role in enhancing exercise performance and promoting muscle growth to its potential cognitive and health benefits, creatine stands as a versatile ally on your journey to improved well-being.
One common concern is the initial water weight gain associated with creatine, but it's important to remember that this is temporary. Over time, when combined with proper training and nutrition, creatine supplementation has been shown to increase lean body mass and contribute to a better overall body composition.
Moreover, ABE Creatine isn't just for athletes and bodybuilders. Its potential benefits extend to individuals with specific health conditions and even those following vegetarian or vegan diets, as it helps bridge the gap in natural intake.
There are two flavours to choose from:
So, whether you're aiming to crush your fitness goals, enhance your mental clarity, or explore the potential health benefits, creatine supplementation is a powerful tool at your disposal.
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Written by Shannon Gaskell