Creatine is a supplement that has gone through its own highs and lows. When Creatine entered
the market it was touted as a natural replacement for steroids. It, like all new supplements, was
going to change the market forever. It was purported to increase lean muscle mass and strength
at a rate similar to anabolic steroids. The low cost was another benefit. Millions jumped on the
With the introduction of prohormones Creatine took a backseat. Researchers stated that
Creatine effects were not as phenomenal as once thought. Testosterone, and other hormonal,
pre-cursors hit the market and quickly took the spotlight away from Creatine. These
supplements rode their wave of popularity and went the way of the dinosaur. New supplements
came on the scene and drifted into obscurity but Creatine is still here. The reason is that Creatine
does have some solid, research-backed results. Real-world results from the bodybuilding and
traditional sporting worlds have supported this research. Understanding what Creatine is and
how it works is important for understanding its benefits.
Creatine introduces additional phosphates into the energy cycle at the cellular level. This is
important because phosphates are used to replenish ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) stores.
ATP is the first energy cycle, used to produce short bursts of energy at the cellular level. It is
the primary energy system for high intensity, short duration activities, such as weight training.
Energy is created when a phosphate is separated from the ATP molecule, leaving ADP
(adenosine di-phosphate.) This new ADP must find a free floating phosphate to reattach before
it can be used for energy again. That is where Creatine comes in. By introducing more
phosphates there are more available to reattach and therefore this energy system will last longer
before having to convert to the lactic acid producing energy system. It has also been shown that
a Creatine loading phase may lead to more ATP stored in the muscle cells for ready use. This
results in more powerful muscular contractions that will last longer.
Another effect of Creatine use is an infusion of water into the muscle cells. The additional
phosphates creates an imbalance and additional water must enter the cells to maintain the
proper balance. This leads to fuller looking muscles. It also increases the leverage in the muscle
fibers increasing power output. This increase in water infusion into the muscles can lead to
dehydration if water intake is not increased. Increasing water consumption is always a good
idea when training anyway and will lead help increase the efficiency of the Creatine.
Creatine supplements come in several different formulas and hundreds of different name brands.
Each supplement company will tell you why theirs is the best. They each approach the issue
from a slightly different angle but end up with the same basic results at the cellular level. More
energy production in the cells due to increased ATP storage and production is attained with all
Creatine supplementation using quality Creatine products.
Increased energy and power output and more water at the cellular level increasing size and
leverage of the muscle fibers are the two major benefits of Creatine use. The secondary benefits
include increased muscle size as the body builds proteins to fill the increased cellular size.
Strength increases due to the added leverage benefit are also common. Training at higher
weights due to increased power output and strength will lead to stronger muscles and tendons
as well. This increase in muscle and tendon strength will decrease the chances for injury and
allow for more intense muscular contractions. All of these benefits translate into a more solid
physique and better athletic performance.