What the research says about how they can help you get in shape
Creatine is one of the most popular nutritional supplements currently on the market, and it’s used extensively by bodybuilders and athletes alike. Many claim to feel better after including it in their diets, and believe it helps them get fit and build muscle.
While some feel like these supplements May be controversialThere is plenty of scientific evidence behind taking creatine, especially for exercise. Studies show that creatine can help boost your performance during workouts — which, in turn, may help you get in shape.
Creatine is a natural substance produced by the body. It is also found in foods such as red meat and seafood. Creatine also plays an essential role cell organization
And it helps quickly replenish adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an organic compound in our bodies that gives cells the energy they need to function.
In humans, the majority of creatine in our bodies (about 95%) is stored in our muscles. As such, it helps give our muscles energy on demand when needed.
The more creatine stored in our muscles, the more energy we can draw when exercising. This may explain why creatine supplementation translates to Better quality workouts with less fatigue.
But while creatine may help with workouts and the energy available to working muscles, it will Don’t make you suddenly tempted — especially if you already had naturally high stores from the get-go.
However, a wealth of research points to this Take creatine Along with can practice Get the most out of your training). In some cases, it can even improve the amount of weight you can lift up to 32% And muscle mass increased by 7.2%, especially in the upper body, when compared to those not taking creatine. Recently, there is evidence that the uptake of water by cells as a result of creatine supplementation may stimulate Genes associated with muscle growthLeads to Greater lean muscle gains.
Although largely disputed, some studies have also shown that creatine can Modestly reduce total body fat Especially when taken right away before and after exercise. There is also evidence to suggest that creatine can support Recovery from exerciseespecially if consumed with a Protein drinkand help Injury prevention.
But it’s not just about physical gains. Around 5% of the body’s creatine It is stored in other tissues incl our brain. Creatine intake has been shown to be beneficial Improve cognitive function And Make decisionEspecially for vegetarians. Around 8 grams of creatine taken daily For five days, it has been shown to reduce mental fatigue associated with repetitive tasks, and higher doses (20 grams) may Improve fatigue associated with brain muscles. This also highlights that creatine can be beneficial in improving the quality of your workouts.
how much do you take
The average adult needs about 1-3 grams per day of stored creatine to support normal bodily functions. However, people who exercise may need to take in between 5-10 grams per day Maintain body stores.
However, research has shown that taking 20g of creatine per day for about a week may actually be optimal to start with, as this increases the amount of creatine stored in your body. by about 26%. Maybe Boost it even more If taken in conjunction with regular resistance training. Beyond that, creatine stores can be Maintain lower doses 3-5 grams per day, which maintains creatine availability.
Although you can likely consume enough creatine as part of your diet by eating large amounts of animal proteins and dairy products, you will have to consume a lot more to boost your creatine stores (for example, a 1kg steak can provide five grams). of creatine). This is where creatine supplementation may be most practical.
Creatine remains one of the most tested nutritional supplements overall It is considered safe and well tolerated. Even those who ate up to 30 grams per day for five years No harmful effects have been shown.
But be aware, supplements can cause some minor side effects, such as nausea, cramping, and bloating—especially during the initial stages. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking creatine just to be sure it is safe for you.
While creatine may have many benefits, unfortunately it may not work for everyone – especially people who already have high levels of creatine stored in their muscles, such as trained athletes or people who regularly eat a high-protein diet. But people who are new to exercise, or those who follow a low-protein or vegan diet, may benefit from it. Consume more creatine dailyto improve the quality of their workouts.
However, there is still a lot we don’t know about creatine, especially given the… The majority of studies were performed using healthy male participants. However, a review from 2021 suggests that creatine may as well Just as effective, or even more so, for women – It may also support their bone health, mood and cognitive function when combined with resistance exercise.
The evidence seems to be accumulating in favor of creatine for training, especially for those starting a new program. But while this supplement may help you get quick bursts of energy and may help you get through your workout, don’t expect it to be a quick fix for getting in shape.