Creatine is one of the most popular supplements in the world. It first started to gain mainstream popularity in the 1990s. You will find it in pre-workout supplements, post-workout supplements, and some companies have even put it in whey protein.
Creatine is one of the most studied sports supplements. Over the years, new types of creatine have made their way on to the shelves of countless supplement stores throughout the world. Creatine is available in capsules and bulk powder form. But, does creatine work?
How Creatine Works
Creatine is a natural substance that is found in the muscle cells. Your body uses creatine to help make energy. Your body produces even more energy for things like high-intensity exercise and heavy lifting. Creatine is responsible for helping to recycle ATP (the body’s energy source) to ensure that your body doesn’t run out of energy. 95% of your body’s creatine is stored within the muscles in the form of phosphocreatine.
Creatine is also responsible for helping to increase the cellular volume of your muscle cells. Creatine acts like a salt. And like salt, water is attracted to it. When creatine is inside the muscle, it draws more water into the cells. The result is an increase in strength due to an increase in muscle size. But the effects of creatine don’t stop there.
Creatine also helps to improve recovery from heavy or intense training. When the muscle cells have more water, it is easier for them to absorb the appropriate nutrients necessary for muscle repair and recovery. Think about a grape and a raisin. Which one is easier to pierce with a toothpick? Yep, the grape. When you use creatine, your muscle cells will act more like a grape, and less like a raisin.
Helps Reduces Muscle Breakdown
One of the best ways to improve strength and keep making gains is to reduce muscle breakdown. If your body is constantly trying to repair itself from excessive muscle breakdown, you will never build new muscle. Not to mention that supplementing with creatine can help to lower myostatin levels. Elevated levels of myostatin can slow down or even stop new muscle growth.
So, does creatine work? You better believe it does. There’s a reason why creatine is one of the most studied supplements of all time.