Creatine (creatine monohydrate) is a natural substance needed for muscle work. It comes from food and is produced by the body from amino acids, then it is carried in blood and stored in muscles. The body of an adult male weighing 70 kg contains 100-140 grams of creatine.
Creatine was first isolated in the first half of the nineteenth century. In the next century scientific experiments proved that regular use of a substance increases muscle strength. But the athletes really appreciated this substance in 1992 after the publication of the research made by Swedish physician Eric Haltman. He proved that consuming 20 grams of creatine monohydrate a day increases muscle creatine supply by 20%. Later many researches proved that it is enough to use 5-7 grams of the substance a day to achieve a good result.
How Creatine Works
Our body needs energy to perform any movement. Energy appears from ATP (adenosine triphosphate) – the universal energy source in the body. There is always about the same ATP amount in cells, it cannot be increased, but it is possible to recover costs quickly. Creatine performs this function – it helps maintain ATP levels. Power endurance and the effectiveness of strength training increases thanks to creatine.
It is very important that creatine is not included in the list of prohibited doping agents, which means it can be used in any competition. It is produced in the body from amino acids (glycine, methionine, arginine), so there is no necessarily need to obtain the rate of creatine from food additives. Creatine is chemically produced in laboratories for sports nutrition needs. But there is nothing to worry about – it is still the same creatine, no less natural.
What is creatine for?
Creatine helps withstand short loads at maximum intensity, therefore it is necessary for sprinters and power athletes. It is very effective in combat and team sports with frequent accelerations: football, basketball, hockey, etc.
In sports for endurance (for example, in long-distance running) creatine is ineffective, because it does not increase overall endurance. The additional intake of creatine by endurance athletes is justified if you need to increase muscle strength. Creatine will have a positive effect in the period of training with numerous strength workouts.
So, this is the short checklist to make decision about creatine:
- Increases strength endurance (duration of “explosive” work)
- Increases muscle mass and strength (indirectly due to increased efficiency, i.e. you can train longer)
- Improves muscle relief (the muscle appears to be larger due to fluid retention, which is provoked by creatine)
- Serves as lactic acid buffer (inhibits its release and reduces the time required for recovery after exercise)
- Protects the heart muscle when working in oxygen lack conditions
- Normalizes blood cholesterol
Creatine is one of the most popular sports nutrition products, second only to protein and BCAA.
Creatine monohydrate is a white powder usually without taste and smell. It should be consumed at 5-7 grams per day, dissolved in liquid. The most convenient way is to add it to your protein shake, which you can easily make using vortex shaker by UnitSport. Just pour the required amount of water/milk/juice for protein, press the button, add a portion of the protein and add a portion of creatine. Just 20 seconds and everything is ready!