What is creatine?

3. April 2024

Creatine Benefits: Why is it a popular supplement among athletes? Creatine stands out as one of the most popular supplement among athletes. Creatine helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high intensity exercise. Athletes often take creatine supplements to enhance strength and improve performance. Creatine is one of the world’s most tested supplements and has an outstanding safety profile.

What is creatine and how should it be consumed?

Creatine is a substance found naturally in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high intensity exercise. It’s primarily used to increase muscle mass, strength and endurance. Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in small amounts in certain foods and synthesized by the body, mainly in the liver, kidneys and pancreas. Widely used as a dietary supplement, creatine is known for its ability to increase energy production during short-term, high-intensity exercise. By increasing the availability of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body, creatine contributes to brain function, improves training results and increases muscle mass.

ATP is the primary energy source for muscle contractions used by cells during exercise. Muscle fibers do not contain enough ATP, so it must be obtained from the body’s ATP stores. Creatine monohydrate, as a dietary supplement, increases creatine levels in muscles by about 20-30% and creatine phosphate levels by about 10%.¹

Why should you add creatine to your daily diet?

◇ IMPROVES TRAINING RESULTS
Daily consumption of creatine monohydrate helps maintain a constant supply of energy to muscles during intense exercise. It also improves performance without affecting aerobic endurance.

◇ INCREASE IN MUSCLE MASS
Studies have shown that regular consumption of creatine contributes to increasing muscle mass, especially among individuals aged 18-30.

Creatine accelerates muscle recovery. During exercise, microtears occur in muscle tissues, but thanks to creatine, they heal faster, making muscles stronger. Creatine increases water content in cells, promoting muscle growth and reducing dehydration and muscle cramps.

◇ BRAIN FUNCTION
Studies have shown that the brain requires a significant amount of ATP to perform heavy tasks. The supplement increases phosphocreatine levels in the brain to produce more ATP. Creatine contributes to brain function by increasing dopamine levels and mitochondrial function, thereby improving cognitive ability. This benefits both professional and amateur athletes by reducing fatigue.

Is creatine consumption safe?

Numerous studies have shown that creatine consumption is safe. However, side effects such as:
● weight gain due to water retention in muscles;
● dizziness;
● nausea and vomiting;
● diarrhea;
● hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)²

If you experience any of the above-mentioned side effects, reduce your daily creatine dose or consult a healthcare professional.

How to consume creatine?

It is recommended to consume micronized creatine monohydrate, which is in powdered form. This ensures better solubility in liquids, better absorption in the body, and helps reduce digestive disorders. Creatine is usually mixed with juice or water and consumed before or after exercise. The supplement can be used in two ways: Creatine loading and maintenance dosing.

Creatine loading is a method of supplement consumption aimed at quickly saturating muscle cells with creatine. This is a five-day loading period involving the consumption of 20-25g of creatine per day, divided into 4-5 equal doses. The supplement is recommended to be taken with breakfast, before exercise, after exercise, and with the last meal of the day.

Maintenance dosing: Following the loading period is a 5-6 week maintenance period during which it is recommended to consume 3-5g of creatine per day. A 1-2 month break follows the maintenance period.

During the loading and maintenance periods, the body’s creatine stores are replenished, ensuring that the effects of creatine persist even after consumption ends.³

What are the best creatines?

Fitshop offers a wide range of creatines in various forms: as capsules and powders. Fitshop’s most popular products are: