Health experts, athletes and bodybuilders everywhere are talking about creatine benefits and you may wonder why they are all so excited about the use of creatine powder as a dietary supplement. This review explores the impact of creatine monohydrate on health, strength and physical performance and tells you how natural creatine benefits can be enhanced.
What is Creatine Monohydrate?
Creatine monohydrate is a natural compound, also known as methyl guanidine-acetic acid, which is formed from the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine.
Creatine is released into the bloodstream by the kidneys, pancreas and liver. It replenishes ATP, which is the molecule that, when it is broken down, releases the energy required for a muscle to contract.
It also allows more fluid to enter muscle cells. The resulting volumization of these cells triggers protein synthesis, increases glycogen synthesis and minimizes protein breakdown.
Creatine powder has been widely researched as a sports supplement and it has had no harmful side effects on men and women over the age of 18. So far there have been few studies made on children, because creatine powder is intended to be taken by athletes, bodybuilders and sports people who want to improve their performance.
Extensive Research into Creatine Benefits
Although protein food such as meat and fish are a natural source of creatine, medical research into muscle metabolism carried out by Dr. Paul Greenhaff and Professor Eric Hultman has revealed that creatine powder supplements allow muscles to store more than the body is able to produce on its own, even from a protein-rich diet.
Hultman and his team concluded that taking creatine powder as a dietary supplement results in more energy being available for exercising and building muscle.
Results of a clinical study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise also show that increasing the amount of creatine monohydrate in the body makes it easier to develop greater muscle mass through physical activity.
Even the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Jim King, M.D., has confirmed that a creatine powder supplement will help to increase muscle mass and improve physical strength.
The Impact of Creatine on Performance
Taking creatine powder as a dietary supplement gives you more muscle power and increased energy, so you can train harder, lift heavier weights and exercise at a higher intensity. When you are active in weight training, athletics or sports the main creatine benefits are:
Faster gains from high intensity training
Increased muscle building and strength
Greater athletic ability
Enhanced sporting performance
Shorter exercise recovery time
Additional Creatine Benefits
1. Less Lactic Acid
An increase in creatine monohydrate reduces the body’s production of lactic acid. Anaerobic exercises, such as weight training causes a build-up of lactic acid and this creates a loss of energy plus a burning sensation in muscles that start to feel overworked.
Taking creatine powder as a sports supplement will slow down the production of lactic acid, which is normally increased by this type of exercise, so you can go on training for longer periods of time.
2. Lean body mass
In clinical trials, people who took a creatine powder supplement built more muscle tissue and gained more lean body mass than those who did not take the supplement.
When creating monohydrate is increased, cell volume in muscles expands through water retention. This can add several pounds to your weight, but in the long term the result is a leaner body mass.
3. Better protection for muscle cells
Creatine benefits are even higher for people who suffer with a genetic disorder that results in abnormally low creatine levels. A creatine powder supplement can therefore help someone with a condition such as muscular dystrophy. In addition to increasing physical strength and energy, it gives individual muscle cells more protection.
How You Can Enhance the Natural Benefits of Creatine
The most important factor in enhancing natural creatine benefits is the body’s state of hydration. Cell volumization is dependant on fluid being drawn into the muscles, so it is crucial to drink plenty of fluids when training and exercising.
Creatine powder can be stirred into a hot drink, but only after the liquid has been allowed to cool down a little. At boiling point a liquid will start to destroy creatine monohydrate.
After a workout, mixing the powder with natural juice or a smoothie allows up to 60 percent more absorption of creatine by muscle cells. A study reported in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine suggests that creatine powder is more effective when it is dissolved in fruit juice, because the uptake of creatine in the body is regulated by the hormone insulin, which is spiked by the natural sugar content of fruit.
Creatine benefits are much greater when proper attention is paid to diet and exercise. When taking a powerful dietary supplement such as creatine monohydrate, it makes good sense to combine it with some exercise and a nutritious diet.
Why Is Creatine Monohydrate Recommended?
More medical research appears to have gone into creatine monohydrate and its benefits than any other studies relating to dietary supplements. Medical scientists agree that creatine powder increases volumization of muscle cells through a process of super-hydration.
Many athletes who participate in active sports such as baseball, football, soccer and sprinting have reported far faster muscle growth with creatine powder.
Bodybuilders are also enthusiastic about the extra strength they have gained as a result of high-intensity and weight training, shortly after starting to take it as a dietary supplement.
It is highly recommended because creatine powder is a genuine health supplement which works naturally with the metabolism of muscles and the creatine benefits are greater than could be achieved through diet alone.