Creatine supplementation is a common practice among athletes and people practicing amateur sports. However, its use can bring numerous benefits also for people who do not undergo regular training. In order for creatine supplementation to bring the desired results and be completely safe, it should be carried out in accordance with certain rules.
Creatine – what is it?
Creatine is a chemical compound with a protein-like structure, resulting from the combination of the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine. It occurs naturally in animal organisms from the vertebrate group, i.e. also in the human body. 98% of the creatine contained in the human body is found in the muscles. The remaining 2% can be found in the brain, kidneys and liver, and traces are also found in the testes. For an average 70-kilogram person, the daily requirement of creatine is approximately only around 2 grams. The natural source of this chemical in the human diet is meat and fish.
Properties of creatine
Creatine has various properties which result from its functions. They are mainly:
- anabolic and anti-catabolic properties,
- supporting protein synthesis,
- stimulating muscle growth leading to an increase in mass, strength, endurance and speed of the body,
- reconstruction of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules – a substance responsible for storing and supplying energy to muscle cells,
- properties supporting the reconstruction of tissues, including muscles damaged as a result of increased physical effort.
The properties of creatine, its mode of action and its effect on the human body make it extremely often used by athletes who want to improve their results and accelerate the growth of muscle mass.
When and how is it best to supplement creatine?
The time of taking creatine does not affect the effectiveness of this substance on the human body, therefore supplementation can be carried out at any time during the day. There are two main ways to take creatine among sportspeople. These are:
Two-stage supplementation consists of dividing the creatine intake cycle into two stages:
- loading stage – taking 10 to 30 grams of creatine for 5-10 days
- saturation stage – taking 5 grams of creatine for 4-8 weeks
The use of permanent supplementation consists in the regular intake of 5 grams of creatine every day. Some specialists in the field of nutrition recommend adjusting the dose of the preparation to body weight and the intake of 1 gram of creatine for every 10 kilograms of body weight.
Every person who supplements with creatine should remember that in this process the most important thing is to saturate the body for a period of several weeks. Creatine workout supplements are safe and there are no contraindications for its daily use.
What are the benefits of creatine supplementation for athletes?
People associated with sports very often reach for creatine supplements in order to accelerate the effects of training and obtain better results in their disciplines. The benefits of creatine supplementation for athletes include:
- Faster muscle growth – the use of creatine helps to improve the effectiveness of training, affecting the acceleration of the development of the exercised muscles. The stimulating effect of creatine makes it extremely often used by people training bodybuilding and various types of fitness and other body sports.
- Increase in strength – a significant increase in muscle mass will be associated with an increase in strength. This means that creatine supplementation affects your ability to lift heavier weights and is extremely useful for improving performance in elements of strength training such as bench press, snatching, chin-ups, deadlifts, and more.
- Endurance increase – taking creatine supplements allows you to provide the body with more energy, which results in increased endurance and greater resistance to fatigue. For people who train physically, this means being able to exercise longer and more intensely.
- Accelerating regeneration – creatine, thanks to the properties supporting muscle recovery after exercise, enables faster regeneration of the body even after intense training. This is related to the possibility of increasing the intensity of the exercises, which in turn translates into the faster achievement of the goal – both in terms of results and the appearance of the figure.
All people who start supplementation with creatine should remember that the effects are visible only after a long period of its regular use and it is necessary to be patient.