3 Benefits of Creatine

By Robert Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, FAKTR

Supports cellular energy

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that helps supply energy to cells throughout the body, particularly muscle cells.2 Creatine makes up about 1 percent of the total volume of human blood.2 Between 1.5 and 2 percent of the body’s creatine store is converted for use each day by the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.3 It’s then transported through the blood and used by parts of the body for energy.3 The average person needs between one and three grams of creatine per day.4 Around half of this comes from the diet, and the rest is produced by the body.1,5 Increasing creatine levels via supplementation may support cells’ energy levels.

Supports athletic performance

Some athletes take oral creatine supplements to increase cellular energy production—ultimately allowing them train harder and perform better.1 Creatine might also benefit athletes who need short bursts of speed or muscle, such as sprinters, weight lifters, and endurance athletes.6 While not all athletes respond in the same way to creatine supplementation, it’s widely accepted that supplementation increases creatine storage and promotes a faster regeneration of adenosine triphosphate between high-intensity exercises.3

Check out “Which Workout Is Right for Me?”

To maximize the benefits of creatine supplementation, I recommend combining creatine with taurine. Taurine, an amino acid and required building block of protein, is great for energy—and as such is especially appealing to athletes looking to improve their performance.7 Taurine is created by the body and can be found in the brain, retina, heart, and blood platelets. Taurine can be sourced from foods like meat and fish, but also via supplements.8 Together, creatine and taurine supplements support improved athletic performance and energy levels for training.3

Increases muscle mass

Creatine has also shown to increase fat free muscle mass and muscle morphology with concurrent heavy resistance training, as compared to just resistance training alone.3 In 2007, the ISSN recommended the use of creatine supplementation as a way for athletes to obtain extra creatine without increasing their intake of fat or protein.9 Taking creatine as a supplement can increase muscle creatine content by up to 40% beyond normal levels.10 In turn, this promotes muscle gain by allowing you to perform better during exercise, ultimately leading to increased muscle mass.11 Creatine can also increase water content in your muscle cells, triggering your muscle cells to swell and signal muscle growth.12

Read also: Why Different Athletes Need Different Diets

Whether you’re an athlete hoping to support your training and competitive performance or someone who is just getting started, creatine can be an important part of building a sports nutrition strategy.  

This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare professional for advice on medical issues.

References:

  1. Kreider RB et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14:18.
  2. Nordqvist J. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263269.php. Accessed March 11, 2019.
  3. Cooper R et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9:33.
  4. Kreider RB et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14:18.
  5. US National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/873.html. Accessed March 7, 2019.
  6. https://www.webmd.com/men/creatine#1. Accessed March 11, 2019.
  7. Kerksick CM et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15(1):38.
  8. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1024/taurine. Accessed March 11, 2019.
  9. Buford TW et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007;4:6.
  10. Brault JJ et al. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007;17(6):624-634.
  11. Schoenfeld BJ. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(10):2857-2872.
  12. Safdar A et al. Physiol Genomics. 2008;32(2);219-228.

Dr. Silverman is a paid consultant and guest writer for Metagenics.

This entry was posted in Sports Nutrition and tagged , , on by .

About Robert Silverman

Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, FAKTR is a chiropractic doctor, clinical nutritionist and author of Inside-Out Health: A Revolutionary Approach to Your Body, an Amazon number-one bestseller in 2016. The ACA Sports Council named Dr. Silverman “Sports Chiropractor of the Year” in 2015. He also maintains a busy private practice as founder of Westchester Integrative Health Center, which specializes in the treatment of joint pain using functional nutrition along with cutting-edge, science-based, nonsurgical approaches. Dr. Silverman is a seasoned health and wellness expert on both the speaking circuits and within the media. He has appeared on FOX News Channel, FOX, NBC, CBS, CW affiliates as well as The Wall Street Journal and NewsMax, to name a few. He was invited as a guest speaker on “Talks at Google” to discuss his current book. As a frequent published author for Dynamic Chiropractic, JACA, ACA News, Chiropractic Economics, The Original Internist and Holistic Primary Care journals, Dr. Silverman is a thought leader in his field and practice.

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