What is creatine?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic compound produced by the kidneys, liver, and pancreas from amino acids.
A 70 kg human body contains 120 g of creatine, 95% of which is stored in the muscles. It comes from food and is produced by the body while the concentration remains stable. The synthesis of creatine depends on nutrition: the less it comes from food, the more the body produces itself. Even those who do not eat meat synthesize the right amount to cover their needs.
How much creatine do you need per day?
There is no recommended daily allowance because the body compensates for the lack of creatine in food. However, there are approximate values.
2 g of creatine per day is enough for a person who does not play sports. Athletes with heavy loads – 3-4 g per day.
How does creatine work?
In the body, creatine circulates in the blood and enters the muscles. There it turns into creatine phosphate – an energy source that lasts only a few seconds. Creatine phosphate is important at the beginning of the load; it gives off energy very quickly but ends just as quickly. In addition, creatine phosphate restores ATP reserves – an energy molecule that provides energy for muscle contraction.
Do I need to eat food with creatine?
The intake of creatine in the body depends on nutrition. A lot of creatine is found in meat, poultry and fish: 4-5 g per 1 kg. And milk contains only 0.1 g per 1 liter.
But there will be no creatine deficiency, even if it does not come from food. For example, in vegans, it does not come with food but is completely produced by the body.
Are there any benefits to taking creatine supplements?
The energy of applied nutrition creatine phosphate is the most accessible for the body, but it ends very quickly. Therefore, compared to the energy of carbohydrates and fats, it is less attractive.
The advantage of creatine is that it turns on instantly at the beginning of a workout after the body connects carbohydrates and fats.
During the intake of supplements with creatine, the body stops producing it, but after stopping the intake, the synthesis is restored in 4 weeks. The creatine taken replaces the one produced in the body, so the benefit of supplementing is debatable.
Does creatine affect results?
An athlete’s need for creatine can be met by a balanced diet and self-synthesis in the body.
One of the main benefits of taking creatine is to increase muscle endurance in very short bursts. It allows you to train more at a very high intensity. For example, repetition of short loading segments of no more than 15 seconds each.
Creatine does not improve performance in competition, but it can delay the onset of fatigue during repetitive, intense exercise such as sprinting, weightlifting, and CrossFit.
How does creatine affect health?
The possible harm to health is most often associated with kidney function. Before using creatine, scientists advise examining the kidneys. Such examinations should be carried out every 3 months during supplementation. If there are any abnormalities in the work of the kidneys, you need to stop taking the supplement.
What Precautions Are Needed When Taking Creatine Supplements?
Regardless of the type of supplement, the side effects and potential risks are poorly understood, especially with chronic use at high doses, so creatine should be used with caution.
It is certainly beneficial for the body, but many claims of effectiveness do not correspond to scientific facts.
What form is creatine sold in?
Creatine comes from powder, tablets, capsules, syrups, and drinks. It is produced in pure form or combined with carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, and vitamins.
There is an opinion that powder is effective for strength sports and tablets are effective for endurance sports, but scientific studies have not confirmed this. Therefore, you should only believe some manufacturers’ promises about the uniqueness and effectiveness of any form of creatine.