In it various forms, which over the years have become more and more advanced, creatine has been recognized by the scientific community and the hard training athlete as a product that delivers on its promise of improved strength and enhanced muscle size.
However, creatine (basically a fuel source for ATP, which is an energy system used for short bursts of power) is a product not without its share of controversy. Creatine has been viewed as a potentially harmful product by some
authorities. It has since been shown that if used correctly, it is one of the safer supplements to take. Also, some forms of creatine are thought to be superior to others. This we will discuss later.
What we do know is that creatine works, and works well for the majority of people who use it as a regular part of their sporting/exercise program. In this article we will review creatines benefits, some important studies to back its
efficacy, its broader applications, and the populations who will benefit most from its use.
Creatines Benefits, What Does It Do?
One of the most heavily researched supplements in the history of sports nutrition (over 200 studies to date, over the last decade), creatines efficacy cannot be denied. But exactly what benefits will it provide?
1. High Intensity Work:
Creatine enhances the body's capacity to perform high intensity work (and assists greater muscle size and
greater performance as a result).
Creatine phosphate (creatines high energy molecule form, stored within cells) is used to supply the type 11b muscle fibers (fast-twitch high-glycolytic; the ones that get largest in size) with immediate energy, ensuring these muscles do not prematurely fatigue.
This strengthens muscular contraction of these fibers, and helps the athlete to pump out more reps, sprint at a faster rate, or engage more forcefully in whatever sport or type of exercise they take part in. Supplementing with
creatine allows the muscles to store more of this high-energy molecule to provide greater gains in strength and muscle.
Creatine used in this manner is regarded as a high-energy phosphate, and its role in energy production cannot be overstated. Whenever the body uses energy, a molecule called ATP (an adenosine with a tail of three phosphate groups, hence its name Adenosine Tri Phosphate) is used as an energy source - as a fundamental energy donor.