Athletes these days are so competitive that they try all kinds of stuff to get ahead of their rivals in their sports.
Even those whose sole purpose for training is to simply better themselves try to use various supplements to help them get an edge.
Take creatine, and you enhance your body in many ways to improve your performance and physique. The benefits of creatine even apply to your mental function as well.
Perhaps you’re hesitant about using this supplement because you’ve been burned before. You may have taken other supplements that didn’t quite perform as well as the manufacturers claimed.
So does creatine work at all?
The short answer to this question is yes, it does. Beyond the thousands of anecdotal reports and customer reviews, you also have a ton of data backing up claims regarding the various ways that creatine helps athletes.
Creatine has been subjected to so many studies that in fact, it’s one of the most researched health supplements of all time.
So what does creatine do to your body? Here are some benefits that you’ll appreciate.
1. Creatine Stimulates Muscle Cells to Produce More Energy
If you’re an athlete, you want to feel energetic. Feeling blah is a total no-no, whether you’re playing a game of football or just lifting weights in the gym. That’s what creatine does—it gives you the energy you need.
This isn’t some sort of psychological mumbo-jumbo related to positive thinking or whatnot. As it turns out, researchers have discovered that creatine boosts the stores of phosphocreatine in your muscles.
This is important because phosphocreatine is crucial for the formation of new ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), which is a molecule that your cells use for all your basic functions and for energy.
When you exercise, your body breaks down the ATP to produce the energy. However, you use up ATP faster than your body creates it. So when you run out of ATP, you basically run out of energy.
With creatine, you’re able to produce more ATP so that you’re not as easily tired w3hen you exert yourself with maximum effort.
2.Improves High-Intensity Exercise Performance
When you’re lifting weights, running around the track, or playing a sport, there will be times when you need to operate with high intensity.
You’ll have to lift the heaviest weight you can or sprint as fast as you’re able to.
As you’ll find out later as you go through these lists of creatine benefits, creatine enhances a lot of your body functions and features.
It boosts your strength and your ability to run quickly and throw things.
You’re able to last much longer with your athletic efforts, and when you do get tired you recover faster. Even your brain improves.
All these enhancements combine to dramatically improve your ability to work at high intensity.
All the various studies done on creatine acknowledge this, with results that indicate that your high-intensity performance can improve by as much as 15%.
3.Accelerates Muscle Growth
Your muscles are the most important part of your body for your athletic performance, and you can work out to get them bigger to make yourself stronger and less prone to injury.
It’s why anabolic steroids are so popular despite the inherent dangers of taking such a supplement. But creatine can also help with muscle growth, and it’s safe enough to use that it’s legal.
There’s no shortcut to getting muscles. You have to go with resistance training like lifting weights. But when take your creatine supplements, you get bigger muscles in a shorter amount of time.
It’s so effective in boosting the rate of muscle growth that it’s acknowledged that creatine is the most effective supplement for muscle mass enhancement among all legal supplements.
How fast does it take?
It doesn’t take long at all. You can take it for a week and you’ll notice results.
This is to the increased water content in the muscles at first. But since your gym performance improves with creatine supplementation, it follows that you’re able to work more effectively when you exercise and lift weights. Naturally, your muscles get bigger faster.
So with creatine, you get bigger muscles sooner, and it’s safer and also quite affordable even compared with other supplements. The value for money with creatine is simply astonishing.
4.Reduce Fatigue or Tiredness
When you pay sports or exercise in the gym, eventually all that effort makes you tired. It’s natural and to be expected. But with creatine, you don’t get as tired and you feel better even when you do.
Numerous studies have demonstrated this effect in various scenarios:
- One study that involved sleep deprivation found that when you’re up all night, taking creatine boosted energy levels and decreased fatigue levels.
- Another study went on for 6 months involving people with brain injury. Among the patients who took creatine, only 10% of them experienced fatigue. That’s a very small percentage, especially as the control group had 80% of them complaining of fatigue.
- Are you a cyclist? If you are, then you may be interested to know that a study involving cyclists showed that those who took creatine didn’t feel as tired as the ones who didn’t take creatine.
5.Encourages Bone Healing
It’s not just about the muscles. Creatine also helps with bones.
Scientists at the Institute of cell biology in Switzerland discovered that the use of creatine can be very useful for the treatment of osteoporosis patients and those with bone fractures.
So what does creatine do to help with bones?
Part of the reason for this is creatine’s ability to boost cellular energy.
Cell energy is crucial with bone development and maintenance, so it’s great when you have osteoporosis.
What’s more, creatine also stimulated alkaline phosphate activity, and this alkaline phosphate is important for bone growth.
6.Boosts Glucose Tolerance
When you take creatine as a supplement, you improve your glucose tolerance.
Creatine stimulates the IGF-1 and IGF-2 to increase the expression of glucose transporter type 4. This, in turn, boosts glucose tolerance. So now creatine can help in the fight against diabetes.
This is important because diabetes has become so prevalent. It was found in 2015 that more than 30 million Americans had diabetes.
That’s close to 10 percent of the whole US population. About 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year as well.
With close to 80 thousand deaths due to diabetes in 2015, it’s also the 7th leading cause of death in the US.
In addition, more than a quarter of a million deaths in 2015 listed diabetes as either the underlying or a contributing cause of death.
7.Enhances Brain Function
Despite the many wisecracks about jock brainpower, the truth is that athletes are at the very least extremely knowledgeable about their sport and their exercises.
Scientists have also discovered that it’s not only good for your muscles and bones. It’s also good for your brain.
This was discovered when some scientists tried if creatine can help with patients dealing with neurodegenerative disorders.
They found that it could; creatine works as a neuroprotectant, which means it increases the chances of nerve cells to survive environmental traumas.
But it also helps those who don’t have neurodegenerative diseases. These scientists had 2 groups of subjects, with one taking creatine supplements.
These people were vegetarians and vegans, and they were chosen because they didn’t take creatine before they joined the study.
After 6 weeks with the members of one group taking just 5g of creatine a day, they were all given tests that measured their verbal memory and their non-verbal intelligence.
Afterward, it was found that the creatine group members were better at solving problems with time constraints, compared to those who didn’t take creatine. The creatine takers also demonstrated a better short-term memory.
With all these benefits, it’s pretty clear why creatine is so popular among athletes. It’s safe and affordable, and yet the benefits and advantages it offers are simply amazing.
Athletes become stronger with creatine, and they’re able to last longer without getting tired. It helps with their bone growth too.
It even makes their brains function better, which again explains why so many school trainers recommend this for their athletes.
Yes, it’s true that illegal anabolic steroids can also work. But it’s also true that these steroids are dangerous to use, which is why they were banned in the first place. Because they’re illegal, they’re also much more expensive to buy.
But with creatine, you get a legal supplement that’s a lot safer. It works, and yet you don’t have to pay as much. You should use creatine if you’re serious about your workouts.