Creatine is the most researched & proven sports performance supplement on the market.
There have been countless studies done to show the benefits it can have in increasing muscle mass, strength and overall athletic performance.
So, what is creatine?
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in muscle cells that your body can produce from the amino acids glycine & arginine.
The purpose of creatine in the body is to facilitate the recycling of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate, the currency of energy inside of your cells).
There are a few different factors that can influence your body’s natural storage of creatine including- how much exercise you do, your dietary meat intake, the amount of muscle mass you have & what your hormone levels look like.
Most of the time creatine is stored in your muscle cells in the form of phosphocreatine, but a small portion of it is found in your brain, liver & kidneys.
Why supplement with it?
When you supplement with creatine, you increase your body’s stores of phosphocreatine. Through countless studies, it is shown that the more phosphocreatine you have, the more you body can recycle ATP. The more ATP your body has, the the better it can perform during exercise. AKA... You can perform more work during you training session, which will help you build muscle in the long term.
In addition, supplementing with creatine has been linked to a few other benefits:
- Increased hydration through your cells
- Improves signaling between your cells
- Reduced protein breakdown in the body
- Improves brain function due to the increase in ATP
There are varying types of creatine on the market, but most of the research is done on Creatine Monohydrate. Some forms are stated to have more enhanced results, but there isn’t much evidence to support those claims. So I’d stick with Creatine Monohydrate.
How much & do you need it?
1 pound of raw beef contains 1-2 grams of creatine.. so if an effective amount is roughly 5g per day you would need to eat A LOT of red meat or fish to get enough creatine into your system. So, if you've decided you'd like to supplement, simply add 3-5 daily with your post-workout protein.
As for a brand, the only supplements I take are from 1st Phorm simply due to the quality & reassurance that the company goes through extensive testing to make sure that their products are held at a high standard- https://1stphorm.com/a/products/creatine/creatine-monohydrate/micronized-creatine-monohydrate?a_aid=slynnmfitness
*Please consult with your doctor before adding in any supplement to your diet.