If you go into any gym, chances are you will see an orange or red juice being guzzled down before or during a workout. It’s not a new type of electrolyte, nor is it vitamin water. It’s more than likely creatine, and it is benefiting athletes and workout enthusiasts all across the world.
Creatine’s main attribute is as a performance enhancer. However, it is well-known to be a superior supplement when it comes to building mass and acquiring lean, rock hard muscle. Which may make some wonder…How Does Creatine Build Muscle?
Short on time? Check out this video!
What Is Creatine?
First let’s explain more about creatine. Creatine itself nautrally in the cellular world is a totally natural nonessential protein that is often found in fish and meat. Muscles use creatine as energy to work, so I guess you can simplify it by saying creatine has performance enhancing properties.
However, our muscles cannot create creatine on their own. Therefore, it takes in creatine from the bloodstream through the food we eat that naturally contains it.
Creatine monohydrate is the powdered synthetic form of creatine explained above. It is used to increase the body’s creatine levels which will increase and enhance performance. How this all happens I will get into shortly.
How Does Creatine Build Muscle?
This is the important part…the biological science behind it. Once creatine is in our blood, the muscles use a type of phosphate that sticks to the creatine molecule turning it into a high-energy molecule known as Phosphatecreatine (PCr).
This enables it to then enter the muscle molecules, where the muscles us PCr to create Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Muscles use ATP to get rapid energy needed for muscle contraction. In other words it uses ATP to perform the work of lifting a weight or running and jumping…that sort of thing.
If you’ve ever sprinted and hit that proverbial wall where you can’t go no further, that is your body running out of ATP. With ATP intake, muscles do not break down as fast and energy levels will stay high.
Does Creatine Work?
One would have to think creatine works. After all, it is a very common and super popular supplement today. In fact it is the most used supplement in the fitness industry. You cannot go into any gym and not find someone mixing a container or drinking down some creatine.
In the NCAA arena for college sports, over 20 percent of sports are utilizing creatine, and over 40 percent of collegiate players supplement with creatine. Creatine is also used by 75 percent of athletes in power sports such as track & field, boxing, and weightlifting.
Studies show supplementing with creatine increases PCr by 20 percent. More PCr means more ATP available to perform. That ATP increase means you will run faster, jump higher, and lift more than you would have without the increase. In other words you will see a jump in performance, strength, and speed. This in turns brings increased results and gains in mass.
Increase in ATP is also known to bring on more water content to your muscles which in turn makes them bigger and delivers better hydration to the body. Creatine also increases IGF-1 which is a key component to building muscle.
Using creatine in tandem with a protein shake is an excellent way to get the best of both worlds. Creatine right before your workout will enable you to really work those muscles.
After your workout, your muscles will be in need of repair. A protein shake is just the thing to deliver the nutrients your body needs to get those muscles ready for the next workout.
Not all creatine powders are the same. Some brands of creatine are of a much more purer and higher quality than others. This will drastically increase results for the user who invests a little more money in their supplement to attain bigger gains.
To see the top brands out there that are of higher quality than your cheaper Walmart variety, check out my post here and scroll down to the creatine section.
The Bottom Line
Creatine is by far, the most popular workout supplement used today. It has proven to be natural and totally safe after over 2 decades of studies.
It is also super cheap compared to the other supplements and products today. It will also yield better results which is why it is so popular among most of the population.
If you want to look into some top rated, high quality creatine powders in the market today, check out my review The Best Supplements For Building Muscle Mass.