What Creatine Does!

Posted by Zeus in Facts about Creatine on 16-11-2011

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How does creatine work?

Here is the predominant theory of what creatien does:

In your body you have a compound called ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). Think of ATP as an energy containing compound. What is important to know about ATP is that the body can very quickly get energy from a ATP reaction. The body can get energy from carbohydrates and fat – but they take longer to convert into a useable energy source. When you are doing an intense quick burst activity – such as lifting a weight or sprinting, your muscles must contract and need a quick source of energy. This immediate energy comes from ATP.

When your muscles use ATP for energy a chemical process happens where the ATP is broken down into two simpler chemicals ADP (adenosine di-phosphate) and inorganic phosphate. This process of ATP turning into ADP releases the energy which gives your muscles the ability to contract. Unfortunately, we do not have an endless supply of ATP. In fact, your muscles only contain enough ATP to last about 10-15 seconds at maximum exertion.

Here is where the creatine comes in. The majority of creatine that is stored in the muscles bonds with phosphorus that is stored in the muscles and is converted into Creatine Phosphate. Creatine Phosphate is able to react with the ADP in your body and turn “useless” ADP back into the “super useful” energy source – ATP. More ATP in your body means more fuel for your muscles.

So, in other words, creatine is not directly responsible for building muscle. Creatine has an indirect effect at building muscle and strength.

Here’s what creatine does: It is used to increase the amount of creatine phosphate you have in your muscle tissue. Creatine phosphate is than used to replenish ATP which acts as a quick energy source for activities that require quick bursts of energy such as strength training/weight lifting and sprinting. The more creatine phosphate you have on hand, the more ATP can be replenished during bursts of all out effort.  That means, you can push harder and longer in your workouts, because creatine intensifies the pace of energy production in your muscle cells. Keep in mind that, more power and strength equals more weight being lifted and more reps being performed. More reps with more weight means more muscle.

Creatine has been shown to pull water into your muscle cells, which increases the size of your muscles. In addition, new research has shown that creatine can help buffer lactic acid that builds-up in the muscles during exercise. Finally, excess creatine is eventually converted into the waste product creatinine and excreted from the body.

High-intensity, intermittent exercise like soccer or weight lifting or mixed martial arts needs a rapid transfer of energy, and creatine plays a critical role in energy transfer. Many studies have shown that high-intensity work and recovery after and between bouts of high-intensity work can be improved with creatine. Most of these studies use weight training or limited repeats of sprinting in a laboratory. Low-intensity, long-duration exercise requires a steady production of energy at a slow rate. Creatine does not improve aerobic (cycling or running) performance.

Recovery from high-intensity exercise is enhanced with creatine supplementation. If athletes recover faster, then perhaps they can begin the next exercise session sooner or they can train at a higher intensity. Either method increases the quality of training. This has not been studied systematically, yet the use of creatine as a training aid (as opposed to a performance aid on game day) has been practiced in many sports.

Creatine does not work in everybody. Some people are called non-responders, and there is no way to determine who will or will not respond.

When you take a supplement, your bodys own production of that substance can be reduced reducing the energy-enhancing effects of creatine.

You must be concerned with the purity with any dietary supplements. Control of over-the-counter commercial supplements is not very rigid. Appeals by athletes who tested positive after taking a supplement that contained a substance banned by the NCAA are denied which means that you have to trust the type of the cretine you will take and you have to trust the manufacturer that created that supplement

What is Creatine?

Posted by Zeus in Facts about Creatine on 14-11-2011

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Creatine is one of the most common substances used by athletes. There are quite few misconceptions about what creatine is and what it does, so lets start from the beginning.

Creatine is an acid produced naturally in the liver that supplies energy to muscle cells. It is produced in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, out of three amino acids, arginine, glycine, and methionine. Creatine is than transported to the body’s muscles through the bloodstream. Once it reaches the muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles’ ultimate energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Approximately 95% of the body’s total creatine content is located in skeletal muscle. The remaining 5% is stored in our brain, heart and testes. The amount of creatine we have in our bodies varries based on the amount of muscle mass you have and your weight. On average a 160 pound person would have about 120 grams of creatine stored in their body.

In the 1970s, Soviet scientists reported that oral creatine supplements may improve athletic performance during brief, intense activities such as sprints or weight lifting. Creatine gained popularity in the 1990s as a “natural” way to enhance athletic performance and build lean body mass.

Studies claim that about 25% of professional baseball players and up to 50% of professional football players take creatine supplements. According to a survey of high school athletes, creatine use is common among football players, wrestlers, hockey players, gymnasts, and lacrosse players. In 2000, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) banned colleges from distributing creatine to their players.

Creatine is the one of the most popular and effective bodybuilding supplements on the market. Bodybuilders that consistently use creatine report big muscle mass increases.

There is one good reason why three out of four of the ’96 summer Olympic medalists used creatine: it works and it works well. A French scientist named Chevreul first discovered creatine in 1832, but it was not until 1923 that scientists discovered that over 95% of creatine is stored in muscle tissue. The first published report of creatine having bodybuilding effects was The Journal of Biological Chemistry in 1926! Although we’ve known about creatine for quite some time, the first real use of it to enhance performance was the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.

Unlike steroids or drugs, creatine is 100% natural and occurs naturally in many foods; therefore, it can never be banned from any sports or international competitions (unless they banned eating meat). Many foods especially herring, salmon, tuna, and beef contain some creatine. However, the very best source of creatine by far is creatine monohydrate because it contains more creatine per weight of material than any other source.