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