Can creatine really help you with growing muscle mass?
The short answer is YES! Creatine can help boost muscle growth and is even good for your brain!
When consumed consistently.
By now you’ve probably heard of Creatine Monohydrate, or just Creatine.
Not only is creatine one of the most tested supplements on the market today, but creatine monohydrate specifically, is rated for best performance difference and lowest cost per serving.
But I bet there’s some things you didn’t know about it too.
Not only is it a muscle growth enhancer, but it also optimizes exercise performance and cognitive function.
We’ll talk about these topics below:
- What is Creatine?
- How supplementing creatine supports muscle growth and exercise performance.
- How creatine supports brain health/cognitive function.
- What is the best way to take it to see results?
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a substance found naturally in tissue and muscle cells, also called phosphocreatine.
It is naturally produced in the body and 95% of our existing creatine or phosphocreatine is found in our muscles and brain.
It is our body’s primary energy source, not only in the gym but throughout the day. Athletes need an increased amount either obtained through supplementation or diet due to their increased activity and wear and tear of their muscles, but non-athletes also need to have a healthy amount in their bodies for basic muscle and cognitive function throughout their day.
How Supplementing Creatine Supports Muscle Growth & Exercise Performance?
When supplemented, its primary role is to increase the phosphocreatine stores in your muscles. This is a form of stored energy in the cells. The additional stores help your body produce more of a high energy molecule called ATP, which is the key energy source for heavy lifting and high intensity exercise.
ATP is often called the body’s energy currency. When you have more ATP, your body can perform better during exercise and increase endurance.
Creatine also alters several cellular processes that lead to increased muscle mass, strength, and recovery for both long term and short term results. See cellular processes below:
- Boosted workload. It enables more total work or volume in a single training session, a key factor in long-term muscle growth.
- Raised anabolic hormones. Studies note a rise in hormones, such as IGF-1, after taking creatine.
- Increased cell hydration. Creatine lifts water content within your muscle cells, which causes a cell volumization effect that may play a role in muscle growth.
- Reduced protein breakdown. It may increase total muscle mass by reducing muscle breakdown.
- Lower myostatin levels. Elevated levels of the protein myostatin can slow or inhibit new muscle growth. Supplementing with creatine can reduce these levels, increasing growth potential.
You might be asking, ‘Why take creatine if my body produces it naturally?’
And the answer is weight training and exercise require a lot of energy. Although your body produces creatine naturally, you may have a low reserve of natural creatine in your muscles and find yourself getting tired quickly during exercise (due to a diet that doesn’t make it a priority or just genetically) Supplementation, however, helps increase the availability of ATP, providing your body with extra energy, strength, and endurance
How Creatine Supports Brain Health/Cognitive Function.
Your muscles are not the only place in your body that has phosphocreatine store capacity. Your brain also needs energy to perform its best, just like your muscles.
Clear thinking, quick recall and improved symptoms of neurological disease are just a few of the benefits of properly giving your brain a proper amount of its primary energy source.
What is the best way to take it to see results?
Many studies have been conducted on the best way to take creatine to boost its effectiveness.
We do want to mention, consistency matters most so choose what is the best method for you and your goals! Whether that be low doses daily, or this method we describe below.
Athletes that want to quickly saturate their muscles have shown that there are two phases to taking creatine for rapid results, the loading phase and the maintenance phase.
The loading phase is when you are new to taking the supplement, and is a strategy to quickly improve your phosphocreatine stores and completely saturate your muscles. A typical loading protocol consists of consuming high doses, like 20-25 grams per day, split between 4-5 daily doses, for 5-7 days. Following the loading protocol.
The maintenance phase is just what it sounds like, now that you have increased your phosphocreatine levels, you just have to maintain it. Athletes can generally maintain stores with a daily maintenance (single) dose of 3-5 grams per day.
Check out our Creatine Monohydrate here and begin your Creatine Journey Now!