Why Creatine Matters

WHAT

Creatine phosphate is a high-energy compound formed in muscle cells. When the phosphate molecule is released, it forms ATP, the energy currency of the cells and the primary energy source for muscle contractions.

Creatine monohydrate is a popular supplement used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to increase the creatine phosphate stores in the muscles. It is one of the most researched supplements and is considered safe and effective for most individuals. I take it daily.

WHY

Exercise Benefits:

  • Increased muscle strength and power – Particularly during short-duration, high-intensity activities like weightlifting, sprinting, and activities that require quick bursts of energy.
  • Improved exercise capacity – Increases the body’s phosphocreatine stores which may lead to more reps, heavier weights, and longer durations.
  • Enhanced muscle mass – Can stimulate the building of new muscle tissue and may also increase water content within the muscles, resulting in a fuller appearance.
  • Faster recovery – Can reduce muscle damage and inflammation following intense exercise, leading to faster recovery and less muscle soreness, allowing more frequent training.
  • Injury prevention – Promotes a reduction in the frequency of dehydration, muscle cramps, and injuries to the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.

Cognitive Benefits:

Newer research is only beginning to explore the cognitive benefits, so more research is needed. There are some indications that it may:

  • Enhance short-term memory and quick thinking.
  • Reduce mental fatigue with demanding mental activity and sleep deprivation or even a traumatic brain injury.
  • Improve working memory for people with low creatine levels, such as older adults or diets lacking sufficient creatine-containing foods.
  • Have neuroprotective properties beneficial for certain neurological conditions.

CREATINE SOURCES

  1. The body synthesizes creatine in the pancreas, liver, and brain.
  2. Food sources: red meats and seafood (you would need to eat 3 pounds/33 oz of beef or 2.5 pounds of salmon to get 5g of creatine)
  3. Supplement (recommended)

HOW MUCH TO SUPPLEMENT

  • Men and Women: 5g/day, ideally post-workout (I take an additional 5g after lifting for a total of 10g)

Note: It was once suggested to have a loading and maintenance phase for supplementation, but that has been shown to be less important. Exceeding the recommended dose has been linked to liver and kidney problems (but you follow instructions, don’t you).

WHAT TO BUY

Thorne Creatine (NSF Certified for Sport) 

Email me if you want 20% off all Thorne Supplements, including their Creatine.

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