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Creatine (creatine monohydrate) is a colorless, crystalline substance used in muscle tissue for the production of phosphocreatine, an important factor in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of energy for muscle contraction and many other functions in the body

Creatine is produced naturally in the human liver, pancreas, and kidneys. It is concentrated primarily in muscle tissues, including the heart. Animal proteins, including fish , are the main source of the 1–2 grams per day of dietary creatine most people consume. Supplements in the form of creatine monohydrate are well absorbed and tolerated by the stomach.

Creatine monohydrate supplementation increases phosphocreatine levels in muscle in most people, especially when accompanied by exercise or carbohydrate intake. However, about 30% of people who take creatine supplements fail to retain significant quantities in the muscle, which may explain the inconsistent results reported in studies of the effects of creatine on athletic performance

Increase Lean Body Mass

Creatine may increase exercise-related gains in lean body mass, though how much of these gains represents more muscle and how much is simply water retention is unclear. Most, though not all, controlled studies have shown that 20 grams per day of creatine monohydrate taken for five to six days by sedentary or moderately active people, improves performance and delays muscle fatigue during short-duration, high-intensity exercise such as sprinting or weight lifting. However, elderly people appear to gain only minimal, if any, exercise performance benefits from creatine supplementation, and performance outcomes for trained athletes using creatine supplements in competitive situations have not been consistent. Creatine supplementation does not appear to increase endurance performance and may impair it by contributing to weight gain.

Two controlled long-term trials using untrained women or trained men found that creatine improved gains made in strength and lean body mass from weight-training programs.

The amount of creatine within cells may be deficient in people with muscular dystrophy. This deficiency may contribute to the weakness and degeneration of muscle tissue seen in this condition. A case report described a 9-year old boy with muscular dystrophy who experienced improved muscle performance after creatine supplementation

A double-blind trial found that creatine supplementation (10 grams per day for adults, 5 grams per day for children) slightly but significantly improved muscle strength and performance of daily activities in people with varying types of muscular dystrophy. 24 Creatine supplementation has also been reported to improve strength in certain rare diseases of muscle and energy metabolism.

For people with congestive heart failure , intravenous creatine has been found to improve heart function, but oral supplementation has not been effective, though skeletal muscle function does improve.

People involved in intense physical activity, especially those limiting their intake of red meat , may have low muscle stores of creatine. Several muscle diseases, as well as rheumatoid arthritis , and chronic circulatory and respiratory diseases, are associated with lowered creatine levels.

Little is known about long-term side effects of creatine, but no consistent toxicity has been reported in studies of creatine supplementation. In a study of side effects of creatine, diarrhea was the most commonly reported adverse effect of creatine supplementation, followed by muscle cramping. Some reports showed that kidney, liver, and blood functions were not affected by short-term higher amounts or long-term lower amounts of creatine supplementation in healthy young adults. In a small study of people taking 5–30 grams per day, no change in kidney function appeared after up to five years of supplementation.

Caffeine intake should not be excessive, as large amounts may counteract the benefits of creatine supplementation.

Author: Jonathon Wilkinson, Dietetics Major, Bodybuilder

I recommend Wonder Laboratories for the overall best quality and price when considering vitamins, herbs and supplements.

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