Creatine is one of THE most studied supplements in sports. With over 500 studies performed, it’s been shown to be safe AND effective for daily use.
Creatine is produced by the kidneys, liver, and pancreas by combining the amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine. It also comes from supplementation and food sources such as red meat and fish.
Creatine is found mostly in muscle tissue.
What’s Creatine used for?
When you run, jump, or lift heavy weights, your body uses an energy system to get things started, called the “phosphagen” system. It’s like the match that lights the fire – a powerful burst but it only lasts for about 10 seconds.
This system uses ATP (adenosine triphosphate) as its primary fuel source. Your muscles have a little bit of ATP present to get things started, but it runs out fast. Creatine phosphate helps to keep the system going longer (you can learn more about how ATP is converted to ADP and back again HERE).
Supplementation of creatine in turn allows you to have MORE ATP, which means potentially more sustained sprint/power output. Additionally, taking creatine into the muscle cell increases muscle hydration (the muscle “swells” with water) which is thought to increase protein synthesis (the creation of new proteins) and glycogen storage (the storage form of glucose).
We supplement with creatine monohydrate (versus creatine phosphate) because this is the form that easily enters in to cells.
How do I use it?
The recommended dosage (for both men and women) is 3-5g per day. Some people prefer a “loading dose” followed by maintenance, while other’s prefer consistent supplementation. Regardless, this is a supplement recommended to be taken daily.
Are there any side effects?
Creatine is considered a very safe supplement to use. Some users have commented on feeling bloated when initially starting (especially if taking a loading dose) but this feeling usually goes away after the body has adjusted to the increased levels/
Did you know Coach Shawna put together a whole video on different supplements? Check it out HERE. Want to know more about supplementation and building a system for you? Check out our 8 Week Nutrition Program!