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10 Facts about Creatine

by Shaula Saldaña June 29, 2020

10 Benefits of Creatine for Health and Sports Performance

beneficios de la creatina

Creatine is a natural supplement used to increase sports performance. It is not only safe, but also one of the most popular and effective supplements in the world for building muscle and strength.

Here are 10 science-based benefits of creatine supplementation.

 

 

#1. It Helps Muscle Cells to Produce More Energy

creatina para células musculares

Creatine supplements increase phosphocreatine stores in muscles. In turn, phosphocreatine aids in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the key molecule that cells use for energy and all the basic functions of life.

During exercise, ATP breaks down to produce energy.

ATP's resynthesis rate limits its ability to continuously perform at maximum intensity, as it uses ATP faster than it produces it.

Creatine supplements increase our phosphocreatine stores, allowing you to produce more ATP energy to fuel your muscles during high-intensity exercise. This is the primary mechanism behind creatine's performance enhancing effects.

 

#2. Improvement in other Muscular Functions

Creatina suplemento

Creatine is a popular and effective supplement to gain muscle mass, always accompanied by specific physical activity.

Why is this? It can alter numerous cellular pathways that lead to new muscle growth. For example, it increases the formation of proteins that create new muscle fibers.

It can also increase levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone that promotes increased muscle mass.

Additionally, creatine supplements can increase the water content of muscles. This is known as cell volumization and can quickly increase muscle size.

Furthermore, some research indicates that creatine lowers the levels of myostatin, a molecule responsible for delayed muscle growth. Lowering myostatin can help you build muscle much faster.

 

#3. Improves Performance in High-Intensity Exercises

creatina para entrenamiento de alta intensidad

Creatine's direct role in ATP production means it can dramatically improve performance in high-intensity exercise.

Creatine improves several factors, such as:

  • Force
  • Ballistics
  • Sprint (improves acceleration effort)
  • Muscular endurance
  • Fatigue resistance
  • Muscle recovery
  • Brain performance


Creatine is not only meant for advanced athletes, given that creatine itself benefits your performance regardless of your physical condition. Studies and measurements conducted throughout time found that it improves performance in high intensity exercises by up to 15%.

 

#4. Accelerates Muscle Growth

man holding two dumbbells

Creatine is the most effective supplement in the world to add muscle mass.

Taking it for 5 to 7 days has been shown to significantly increase lean body weight and muscle size.

This initial increase is caused by increases in the water content of the muscles.

In the long term, it also aids in the growth of muscle fiber by pointing out key biological pathways and increasing gym performance.

In a study of a 6-week training regimen, participants who used creatine added 4.4 pounds (2 kg) more muscle mass, on average, than the control group.

Similarly, a comprehensive review showed a clear increase in muscle mass among those taking creatine, compared to those taking the same training regimen without creatine.

This review also compared the most popular sports supplements in the world and concluded that creatine is the best available. Its advantages are that it is not so expensive and it is very safe in the field of sports supplements, as it has been one of the most studied supplements and has been safer.

 

#5. Aids with Parkinson Disease Prevention

Creatina ayuda al parkinson

Parkinson's disease is characterized by reduced levels of dopamine, a key neurotransmitter in the brain. The large reduction in dopamine levels causes brain cell death and several serious symptoms, including tremors, loss of muscle function, and speech problems.

In a study in individuals with this disease, the combination of creatine with weight training improved strength and daily function to a greater extent than training alone.

However, a recent analysis of five controlled studies in people with Parkinson's found that taking 4 to 10 grams of creatine per day did not significantly improve their ability to perform daily activities, so more scientific evidence would need to be seen to see if this point it can be proved.

 

#6. Can Help Combat Several Neurological Diseases

Enfermedades Neurológicas

A key factor in various neurological diseases is the reduction of phosphocreatine in the brain. Since creatine can increase these levels, it can help reduce or slow the progression of the disease.

Some research suggests that taking creatine supplements may also treat other diseases, including:

  • Alzheimer disease
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Epilepsy
  • Brain or spinal cord injuries

Creatine has also shown benefits against lateral sclerosis (ALS) amyotrophy, a disease that affects the motor neurons that are essential for movement. It improved motor function, reduced muscle loss, and extended the survival rate by 17%.

Although more human studies are needed, some researchers believe that creatine supplements may serve as a defense against neurological diseases when used in conjunction with conventional medications.

 

#7. Can Reduce Sugar Blood Levels and Combat Diabetes

reducir azúcar en sangre con creatina

Research suggests that creatine supplements may lower blood sugar levels by increasing the function of type 4 glucose transporter (GLUT-4), a molecule that carries blood sugar to the muscles.

A 12-week study examined how creatine affects blood sugar levels after a high-carb meal. People who combined creatine and exercise exhibited better blood sugar control than those who only exercised.

The short-term blood sugar response to a meal is an important marker of diabetes risk. The faster your body removes sugar from your blood, the better.

While these benefits are promising, more human research is needed on creatine's long-term effects on blood sugar control and diabetes.

 

#8. It Can Improve Cerebral Functionality

mejora tu salud cerebral con creatina

Creatine plays an important role in brain health and functionality. Research has shown that the brain requires a significant amount of ATP when performing difficult tasks.

Supplements can increase phosphocreatine stores in our brain to help it make more ATP. Creatine can also help brain function by increasing dopamine levels and mitochondrial function.

Since meat is the most popular source of creatine, vegetarians often have low levels. A study of creatine supplementation in vegetarians found a 20-50% improvement in some memory and intelligence test scores.

So if you are vegan or vegetarian do not hesitate to consult your doctor and nutritionist about supplementing your diet with creatine.

For older people, creatine supplementation for 2 weeks significantly improved memory and retention capacity.

In older adults, creatine can increase brain function, protect against neurological diseases, and reduce age-related muscle and strength loss.

Despite these positive findings, more research is needed in young, healthy individuals who eat meat or fish regularly.

 

#9. It Can Reduce Fatigue and Tiredness

Reducir fatiga

Creatine supplements can also reduce fatigue and tiredness.
In a 6-month study of people with head injury who supplemented with creatine, they experienced a 50% reduction in dizziness compared to those who did not supplement.

Furthermore, only 10% of patients in the supplement group experienced fatigue, compared to 80% in the control group.

Another study found that creatine reduced fatigue and increased energy levels during sleep deprivation.

Creatine has also reduced fatigue in athletes who perform a cycling test and has been used to decrease fatigue when exercising at high temperatures.

 

#10. It's Safe and Easy to Use

La creatina es un suplemento seguro

Along with the various benefits of creatine, it is one of the cheapest and safest sports supplements available.

It has been researched for over 200 years, and numerous studies support its safety for long-term use. Clinical trials lasting up to 5 years report that there are no adverse effects in healthy individuals.

In addition, supplementation is very easy: its consumption of 3 to 5 grams of creatine monohydrate powder per day is generally recommended.

 

Conclusion

Creatine is an effective supplement with powerful benefits for both sports performance and health.

It can increase brain function, fight certain neurological diseases, improve exercise performance and accelerate muscle growth.

You can try adding this natural substance to your supplement regimen, especially if you're a vegetarian or vegan.


Explore our Birdman Blog for more interesting articles on health, ecology, fitness, recipes and even workouts! If you're really keen on changing your lifestyle, how about starting with a healthier diet? Check out the benefits that a plant-based diet can give you as an athlete!

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Shaula Saldaña
Shaula Saldaña

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