Creatine is a natural substance that turns into creatine phosphate in the body. The creatine phosphate helps make a substance called ATP, which helps provide the energy for muscle contractions. Chemically speaking, it shares many similarities with amino acids.
Studies show that it can increase muscle mass, strength and exercise performance. Creatine also helps you in the following ways:
- Enables more total work or volume in a single training session, helping with long-term muscle growth
- Increases cell signaling, which aids muscle repair and new muscle growth
- Supplementing with creatine can reduce myostatin levels, these proteins can slow or totally inhibit new muscle growth
In a study by University of Michigan Medicine, over 40 controlled studies have found creatine supplementation (15-20 grams per day for 5-6 days a week) improves performance high intensity exercises like sprints, weightlifting, and running.
In the short-term creatine does very little for your body. It increases water retention within your muscle cells, making you look thick and soft. Creatine will not quickly increase your muscle gains.
In the long-term, eventually the consistent consumption of creatine will provide better strength performance in heavy lifts, thus helping with muscle growth.
In my opinion, the best form of creatine you can take is creatine monohydrate. This has been used by olympic athletes and studied for decades. Bottom line, creatine is an effective and inexpensive way to support muscle building, brain health and exercise performance if you take it consistently. Do your research to learn more and see if it works for you.
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