If you follow fitness trends or are looking for ways to optimize your own sweat equity, you may want to look more closely at the benefits of Creatine. Creatine is an amino acid that is naturally made in the body’s organs, that is the pancreas, liver, and kidneys. You can also find additional sources of Creatine in foods like seafood and red meat.
Since the body only produces about a gram of Creatine each day, to optimize the benefits of this amazing compound, many people choose creatine supplementation, with products, pre workouts, and formulas offered by health and wellness manufacturers. So, why would anyone care to supplement with Creatine, as opposed to the vast array of other health and wellness options available? The truth is simple and compelling: there are many holistic health advantages to taking Creatine regularly that can benefit anyone- not just those that are serious about their fitness.
Some of the Creatine benefits that you should know about include these:
The first advantage of Creatine to cover is how it helps in recovery. That is, your muscles will recover from intense training or rigorous workouts faster, and with less discomfort than without taking Creatine supplements. Who hasn’t experienced the aftermath of an extremely rigorous session, where you are simply too sore to work out the next day? Nobody wants to derail their fitness goals with unnecessary aches and pains.
Taking Creatine reduces the damage that exercise can do to the muscle cells- thus, you will feel less aches, pains, and soreness afterward. It helps reduce inflammation which is at the root of joint and muscle pain- speeding your healing so you can get back to training sooner. This can contribute to your consistency, which may result in measurable gains.
Another benefit of taking Creatine supplements is the ability for you to endure intense training, workouts, and regimens. You will feel more capable of high intensity exercises as Creatine stimulates and produces muscle fibers. This helps to ward off fatigue and other discomforts that can impede your fitness goals.
Creatine is also noted to improve the contractions of your muscles, which makes each rep more productive. It doesn’t hurt that Creatine gives your body and mind a boost of energy, too- but more on that later!
You probably don’t think about taking Creatine to help with your aerobic and cardiovascular performance, but it does enhance and improve it. A study showed that Creatine helps with muscle volume- which increases the range, reps, and endurance of your muscles. This all contributes to better anaerobic activity- rivaling your best results and previous performance.
Combine this improved aerobic performance with the added energy, stamina, and intensity of Creatine, and it is a no-brainer that you must incorporate Creatine into your day.
What you do think of when Creatine comes up is probably building muscle mass. It is true- Creatine does facilitate and foster the development and growth of lean muscle. In fact, that is probably the biggest reason why people seek out Creatine supplements.
The truth is, Creatine does so much more. While it does inflate muscle cells and make you appear more buff, it also contributes to protein synthesis which is converting the Creatine to lean muscle. Weight training without Creatine supplementation almost seems like wasted effort; get the most from all your workouts with a quality pre workout or Creatine product.
Have you ever heard of methylation? Methylation refers to a specific bodily process that helps contribute to health and wellbeing. The methylation process directly impacts the anabolic process- so it supports healthy liver and kidney function.
Methylation reduces the need of the body to synthesize and produce Creatine along with other aminos- supplementation provides the Creatine needed for optimal methylation, which ensures healthy systems function. Yes, it is a bit confusing but suffice to say it is another benefit to those that use Creatine.
Another surprising benefit of Creatine is how it impacts your brain function. Creatine is responsible for healthy cognition and sharp memory. It also provides a sense of alertness, focus, and concentration that helps you to stay on-task and get things done.
It is quite remarkable the effects that Creatine has been shown to have on human brain function and the argument could be made that it is imperative to preserve long term memory and cognitive ability through aging, too- but more on that later!
Furthermore, more focus and concentration could be an invaluable asset for those that participate in competitive fitness or team sports, too. It could improve performance for these types of physical workouts and activities, giving you an edge over previous outcomes.
Another holistic health perk of Creatine is its role in bone health. Swiss studies have shown that Creatine can be an effective component against osteoporosis and bone fractures. Creatine is known to enhance alkaline phosphatase, which helps bones to grow.
Also, Creatine stimulates the production of cellular energy. This helps bones form, grow, develop, and even heal. It also can help prevent osteoporosis and the deterioration of bone mass as you get older. There are so many benefits- and anyone who has struggled with fragile or brittle bones can relate and appreciate this advantage.
When you think of taking a Creatine supplement, think of it as giving yourself a boost of power. This power from Creatine supplementation manifests in increased strength- both body and mind. Who doesn’t want this extra push for the gym, the office, school- anywhere that you have a lot to accomplish.
Did you know that amino acids provide an energy reserve in the body? It is true- and Creatine comes from aminos. Studies have demonstrated that Creatine supplements can also give a boost to seniors, helping them move more efficiently with less limitation, as shown in focus research groups.
Another lesser-known benefit of Creatine is its impact on the body’s blood sugar and glucose levels. Creatine can improve your glucose tolerance, which may prevent you from contracting diabetes. Creatine helps by increasing the glucose transporter expression and improves muscle glycogen content- which subsequently enhances your glucose tolerance.
All this equates to a reduced risk of becoming diabetic, and better blood sugar management if you already suffer from this medical condition.
As mentioned, there are numerous ways that Creatine contributes to healthy aging throughout the lifespan. There is a condition called Sarcopenia, which is basically age-related muscle loss. Over time as we get older, the production of muscle building hormones declines. Things like testosterone and growth hormones decrease; we simply do not produce them like we do when we are younger.
Creatine can help stop the hands of time and preserve hormone production as much as possible. This can result in feelings of youth and vitality, improved mobility, and better health. Who wouldn’t want that? Don’t age gracefully- go down fighting!
Good news for vegans and vegetarians: Creatine supplements can provide what you are missing from shellfish and red meat. The body only produces about a gram of Creatine per day, so many derive additional Creatine from meat and fish. The problem is that vegetarians and vegans are missing out on these dietary sources.
This is where Creatine supplements can come in. The easiest way to reap the rewards of Creatine and build muscle mass is through supplements that offer these holistic perks.
Yes, Creatine increases the level of testosterone in the body. This is great for older men who are experiencing declines in their testosterone production. This is also compelling news for older people, too. The benefits of testosterone are numerous- including strength, stamina, and energy- so getting this boost from Creatine is another reason to supplement.
Who would think that a health and fitness supplement could prevent serious illness or disease? Creatine has been shown to be effective at nurturing neurological health and managing phosphocreatine levels in the brain. When phosphocreatine levels in the brain drop, you are more at-risk and susceptible to sickness. Creatine maintains levels which wards off various neurological diseases.
Creatine supplementation can help lower your risk of these conditions and diseases:
- Spinal Cord Injury
- ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Parkinson Disease
Regarding Parkinson disease, this condition is noted for lower levels of dopamine. As we have learned, Creatine can contribute to increasing dopamine in the brain. Therefore, this improved level helps fend off the deterioration caused by Parkinson, like loss of muscle control, speech difficulty, and tremors. If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson disease, talk to your doctor or provider about taking Creatine supplements to preserve and maintain dopamine for reducing symptom severity and frequency.
Stamina is what keeps you going, even when you are tired or fatigued. Creatine offers the benefit of reducing feelings of fatigue or tiredness and providing the stamina that you need to get through what you have to get done.
Creatine has also been shown as an effective treatment for people suffering from traumatic injury. Creatine reduces feelings of dizziness that could have the potential to derail physical activity, and keep you on track longer. This stamina and endurance is another benefit to supplementing with Creatine.
Who would think that Creatine would make you feel so good? Creatine can help fend off signs and symptoms of depression, leading to an enhanced and elevated mood. Working out can be stressful- a better mood and mindset can have positive ramifications during your routine.
Depression is sometimes the result of poor brain function and metabolism. Creatine increases the production of dopamine- which makes you feel good. Serotonin and dopamine have an anti-depressant effect, so you feel happier and more content.
The final benefit or advantage of Creatine is its safety. Creatine- when taken as directed- is perfectly safe. It also does not have the side effects and interactions that other supplements do. This amino acid has been studied and researched extensively, and studies show that it does not pose any significant risks to users. Depending on your own distinct health history, your doctor or provider should be able to tell you if Creatine makes sense for you and your health goals.
Always take as recommended- and do not exceed five grams of creatine monohydrate powder daily, unless instructed by your provider or practitioner.
There are also some common myths regarding Creatine to debunk:
- One myth surrounding Creatine is about kidney and liver damage. Some claim that long term use could cause these issues, which is not the case. Long term studies show that Creatine does not appear to have damaging effects on these organs; talk to your doctor to learn more.
- Another myth asserts that Creatine causes digestion issues and gastrointestinal distress. If you take too much Creatine, you may have a stomach ache or if you take Creatine on an empty stomach, but for the most part, Creatine does not present side effects in most users.
- Creatine does not cause dehydration and subsequent cramps- contrary to the common myth. Creatine actually increases water in the body- so it may contribute to hydration. Consider this myth debunked!
- Another common myth is that Creatine will make you gain weight. Since Creatine helps hydrate and pull water into the muscles, it can cause weight gain of around 3%- but again, this is water weight. In other words, Creatine is not going to cause you to be overweight.
- Protein is the same as creatine. This is not true at all, there are many differences when it comes to protein vs creatine.
As with any health and wellness supplement, it is important to take as directed by the manufacturer. Read the label and take recommended dosage. While there are no significant side effects associated with Creatine, taking the supplement as directed will optimize its impact and you should see measurable results.
Furthermore, Creatine is not recommended for children under 18 years of age- nor is it endorsed for pregnant women or those that are nursing.
So, if you are wondering if taking Creatine makes sense, it does. The benefits of taking Creatine supplements extends far beyond weight-lifters and athletes. Anyone can take advantage and reap the rewards of this naturally occurring amino- and should. Talk to your doctor before starting any new regimen- and to learn more about what Creatine offers.