Here’s the thing, when it comes to getting fit, everyone has a different definition of it. That means everyone sees getting fit differently. Others’ definition of being fit is getting into regular exercises while others get into muscle toning and weight lifting. And because of these differences, other people are taking ‘extra’ every time they spend a day in the gym.
These ‘extra’ are often called supplements, and the most common, widely used supplement now in the fitness world is creatine. You might have heard celebrities and athletes promoting the use of it. Highlighting its amazing benefits and how it helps them achieve superhero physique.
Let’s discover more about creatine and its amazing benefits to our health.
Helps your body to produce more energy
Let’s have some science first. Scientifically speaking, creatine is a substance that is naturally found in muscle cells.
When you take creatine supplements, its main role is to increase the phosphocreatine stores. This phosphocreatine is the factor that aids the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). When you exercise, these ATPs are broken down to produce energy.
When you perform high-intensity exercises without taking in creatine, you will reach the limit of ATP resynthesis. This means you’re being limited to continually perform intense exercises for a long duration. But when you intake creatine supplements, your phosphocreatine is increased, which means more ATP stores can be broken down and used during these extreme activities.
This is the logic behind the creatines’ performance-enhancing benefits. There are many creatine supplements available, but the most recommended products are the ones that are created at high-quality and are hypoallergenic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan.
Best for bodybuilding and body mass increase
Have you ever wanted to achieve Chris Evans’ and Hemsworth-like body physique? We know that Thor and Captain America are truly body goals, and it’s not surprising if many idolise their physique. But did you know that these superstars also used creatine to achieve those bodies?
If you’re looking for an answer on how to achieve that physique, the answer is creatine. It’s popularly known as the supplement for adding muscle mass. According to a 12-week study of a weightlifter taking creatine regularly, it has observed an increase of muscle fiber growth 2–3 times compared to training alone.
Even more so, creatine helps you reduce muscle breakdown and retains it during exercise, which results in a greater amount of muscle gain. Also, creatine’s regular intake helps improve your ability to perform more repetitions and lift heavier weights than you usually do.
Aids in creatine metabolism
This might be unfamiliar, but there are creatine disorders. Unfortunately, some people’s bodies cannot create creatine. And it’s very concerning as creatine deficiency is a serious health condition. Low creatine levels in the brain can lead to serious health issues such as decreased mental function, seizures, autism, and movement problems.
Low creatine level also can lead to major health cases includes but not limited to:
- Muscle atrophy
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Taking oral creatine supplements can help increase creatinine levels. However, there’s still no official medical research and evidence to prove that they can alleviate or can be an effective solution to these cases. It can help improve attention and mobility, but effects vary as it does not affect everyone in the same way.
Helps in faster muscle recovery
Muscle fatigue and exhaustion are very common when you perform intense exercises or activities. Athletes are the most prone to muscle fatigue, especially after an intense workout or practice.
But with creatine supplementation, athletes get to be present and attend to their hectic schedules since muscle fatigue is being reduced. It goes the same for actors that get into extreme stunts and actions.
It not only helps with muscle recovery but also affects people who have constantly experienced sleep deprivation. With creatine intake, energy levels are increased, and improved performance as fatigue and stress are reduced.
Improve memory and cognitive ability
Some researchers claim people with high creatine levels show improved recognition memory and higher cognitive ability. One research conducted a study for 45 responders, taking in 5mg of creatine for 6weeks that showed improved scores during tests taken under pressure compared to others who only took a placebo.
And did you know that people on a vegetarian diet are low in creatine levels? It’s because meat, the main dietary source of creatine, is not consumed by them. A research study is conducted to see if there’s a change in creatine level and improved memory function, the research targeted individuals on a strict vegetarian diet.
After taking creatine of 5 grams per day for six weeks, a change in the graph was observed. Low creatine level respondents show significant changes while normal or average creatine level individuals show less to no changes.
The bottom line for creatine as a supplement is that it’s beneficial on many levels. If you’re an athlete, you get to maximize the supplement’s full potential while it aids your body to perform at its best. For some, creatine is being used to alleviate or aid dysfunction like for people with creatine disorder. But it’s best to note that creatine’s regular intake can help other cases such as stress, fatigue, and even improve intelligence. This goes to show that creatine has various benefits, and everyone can take advantage of it.
Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.
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