What is creatine?
Creatine is an organic compound made of protein fragments. It consists of three amino acids - arginine, glycine, and methionine. It is found primarily in our muscles - this is as much as 98% of the creatine content in the entire body. The remaining 2% is found in the brain, kidneys, and liver. Creatine is primarily known as a dietary supplement for athletes and bodybuilders to help build muscle mass.
How does creatine work?
Taking creatine makes lean body mass grow faster. In addition, the substance stimulates the recovery process between workouts. Why does it matter?
The person exercising has better performance, can do more advanced workouts, and achieve better results. However, taking creatine without physical activity will not bring any results for our muscles. Only training in the combination with a proper diet will assure optimal conditions for creatine to work as expected.
Creatine protects cells from oxidative stress, a state of imbalance between the activity of free radicals and antioxidants. Oxidative stress can lead to premature cell aging and many diseases, including cancer.
Is creatine safe?
Creatine is taken by many athletes and bodybuilders around the world. Creatine is not recognized as a banned substance, so you can take it during preparations for competitions. When taken sensibly it is not harmful. However, if used in excess, it can cause stomach problems, muscle cramps, dehydration, mood swings, and worse mood. Stuffing yourself with creatine without restraint can lead to kidney diseases and potency problems!
Where to find creatine?
Creatine supplements come in the form of monohydrate, phosphate, citrate, malate, nitrate, gluconate, and hydrochloride. The most common choices of creatine forms are creatine monohydrate, phosphate, and creatine malate.
Creatine monohydrate combines creatine with a water molecule, phosphate combines creatine with phosphoric acid, and malate combines creatine with malic acid. Monohydrate form is inexpensive and works effectively and that’s why it is most often recommended.
Creatine can be obtained not only through supplements - some types of food contain it too, for example, red meat. However, there is no doubt that supplying creatine through supplements is the most effective way of ensuring its proper concentration in our body.