The Benefits of Creatine for Strength and Muscle Growth
The FASTer Way to Fat Loss is excited to announce its newest wellness product for clients: creatine. The muscle building supplement no longer has its bad rap from the 90s, and in fact, is one of the most popular sports supplements used today. Despite what you may think, it also has several more benefits than building muscle, including positive impacts on brain function, which we now know is crucial to our health as we age.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is formed naturally in the body from amino acids. About 95% of the creatine in our bodies is stored in skeletal muscle tissue. The other 5% is found in the brain, liver, kidneys, and testes. The average person has about 120 grams of creatine stored in their bodies.
Creatine helps regenerate ATP, which stands for adenosine triphosphate. ATP is the primary energy carrier in cells. When ATP is broken down, it releases energy to power muscle contractions and other cellular functions. Creatine helps restore ATP levels to provide ongoing energy.
Benefits of Supplementing with Creatine
Overall, creatine is one of the most effective supplements for improving performance in the gym. It directly helps increase strength and muscle gains from resistance training.
- Increase strength and power output - Creatine improves the body's capacity to perform high intensity exercise. Numerous studies show supplementing with creatine increases strength gains from weight training.
- Build muscle - By improving strength and power output, creatine aids muscle growth. The extra energy from creatine allows more strenuous workouts with heavier weightlifting loads.
- Enhance muscle recovery - Creatine helps reduce muscle damage and inflammation after hard training. This can speed up recovery times.
- Increase lean body mass - Supplementing with creatine can increase overall lean muscle mass gains from training. This gives a more muscular appearance.
Other Benefits of Creatine
In addition to the strength and muscle building effects, creatine may provide other health and performance benefits:
- Enhanced brain function - Creatine plays a role in supplying energy to the brain. Some research shows creatine supplements may improve memory and cognitive function, especially in people who don't eat much meat.
- Neuroprotective effects - Studies demonstrate creatine can help protect the brain from oxidative stress and neurotoxins. This may provide therapeutic benefits for cognitive diseases like Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Alzheimer's.
- Improved mood and depression - By boosting brain creatine levels, research shows supplements may lessen symptoms of depression. This may also reduce fatigue and anxiety.
- Enhanced bone mineral density - Weight training and creatine supplements together can increase bone mineral content. This may help reduce osteoporosis risk.
- Anti-aging effects - Creatine may act as an anti-aging compound by preventing loss of muscle and bone mass as we age. This helps maintain strength, mobility, and vitality.
Creatine Safety Concerns in the 1990s vs Today
When creatine supplements first came on the scene in the 1990s, there were some concerns from the medical community about safety. Some feared creatine could damage the liver, kidneys or cause dehydration. Numerous studies in the last 25 years have demonstrated creatine is well-tolerated and safe when taken as recommended. Clinical trials show no dangerous side effects for the liver or kidneys in healthy individuals at typical doses. The fears from the 1990s have subsided with decades of continued research showing creatine use has no significant adverse effects. We also know proper hydration is important when supplementing to reduce cramping. But common concerns like renal dysfunction from the 1990s have been disproven through rigorous study over the years.
Creatine has proven over decades of research to be one of the most effective and safe supplements for improving muscle strength and growth. The multitude of benefits, from athletic performance to cognitive health, make creatine a supplement with highly versatile effects for both men and women. When taken correctly, creatine can help amplify the results of your training and support overall health. It's no wonder creatine remains one of the top selling supplements year after year.