Creatine

Research shows creatine is an amino acid that is made naturally by the human body. It is found primarily in the muscles, but is also present in the brain and bodily organs. Creatine can be obtained through dietary choices of red meat or seafood.  A meta analysis of creatine metabolism shows that creatine is primarily metabolized in the liver and kidneys as the waste product creatinine. Natural levels of creatine can be increased by using commercially produced creatine supplements.

The Traditional Benefits of Creatine

Creatine is frequently used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts because it is known to increase body mass by promoting muscle mass growth. Creatine is a popular dietary supplement due to its demonstrated ability to improve muscle strength and amplify performance in athletic activities including high-intensity aerobic exercise and heavy resistance training such as bench pressing.

What is Creatine Used For?

Creatine may have numerous benefits to the body, including the following: Promotes Muscle Growth and Strength and Extends Endurance.

Benefits of Creatine

Creatine is frequently used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts because it is known to increase body mass by promoting muscle mass growth. Creatine is a popular dietary supplement due to its demonstrated ability to improve muscle strength and amplify performance in athletic activities including high-intensity aerobic exercise and heavy resistance training such as bench pressing. Studies(1) suggest that in addition to an increase in muscle mass, creatine supplementation and exercise are also linked to extended endurance times. The daily recommended allowance of creatine supplement is 20 grams, which may be divided into four doses of 5 grams.(1) Studies suggest creatine supplementation is safe for as long as five years.

How to Use Creatine

Research studies suggest creatine supplementation at 20 grams per day may be advantageous in sports competition as creatine increased muscle mass and endurance levels in aerobic exercise and weightlifting performance.(1) Creatine supplementation is approved by professional sports leagues and is sanctioned by major sporting associations including the International Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Older adults may benefit from creatine supplements as a way to increase muscle mass, which normally becomes depleted as age advances. Oral creatine supplementation is indicated for creatine deficiency syndrome which may affect brain function, the aging process and bone mass density (BMD). The use of creatine supplements has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of multiple disease states including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes, fibromyalgia, depression, various diseases affecting the muscles and nerves such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and muscle atrophy. Other medical conditions where creatine supplementation may be indicated include schizophrenia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, Rett syndrome, gyrate atrophy (an eye condition) and various genetic disorders that diminish the senses and movement abilities. Creatine supplementation is counter-indicated in individuals with kidney problems as creatine use has been linked to possibly causing these conditions to worsen. Likewise, people with bipolar disorder are warned that usage of creatine supplements may cause maniac episodes to increase. Those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease are also warned that the use of creatine supplements may promote further progression of the illness. Creatine supplementation can potentially cause weight gain due to increased water retention. 

Foods that Contain Creatine

Creatine levels can be increased through a diet rich in red meats and seafood.

Citations and Sources

1. Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):33. [PubMed]

Still Need Help Deciding?

Take our Product Quiz to find the right UMZU supplement for you.
take the quiz now