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What Is Creatine?

What Is Creatine?

According to many people, Creatine is the “number one” supplement for improving performance in the gym.

You may have heard of it, or you may even use it. But what actually is it and what does it actually do?

Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise.Taking creatine as a supplement is very popular among athletes and bodybuilders in order to gain muscle, enhance strength and improve exercise performance. Chemically speaking, it shares many similarities with amino acids, because our body can produce it from the amino acids glycine and arginine. Several factors affect your body’s creatine stores, including meat intake, exercise, amount of muscle mass and levels of hormones like testosterone and IGF-1 (the growth hormone). Most of the creatine in your body is stored in the form of other chemicals and in the liver.

So, that’s what it is, but what does it actually do.

Creatine helps you gain muscle in the following ways:

  • Boosted workload: Enables more total work or volume in a single training session, which is a key factor in long-term muscle growth.
  • Improved cell signaling: Can increase satellite cell signalling, which aids muscle repair and new muscle growth.
  • Raised anabolic hormones: Studies note a rise in hormones, such as IGF-1, after taking creatine.
  • Increased cell hydration: Lifts water content within your muscle cells, which causes a cell volumisation effect that may play a role in muscle growth.
  • Reduced protein breakdown: May increase total muscle mass by reducing muscle breakdown.
  • Lower myostatin levels: Elevated levels of the protein myostatin can slow or totally inhibit new muscle growth. Supplementing with creatine can reduce these levels, increasing growth potential.

Its also been shown to help your general energy levels, and could help or prevent neurological diseases such as ALS.

In summary, creatine is one of the cheapest, effective and safest supplements you can take. It supports quality of life in older adults, brain health and exercise performance. Its also good for vegetarians, who may not obtain enough creatine from their diet, and also older adults may find supplementing particularly useful.

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