While being skinny used to be the ongoing trend, fitness and muscularity have made a serious breakthrough across the country. Supplements, diet tips, healthy recipes and workouts are all being advertised way more than ever before. While steroids used to be the go to muscle enhancer, research has identified many supplements to get muscle enhancing results without the body damage. Creatine happens to be one of the many muscle performance enhancers available today.
Creatine is a nitrogenous acid that aids in supplying our muscle cells with energy. It is usually available in the body from dietary habits or by being made from the liver and kidneys. Big meat eaters usually don’t see extreme results from the creatine supplementation; due to getting plenty of creatine from dietary habits. Creatine will affect everyone differently, but will usually cause fluid weight gain at the beginning of supplementation. This is how the supplement increases protein production, by pulling water into the muscle cells. From this stage, it increases the number of muscle fibers and causes the muscles to grow larger with each workload.
There are two types of athletic performance:
- Endurance exercise
- High-intensity exercise
The creatine supplement has been tested on both types of exercise. Research has discovered no benefits to endurance exercisers with the use of creatine supplements. These athletes who use creatine, could potentially gain weight from the supplement without any benefits. Although, it has been discovered that improvements are made in individuals on creatine supplementation who perform high-intensity exercise.
- noticeable when training volumes increase after about a week’s time
- no change; creatine is not responding and won’t help meet goals
Casual exercisers won’t benefit from the use of a creatine supplement. While competition athletes will most likely benefit from the supplement, it can be used for any high-intensity exercisers. The key to using creatine, is watching how it effects your body during high-intensity workouts; while consuming a healthy diet to gain maximum results.
Contributed by Jenifer Axman, Dietetics Student
Jenkins, Mark A., MD. “Creatine Supplementation in Athletes: Review.”Creatine Supplementation in Athletes: Review. N.p., n.d. Web.
Risher, Brittany. “Creatine: What It Is, What It Does, and Its Side Effects.”Creatine: What It Is, What It Does, and Its Side Effects. Men’s Health, 2 Sept. 2013. Web.