For most of us, the supplements lining the shelves of our local gym shop are intimidating. They promise to make us leaner, faster, harder and stronger… And it seems there are dozens upon dozens of supplements available. All you need to know is that there’s one supplement in there that you SHOULD be taking if you work out at all. It’s called creatine monohydrate. And contrary to popular myth, it doesn’t destroy your kidneys, your liver or your heart.
But it has been proven – scientifically – to deliver on its promise. Quite remarkably, too!
1. Your body produces it, naturally
Your muscles store creatine for use when you engage in physical activity. The thing is, if you’re doing something that’s physically strenuous, your stores will be depleted, resulting in that feeling of fatigue.
By supplementing with creatine, you make sure that your body’s stores are saturated, with plenty to spare.
2. It gives your muscles energy faster than glucose does
Creatine monohydrate increases the amount of creatine phosphate in your body. This molecule is like the dynamite of energy sources:
- It gives your muscles – specifically the fast-twitch fibres in the muscle – energy faster than glucose does.
- And this makes it easier for you to perform short, intense workouts without tiring. Which, in turn, strengthens the muscle fibres, allowing you to run faster, lift more weight or perform more reps.
3. So you gain more muscle mass
Because creatine allows you to handle a bigger workload at the gym (be it running faster, lifting more, etc), you build more muscle mass.
It is also responsible for an increase in the amount of water inside your muscles cells. This water exerts a pressure force on the membranes of your muscle cells. And this is what makes your muscle cells grow through a process called protein synthesis.
What’s more, creatine kicks your muscular stem cells into action. And this also results in muscle growth and repair too.
4. A spoonful of sugar helps it go down
No, you didn’t read it wrong… Most creatine supplements come in powder form, for you to mix into a drink. We suggest you mix it with a sugary drink since the resulting insulin spike is what helps the muscles take up more creatine.
5. It helps your muscles recover better (and your bones stay strong)
Tests have found that creatine reduces the damage and inflammation that’s inevitable in muscle cells after strenuous physical activity.
Plus, it’s found to strengthen the bones, preventing conditions like osteoporosis, and bone regeneration. So if you’ve suffered a bone fracture, supplementing with creatine may well help you heal quicker and better.
6. It boosts neurological performance too
Researchers have found the Creatine also benefits brain function, improving memory and response time, for example. It also helps the part of the brain that handles problem-solving.
7. It kicks diabetes down
Creatine improves glucose tolerance, which in turn, combats diabetes.
8. Creatine slows the ageing of muscles
As we grow older, our muscle fibres age and slowly degenerate too. Creatine, because of its action in enhancing the performance of these fibres, helps to slow this natural ageing process. Which means you keep more healthy muscle for longer.
9. It does all of this – ONLY if you do the work
Let’s be clear: There are no short-cuts to a lean, muscular, strong, fit body. If you think that by taking creatine, you’ll reap the benefits while you sit on the couch munching snacks, you’re wrong.
To see the benefits, you still need to work out regularly, eat nutritious food and get enough rest.
If you’ve been preaching the benefits of creatine to your friends, your granny and the dude who sits next to you at work, maybe your calling is a career as a personal trainer? Check out the Comprehensive Personal Training Certification from Trifocus Fitness Academy today!