Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Creatine is one of the few rigorously studied supplements with reliably favourable benefits.
We naturally have some creatine stores in our muscles and we can consume small amounts of creatine by eating animal products.
Creatine intra muscle is used for explosive power output such as throwing a punch, lifting a heavy weight or jumping to shoot a hoop.
Oral creatine supplementation can be helpful for sports as it helps us create more ATP, the energy we use for movement, so we can train harder or for longer. It also increases intra muscular stores of creatine which in turn provides us with more energy for the creatine phosphate system, the system that’s favoured for those short, explosive movements.
So in general, supplementing with creatine can really shine during anaerobic activities like weightlifting. It’s not magic, and it won’t turn you into superman, but you may get an extra rep on a hard pull or mean working through another set with slightly less fatigue.
Overtime these things can add up to more total work being done (volume) or more weight lifted (intensity) which are both needed for sustained gains.
Creatine likes to bind with water so supplementing means fuller looking muscles from increased intra muscle water. This doesn’t make a person look puffy or less lean, it makes muscles look fuller.
More water in the muscle is also an anabolic factor as it means greater potential for nitrogen ions to enter the muscle cells. These are helpful for muscle protein synthesis or the creation of new muscle. Diet and training still need to be there in order to create new muscle cells but this is a small bonus.
ISSN Stand on Creatine:
Vegans & vegetarians: