This article discusses the use of creatine as a performance-enhancing supplement by athletes to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help muscles recover quickly during exercise. While some studies have found it to be beneficial for short-term high-intensity activities, there is mixed evidence regarding its effectiveness.
10 Key Takeaways
Creatine is a natural substance that turns into creatine phosphate in the body, which helps make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy source for muscle contractions.
Creatine is available as a powder, tablets, energy bars, and drink mixes over the counter without a doctor's prescription.
It's a popular sports supplement used by athletes, especially those who play high-intensity sports like football, hockey, wrestling, and gymnastics.
Creatine is believed to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help muscles recover quickly during exercise.
Scientific research on creatine has been mixed, and some people who use it see no benefit.
Increased muscle mass: Creatine helps to increase muscle mass by promoting the production of ATP, which is the primary energy source for muscle cells. This leads to an increase in muscle size and strength.
Improved athletic performance: Creatine has been shown to improve athletic performance, especially during high-intensity exercises like weightlifting and sprinting. It may help you perform more reps, recover faster between sets, and increase your overall power output.
Enhanced brain function: Creatine has been shown to have neuroprotective effects and may improve cognitive function in older adults. It may also help improve memory and learning in healthy individuals.
Reduced fatigue: Creatine has been shown to reduce fatigue during high-intensity exercises, allowing you to work out for longer periods of time before reaching exhaustion.
Improved muscle recovery: Creatine may help to speed up muscle recovery after exercise by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. This means you can bounce back quicker from intense workouts and get back to training sooner.