Creatine has been a staple for athletes and bodybuilders for decades. It’s been proven to help improve the effects of resistance training such as more lean mass, better strength gains, and overall improved muscle function. Creatine is a fuel source that is used for very short durations of physical exertion. The body relies on several different energy sources. Fat is primarily used at lower intensity work that lasts for a long time. Stored carbohydrates (muscle glycogen) is used for moderate to high-intensity work that lasts for a moderate duration. Creatine is a third fuel that is stored within muscle cells and is used for very short duration work that is at a high intensity. These movements are things such as throwing a pitch, swinging a golf club, jumping as far as possible, and etc. Activities that take very little time but require a lot of energy.
Now, why would you need more creatine if you are not a high-level explosive athlete? We always use a mix of fuels such as fat, glycogen, and creatine to accomplish daily tasks. They are all being constantly used it’s only the ratios of how much that change once we go from a lower intensity exercise to a higher intensity effort. Also, this is relative to your own performance. If you don’t have the strongest legs in the world then getting up a flight of stairs can be considered a high power effort for your individual fitness level. A strong athlete might not tap into creatine stores when they carry their grocery bags from their car, however, as people get older strength can naturally decline which makes everyday tasks more strenuous. If a person can manage to slow down this progression then they will age considerably better than those who don’t.
I’ve written about this in previous articles of how important it is to maintain as much strength as possible to stay independent, metabolically healthy, decrease the risk of falling and etc. Supplementing with creatine will effectively increase your stored energy levels used for strength work which help leads to improved physical performance. This increase in energy levels will help with physical tasks. Tasks that once used to seem daunting or heavy become easier. This will allow you to be more active and feel better. This can be achieved by simply taking 5g of creatine monohydrate on a daily basis. This dosage has been shown effective and safe for healthy individuals.
In the review study cited the authors list a whole slew of positive benefits that have been shown from supplementing with creatine in older individuals. The benefits include:
Improved aerobic capacity
Improved blood sugar control
Decreased body fat
Increase lean mass
Fewer muscle complaints
Stronger bone mass density
Increase muscle power
This list is packed with a bunch of good things that will help you live a better life. What’s interesting is how creatine seems to have many positive effects on brain health as well. Studies have shown improvements in thinking, recall, mood, and many other variables. There are many supplements out there that are expensive and deliver a very modest benefit. Creatine monohydrate is very affordable compared to many other supplements and it has very solid research behind it.
Creatine is stored in your muscle cells and it takes about 2 weeks to fully replenish the storage levels when you take 5g per day. Once you have reached this level of saturation you want to maintain these levels by continuously taking about 5g per day. Give it a try and see if you feel stronger, more capable, and happier.
Creatine – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19253023
B.S. Exercise Science from Lindenwood University
Started CrossFit in 2010.
Favorite thing about what I do:
To help and see people improve their fitness and confidence
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association
CF L1 Coach
CF L2 Coach
USAW Sports Performance Coach & club coach
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