Creatine has become ubiquitous not only within the world of bodybuilding and weight lifting, but in the larger context of all athletic events and competitions. But before you look into which supplements account for the best creatine on the market, take a few minutes to learn more about the compound, including all the answers you need for creatine effects, what is creatine, what does creatine do, and much more.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is an organic acid produced from the elements nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. It is naturally occurring within the human body, and within all vertebrates.
It is non-essential, which means just that, it’s produced within our bodies, but it’s also found in a number of our foods, and of course is now commonly used as an athletic supplement. Over 95% of the creatine in our system is stored within our muscles.
Be sure to check out this article for more information on basic creatine facts (and myths).
What Does Creatine Do (and does creatine work?)
Now that you’ve answered the “what is creatine” question, you probably have a few more questions. Like, what does creatine do, and more importantly, does creatine work? The quick answers to those two questions are: a lot, and yes!
There are many creatine effects within the body, and the compound truly takes on many functions in our system. So does creatine work? It most certainly does, but the key factor there is that you need to know what it can do, and what it’s responsible for. In this way, you won’t have unrealistic or misguided expectations, and you’ll be able to accurately and successfully utilize supplementation.
Creatine Effects & Creatine Results
- Increased energy for muscles: The most important answer in terms of what does creatine do, is that it provides increased energy for muscles. It is designed to help generate ATP, the main energy supply for our muscles as they are being used. Creatine is turned into creatine phosphate within a muscle, and is then utilized for ATP regeneration. Therefore, one of main creatine effects is that it has a direct hand in providing more energy for your muscles.
- Increased performance in high-intensity exercises: More energy for your muscles means increased performance in high-intensity exercises. This could be burning through that last set of dead-lifts, doing some cardio interval training, or anything else. Your muscles will be able to draw upon extra energy reserves, and have more energy readily on hand, to help increase and improve performance.
- Increased muscular stamina: Along the same lines, another one of the important creatine effects is that it increases muscular stamina. Once again, more creatine on hand = more (and more effective and efficient) ATP production = more energy. That means you’ll complete an extra few repetitions when you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, or sprint for an extra 30 seconds, or anything else, which will lead to great gains and improvements.
- Improved recovery rates: Creatine also helps to improve the recovery rates within your muscles. This means that following a workout session, you’ll not only experience less soreness or stiffness, but your body will be ready to go in less time. Therefore, one of the great creatine results is that you’ll spend less time recovering and more time working out, once again leading to improved gains.
- Muscle synthesis and maintenance: Another one of the common creatine effects to familiarize yourself with is that it plays a role in muscle and protein synthesis, which will help you pack on more lean muscle mass. At the same time, creatine also helps to prevent protein breakdown, allowing you to maintain that muscle mass once you have it.
- Nutrient Delivery: Many people, when they think to themselves, well, what does creatine do, they think about how some individuals put on some water weight after taking a creatine supplement. This is true, and it’s known as muscle hydrating or muscle volumizing. But what’s important here in terms of tangible creatine effects is that increased amounts of water within your muscles leads to improved nutrient delivery. This helps account for the improvements in muscle recovery, growth and maintenance, all of which are beneficial creatine results that you should be striving to see and experience for yourself.
Does creatine work? Absolutely! As you can see above, there are numerous different benefits that the compound can provide for you or help you to achieve.
By now you should be able to answer the question that we all seem to have: what does creatine do? Remember the above creatine effects and creatine results, and you’ll be able to use the supplements safely, properly and effectively.