A Quick Bit about Creatine
I get asked A LOT about creatine, especially from my student-athletes. Here’s a quick rundown to help you decide if it’s for you & what to look for :)
Creatine is made of amino acids methionine, arginine, & glycine. Creatine is a safe & throughly studied supplement (no it does not damage kidneys, when taken at the recommended dosage) & is naturally found in red meat (about 1 gram per 1-2lbs of meat).
Creatine monohydrate increases type 1, type 11A & type IIX myosin heavy chain mRNA expression, & MHC protein. As such those who participate in events like discus, shot put, javelin, high jump, long jump, hammer, & shot put will benefit most from creatine supplementation.
There are other reasons to supplement with creatine, regardless of what type of athlete you are:
Creatine works by recycling ATP & the more creatine you have stored in muscle, the more energy available for your working muscle (aka creatine supplementation will help improve performance, regardless of your sport). Creatine hydrates your cells by shuttling water into muscle cells, helping to protect against muscle cramps, dehydration, & injury (given that you are also getting adequate fluid & electrolyte balance).
Creatine supplementation benefits muscle disorders such as muscular dystrophy & idiopathic inflammatory myopathies.
Aside from an athletic performance aid, creatine is important for brain, skin, eye, digestive, & sperm health. It helps to improve memory & reduce mental fatigue (especially helpful for vegetarians & elderly).
3-5 grams daily of creatine monohydrate (not ethyl ester), ideally post-workout and combined with carbohydrate;
Creatine can augment skeletal muscle glycogen storage when combined with carbohydrate. Creatine ethyl ester is not as effective at increasing serum & muscle creatine levels, or in improving body composition, muscle mass, strength, nor power as creatine monohydrate.