Creatine is often considered by the training and sports science community as one of the most powerful and effective supplements there are. In fact, creatine can be said to be truly the ‘best supplement’, if you take into account that protein is an essential nutrient that can be easily obtained in ergogenic quantities from the diet.
With almost a century of research behind the compound, most with positive results in relation exercise, training and growth parameters, there are still questions as to the effectiveness of the supplement.
This article then, aims to detail the many benefits of creatine and also debunk any common myths about the supplement so that you can make the best and most informed choice about the supplement.
Creatine for Muscle Growth
Creatine as a supplement is used for a variety of applications, with one of those being to gain lean mass.
Creatine is well known for its ability to increase power output as it is involved in the generation of ATP (our main energy source).
This is especially useful in powering through tougher training sessions involving the lifting of more weight. In fact, creatine can result in a 78.5% increase in power compared to a placebo.
More power to lift will mean greater stimulus for muscle growth. The other way that creatine can support muscle growth is through the increase in fibre size through the influx of water, known as cellular swelling; a common trait of creatine and carbohydrate use.
This swelling can actually result in a decrease in protein oxidation due to the cell signals that are alerted when the muscle swells.
Creatine for Fat Loss & Weight Loss
Creatine is rarely used specifically for fat and weight loss. After all, most people tend to gain weight with creatine use, however the majority of this weight is due to gains in water weight and lean muscle mass rather than body fat mass.
However, the gains in lean muscle mass during the period of creatine intake is extremely handy when it comes to maintaining a healthy body composition later on thanks to the fact that lean muscle mass is metabolically active.
That is, muscles are directly related to our metabolic rate. More muscle means a higher metabolic rate and therefore greater energy ‘burned’ throughout the day.
Creatine has also been shown to affect glucose kinetics in our body, with positive changes to a glucose response with food due to the increase in its transport into our muscles rather than being stored as fat.