Thursday, 22 January 2009

The truth about creatine

The truth about Creatine
Creatine gets alot of bad press from misinformed sources. You often hear people calling it a 'natural steroid' and any other outrageous description. Here is our guide to bust the myths and give you the low-down on all things creatine.

The Science

Creatine is a naturally found in meat and our bodies also make creatine in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Creatine helps in forming a compound called ATP (adrenosine triphosphate). This is what gives us the power in our muscles, we need it to contract and relax our muscles and so it is important we get enough of it.

For low-intensity aerobic exercises our body can use carbohydrates and fats as fuel to make ATP. However, when it comes to short, intense anaerobic activities like sprinting you cannot inhale enough oxygen for this process, therefore we rely on our creatine supply. Creatine can quickly be converted to ATP and hence it's importance in weight lifting.

How it helps

This means when lifting weights we'll have more anaerobic energy stores and so will delay the onset of fatigue. This will allow us to have longer, and more intense gym sessions and allow us to do more sets and reps. This obviously equates to gains in muscle and strength. Remember, taking creatine alone will do nothing, it's purpose is to help you work harder, so creatine is definitely not for those looking for easy effortless gains.


The main health concern associated with creatine is dehydration. Because creatine absorbs water and draws it into the muscles you'll need to be drinking extra water than usual, 10-15 cups a day is advised. As creatine is a relatively new supplement the long term effects are not entirely known, although it's it thought to be fairly safe and low risk. Some also claim risks of kidney damage, but unless your taking very high amounts and not enough water this shouldn't be a problem as they process creatine from other sources every day.

There you have it, all you need to know about creatine to make an educated decision on whether you decide to take it or not. In my opinion is is not necessary for beginners but for regular lifters it can be very beneficial and worth trying.


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