Benefits and Effects of a Creatine Supplement
By Donovan Baldwin


People working out to achieve the upper levels of fitness like to use a creatine supplement before their workout.

Use of a creatine supplement, using creatine which is normally mixed with other ingredients, became popular among bodybuilders and fitness pros in the middle of the 90's...1990's, that is. It was, and is, considered a method of getting more muscle building creatine into muscle cells.

Because of the link between insulin and uploading of substances into cells, an early creatine supplement often used dextrose as an ingredient to "encourage" muscle cells to accept the creatine. Modern versions of these muscle building supplements use more advanced techniques. One creatine supplement, for example, uses a "zero carbohydrate" formula to accelerate creatine uptake, while another relies on amino acids, combined with a small amount of "old school" dextrose, and plain, old cinnamon extract, which helps to increase creatine loading by the muscle cells.

The addition of cinnamon, which is also an important supplement for blood sugar management, speeds up the effect.

BodybuilderWhile many professionals use some form of creatine supplement, many others, "natural" bodybuilders, feel that it is not necessary to supplement with this substance which is produced naturally in the body. Whatever the source, the body uses creatine which helps the cells of muscle tissue to retain enough energy for physical activities such as running, swimming, or weight lifting...especially at competitive levels. However, many athletes find that they only can compete at such levels with the aid of a creatine supplement.

Not only do high level athletes experience high level assistance from increased creatine in their systems, in many ways, including increased muscle size, strength, and endurance, but, even seniors have found that in addition to these benefits, creatine supplementation seems to help mental acuity and brain function. Some researchers believe that there is evidence that there may be one additional benefit...the reduction of the risk of some cancers.

One warning, however, while creatine levels can affect athletic performance, some sports seem to benefit more than others. Those requiring short bursts of intense acitivity, such as weight lifting and sprinting, will probably benefit the most. The longer and steadier the acivity, such as running a marathon, the less benefit from creatine in any form, including a creatine supplement.

The body stores and uses energy in the body by a process which relies on stores of a substance known as ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), a coenzyme which helps transport energy in cells. ATP is especially necessary during those brief, intense periods of activity mentioned earlier. Creatine helps prevent depletion of the body's stores of ATP.

While creatine is manufactured by the body, it is also available from many foods, especially meats, but, unfortunately, much of that creatine can be destroyed by the heat of cooking. However, even when creatine is available naturally, a creatine supplement can help provide the levels necessary for peak performance, rapid muscle growth, and also rapid post workout recovery.

The good news is that, unlike many other supplements that athletes like to use, a creatine supplement is relatively benign, but, younger people should avoid its use as it can affect various factors such as hair growth, height, and penis size.

One last warning: a creatine supplement should not be taken constantly, but in eight to twelve week cycles.

Benefits and Effects of a Creatine Supplement
Page Updated 8:15 AM Saturday 1/9/2016