In bodybuilding, creatine is an essential amino acid. But how does creatine work in the body? In this article, Nutrimuscle explains in detail what happens in your body after creatine supplementation.
- What is creatine?
- How does creatine work in the body?
What is creatine?
Creativity is a non-essential amino acid derivative, present in large quantities in the body. It is synthesized by the liver and pancreas. It is also found in certain food products, notably meat. Formerly considered a doping product, creatine was banned in France until the 2000s. Today, it is recognized as a safe food supplement. Both children and adults can consume it.
How does creatine work in the body?
Creatine allows energy production. When ingested in the form of a food supplement, it replenishes creatine phosphate reserves in the muscles.
From a molecular point of view, it is ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which gives energy to the cell. It contains three molecules of phosphorus. Once released, adenosine triphosphate becomes diphosphate. Through the release of a phosphorus molecule, the cell releases energy.
Creatine in the body can bind to a phosphorus molecule in order to replenish an ATP and increase the energy time to the cell. The goal of supplementation is to maintain these ATP stores consistently in order to delay fatigue.
A cell contains creatine thanks to an endogenous source (synthesized by amino acids) or an exogenous source (natural diet, supplementation). In people who do not eat meat, we notice that creatine stocks are lower than average, because this amino acid is found in large quantities in red meat.
Endogenous synthesis depends on the individual. Some people do not depend on food because their body is able to produce sufficient creatine, other people depend on exogenous intake due to much lower synthesis, or even absent in certain pathological cases.
Creatine supplementation helps saturate muscle and brain cells to accelerate metabolism. In this way, sports performance is optimized but also cognitive performance.
By saturating ATP stores, the body feels less fatigue and can push its limits. Athletes train longer or at higher intensity, which helps build strength. Indeed, creatine does not produce muscle fibers. The retention effect allows you to train more intensely, which results in muscle gain. On average, creatine consumers notice a 5-15% increase in muscle mass.
Creatine has many benefits throughout the body. Among these, we find:
- Improved sports performance
- Heart failure prevention
- More energy
- Decreased glucose levels in people with diabetes
- Ease of learning
On the other hand, for endurance sports, creatine does not particularly improve performance. When supplementing, it is important to drink enough to avoid muscle cramps and dehydration.
Although it is essential for any bodybuilding practitioner, creatine is also very useful for sedentary people, students during exams or young children in the learning phase. To find out more about the effects of creatine, we invite you to read our article on the subject.