Creatine has been studied for over two decades now and nothing but good news has come from it. First off, there are a few rumors about creatine damaging the kidneys and all sorts of crap. The science doesn’t show any effects from creatine on the kidneys. With that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
First off, let me explain what creatine is. Creatine is a compound formed in protein metabolism and present in much living tissue. It is involved in the supply of energy for muscular contraction. Creatine is a natural substance found in meat. When we cook the meat, most of the creatine shi’ts the bed, so supplementing is making sure we get what we missed.
Build Muscle & Strength
This is why most people take creatine. A ton of studies have shown that creatine augments gains in muscle size and strength when taken with a resistance-training program. Studies can generally be grouped into short-term and long-term categories. Short-term studies involve a creatine loading phase, usually 15-25 grams per day for 5-7 days, and measured performance before and after supplementation. These studies have shown significant improvement in a shi’t load of gym rat behavior and everyday life.
For the women out there, creatine isn’t a steroid or hormone supplement, so there’s no need to worry about growing extra hair or sounding like Andre The Giant. Creatine will improve your results, not give you entirely new ones.
Creatine is a Brain Booster
Creatine is an important source of energy for cells in the brain that have high metabolic needs required for processes like working and long-term memory. Early research using sophisticated analytical equipment like magnetic resonance spectroscopy has shown that supplementing creatine results in significant increases of creatine levels in the human brain.
Following up on this work, researchers in Great Britain supplemented adults, average age 76, with 20 grams of creatine daily or a placebo for one week. Subjects were given a series of cognitive tests that assessed verbal and spatial short- and long-term memory. Creatine supplementation enhanced several of the tests including forward number recall, forward and backward spatial recall, and long-term memory. These findings add to a line of research indicating that creatine supplementation improves cognitive function.
Is that awesome or what? Next time grandma has a senior moment, just slip some creatine into her tea.
Better Glucose Control
Crazy, huh? Creatine may actually help in weight loss!! 1 in 3 adults struggle to maintain a healthy level of blood glucose (blood sugar). In a 12-week exercise training study of type 2 diabetics, those who supplemented with creatine showed a 14% decrease over several weeks in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which is a measure of average blood sugar levels.
When given a carbohydrate meal, the creatine group showed less of a response in blood sugar and increased glucose transporters on the surface of muscle cells, which translates into greater capacity to take up sugar from the blood. This means that creatine did help with glucose control. In other words, if creatine can help control glucose, it can help control insulin. That means it will help with weight management!